Your Next Box of Mac & Cheese Could Be Your Last

Most of us enjoyed mac and cheese from the box as children and we loved it! All the non-nutritious goodness that was filled inside that little box was what we wanted daily. Looking back on my mac and cheese filled childhood, I get a feeling of regret and that is because a new study has revealed that mac and cheese from the box has a toxic chemical called phthalate. Phthalates are chemicals of high concern. They are used in the plastics industry and are found in rubber coatings, adhesives, sealants, and printing ink, but they are not directly added into food. However, through the food packaging process, phthalates can find their way into food products indirectly when they leave from food contact materials.

This is a serious problem. Phthalates are dangerous to pregnant women and children because many studies have linked prenatal exposure to phthalates with birth defects in children. They are hormone-disrupting chemicals that have been shown to threaten the health development of babies’ endocrine and reproductive systems. In order to protect people’s health, the EU has banned most phthalates for plastics in contact with fatty foods. However, the US has not taken this type of action yet.

Per a new study by The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, the average phthalate levels found in macaroni and cheese powder were more than four times higher than in block and other natural cheeses. DEHP, the most dangerous and restricted phthalate, was found in higher concentration on average and more frequently than any other phthalate in the cheese powder. It is an alarming finding, one that should make parents and pregnant women stay far away from products containing phthalates. These chemicals were found in all types of boxed mac and cheese products, even organic.

To avoid this harmful chemical, you can do many things. One of the easiest ways to stay away from phthalates is to buy whole natural foods instead of processed foods. You have probably heard processed foods are “bad” for a multitude of reasons and now, you can add another reason to the list. This new research shows that toxic chemicals are in mac and cheese and cause a more dangerous health risk to your children. Which like the name phthalate sounds, is very scary.

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Matt DiCerbo

Is a contributor to The Almost Doctor’s Channel.