A new study that was seeking to analyze a variety of cheese products, found that those popular macaroni and cheese mixes that many of us love so much, contained harmful chemicals known as phthalates.
These chemicals have been banned in the US for many years; from things like teething rings and children's rubber duck toys. Interestingly, an FDA report from a few years ago concluded that the primary source of exposure for these chemicals was food, beverages, and drugs and not toys.
Researchers suggest that these chemicals might play a role in disrupting hormones such as testosterone and might possibly contribute to learning and behavioral problems for children and increase the risk of allergies. Not only that, but they've also allegedly been linked to birth defects in infant boys.
The recent study analyzed 30 different cheese products, including popular highly processed cheese samples that you'd find in macaroni and cheese mixes. They also tested things like string cheese, cottage cheese, and shredded cheese.
At least 9 of their samples were Kraft products.
They found that for the powder cheese mixes for the popular box meals, that the concentration of the chemicals was around 4x higher.
For the 30 samples, they found the harmful chemicals in all but one of the samples.
Unfortunately, some of their samples were even labeled as organic. All of the products were purchased in the US, before being shipped for testing to Belgium.
Researchers concluded that these harmful chemicals must be in every mac and cheese product on the market and they say that it's extremely difficult for consumers to try and shop their way out of the problem.
It's believed that the chemicals migrate into the food from the manufacturing process via the different packaging and equipment that gets used. They hope that consumers will pressure manufacturers to investigate how the chemicals are making it into the products, in order to make a response plan to sort out the problem.
Getty Images - Kevork Djansezian via time.com/3829094/kraft-mac-and-cheese-color/
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