Lisa Leake's children used to love the taste of Kraft's Mac & Cheese, the bright orange pasta that comes in the signature blue box. But she began to worry about the additives -- yellow dye 5 and yellow dye 6, which she says add nothing to the flavor and may be dangerous to kids' health.
Leake and fellow North Carolina food blogger Vani Hari did some investigating and found that Kraft makes the same Mac & Cheese for its consumers in the United Kingdom, but because of stricter rules regarding additives, it is dye-free.
There, Kraft uses natural beta carotene and paprika to make it almost the same color.
Leake and Hari say the yellow dye serves only "aesthetic purposes." They say they worry that food colorings have been associated with hyperactivity in children, allergies, migraine and, because yellow dyes are petroleum-based, maybe cancer.
Now the two women have posted a petition on Change.org, asking Kraft to offer Americans the same additive-free Mac & Cheese they sell in Europe. So far, the petition has 25,000 signatures and growing.
Leake, 35, and Hari, 33, taste-tested the two versions of Mac & Cheese and posted it on YouTube. They said they found "virtually no difference" in color or taste.
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