A recent independent study conducted by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging on 40 different brands indicated that phthalate in mac and cheese is present at high levels. Phthalates have an industrial use that softens plastic, and…I guess, flavoring powdered cheese.
But what’s the harm, you ask? Phthalate has been linked to low testosterone levels in male rats, and linked to reproductive disruption that can affect fertility. There’s also a study suggesting this substance could be linked to childhood asthma and obesity.
Presence of phthalates aren’t added to the ingredients in powdered cheese products. Rather, it sloughs off from the machines used in processing the package. Phthalates attach to fat, so it makes sense that high amounts are found in cheese.
As a mom of four kids who LOVE their mac and cheese (especially if Mom is running late with dinner and stomachs are grumbling) this gives me major pause. The more you eat, the more likely to have significant exposure. Guess I’m going to have to make more batches of the real stuff.
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