Mac and cheese mixes may still contain toxic ingredients that were banned decades ago from rubber duck toys and teething rings. The said ingredients can disrupt the hormonal system, and have been associated with birth defects in baby boys and developmental problems by past studies
Phthalates can reach your mac and cheese from the tools used to manufacture the meal or packaging. The chemicals pose a high risk especially to children and pregnant women.
The FDA hasn’t banned them from processed foods event though the Consumer Product Safety Commission urged the agency in 2014 to conduct a review and take risk management steps. The commission found back then that the main source of phthalates was no longer toys, but food, medications, and drinks.
A recent study spotted the toxic molecules in more than two dozen cheese products. Researchers found the highest concentration of the toxic ingredient in pre-packaged mac and cheese mixes containing cheese powder.
The study showed that concentrations of phthalates in these products were four times higher than in cottage cheese or shredded cheese.
The Environmental Health Strategy Center, the Ecology Center, and Safer States jointly funded the research.
All Samples Contained the Toxic Chemical
Study authors analyzed samples taken from 10 different types of boxed macaroni and cheese, including some brands that bore the ‘Organic’ label. All samples tested positive for phthalates.
All the products were bought in the U.S.A. and sent to the Belgium-based Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). There, researchers analyzed the fat in the products in their hunt for toxic chemicals.
In the U.S., two million packages of mac and cheese are sold daily. So, it is extremely hard to fend off the chemical.
“Our belief is that it’s in every mac ‘n’ cheese product — you can’t shop your way out of the problem,”
said lead author of the study Mike Belliveau.
Image Source: Wikimedia