Social media is the hot buzzword for all major brands these days. A good viral video on youtube, a contest on twitter, or a campaign on facebook connect brands with a new generation of consumers. How unfortunate that various food like substances are the ones making the most noise.
Take Kraft’s recent campaign “The Kaboom Room” for its Macaroni and Cheese Dinner Cheddar Explosion. It’s on facebook, youtube, and nick.com. But if you read the ingredient list, there’s no reason to become a fan – this product is more of a chemical explosion:
Enriched Macaroni Product (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate [Iron], Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Cheese Sauce Mix (Whey, Modified Food Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Granular Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Contains Less than 2% of Parmesan Cheese [Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Dried Buttermilk, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Blue Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Sodium Phosphate, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Cream, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Enzymes, Yellow 5, Yellow 6).
A brief glossary:
Macaroni is the first ingredient, as expected. The second ingredient is a “cheese sauce mix” composed of 20 sub-ingredients. The first three are not even cheese – Whey and whey protein concentrate are byproducts of milk, and modified food starch – an additive that increase the bulk of a food. Other additives include potassium chloride – used instead of salt to decrease the sodium level in foods, sodium tripolyphosphate – used to maintain moisture, Medium Chain Triglycerides – a substitute for regular oil, and artificial colors yellow 5 & 6 – shown to cause neural problems in some children.
Why does such a simple dish need so many additives? Are the 10 minutes of preparation saved worth the potential harm from all these chemicals? Can’t we just make our own at home?
Would anyone like to share a recipe?