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Power of the pen: Let’s rock this food-dyes petition from 100 Days of Real Food and Food Babe

Just say no to day-glo

I’ve written at length about the travesty of artificial food dyes (in short: all risk, no benefit). And about how U.S. food manufacturers have substituted better ingredients overseas while still using artificial, non-nutritive and even dangerous ingredients here.

Why have they cleaned up their act elsewhere? Because of public pressure, government support and something called the precautionary principle: the idea that if something could harm the public or the environment — especially in the absence of significant benefit — you don’t do it. If there are doubts, even if there’s no scientific consensus, the burden shifts from proving harm to proving safety.

Other countries get that. Here in the United States, though, we and our kids are subjected to GMOs, synthetic additives and other questionable foodstuffs on a daily basis. Yes, a growing number of us are reading ingredients and making alternate choices and creating our own realities in a world gone mad. But we need to do more. We need to change the food system as well as our place in it.

And while I get frustrated with the sometimes myopic activist focus on single ingredients and specific industrial practices, there’s no denying that it all adds up — in awareness as well as action. It doesn’t matter whether we eat these products ourselves. What matters is that we hold companies accountable for ingredients that have no business being in our food supply.

So I’m happy to endorse a new petition from 100 Days of Real Food and Food Babe that asks Kraft Foods to remove artificial food dyes from its mac & cheese products here, as it’s already done overseas. Yes, the company’s other ingredients are lacking, too. But if I can overlook that, so can you. It has to start somewhere. And it has to start with us.

Check out Lisa and Vani’s video below.  Then go sign the petition and spread the word. Let’s rock this petition out of the house!


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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Robin Jingjit March 5, 2013, 6:29 pm

    How cool, I was just there!
    At first, I was about to skim over it, figuring that we don’t eat it so it doesn’t apply to us. Then of course I realized a small step forward is better than no step at all!

  • Holly March 5, 2013, 10:10 pm

    We can’t eat mac ‘n’ cheese because we are gluten- and dairy-free. And we don’t buy Kraft products because the company spent $34,000 to fight labeling genetically modified food in California’s last election (Prop 37) — I don’t want to give my money to a company that doesn’t want me to know what I’m eating. But it would be great to see companies stop using artificial dyes, so I will sign the petition.

    • Christina March 5, 2013, 10:34 pm

      Robin and Holly: We don’t buy or eat anything that Kraft makes, but the company is a behemoth in the food industry, so if it changes, others might follow. I’m willing to put my name behind that!

  • Jason March 6, 2013, 8:07 am

    Thank you for your support and help spreading the word about the petition Christina!

    Jason with 100 Days of Real Food

    • Christina March 7, 2013, 10:37 pm

      You’re very welcome, Jason. This is a hot-button issue with me, and Lisa and Vani were very smart to attack it using one iconic product. Clearly they’ve hit a nerve! Last I checked, the petition was nearing 110,000 signatures (in barely two days!). Incredible.

  • Sally Kuzemchak March 7, 2013, 10:31 pm

    Thank you for making the point that even if you don’t buy these products, you should support these changes for the greater good. Many of us don’t buy these products, many of us may make homemade mac for our kids, but the fact is that tons of kids eat this–some kids may eat it multiple times a week. So removing artificial dyes from these products becomes a public health issue we should ALL care about. And something like this sends a message to other companies and could possibly have a ripple effect. As you say, “it has to start somewhere”.

    • Christina March 7, 2013, 10:33 pm

      “And something like this sends a message to other companies and could possibly have a ripple effect. ”

      Amen, Sally!

    • Stephanie March 13, 2013, 9:52 pm

      This is exactly why I signed it!

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