Mac and Cheese and Cheeses Have Hidden Ingredient Used to Make Plastic
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Mac and Cheese and Real Food Cheeses Have Hidden Hormone Disruptors and Carcinogens
Phthalates are a class of chemicals used as plasticizers to make plastic more flexible and as solvents in cosmetics, personal care, soaps, perfumes and office products like ink, adhesives and rubber. Theoretically, shampoo could give you a double dose of phthalates – one in the bottle and one in the fragrance. If you drank a bottled water before stepping in to the shower, you’ve had a third dose of chemical.
The most troubling thing about them besides the fact that they are everywhere is that they are infamous for attacking the reproductive system and lungs in animal studies. If you are having hormonal problems, you will definitely want to cut back on your exposure. Some of them are known to cause cancer!
A new analysis by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging published this week found high concentrations of phthalates in the cheese powder of macaroni and cheese – hidden. Totally unlisted in the ingredients.
The study checked 30 different cheese products including whole food cheese. While natural cheeses had the least amount of chemicals, 29 of the 30 products contained phthalates!
Unsurprisingly, processed cheese products contained the most chemicals. Surprisingly, some of the products with chemicals were organic. Nine of the products were from Kraft Heinz and the Coalition is petitioning them to find the source, but they claim the levels are lower than scientific standards.
According to KDVR, the chemicals aren’t intentionally added, but make their way into processed foods by the manufacturing process.
Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, one of the groups in the coalition said that diet is a major route of exposure and that,
They are used in the plastic tubing, the plastic gloves, the gaskets all along the food supply chain.
High levels of phthalates are linked to infertility and get stored into fat cells. Some of them cause neurodevelopmental issues in children who were exposed in the womb.
Eat Low On the Food Chain
A source of phthalates is in the fat of the animal since they are stored in fat. A Belgium lab found 13 different kinds of phthalates in the fatty ingredients.
- 10 of the products tested were boxed macaroni and cheese powders
- 5 were sliced cheese
- The last 15 products were natural cheese products like block cheese, shredded, string and cottage cheese
When looking at the fat alone, the powdered cheese mix had a concentration of phthalates more than 4 times that of the natural cheeses, and more than 1.5 times the amount in processed cheeses. To approximate a more realistic serving, the survey calculated levels of phthalates based on the fat content of each product. When doing so, the level of phthalate in a package of powdered cheese was about twice the level in the natural cheeses, and similar to sliced cheese.
The impact of low-level exposure isn’t fully known but recent animal studies have caused consumers to once again wonder why these chemicals weren’t fully tested before reaching food and drink supplies, and why we only find out about 3 decades after the damage is done.