Activism: Kraft Removes Artificial Preservatives Among Consumer Outrage

Food Ingredients
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

While food companies try to call fake food ‘real’ and all ‘natural’, the masses are waking up to the food industry’s parlor tricks. A growing number of individuals are speaking out about eating right and reducing the carcinogenic additives to our foods. Due to the activism and scrutiny of selective consumers, Kraft, one of the worlds’ largest food companies, is now removing an artificial preservative from their individually wrapped cheese (called singles) in order to comply with the public’s desire to be healthy. Another win, thanks to you.

While the change will only affect their full-fat American and White American types of cheeses, these still account for most of the company’s sales – says Kraft.

The ingredient in question, sorbic acid, will be replaced by natamycin, which Kraft calls ‘a natural mold inhibitor.’

The decision comes on the heels of another citizen triumph – a blogger named Vani Hari pointed out that Subway breads contained a dangerous carcinogen, azodicarbonamide, used to make yoga mats and shoe soles. So the company removed it just two days later. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and even Starbuck’s also use this additive. The blogger targeted Subway since it runs commercials promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Sadly, many of the ingredients in question are lawful and 100% permitted by the FDA while banned in other countries due to health concerns. Food makers claim in advertisements and commercials that heir food is ‘all natural’ or made without artificial preservatives, but it simply isn’t true. (Here are 6 ingredients sold in the U.S. while being banned elsewhere).

Kraft will indeed adapt its packaging to reflect the new ‘no artificial preservative’ change it is making, which will likely boost sales. The company says that it hasn’t used artificial anything for years in its foods, but just happened to start advertising it now.

Gavin Schmidt, manager of cheese research and development at Kraft, says:

“Consumers are looking for those less artificial cues and messages. . .Those messages are more meaningful to consumers than they have been in the past.”

Kraft says the change took five years to perfect. While this sounds ridiculous, at least the company is doing the right thing with mass public pressure now. They claim it wasn’t as simple as changing out an artificial preservative for a natural one. But wait, doesn’t that mean the company has used artificial ingredients in your foods prior to this new decision?

Kraft foods also makes many other popular foods consumed by Americas, including Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Planters and Maxwell House. Hopefully they will take un-natural ingredients out of these foods as well – even though ‘they never used them’, of course.