I discovered this in the grocery store the other day, and I was absolutely fascinated. Apparently, Kraft has been making an organic (USDA Certified) version of their classic macaroni and cheese since 2007. It came at an increased price, compared to its cheap friend the blue box, of about $1.80. I know Annie’s has been doing the organic macaroni and cheese box thing for years, but Kraft is different. The average non-organic buying mom isn’t going to suddenly start buying Annie’s (although their bunny is pretty cute), but they might be tempted to buy an organic version of their kids’ favorite that sits on the same shelf. That’s why I feel this is important, because the key to spreading organics is not to preach to the choir, it is to make being organic as easy for busy people as possible. And nothing is easier than Macaroni and Cheese.
First, let’s compare the ingredients
Regular Macaroni and Cheese Organic Macaroni and Cheese
WHEAT FLOUR ORGANIC SEMOLINA
NIACIN ORGANIC WHEY
FERROUS SULFATE [IRON] ORGANIC SKIM MILK
THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1] SALT
RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2] ENZYMES (NON-ANIMAL)
FOLIC ACID ORGANIC CORNSTARCH
WHEY YEAST EXTRACT
MILKFAT ANNATTO [COLOR]
MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE
If nothing else, that is an ingredient list that I can get behind. Did you know that in Canada, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is called “Kraft Dinner” because it doesn’t contain enough cheese to legally use the term macaroni and cheese? Now that is scary.
The organic mix is prepared the same way as usual (the box even says to add organic milk and organic butter!), and ends up tasting about the same, which is to say not as good as homemade, but satisfying if you’re five or a poor college student. One bonus is that the neon color of the original is replaced with a light yellow.
I don’t necessarily endorse Kraft Organic Macaroni and Cheese. Kraft as a company has some major GMO issues, and there are many organic macaroni and cheeses out there (including making it yourself) that are probably better options (I love Annie’s). But, in the fight to make America’s kitchens healthier and free of hormones and other bad things, I think organic Kraft can be considered a battle that has been won.