We love our Kraft singles. They’re a childhood staple: they filled our grilled cheeses and were cousins to our gooey mac and cheese. But Kraft singles might not be as good for us as – or even what – we might have thought.
Something stinks in here (like someone cut the cheese). Here’s why.
They’re not natural
I mean, when you look at a slice, you can tell the color’s a little off. The consistency’s odd. It doesn’t act like cheese does most of the time. And Kraft tries every trick in the book so they never make the false claim that their product is natural (while still making it sound like it is).
For example, back in February 2014, Kraft launched a campaign in which they claimed to get rid of artificial preservatives in their slices. Basically, all they did was change preservatives they used (using ones that could be considered natural, like natamycin) and had a secret “proprietary unknown ingredient” that could really be anything.
They’re not even cheese
This isn’t an opinion. According to rules put in place by the FDA, Kraft can’t even refer to their singles as cheese. By the FDA standards, a food can be identified as cheese if it contains “at least 51 percent real cheese.”
You know what it says on the ingredient list? Pasteurized prepared cheese product. That doesn’t sound like cheese to me.
Their ingredient list reads like a science experiment
Cheese shouldn’t need an ingredient list, because it should just be made of cheese. From milk. The end. Meanwhile, Kraft Singles has 17 – yeah, 17 – ingredients.
The Kraft singles ingredient list consists of cheddar cheese, whey, water, protein concentrate, milk, sodium citrate, calcium phosphate, milkfat, gelatin, salt, sodium phosphate, lactic acid (as a preservative), annatto and paprika extract (for color), enzymes, Vitamin A palmitate, cheese culture, and Vitamin D3. Phew.
Not only are they pretending to be cheese, but Kraft Singles packages recently got slapped with a label from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) that read “Kids Eat Right.” What’s the problem here? Well, the label makes it seem like AND is saying that Kraft Singles are a healthy option for kids.
But that’s not the case. What it actually means is that Kraft Singles supports AND’s “Kids Eat Right” program. But it sure won’t look that way to supermarket shoppers, and while Singles do have a ton of calcium, the negatives outweigh the positives.
They were created to be preserved and factory-made
Sure, single-wrapped slices might seem all clean and neat. But basically, Kraft Singles were invented to never expire. At first, because they looked perfect, people were all for buying them. The Singles didn’t curl, all the slices were the same thickness, and they didn’t get hard – but that’s because they weren’t real cheese .
When Kraft Singles became popular after World War II, a lot of food production was industrial. People valued that their cheese came from a factory. Standardized meant high-quality.
Nowadays, we know better. We eat clean, we avoid processed foods, we detox, and we stay away from long ingredient lists. My advice? If you’re eating a simple food like cheese or fruit, the ingredient list should only have one item– the food itself. Pick another cheese next time you’re getting hangry.