Study: High levels of chemical that causes serious side effects found in mac and cheese
The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging recently published a study after testing levels of phthalates in food and found 29 out of 30 cheeses tested contain the chemical. Phthalates won't be found on any ingredient list. They are indirectly and unintentionally added to the food through the plastics used in the manufacturing process. Phthalates enable hard substances like plastics to be more malleable and softer.
According to The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, "phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that pose a serious threat to the health of pregnant women and children." They have been linked to abnormal development and function of the brain and reproductive system.
Phthalates tend to stick better to highly processed or fatty foods. Out of the 29 cheeses that tested positive, dry mix macaroni and cheese had more than four-times higher levels than natural cheeses and close to twice the amount in processed cheese (like cheese slices).
The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging has concluded that further research is needed on phthalate levels, and further action should be taken to eliminate the chemical in all food products.