I often hear people say that the reason they eat processed foods is that it’s all they can afford to eat. Ninety eight cents for a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese sounds like a good deal, hard to beat even. In every box of Mac and Cheese you get some bonus items, too. Enriched macaroni product is in there. You notice they don’t call it macaroni? That’s no accident. Macaroni product contains wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid. If you have ever made your own pasta you know that pasta contains flour and water. I guess all of those other ingredients are in there to increase the nutritional value of macaroni product. The cheese sauce mix if full of stuff too. There is whey, milk fat, milk protein concentrate, sodium tripolyphosphate, citric acid, lactic acid, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, yellow 5, yellow 6, enzymes (?) and cheese culture.
There might also be a little bit of metal in there too, just some filings. If you care about extra iron in your Mac and Cheese, then look at the details of this recall (6.5 million boxes affected) and return it to the store.
If all you care about is saving money, then wait and maybe some of the ‘extra iron’ boxes will show up at the flea market or maybe Aldi’s. I don’t know where Aldi’s get their supplies, but they always manage to sell for less than just about anyone else. Maybe you could get dinner for you and the family for twenty five cents a box. What’s one more artificial ingredient?
BUT, do you really save money buying your mac and cheese in single meal boxes? I can get a pound of macaroni for 99 cents on sale. The Kraft gives you about six ounces of dried pasta, so if I use the same amount of pasta it costs about 37 cents in pasta. I could spend two dollars a pound for pasta and still not get anywhere near the 98 cents that the processed variety costs. To make my own I would add some real cheddar cheese, which would cost around three dollars per pound. I would use about the same amount of cheese as pasta, so around six ounces of cheese. Uh oh, that’s a dollars worth of cheese, and I still have to add milk and a spoonfull of flour to thicken the sauce. So you really do save money buying processed. It looks like you save about a dollar. If I could get cheese for one dollar a pound then I am still saving money making my own.
By saving that dollar you get to feed yourself and your family a macaroni product topped with a cheese food product that is nutritionally equivalent to a bowl of Cheez-its in milk. Hey, I think I just thought of a new dinner for the thrift minded. No cooking required, just fill a cereal bowl with Cheez-its and pour on some milk, just as good as processed Mac and Cheese! Save time and money, because you can get a box of Cheez-its for less than one dollar for seven ounces. If you are already living on stuff like processed Mac and Cheese then it would not make any difference at all to your waist or health to just eat Cheez-its.
If all that matters to a person is money, then I am casting my seeds onto stones. For most people, though, they realize that something is not right with the way we are eating. They know it because no matter how little they eat, they just seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. We are all getting progressively sicker eating the ‘cheap’ foods. Even if it has health claims on the label it turns out to not be good for the waistline. Our kids are allergic to the dyes, we are sensitized to the ‘wheat’, but it’s so affordable.
How can you argue with price? Well, I tried.