I used to be that gut reaction guy, the guy who would quickly respond to a situation with little or no forethought at all and I have paid the price, usually in the penalty box. Over the years and years of sitting in the penalty box contemplating my misdeeds and instant responses, I hope I am learning to keep my temper and make an honest assessment of situations…before I snap! It is part of my never-ending quest for self-improvement and when I lose the ability to remain cool and calm, I know in my heart there must be a reason. At this moment in time, my outrage far exceeds my quest for self-improvement through calmness and serenity. I will share the reason for my extreme anger. “They” are changing the formula for one of my and many others’ most popular foods in the history of Canada…Kraft Dinner! It was only a few years ago that I first heard that KD (Kraft Dinner) was going to mess with a staple food that is literally in 99% of the pantries in Canada. In the case of KD, the “one percenters” are those that do not KD and not the elite rich “one percent” of our society who probably still eat KD. Just like in the Barenaked Ladies’ hit song “If I had a $1000000,” the elite rich one percenters eat more KD with fancy ketchups and mustards. KD is as basic a food as you can get, however it is a manufactured food, with only 10 ingredients - one of which is #5 orange food dye or tartrazine. This is the ingredient that gives KD its distinctive bright neon orange “cheesy” appearance and probably some imagined cheese flavour, as well. Why would anyone want to mess with the tradition of cheap fast home prepared meals that is so easily prepared that even a guy like me can cook? Although, after more than half a century of KDing, I still read the instructions on the side of the box. You never know when things will change. Well, things are going to change January 1, 2016 as the manufacturers of KD respond to an online petition of more than 365,000 signatures calling for the replacement of #5 orange dye (which is an edible petroleum product) from KD. The #5 neon orange dye will be replaced with a combination of natural herbs and spices like paprika, annatto and turmeric which will satisfy the petition signers, but will it satisfy the KD connoisseurs of the world like myself? Will the recipe that has stood the taste…er…test of time, for at least 80 years, continue to allow people to make and eat a hot pasta meal in less than 10 minutes? For pennies? I hope so because if not, there will be a gigantic exodus of college students and other frugal fans of the bright orange pasta to another neon food like …cheezies! Oh wait a minute, they are changing the colouring agent in cheezies, as well! Two of my favourite food groups are suddenly becoming healthier and of course I wonder it that will affect my health. Could a guy with 60 odd years of eating bright orange foods laced with #5 dye, made from edible petroleum by-products, take the strain of eating healthier? I don’t think #5 dye has had any effect on me, or has it? The smartypantsknowitallguys have the science to show that this #5 foodcolouring or tartrazine is linked to allergies…”ahchoo”, hyperactivity and the inability to concentrate…er…”what was I saying?”, some cancers and possibly some psychological effects as well which just makes me crazy! My #5 neon orange food colouring laden body will need to be weaned from tartrazine and I wonder if there are programs for me and my fellow KDers available to get us hooked…er… conditioned to the replacement healthy food colouring? I just had a horrible thought; I began to worry about other foods that could be using this food dye that is banned in many European countries. My fears had been confirmed when I discovered that #5 dye is used in many of my other favorite food groups such as candy corn, jelly beans, jams and jellies and even the food I feed my dog. I guess I will have to include becoming more aware of what is in the manufactured foods I eat as part of my eternal search for self-improvement… or I could just eat my favorite foods and not read the boxes, but that would be a gut reaction!