6. ARTHUR MACARONI & CHEESE ($2.19, Annie’s Homegrown)
Cartoon-shaped dry organic pasta with powdered cheese
The Claim: “no artificial anything!,” “naturally good source of calcium and protein,” “100% real cheese”
The Catch: While the box says “made with organic pasta,” there’s no USDA certification—and the majority of the ingredients aren’t, in fact, organic. The cheese is powdered and dyed, and it includes several added preservatives.
Conventional Version: The Blue Box: Macaroni & Cheese ($1.48, Kraft)
Real-Food Alternative: Certified organic whole-wheat pasta (fresh or dried), organic whole milk, and organic cheese. Add some chopped vegetables and this becomes a balanced, real-food meal.