'Cheese Dust Is Not Food' Says Michelle Obama -- But Sometimes It's All You've Got

macaroni cheese

We all know Michelle Obama has been pushing her Let's Move fitness initiative for quite some time, but now the First Lady has declared a new enemy in her war on obesity -- boxed macaroni and cheese. That's right, the President's wife went so far as to mock the go-to food that's a beloved staple among young families everywhere with the bold (and moderately offensive, imho) statement, "Cheese dust is not food."

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Oh no, she didn't! Oh yes, she did! That's rich coming from a lady who for years has had the benefit of a hotter-than-hush-puppies-straight-out-of-the-Fry-Daddy personal chef AND a full staff, right?

For many moms, especially those who work full-time outside the home, finding a box of elbow macaroni and that magical pouch of golden "dust" at the end of a long day is a freakin' godsend. 

I'm not saying it's the healthiest choice or even the most flavorful dinner option, but it sure is convenient. (Heck, sneak in a tomato, and you practically have all five food groups represented there!) Yes, if given the choice, I'd much rather we dine on savory plates of smoked gouda multi-grain macaroni and cheese dotted with sprigs of fresh rosemary. But by 6 p.m., when you're tired and the kids are flinging open the doors of every cabinet in the kitchen and mumbling something about rickets and scurvy, grating a wedge of fresh Gruyére just doesn't feel practical, am I right?  

Anyone with hungry toddlers, fussy preschoolers, or even continuously starving teens who want a second dinner around 10 p.m. knows the value of a good box of the ready-in-minutes meal.

Over the weekend I was talking with a dad who was lamenting the fact that his 9-year-old has an abiding love for mac-and-cheese made from that fluorescent yellow canned spread that can probably outlive us all.

I told him that I had had a brief addiction to that brand myself growing up and (so far) nothing terrible has happened as a result of eating it. We agreed it's best to pick your battles and maybe draw the line at eating foods served at gas stations. (Speaking of that, wouldn't you love it if the tabloids caught the first lady with a fat wad of Slim Jims peeking out of her Zac Posen purse? Freshly purchased at a Hess station no less!)  

On a serious note, with ISIS beheading aid workers and journalists what seems like daily, maybe there are bigger issues to rail against than processed food. 

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Until I find more money in my wallet, two more hours in my day, or a stunning personal chef loitering in my kitchen, mac-and-cheese, in all its forms, will likely be in heavy rotation at my house. 

Do you use boxed macaroni and cheese or make it from scratch? 


Image © Iildi Papp/shutterstock

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