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Making the most of meals

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(NBC) Some of America's most well-known restaurants and food companies are phasing out artificial ingredients and moving away from livestock given antibiotics.

Kraft's day-glo orange macaroni and cheese will fade once the company switches from artificial to natural coloring next year, and McDonald's chicken will gradually phase out antibiotics.

Chipotle proudly announced that its menu is free of GMOs, much to the delight of its patrons, even if they're unclear about what GMOs are.

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, in plant-based foods means scientists have altered the DNA of one plant by adding DNA from another plant, making crops more robust to sustain a growing population.

While there's no solid evidence GMOs are harmful to health, critics argue their long-term safety is largely unknown.

The potential health impact of phasing out some artificial ingredients also remains to be seen.

Nutrition experts say bigger gains would be made by cutting back on sugary drinks and over-sized meals.

Members of the Grocery Manufacturer's Association say the industry has reformulated 30-thousand products since 2003, largely based on consumer desires.

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