Okay, we know we heard a little something about there being some controversy regarding Subway‘s bread but we didn’t know it ran this deep! According to NBC News there are many fast food chains who are using a chemical in their bakery products that is also used to make sneakers, yoga mats and synthetic leather!

The chemical is called azodicarbonamide and a petition is circulating the internets to have it removed from our food supply. NBC reports that although the product is approved for use in the U.S. as a dough conditioner and flour bleaching agent up to a certain limit, Europe and Australia have banned it as a food additive. Vani Hari, who drafted the petition and runs the site noted that her site’s traffic has doubled since she began the petition.

NBC News reports that the chemical can be found in the following foods which list it as an ingredient on their web-sites;

  • McDonald’s: regular bun, bakery style bun, bagel and English muffin, Big Mac bun and sesame seed bun.
  • Burger King: specialty buns, artisan-style bun, sesame seed bun, croissant, English muffin, home-style Caesar croutons and French toast sticks.
  • Wendy’s: bagel, premium toasted bun, sandwich bun and panini bread
  • Arby’s: croissant, French toast sticks, harvest wheat bun, honey wheat bread, marble rye bread, mini bun, onion bread and sesame seed bun
  • Jack in the Box: bakery style bun, jumbo bun, croissant, grilled sourdough bread and regular bun
  • Chick-fil-A: chargrilled chicken sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, and chargrilled chicken club sandwich

Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, Arby’s and Jack in the Box allegedly did not respond to multiple attempts for comment.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb told CNBC,

 “Azodicarbonamide is commonly used throughout the baked goods industry and this includes some of the bread goods on our menu.”

She noted the ingredient is recognized as safe and approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the chain would continue to serve the

“Great tasting, quality food you expect from McDonald’s. This ingredient like all the ingredients we use, is available to consumers on our website.”

Dunkin’ Donuts says,

“There are trace amounts of azodicarbonamide, a common ingredient approved as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, in three Dunkin’ Donuts bakery items, including the Danish, Croissant and Texas Toast. All of our products comply with federal, state and local food safety standards and regulations. We are evaluating the use of the ingredient as a dough conditioner in our products and currently discussing the matter with our suppliers.”

Starbucks spokeswoman Linda Mills said,

“Our new La Boulange Bakery goods do not contain the ingredients. Our goal is to transition all the stores to La Boulange. We’re about halfway through that transition. We’re so close to the transition—so, no, we won’t be changing the recipe for the current croissants.”

Since Starbucks has already begun to move away from using their products that contain the ingredient they are not planning to stop usage of the product that they still have in half of their store. This is because those products still on hand will run out eventually anyway. Currently the company’s butter croissants and chocolate croissants contain azodicarbonamide.

According to the World Health Organization,

 “Case reports and epidemiological studies in humans have produced abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization in exposed workers. Adverse effects on other systems have not been studied.”

All of these companies (except for Subway who is supposedly going to quit using it and Starbucks who are reportedly working on it) claim that this chemical is safe and okay for us to have in our food. Yet the one word that we are missing in this arugment is NECESSARY. Is it NECESSARY to put this in our food? Because if it’s not, then they should really just cut it out. We never get food that looks like the stuff on the commercials anyway! If it’s not as pretty or fluffy…as a result of not having this chemical included…we’re pretty sure we can handle it. We’d rather have uglier food that is safe…over prettier food that is NOT! Just sayin.



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