Earlier this year, Subway sandwich shops were the target of a petition that sought the removal of a harmful chemical, Azodiacarbonamide, from their breads. On April 11, CBS News reported that Subway’s chief marketing officer, Tony Pace, states that the removal will be complete next week.
Azodiacarbonamide is a chemical used as a bleaching agent and to increase elasticity in products. Though it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a food ingredient and many restaurant chain and store-bought breads include it, the fact that this same chemical is present in shoe rubber, yoga mats, and other non-edible products is alarming to some consumers.
Vani Hari, who runs FoodBabe.com began the petition against Subway with the intent of showing consumers that even though the company claimed its food products were healthy, the inclusion of Azodiacarbonamide would not be most people’s idea of healthy eating. USA Today reported that Van Hari has also spoken out against other companies, including Kraft, who also uses ingredients she finds questionable.
While Subway’s Tony Pace claims that the restaurant’s food is already healthier because they’ve eliminated high-fructose corn syrup and reduced sodium levels, Van Hari begs to differ. She still questions whether the company’s use of caramel coloring and yeast extract are necessary. Whether Hari intends to make an issue of these other ingredients remains to be seen.
In the meantime, Subway assures consumers that Azodiacarbonamide will soon be removed from its breads completely. The company had tested Azodiacarbonamide-free breads last year and apparently found a suitable substitute that was acceptable to those in its market study.
Consumers who want to know more about the potentially dangerous ingredients in some American foods might want to follow FoodBabe.com, Justlabelit.com, Organic.org, or Cleaneatingmag.com. These websites offer insights on food product ingredients and inform consumers on how to get involved with petitions that elicit change.