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Subway the not so healthy choice

While yoga is a healthy exercise, no one in their right mind would eat their yoga mat, or the leather from their shoes. But as reported on February 10th, on Toronto Global News if you eat at the fast food chain Subway, you are eating chemicals found in your yoga mat.

Not so healthy choice
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The sandwich chain Subway advertises itself as “the undisputed leader” in providing consumers with healthier meal options. From Olympic and sports stars, the Biggest Loser promotes Subway as a healthy food choice, for losing weight, to the first lady Michelle Obama of the USA eats at Subway and has publicly partnered with Subway as the healthy choice for school children so it must be a healthy choice, right? The direct advertising coupled with the proclaimed health experts, has thoroughly convinced many that Subway’s sandwiches are, a healthier and better choice for you than a burger and fries or any other fast-food meal.

Have you also been fooled or manipulated into believing this? Taken in by the commercials, the advertisements, and endorsements? Of course Subway bills itself as a provider of fresh bread, vegetables, meats, and cheeses, but in reality, in truth, their food is nothing more than unhealthy fast food. Chemicals, artificial ingredients, corn syrup, Genetically modified organisms (GMO) etc, all of these common to fast food. Of course Subway would like you to think of their bread as freshly baked, painting a mental image of healthy bread, perhaps of home baked bread that your loving grandmother would make in her kitchen. But would your grandmother or anyone willingly and knowingly add azodicarbonamide to their bread? Well Subway and most if not all of the fast food chains do.

The World Health Organization has linked azodicarbonamide to respiratory issues, asthma and allergies. Other scientific research has linked it to cancerous tumour growth. This is a chemical that is both toxic and carcinogenic, it is used in yoga mats, shoe soles and other rubber products. In Subway’s and other fast food products, it is being used as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner, and for higher profits as it allows them to produce bread faster and cheaper.

Banned in most countries

Azodicarbonamide is a chemical that is banned in many countries, but is considered safe when used as an “aging or bleaching” ingredient and as long as it doesn’t exceed 45 parts per million, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada . If it is so safe to use why is it banned in so many other countries? The reason is quite simple, like so many other chemicals, genetically modified organisms and poisons the FDA and Health Canada allow in our food, it is obviously not safe. As we have seen above the World Health Organization does not consider it as safe, and independent science and research does not consider it safe, yet the FDA and Health Canada allows it to be used in a multitude of food products.

Used in:

  • Many fast food bread products such as; Hamburger and Hotdog buns, baking doughs, biscuits and rolls, white and whole grain breads, pizza crusts, …
  • Many packaged frozen and shelf entrees, cakes, pastries and pie mix, frozen meals, frozen sides and appetizers, cookies, pasta, …
  • For a more extensive list of products with and without visit Good Guide.

Petitions work

Earlier this month food blogger Vani Hari, also known as Food Babe, launched a petition to remove azodicarbonamide from Subway sandwich bread. This was after repeated attempts to reach out to Subway going back to June of 2012, inquiring why they are using this potentially dangerous chemical in their food. Ignored by Subway, Vani Hari decided to launch an online petition to alert people and get their support to put pressure on Subway to remove this harmful chemical.

To date, over 78,000 people have signed the petition, sending a loud message to Subway. In addition the petition raised awareness such that Subway’s social media sites are being overrun by comments urging/demanding the company clean up their ingredients. Though a Subway representative is reported as saying that the petition did not influence their decision, it is quite clear that it did. As Hari pointed out, “It’s obvious the change comes from the mass amount of consumers upset about this ingredient,” she said, indicting the company’s Facebook page which became littered with questions and demands to remove about the bread.“Their swift action is a testament to what power petitions and individuals have,” she said.

In a news release, Subway announced that it’s working to remove an ingredient called azodicarbonamide from its bread in the USA. Guess what Canada, this chemical additive is also in the Canadian sandwich and a subway spokesman in Canada has stated, “I can confirm for you that the product improvement measures being undertaken by the U.S. do also apply to Canada,”.

Ultimately its up to you

The term fast food is in and of itself not the culprit, it is what we have allowed fast food to become that is the culprit. In a future article I will present safe and healthy fast foods we can all enjoy. Please understand that fast food (as it is now) is not real food, it is at best food based in chemical compositions. I eat and make many fast food items, but I do so at home where I have control over the ingredients I use.

I am not an exponent or promoter of bread and bread products, but when I do consume them, I can assure you I make sure the breads are organic, and they contain at most five ingredients, not the nearly fifty ingredients found in most breads on the market and most of Subway’s and other fast food chain breads.

Ultimately, its up to you, and the choice you make. If it is your choice to make chain style fast-food an eating habit, then you should understand that theses chains will rake in the profits and you will pay the price twice from your pocket and your health. When we look at the state of heath, obesity, and the costs associated with this in medical bills, the old adage “an ounce of prevention…” fits in here well. Choose not to eat chain fast foods and save on your health and medical bills down the road. Besides it is cheaper to by the healthy ingredients and make the same fast food options at home. To your health, and longevity.

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