Last month Subway announced that it was removing ADA (Azodicarbonamide), a dough conditioner and bleaching agent used to give bread a chewier, fluffier texture and a longer shelf life. As everyone now knows, it’s also found in yoga mats, synthetic leather and foam insulation. Yummy.
Vani Hari, the infamous food blogger and activist known as the “Food Babe” was the one whose 50,000-signature petition launched Subway’s use of ADA into the unflattering spotlight. And though it’s been a two-year quest to get the fast-food chain to remove it, they have finally agreed—although without a definitive timeline.
“We cannot call this a victory until we know the facts,” said Hari on foodbabe.com. “We know nothing about their changes.” ADA has been known to cause respiratory problems, allergies and skin sensitivity in those who are exposed to it. Both Europe and Australia prohibit it as a food additive, among many others that the US continues to allow.
“Are they going to be using the same ingredients they do overseas? This would mean they would also have to eliminate caramel coloring, yeast extract, and GMOs from their bread – which would be fantastic!” Hari continued.
Although fast food outlets like MacDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy's and Dunkin’ Donuts use ADA in their bread products, Hari targeted Subway because of its misguided tagline to consumers—“Eat Fresh”.
It’s not too late to sign the petition, which to date has collected almost 100,000 signatures. Not sure if your bread contains ADA? Click here for a list from the Environmental Working Group of 500 products that contain ADA.