subway sandwich

Shoe rubber chemicals? In your subway sandwiches?

Yes, if you’ve eaten Subway sandwiches in the U.S. in the last few years, you probably ingested a little bit of azodicarbonamide, a chemical that’s used in shoe rubber,  yoga mats, and of course, some Subway sandwich breads.

But in an attempt to improve its image, soon enough Subway will be getting rid of that chemical. According to the AP, it’s part of Subway’s “ongoing effort to improve its recipes.”

The move came after food blogger Vani Hari, better known as “Food Babe” launched a petition calling on the chain to stop using the chemical in its bread. Subway claims that the move to phase the chemical out was already underway before the petition came to be.

The chemical, used as a bleaching agent – because who would want to eat naturally colored bread? – is only used in the American market. Subway restaurants in Europe and Australia are apparently already making their bread shoe rubber chemical-free.

The question is: will consumers continue going to Subway? While the bread won’t have azodicarbonamide in it any more, does that make Subway sandwiches a fresh and healthy option for diners? Removing one chemical from a list of ingredients does not change the fact that Subway is a large, industrial chain, and while the sandwiches are made in-house, consumers are kidding themselves if they think it’s a wholesome option for lunch. A $5 foot-long ham sandwich is far from healthy, unprocessed food. (And the pig probably wasn’t very happy about it either.)

And as it turns out, we don’t even know when the bread won’t have shoe rubber chemicals in it any longer. ”The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon,” Subway said in a statement, as reported by the AP. “Soon” as in within the next month or “soon” as in, by the end of the year?

Bottom line: want to avoid chemicals and synthetic ingredients in your food? Avoid processed products and fast food chains. Because you never know what you’re going to get.

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Image: _Bubby_