Some “food for thought” the next time you have a Subway sandwich: You may not have heard about a chemical called azodiacarbonamide, which is used in making the rubbery soles of shoes and yoga mats. But it can also be found in Subway’s bread.
Activist blogger Vani Hari sounded the alarm on the chemical after noticing it on the nutrition label. She says her own research led her to start a petition to have it removed: “What really broke the camel’s back is when I realized Subway has reformulated its honey oat bread overseas and are using completely a different ingredient list that doesn’t have the chemical. My question is, why can’t we get the chemical out of our bread?”
The petition proved successful, since Subway has agreed to removeazodiacarbonamide. Hari, who is also responsible for the movement to remove yellow dyes in some of Kraft’s Mac & Cheese products, is happy about the change, but cautions consumers: “I commend Subway for finally responding to me and now over 57,000 concerned citizens. Their swift action is a testament to what power petitions and individuals who sign them can have. I’d like to note that current Subway sandwiches still have this ingredient, and urge everyone not to eat their sandwich bread until they have finally removed the chemical.”
Azodiacarbonamide is already banned in Australia and Europe, according to the World Health Organization. However, it’s still legal in the U.S., and the Food and Drug Administration allows it to be used to age or bleach cereal flour or be used as a dough conditioner. Hari shares a concern that others now have: “What really upset me was it was something I always ate while on the road that I thought was healthy-their nine-grain bread and veggie sub and all the marketing about low calories and weight loss. And they have an American Heart Association logo and stamp on their sandwiches. I really had the illusion of healthy eating. When I saw what was actually in the bread, I was horrified.” She reminds us of an important point when it comes to healthy eating, saying, “When you look at the ingredients, if you can’t spell it or pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.”