As food consumers everywhere await details from Subway on what ingredients changes they’ll make after their announcement that they’ll remove the harmful chemical azodicarbonamide from their breads, it’s worth noting that several major popular foods for sale still contain the chemical, including several packaged breads.
Azodicarbonamide is used in the food industry as a dough conditioner and bleaching agent, one that the company said it will remove in response to a massive grassroots campaign and petition drive launched by food blogger Vani Hari, aka the Food Babe. The chemical is also used in yoga mats, synthetic leather and shoe rubber and is banned in several countries across the globe including most of Europe. And if you get caught using it as an ingredient in Singapore, you could face up to 15 years in prison and a $450,000 fine. You read that correctly.
Unfortunately here in the United States, azodicarbonamide is fairly common among both packaged breads (as you’ll see in our random testing exercise below, which includes pictures) and fast food restaurants.
Among the fast food companies whose ingredients’ lists (bread-based items in this case) contain the chemical are:
•McDonald’s (which continues to toe the FDA line that it’s “safe” and doesn’t seem likely to remove it)
•Pizza Hut (garlic bread)
•Steak N’ Shake
•Starbucks (they just announced they’d be removing it due to the movement against it)
•And many more…
The chemical has been linked to to asthma, respiratory problems, skin sensitivities and other health problems by the World Health Organization. And according to Food Babe’s website, it forms trace amounts of semicarbazide, which is a likely carcinogen, when it undergoes the heat of processing. But that hasn’t stopped the above companies from continuing to use it in many of their products.
For now, Subway is still using it, and Hari has urged her hundreds of thousands of followers to boycott Subway until they make good on their promise to remove the “yoga” mat” chemical (Hari and other natural health advocates also highly recommend people buy their food elsewhere anyway considering the litany of GMOs and preservatives the “healthy” fast food chain uses).
Random Sampling: Majority of Packaged Breads Contain Controversial “Yoga Mat” Chemical
Avoiding fast food restaurants is something that comes natural these days for many, but avoiding bread entirely is a whole different matter. It’s a staple diet item for millions of people and it’s become harder to find truly healthy versions in recent years at the grocery store (although the front labels will tell you otherwise).
Most of us in the true food movement already know that virtually all packaged breads contain GMOs, especially of the soy variety, but the controversial Subway “yoga mat” chemical azodicarbonamide is also strongly present based on the results of a random sampling of breads I conducted on Feb. 7, 2014 at a Kroger store in Dearborn, Michigan just outside of Detroit.
Rules of the sampling: To conduct this sampling, 15 breads and bread products such as bagels were selected at random and then ingredients labels were checked for azodicarbonamide.
In total, 9 out of 15 breads sampled were found to contain the highly controversial chemical .
Those that do have the chemical included: Sun Maid Raisin Bread, Sara Lee Bagels, Private Selection Sugar Free Whole Wheat, Bunny brand, Hillbilly Bread, Sunbeam, Kroger Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns, Healthy Life, and Mother’s.
This random test underscores just how important it is to read your labels every time and to not take anything for granted.
This article first appeared on Nick’s website AltHealthWORKS.com. To read the entire article, see pictures and find out which ones don’t have the chemical, you can view it here .