Food News

Thanks to Food Babe, Subway Will Remove the Yoga Mat Chemical from its Fresh Baked Bread

Vani Hari, commonly knows as Food Babe on the Internet, is getting things done. Subway recently announced that it's removing the azodicarbonamide from the bread it uses to make its sandwiches, and the 65,000 digital signatures (and counting) on Hari's Internet petition likely had a lot to do with the change.

Azodicarbonamide is a carbon-based, powdery substance used in commercial baking to bleach flour, but Hari's petition points out that the same chemical is used to manufacture yoga mats and sneaker soles.

It's also highly flammable. A 2001 semitrailer spill in Chicago sent more than 20 firefighters and police officers to the hospital for heat-related stress and fume inhalation, and forced the evacuation of two Chicago Housing Authority high-rises.

But the biggest rub, according to Hari, is that the chemical is no longer used in Europe because of a ban by the World Health Organization. She asks why Subway would eliminate the potential harmful chemicals from their recipe for Europeans, but go on using them in their BMTs and Veggie Delites here at home.

Hari used the same argument against Kraft when she noticed dyes had been removed from the European products by remained in use in the States. That petition was launched last March and went on to collect more than 350,000 signatures. By November Kraft began reformulating some of its recipes without the questioned dyes.

Subway, by comparison, responded to Hari's efforts in less that a week. Unlike azodicarbonamide, Food Babe is on a roll.*

* Oh, come on. You would have done the same.

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz