Activist Vani Hari, who last year worked with Chick-fil-A on the fast-food company’s bid to expunge corn syrup and yellow food dye from its food supply, has now emerged victorious with an effort to convince Subway to remove a conditioning and bleaching agent from its dough. Azodicarbonamide, as Hari points out on her Foodbabe.com blog, has a variety of industrial uses in rubber things like sneakers and yoga mats, but it’s also an ingredient in Subway’s various breads. But not for long.
Because it is a known asthmatic agent, azodicarbonamide is banned throughout Europe and Australia. Cooking with azodicarbonamide in Singapore may land you a $450,000 fine and/or jail time, but really, that’s par for the course in a place where chewing gum may set you back $2,000, and LGBT residents have far fewer human rights.
Here’s Hari’s argument, which is essentially the old maxim “when in doubt, leave it out” with a sprinkling of scaremongering. (“I really had the illusion of healthy eating,” she tells ABC, of the chain and its specious menu. “When I saw what was actually in the bread, I was horrified.”)
The Foodbabe.com petition was signed more than 57,000 times, and Subway responded by saying — as is de rigueur these days with recipe changes — it had been working on changes to begin with and the petition didn’t influence them because, reps say, they were “already in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts.”