It is no secret that Subway’s sandwiches have been marketed to consumers as an ‘healthy and fresh’ fast food alternative, but what was kept secret is that its bread contains the same chemical used to make yoga mats.
North Carolina food blogger and activist Vani Hari is being credited for placing public pressure on Subway to remove the chemical azodiacarbonamide from its sandwiches worldwide – including in Canada. The company agreed to the request to remove the chemical additive only after Hari’s petition went viral.
According to Hari during an interview with ABC News, the chemical “helps… produce the air within the foam of a yoga mat” and it produces the same airy results with Subway’s bread. It is also found in shoe soles and other rubbery objects.
While the chemical is legal in Canada and the United States, it is banned in Australia and Europe and the World Health Organization has linked azodiacarbonamide to allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues. In Singapore, the use of the chemical can lead to a fine of $450,000 and 15-years in prison.
In 2001, a truck that spilled its azodicarbonamide contents prompted Chicago city officials to issue the highest hazardous materials alert and evacuate people within a half mile radius. Many of the people on the scene complained of burning eyes and skin irritation as a result.
Subway is currently endorsed by the American Heart Association, several U.S. Olympic athletes, and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama as an healthy alternative for American diets.
Featured Image: Subway Sandwich via Shutterstock