Monday, February 10, 2014

Subway Changes Bread Recipe: This is Kind of What I'm Talking About

Today’s Post is not about cooking per say. This past week Subway made the decision to change their bread recipe. It seems that they used an ingredient that can also be found in rubber shoe soles and yoga mats called Azodicarbonamide. This change is in part a result of a Blog called FoodBabe, however Subway claims that they were looking into removing the ingredient before the publicity. So why is azodicarbonamide in bread anyway?
Well if you cut open you yoga mat (No I'm not telling you to destroy you Yoga mat), you will see it's full of bubbles. This is what it also does in bread. So Subway is changing their recipe therefore we are all safe, Well maybe not. If you saw my first post, there was a photo that had a loaf of store bought bread. I decided to go, turn it over and look at the ingredient list, and yup, azodicarbonamide. I also noticed that, despite the fact it was a week old, it wasn't stale. This is the result of chemical stabilizers that prevent aging.
You may ask your, if the FDA says they can use it in food it must be safe. What might surprise you is azodicarbonamide is one of many chemicals that are banned by a good portion of the World for use in food including the UK, EU and Australia . The World Health Organization sites it causing or aggravating cases of respiratory distress and asthma. In 2001, a hazardous material alert was issued after a truck spilled a chemical in Chicago causing city officials to shut down the L. The chemical, Yup, azodicarbonamide. People near the spill complained of burning eyes and skin irritation, and the ChicagoTribune described the chemical as, and I quote, “Highly Flammable”.
Clearly there are health issues that are known and unknown with the use of azodicarbonamide so why do they use it? Because it's a short cut, it's cheap, and gives consistent results. We want our bread to be the same each time, the same consistence, the same flavor, color and size. The problem is bread is alive, breathing, growing; it ,by it's very nature, can't be the same. As a food company, Subway has a vested interest in insuring that their brand is the same no matter where it is served. The fact that they are a chain is why we go there, we want our BMT to taste the same if it is just down the road from the office or on vacation. But chemicals that could be dangerous to our health is no substitute for properly develop, kneaded, risen, and baked dough.
So, now that Subway has removed it everything is safe, right? Well, as I said before other companies are still using azodicarbonamide. So what do we do? We advocate for change with our Representatives and request information on why the rest of the world bans these chemicals and we do not. If you would like to know more about food additives that are used here but not in the rest of the world or food safety check out the links below. As for me, that loaf of bread got tossed in favor of the one that I am baking now, and I guarantee that I didn't put in any unsavory chemicals.
Happy Eating.


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