My husband about crushed me when he told me one of the ingredients at the top of the list in Chick-fil-A’s signature chicken sandwich was MSG (monosodium glutamate). (The entire list of the ingredients in a simple chicken sandwich alone is so long you don’t want to see it.) See, we had a road trip tradition of stopping for those delicious waffle fries and spicy sandwiches. We knew where the exactly one Chick-fil-A was on our backroads route between North Carolina and Maryland. We even stop when it’s not technically lunchtime yet.
Even before we dropped the MSG bomb on me, I knew it wasn’t the best dietary choice, per se, but as the unofficial “healthier” fast food option, we’ve been through that particular drive-thru more than I’d like to admit. MSG, a chemical many people are sensitive to that can lead to headaches and may have an addictive quality, isn’t the only not-so-healthy ingredient in the kitchens of the Eat-More-Chicken campaign. There’s also high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), artificial dyes, and TBHQ, which is a chemical in butane.
It goes without saying that these aren’t exactly things you want in your food, even if it is coming from the fast food joint on the corner and not your kitchen. Chick-fil-A certainly isn’t alone in using these ingredients, but they are one of the first ones to start taking steps in the right direction, much like the giant food conglomerate Kraft Foods. The home of the delicious fried chicken sandwich has announced they will be removing the HFCS from the white buns, the artificial dyes from its sauces, dressings, and chicken soup, and hopefully the TBHQ from the peanut oil they currently use.
This is a huge undertaking by a top player in the commercial food industry. With as big of a marketing campaign and captured audience as they have, making a move like this doesn’t go unnoticed. There’s never not going to be fast food chains on every corner and side street, but if they can start offering healthier and better quality foods little by little, then they can make a big impact on our health.
In a world where even packaged fruit can come loaded with artificial ingredients, this is a big deal. Hopefully other restaurants and food companies will follow suit. What’s even more encouraging is that the push for changes like these came from people like you and me. Specifically people that read and support the FoodBabe blog. The author of the blog made her dissatisfaction with many of the ingredients and policies of Chick-fil-A public, and the company eventually brought her in to consult. Those articles and meetings are what led to the outcomes and current undertakings to overhaul some of their products.
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