You may have heard about the petition to get the food additive azodicarbonamide (also known as ADA) – a chemical foaming agent commonly used in yoga mats, shoe soles and floor mats – out of Subway breads. Food activist blogger Vani Hari of Food Babe lead the petition last month, which prompted Subway to agree to remove the additive from its breads.
While this is good news, Subway isn’t the only brand with azodicarbonamide in its food. In fact, there are nearly 500 foods in grocery stores with the yoga mat chemical.
Not Just Subway: Nearly 500 Foods Contain Yoga Mat Chemical
Why is azodicarbonamide so bad?
According to Food Babe:
Azodicarbonamide is a yellow orangish powder, more commonly used commercially in the creation of foamed plastics – like yoga mats, shoe soles, floor mats and window gaskets.
The FDA allows food companies to use azodicarbonamide as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner in any food product giving it a status of GRAS or “Generally Regarded As Safe”.
But, the FDA doesn’t even keep track of the companies who use azodicarbonamide as an ingredient. The lack of information leads the FDA to not update or include an toxicity information about this ingredient in its EAFUS or “Everything Added to Food in the United States” database.
Azodicarbonamide has been banned in other countries, yet it’s still considered safe to use in the US. It’s been linked to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma.
Are You Eating Yoga Mats?
In the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) food database of 80,000 foods, azodicarbonamide was listed as an ingredient in nearly 500 foods from 130 brands, including many advertised as healthy.
Are you eating these foods? Here’s a partial list – see the full list of foods with azodicarbonamide.
- Archer Farms – Simply Balanced 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
- Betty Crocker – Pasta Caesar Salad
- Country Hearth – Split Top Wheat Bread, Hearty Homestyle 100% Whole Wehat Bread
- Fiber One – Hamburger Buns, Hot Dog Buns
- Fleischmann’s – Simply Homemade No Knead Bread Mix
- Ihop – French Toast Sandwich
- Jimmy Dean – French Toast Griddlers, Sausage-Egg-Cheese Muffins and more
- Kid Cuisine – Kc’s Campfire Hot Dig
- Marie Calender’s – Flaky Croissant with Ham & Swiss
- Pillsbury – Italian Bread, Toaster Scrambles, Toaster Strudel Pastries and more
- Sara Lee – Cinnamon Raisin Bagels, Honey Wheat Bread, White Bread and many other bread products
- Smucker’s – Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Sandwich and other varities of Uncrustables
- Sun-Maid – Raisin Bread, Cinnamon Swirl
- Tyson – Mini Chicken Sandwiches and other varities of chicken sandwiches
- Village Hearth – 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Light 12 Grain Bread and others
- Weight Watchers Smart Ones – English Muffin Sandwich, Egg Whites & Cheese and Candadian Style Bacon
- Wonder – Light Wheat Bread
And that’s not all. There are many fast food restaurants that feature ADA, including McDonalds English McMuffin and Arby’s sesame seed bun. Even the butter croissant at Starbucks contain the yoga mat chemical.
What You Should Eat Instead?
Avoid foods with azodicarbonamide. This chemical basically gives cheap, processed food a “freshly baked” taste. Instead opt for REAL fresh baked goods or buy from brands that you trust that don’t contain azodicarbonamide and other harmful ingredients.
Making your own bread isn’t difficult and you can batch cook to save more time.
Here’s a list of my favorite bread recipes:
- The Best Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
- Easy Homemade French Bread
- Honey Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread
- Healthy Paleo Bread
- Traditional Soaked Whole Wheat Bread
Photo credit: DepositPhotos.com / kitchbain / pixbox77