Surely you’ve heard of Subway’s recent decision to ditch azodicarbonamide (ADA) from their sandwich bread – -a chemical foaming agent commonly used in the production of yoga mats and shoe rubber. Good for them. Thank heavens we don’t have to worry about that anymore!
Oh … actually, scratch that.
That was just the tip of the old iceberg. As it turns out, hundreds of food products, products you have likely consumed at one point or another, contain ADA. It is generally used in both bread and pastry products — helping bread become puffier and tougher to survive the weeks of transport and storage that mass produced breads must endure. Granted, if people bought bread from local bakers, we wouldn’t be having this issue … but I digress. Believe it or not, your yoga mat shares more in common with your buttered wheat toast than you’d care to believe.
The Environmental Working Group just released an extensive list of almost 500 food products and over 100 brands that make use of the unwelcome chemical. View the entire list here, or check out some of the more recognizable offenders listed below.
Weight Watchers Smart Ones
Aside from the aforementioned brands, ADA also lurks in many fast food chains, like Starbucks, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger King. The harmful chemical is banned in Europe and Australia, as it can cause respiratory illness in large quantities, but merely regulated to 45 parts per million here in the US. Check out the movement to ban it all together.
What is most troubling it the fact that the industry seems to believe we need potentially harmful chemicals to make a good, hearty loaf of bread. What was once a simple concoction of flour, water and yeast has devolved into a dense 3 inch block of chemistry text. Check the EWG’s list to determine precisely which of each brand’s products contain the ominously ubiquitous “dough conditioner.” In the mean time, we should probably rethink how we manufacture our food — and our yoga mats.
Does the EWG’s list shock you, or do you find yourself simply shaking your head, desensitized by the myriad of other nasties that plague our processed foods? Share your thoughts below.