McDonald’s explains: That isn’t yoga mat in our McRib

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Azodicarbonamide, that chemical that is in a variety of foods, such as Subway restaurant breads and McDonald’s McRib sandwiches, as well as non-edible products, like yoga mats.

Well, I guess I need to say was in Subway breads. The company, after all the focus on the chemical, has phased it out of its breads.

No so for McDonald’s, which instead has made it clear that the Azodicarbonamide — it sounds like something that absorbs stuff, right? — in its foods isn’t exactly the same as what’s in yoga mats. This is from a serious of FAQs on its website:

We use ingredients that are commonly used by the food industry and meet recognized food quality and safety standards.  Azodicarbonamide is used by bakers to help ensure a consistent texture in each batch of bread they bake. It is used in many items on grocery store shelves, like some hot dog and hamburger buns and other bread products you may already purchase.

Because a variation of this ingredient is used in some non-food products, including yoga mats, there have been individuals who have erroneously claimed that our food contains that same rubber or plastics. This is simply not true.

We recognize the difference between using ingredients in food versus using a variation of those ingredients for non-food purposes can be confusing. We also realize that sometimes the scientific name for an ingredient may sound scary. For example, the salt you use to de-ice a driveway is a variation of the salt you use in the kitchen, however they are both sodium chloride.

I’m also partial to this answer to a simple question: “Why are your burgers so cheap?”

As many savvy shoppers would tell you, buying in bulk can lead to big savings!

At McDonald’s we feed millions of people each day, which means we need to buy a lot of  beef, potatoes, lettuce, chicken , eggs and more. This allows us to get great prices on the ingredients we use to make your favorite menu items.

Happy Memorial Day weekend (get the tie-in?).

Posted by Steve

‘Yoga mat’ chemical will be out of Subway sandwiches next week

The chemical azodicarbonamide, which has been in both yoga mats and Subway breads, won’t be in the latter after next week, Subway said this week.

The Associated Press reported that Subway’s chief marketing officer, Tony Pace, confirmed to AP that the chemical would be out of the bread.

The announcement came after a blogger earlier this year highlighted the chemical’s being in a lot of food a lot of us eat:

The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. The Environmental Working Group published a list of nearly 500 food products containing the chemical, including Little Debbie Honey Buns, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, and many items served at McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks. 

The chemical is also used to make yoga mats.

Yum yum yum.

Posted by Steve

Did you hear? Subway to take yoga mat chemical out of its bread

We’ve covered a few instances of where food — as in the stuff you eat, you know, put in your body — contains chemicals that also are found in your yoga mat — as in that rubbery thing you sweat all over and drag around with you.

The McRib was the highest profile. But it turns out that Subway’s breads also contain a chemical that’s common to yoga mats.

Not for long, though.

As you may have seen, Subway announced it will stop using the chemical,  azodicarbonamide, in its breads. From the LA Times coverage:

The chemical, called azodicarbonamide, is a plastic-based additive used as a bleaching agent in the bread at Subway, the buns at McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food restaurants.

Blogger Vani Hari put a spotlight on Subway’s use of the ingredient when she started a petition on her blog,, to have them remove it. Her petition received more than 50,000 signatures and Hari is taking credit for the ingredient’s removal.


The FDA lists azodicarbonamide as a food additive that “may be safely used in food” as long as its intended use is for aging and bleaching an ingredient or as a dough conditioner.

In a 1999 report on azodicarbonamide by The World Health Organization states “the effects of exposure to azodicarbonamide in humans have not been fully evaluated,” but that it was linked to respiratory symptoms in some cases.

Apparently it is a coincidence that First Lady Michelle Obama just announced a healthy eating partnership with Subway. I think I also saw that she’s doing yoga, now that she’s hit the big 5-0.

Posted by Steve