In another sign of grass roots efforts leading to change, Chick-fil-A this week confirmed a line of changes in its foods. These include:
- removal of synthetic yellow food coloring from its chicken soup
- removal of high fructose corn syrup from dressings and sauces (in testing at 200 locations right now)
- removal of TBHQ (see below) from its frying oil (starting next year)
- removal of artificial ingredients from buns
These changes are due in part to the great work of friend and fellow food blogger Vani Hari (The foodbabe). Her expose on Chick-fil-A foods several years ago led to a series of meetings between Hari and company executives to discuss improvements that can be made in its products.
The result is the (modest) changes we are seeing today. Are they enough? Of course not. But they are a step in the right direction. Chick-fil-A should be commended for these changes (assuming they will expand to all its locations) and encouraged to continue with more improvements.
We are still a far way from healthy fast food in America. Your best bet for healthy living is to never step foot in a Chick-fil-A (unless you need to use the restroom). But even a thousand mile journey starts with a first step.
In case you’re curious:
TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) is an antioxidant used to keep oils from going rancid. It is a petroleum derivative. The food industry nagged the FDA for years to get it approved as a preservative. This, despite the fact that in large doses (1 gram) it may cause nausea, delirium, and ringing of the ears. TBHQ may not exceed 0.02% of the oil and fat content in a food.