Arby’s has launched a new campaign – “We have the meats”, and is using closeup shots of processed meats and sandwiches to entice consumers to eat up:
“Available in Arby’s restaurants throughout the month of August, the new protein-packed Mega Meat Stacks, include:
Triple Stack – turkey, roast beef, pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on honey wheat bread”
Let’s take a look under the hood shall we?
It’s a big sandwich – 392 grams. Arby’s does not specify the weight in ounces for some reason. Is this Europe? Anyhow, divide by 30 to get approximately a 13 ounce portion.
The calorie count is close to breaking into 4 digit territory, clocking in at 910 calories! The saturated fat count is 11 grams, or 55% of the maximum daily recommended allowance.
The sodium level in this single sandwich is a whopping 2690mg, or 116% of the recommendation for an entire day’s worth of salt consumption!
Hey, on the bright side there are some veggies added – lettuce and tomato.
OK, let’s turn our attention to the ingredient list. This is not an easy task, as the fast food chain lists the “ingredients” for this sandwich as follows:
Roast Beef, Roast Turkey, Pepper Bacon, Mayonnaise, Tomatoes, Leaf Lettuce, Honey Wheat Bread.
You then need to look up each of the above ingredients to see that it is actually composed of a multitude of sub-ingredients. Mashing up the lists gives this work of art:
Beef, Water, Salt, Sodium Phosphates; Turkey Breast, Turkey Broth, Contains 2% or
less of the following: Salt, Brown Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphate. Browned in Soybean Oil; Pork cured with: Water, Salt, Sugar, Smoke Flavoring, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite. Coated with Ground Black Pepper and Sugar; Soybean Oil, Water, Egg Yolk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Cider Vinegar, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Spice, Onion (dehydrated), Garlic (dehydrated), Natural Flavor, Calcium Disodium EDTA (to protect flavor); Tomatoes; Leaf Lettuce; Enriched Flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Cracked Wheat, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Yeast, Soybean Oil, Contains 2% or less of the following: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Sulfate, Corn Syrup, Barley Malt Extract, DATEM, Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate, Mono and Diglycerides, Modified Corn Starch, Enzymes, L-cysteine, Sodium Alginate, Soy Lecithin, Polysorbate 60, Azodicarbonamide, Potassium Iodate, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Caramel Color, Calcium Propionate (preservative). CONTAINS: EGG,SOY, WHEAT
For your convenience we have marked in bold some of the problematic ingredients. Highlights:
- When cooked or broken down in the stomach, nitrites form nitrosamines (also called N-Nitroso Compund), which can cause cancer in young children and pregnant women.
- Calcium Disodium EDTA - A preservative with a mildly salty taste. Unfortunately, it may cause kidney damage, and blood in urine.
- Europe and Australia ban the use of azodicarbonamide because it is a “respiratory sensitizer” that can cause asthmatic and other allergic reaction. In Singapore, the use of azodicarbonamide in food products can lead to a lengthy jail sentence.
Does Arby’s commercial look so appetizing now?