As of late, food consumers have taken more of an interest in their food. We want to know what goes into the stuff we eat and we want it to be as natural as possible. In response to increased nutritional awareness, fast food companies have been making changes to keep up with what the people want. We keep hearing announcements that more and more companies are applying stricter regulations and are becoming more discerning about what qualifies as food and what is appropriate to feed to consumers. Unfortunately, announcements of good news often raise troubling questions such as “what was going on before this decision to implement change?”
Here are some recent fast food announcements that were supposed to make us happy, but actually just remind us that fast food is pretty gross:
The announcement: That the chain will only be using chicken meat from chickens raised without antibiotics.
Why it will make you feel sick: It’s going to take five years for them to commit to only selling antibiotic free chicken at their 1,700 locations. That means this whole time and for the next five years, if you indulge in chicken treats from Chik-fil-A you will be eating meat dosed with antibiotics. Use of anti-biotics ain’t no thing but a chicken wing according to the National Chicken Council (may or may not be a panel of actual chickens), but parties like the CDC and FDA are more wary of overuse which can cause trouble by creating antibiotic resistant “superbugs.” Read more about this good yet simultaneously troubling news here.
The Announcement: They will be removing a chemical called Azodicarbonamide from their bread recipe.
Why it will make you feel sick: That chemical that’s been in the bread in US Subway franchises is also in yoga mats and the rubber soles of shoes.
The announcement: McDonalds chicken nuggets are not actually produced using pink slime. In fact, they start as chicken carcasses and there’s proof.
Why it will make you feel sick: They shouldn’t have to announce and make a video and whole to-do to prove that their chicken nuggets are made of chicken and not pink slime. Worse yet, those nuggets are still not 100% chicken. According to Maria Godoy at NPR, they’re about 50% chicken meat “at best.” Anyway an order of just six McNuggets contains 280 calories and 18 grams of fat.
The announcement: They’re recalling ”Philly Steak and Cheese” and “Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese” Hot Pockets in specific sizes. If you bought them, you can call Nestle Consumer Services at 800-392-4057 and get a refund.
Why it will make you feel sick: Though the company taking responsibility is nice and no illnesses have been reported (yet), the products they’re pulling were affected by a larger recall of 8.7 million pounds of beef product by Rancho Feeding Corp. According to the USDA, the products were not fit for human consumption. The corp processed “diseased and unsound animals” without going through a full federal inspection. You can read more here.
The announcement: Kraft will be replacing a chemical preservative called sorbic acid with natamycin, a which is a natural mold inhibitor, in its famous Kraft singles, both full-fat American and White American.
Why it will make you feel sick: If Kraft is removing preservatives from their plasticy little squares of cheese food product, what will even be left? What other chemicals lurk in Kraft’s American cheese slices?
The announcement: This one is a little older, but remember when we all found out there was horse meat in Ikea’s meatballs? It raised so many questions. For example “what did we even think the meatballs were made of?” and “Have we ever eaten ground meats contaminated with other lovable animals’ flesh?”
Why it will make you feel sick: In the US, we do not view horses as food. We were disturbed at the thought of consuming Seabiscuit and Black Beauty while taking a break from shopping for housewares and whatnot.
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