Subway denies chicken is 1/2 something else

The problem with soy in your chicken is that almost all soy is genetically modified. The modification allows the soy plants to be sprayed with a pesticide, RoundUp, lots of it. In the US, unless you’re eating organic food, you are consuming some glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp. What’s wrong with that is this: Glyphosate is a potent mineral chealator, it traps minerals. That’s how it kills weeds. Without those minerals, the weed’s immune systems break and then ordinary organisms in the soil kills them. That’s why RoundUp can’t kill weeds planted in sterile soil. 

Glyphosate stays in the soil for years, reduces crop yields, makes crops less nutritious, and it kills beneficial organisms like earthworms. Because it disrupts something called the shikimate pathway, it kills beneficial gut bacteria we all need to stay healthy. It may also disrupt the human endocrine system contributing to the diabetes epidemic. Unless you want to increase your risk of cancer you should avoid it, which is very difficult since it is in drinking water and even in human breast milk.

… GMO soy had total [glyphosate] residues averaging 11.9 parts per million, with a maximum reading of 20.1 ppm

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That’s the context in which I read this article on a genetic analysis of what’s really in the chicken from some fast food stores.

Are you chicken? That’s what a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Marketplace investigation ask the meat-appearing substances in six different restaurant chain sandwiches…using DNA testing. Their reported results? McDonald’s Country Chicken – Grilled was 84.9% chicken, Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich 88.5%, A&W’s Chicken Grill Deluxe 89.4%, and Tim Horton’s Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap 86.5%. Meanwhile, SUBWAY’s Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich (53.6% chicken) and Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki (42.8%) seemed to be only half chicken.

So what was the “alternative chicken” mixed with the real chicken in these sandwiches? Mostly soy, according to the testing performed by DNA researcher Matt Harnden from Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory. But soy wasn’t the only thing mixed with the chicken. The CBC Marketplace report explained that the chicken in the six sandwiches included a total of 50 different ingredients (each chicken piece averaged 16 ingredients), ranging from honey and onion powder to industrial ingredients.
Surprised? We can’t say for sure how accurate the testing may have been given that the results have not yet been published in a scientific journal. However, using less expensive fillers or “alternative meat” to bulk up real meat and enhance taste is not a new practice. Previous reports have found a number of other ingredients in beef in tacos and burgers.
All five restaurant chains issued rebuttals to the CBC Marketplace report. For example, McDonald’s statement included the following: 

“Our grilled chicken sandwich is made with 100% seasoned chicken breast…We don’t release the percentage of each ingredient for competitive reasons, but on the nutrition centre people can see that our grilled chicken includes seasoning and other ingredients, just like at home.” 

The SUBWAY statement insisted: 

“Our chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain 1% or less of soy protein. We use this ingredient in these products as a means to help stabilize the texture and moisture. All of our chicken items are made from 100% white meat chicken which is marinated, oven roasted and grilled.” In addition, Subway spokesman Kevin Kane wrote an email to ConsumerAffairs that said: “The accusations made by CBC Marketplace about the content of our chicken are absolutely false and misleading. Our chicken is 100% white meat with seasonings, marinated and delivered to our stores as a finished, cooked product…This report is wrong and it must be corrected.”
Can you tell really tell if the chicken that you are eating is really 100% chicken? It’s difficult because there’s no required and regulated ingredient labeling for meat served in restaurants, unlike packaged foods sold at stores that have the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Nutrition Facts label. While restaurants can’t make wildly misleading claims, such as “this piece of cardboard is really chicken” at the risk of being sued, they do have a fair amount of latitude for advertising claims. For example, “made from 100% chicken” doesn’t mean only 100% chicken reaches your mouth. Any product that includes at least some real chicken (e.g., chicken soup, chicken sausage, and chicken-flavored crackers) initially came from a 100% chicken, unless they used robo-chickens, bionic chickens, or chickens cross-bred with kangaroos. Similarly, “made from real chicken” simply means somewhere, somehow something from a chicken is in what you are eating. The phrase “all chicken” is even more nebulous since we know that all-beef hot dogs are not simply just beef. “All-natural” is another term that is too vague to mean much. Oil, coal, and uranium are all natural as would be chicken with these ingredients.
And keep in mind that “added ingredients” can mean anywhere from just a little to a ton added. Remember a chicken sandwich is 100% water with added ingredients.

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What can you do? Insist on organic foods. Pull weeds instead of spraying with weed killers. Change the rules. Insist on that all safety studies done be made public, on glyphosate and on everything else for that matter. Current rules allow cherry picking with only favorable studies getting published. The result is scientific fake news.

3/19/2017 Update: Subway is suing the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation over this story. I’m not sure how repeated DNA tests could be wrong, so this $210 million attack on the truth may be even more concerning than some soy filled chicken.  The only angle I see for Subway to win is if we learn that only a few stores purchased the soy extended chicken and the whole business was damaged as a result, but good luck making consumers believe and be sympathetic to that. It could always be a repeated mixup at the lab, or and outright fraud secretly paid for by a fast food rival. I’ll be interested to see what hatches from this.

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