DNA Testing Has Shown That Subway’s Chicken Is Only 50% Chicken
DNA testing done in Canada has revealed that chicken in Subway sandwiches is only about half what it states it is. According to this study, Subway’s Oven Roasted Chicken patties were about 53.6 percent chicken while the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki strips were only about 42.8 percent chicken. What was the rest of it, you might ask? Soy. And ironically, this soy is what makes their sandwiches more eco-friendly.
Subway has since challenged these statements, calling them “absolutely false” and asking for a retraction. The DNA testing in question was carried out at the Trent University’s Wildlife Forensic DNA Laboratory and was then presented at the CBC Marketplace episode dedicated to fast-food chicken.
These findings, however, were not independently confirmed, nor have they been published in a peer-reviewed journal; which is kind of a big deal. In the CBC episode, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, A&W and Tim Horton’s restaurants in Canada were also analysed and the tests revealed that their meats contained around 80% chicken. To note is the fact that the meat was tested without any sauces or condiments, but marinating and seasoning would bring any result below 100%.
Each of the restaurant chains was contacted in regards with these DNA testing discoveries, and all of them said that their chicken is 100%, but there are some ingredients that they can’t talk about because they are secret. For instance, the spokesman for Wendy’s said this:
“Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a whole muscle chicken breast fillet; not reformed or restructured. In addition, we use only 100% Canadian chicken in Canada. For our grilled chicken sandwich and other grilled chicken products (salads, wraps, etc.) we use a juicy, all-white meat chicken breast fillet, marinated in a blend of herbs. We do not provide ingredient percentages as we consider that information to be proprietary.”
The spokesman for McDonald’s said this:
“Our grilled chicken sandwich is made with 100% seasoned chicken breast. The chicken breast is (a single piece) trimmed for size to fit the sandwich. 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.”
Subway’s answer, on the other hand, was different. When they were first confronted by these DNA testing findings, they said that they will look into the problem and check their supplies. But after a while, they completely rejected the accusations.
“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,” the spokesman said in a statement sent to NPR.
“We have advised them of our strong objections. We do not know how they produced such unreliable and factually incorrect data, but we are insisting on a full retraction.”
The nutritional problem
Whatever the case may be with Subway chicken, we can be sure that more DNA testing will take place in the near future and the issue will be solved one way or the other. But even if Subway will be proven to not be at fault here and there is more chicken in their sandwiches than these DNA tests have initially revealed, there are some other issues that have come to light.
This DNA testing has also revealed that fast food has a severe lack of nutrients as compared to a home-cooked meal. Now, it might not come as a surprise to almost anyone that fast food is not healthy, but these tests have revealed that the nutrition problem is bigger than it seems.
As it turns out, fast food chicken, no matter its actual quantity packs in only 3/4 of protein than home-cooked chicken, while sodium levels are “seven to 10 times what they would be in a piece of unadulterated chicken.” In other words, the chicken found in fast-food is much worse than the one you’d find in a supermarket, let alone on an actual farm.
“People think they’re doing themselves a favour and making themselves a healthy choice” by picking chicken, a nutritionist told the CBC. “But from a sodium perspective, you might as well eat a big portion of poutine” — the infamous Canadian dish which includes french fries, gravy, and cheese curds.
Now, according to these nutritional results, it would seem that Subway would actually be better of if their chicken would turn out to actually be half soy.
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