Startling Investigation Finds Popular Restaurant Uses Fake Chicken

It may taste like chicken, but what’s really in your sandwich might surprise you.

According to an investigation published by CBC News, the “chicken” used by at least one location of the fast food chain Subway contains only about 50% chicken! The Marketplace division of the Canadian news outlet conducted a DNA analysis of the poultry sold by 5 major fast food chains including A&W, McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, Wendy’s, and Subway.

A sample of unadulterated chicken should show up in a DNA test as 100% chicken. Spices and marinade can cause a slight deviation from the 100% mark but should not dramatically affect the results. However, according to the CBC’s DNA test results, Subway’s Oven Roasted Chicken patties came in at an average of only 53.6 percent chicken DNA while the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki strips tested at a staggering average of only 42.8 percent.

The results from the other restaurants are as follows:
A&W Chicken Grill Deluxe averaged 89.4 per cent chicken DNA
McDonald’s Country Chicken – Grilled averaged 84.9 per cent chicken DNA
Tim Hortons Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap averaged 86.5 per cent chicken DNA
Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich averaged 88.5 per cent chicken DNA

As you can see, Subway’s chicken tested well below the average of their competitors. Apparently the results of the Subway tests were such a significant outlier that the researchers were prompted to retest a new selection of Subway chicken only to verify their findings. The majority of non-chicken DNA was found to be composed of soy.

Subway did provide a public response to the findings, stating:
“SUBWAY Canada cannot confirm the veracity of the results of the lab testing you had conducted. However, we are concerned by the alleged findings you cite with respect to the proportion of soy content. 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. We tested our chicken products recently for nutritional and quality attributes and found it met our food quality standards. We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients.”

As of now, it is unclear to what degree Subway is implicated. The fault could rest on their supplier or other unaccounted for factors. Nonetheless, the moral of the story seems to be that with cheap food you often get what you pay for.

The CBC report stated that overall the fast food chicken samples from all the restaurants contained an average of 16 ingredients with the entire sampling reaching a combined total of 50 unique ingredients! This includes an average of ten times more sodium than would be found in pure chicken. All theses extra ingredients are likely added to affect taste and texture as well as to drive down cost.

Subway is certainly not the only offender when it comes to additives and fillers in food. The industrial food system as a whole relies heavily on preservatives, additives, and fillers to prevent spoilage and create the illusion of freshness. It is difficult, if not impossible, for the average consumer to avoid these products entirely. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles expose us to a myriad of environmental toxins not only in the food we eat but also in the water we drink and the air we breathe.


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