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Subway has been dyeing its veggies…and meat and bread

subway-artificial-ingredientsAfter realizing that low-fat claims are no longer enough to get consumers to choose it as their go-to lunch spot, Subway has made a commitment to live up to its slogan, “Eat fresh.”

Like other fast casual chains upping their healthy ante, such as Chipotle banning GMOs and Panera getting rid of artificial ingredients, last week Subway announced it will remove all artificial ingredients from its food in North American locations by 2017, the Associated Press reports. That includes artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives, of which there are many more than you’d expect from a brand built on offering healthy-ish sandwiches and salads.

For starters, you know those banana peppers that perfectly top any Italian sub? That bright green coloring is all thanks to Yellow No. 5—the additive that both moms across the country and food activist the Food Babe asked Kraft to remove from its Macaroni & Cheese.

And while their commercials might show golden loaves of bread being pulled from ovens, that perfect hue is actually courtesy of caramel coloring (Subway had already removed azodicarbonamide—an ingredient also used to make yoga mats—from the rolls last year). As for roast beef and ham…yup, those are both color enhanced, too.

All this transparency begs the question: Is their brand new (and very green) guac touted on all those commercials artificially enhanced, too? —Amy Marturana

(Photo: Instagram/Subway)