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It wasn’t just Subway using the ‘yoga mat chemical’ in their food

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Photo: Pexels/Markus Spiske

Remember that dark day when you learned that, unbeknownst to customers, Subway was dyeing its veggies and baking bread made with azodicarbonamide (AKA an ingredient used to make yoga mats)? Well, today’s about to get downright bleak because it turns out that it wasn’t just Subway adding ADA to its foods.

Bloomberg reports that McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, White Castle, and Chick-fil-A all used the chemical too. (In-N-Out eaters, you can breathe a collective sigh of relief.)

The good news is, all the chains called out above have phased out the harmful azo-laced foods. As Vani Hari (AKA Foodbabe) originally called out back in 2012, the chemical is used to make bread “stay fresh” for up to two weeks, and has been linked to causing asthma, respiratory problems, and allergies, according to the World Health Organization. Oh, and it also could cause cancer.

After Subway got called out big time, other major chains realized they wouldn’t be able to get away with using the sneaky chemical for long and quietly phased it out before it was their name making headlines. (Oops.)

And ADA’s not completely off the menu for good. Dunkin’ Donuts still uses it in their Texas toast (although Bloomberg reports that the company is currently testing an azo-free version), and it’s used in Burger King’s French toast sticks.

So, how can you avoid it? Support places that you know have a commitment to using whole foods and real ingredients. After all, you have a right to know what you’re putting in your body.

The Food and Drug Administration is making some big moves when it comes to food transparency. Here’s how. And harmful chemicals aren’t just in your food—they’re in your beauty products too. But here’s why that might change soon.