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Opinion | Bread you eat at Subway isn't what you think: North American food laws trying to kill you

By Steven Beynon
On March 14, 2014

  • Is this satire, or simply the depressed rambling of someone who bases their self worth on the letters on their chest?

    Im hoping it's satire. null

I'm not the biggest fan of major food companies. Over the years, I have become an okay cook, or at least by the standards of a typical college male. I often elect to eat at home. My meals are cheaper and healthier that way.

One place I would sometimes order from is Subway. Not that it's the greatest place in the world, but they build the illusion of having healthy options.

Subway is also the only food chain where I can finish a meal and not immediately feel like I'm going to die.

It was recently revealed that Subway's method of "dough enhancement" was a chemical called azodicarbonamide. I know that's a big word. It's usually a rule of thumb that if you don't recognize an ingredient or can't at least pronounce it, you shouldn't eat it.

Azodicarbonamide is a component in plastic production. This "foaming agent" is also used in rubbers to make flip-flops and yoga mats. It's used in the food industry to make dough rise faster.

This tongue-twisting chemical is popularly referred to as the "Yoga Mat Chemical."

A big concern is this chemical is linked to skin problems and allergies. It hasn't been adequately tested on humans according to experts despite being approved by the FDA.

Another concern is that I don't want mystery plastic in my sandwich.

Subway isn't the only place to use this. The Yoga Mat chemical is used at McDonald's, Arby's and dozens of brands found in grocery stores such as Sara Lee and Smucker's.

Who doesn't use it? The entire European Union. The Yoga Mat chemical was banned in 2005 for use in making plastics that are likely to come in contact with food.

Yes, you read that correctly, it was banned from products that have a chance at simply touching food. Here in the good ol' Red, White and Blue, it's a component injected into foods you likely eat a lot.

Bread is made from water, salt, yeast and flour. That's it. It's a simple recipe that has worked for thousands of years and is seemingly a food that every recorded civilization has managed to make. Somehow North America is screwing it up.

North America is the only continent that doesn't force food companies to label genetically processed food. Countries like Ethiopia, China and Kazakhstan all have laws in place that attempt to protect and inform the consumer on what they're eating.

A lot of foods served in restaurants and sold at your local grocery store would be illegal in most industrialized countries on other continents.

We live in a country where anti-freeze and jet fuel are ingredients.

Europe currently doesn't allow importing most U.S. and Canadian crops in fear of health risks and environmental contamination. Europe is also host to the world's healthiest countries like France and Norway.

This adds to the explanation of how the U.S. is ranked 37th in the world for quality of health care. Robert Kenner, director of Food Inc, a documentary that chronicles our food problem, hypothesizes that the millennials will be smaller, weaker and have shorter life spans than their parents.

They mean smaller in terms of height and muscle mass. We're still on track to have over 33 percent of our population becoming obese.

The meat industry is ran by only a few companies, all of which have major political swing. If you don't believe me, just look at the geography of food distribution and food law.

Companies like Tyson distribute food across the U.S. and Canada and have major political power in both countries.

North America is the only continent that allows the Yoga Mat chemical in food.

Even poverty-stricken African countries won't feed their people foods that we graciously serve at the dinner table.

China has so much smog, kids can't go to school some days, they make workers slave away in iPod factories for a dollar a day, but they won't feed them a yoga mat.


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