Chick-fil-A or Chemical-Fil-A?

Are you getting hungry just looking at this?

This week I posted a picture of the ingredients in a Chick-Fil-A sandwich on my personal and Food Babe Facebook Page– I was curious to see the reaction from my family, friends and Food Babe readers. I found that some people were shocked and some people downright didn’t care and even celebrated the deliciousness in Chick-fil-A’s signature sandwich. You see – The number (close to 100) and type of ingredients are typical for fast food and for many chain restaurants. If you eat out and eat at these type of places, you are feeling the effects of these ingredients, whether you realize it or not.

Ever wonder why you have to dose yourself with caffeine after lunch to stay awake?

Or have uncontrollable cravings?

Or why no matter how hard you work in the gym, you still carry around 10 extra pounds?

Or experience depressed moods?

Or have joint pain? Or headaches?

Or can’t clear up your skin?

Or have asthma and/or allergies?

There are close to 100 ingredients in a typical Chick-fil-A sandwhich, majority of them with serious health consequences

I’ve already talked about some of the ingredients found in a Chick-fil-A sandwich – food coloring, refined grains, MSG, GMO Corn in past posts. I want to talk about some of the other preservatives here today. I honestly can’t believe that there are 18 (if I counted right and didn’t miss one) added chemical preservatives to this sandwich. The FDA allows food companies to add these preservatives in limited quantities, however, they do not prohibit companies from adding different preservatives all together by letting them combine different food items that make one big whopping dose.

For example, let’s take TBHQ which stands for “Tertiary Butylhydroquinone” – an ingredient that is listed twice, once in the chicken and once in the bun. TBHQ is a chemical made from butane (a very toxic gas) and can only be used at a rate of 0.02 percent of the total oil in a product. Why is there a limit to this? Maybe because eating only 1 gram of this toxic preservative has been shown to cause all sorts of issues, from ADHD in children, to asthma, allergies and dermatitis to dizziness and even has caused stomach cancer in laboratory animals. Limiting TBHQ to a certain percentage, is the same logic the FDA made when allowing a product to still contain 0.5 grams of transfat and be labeled “transfat free.” If you are consuming processed foods, eating at fast food restaurants or chains that use processed foods you are consuming an overload of preservatives and other chemicals. The high dosage is a huge factor contributing to increased auto immune disorders, rising health care and cancer in America.

I don’t eat out very often, it’s been about 11 days since I ate out. The reason for this is because when you make your own food, you see what goes in it, making me enjoy it ten times more. I want to feel the best I possibly can in life, with abundant energy and radiating vibrancy. I don’t want to feel sick, always with some aliment or some health issue to complain about. God forbid, if I ever got sick, I want to know I did everything I could to prevent it. When I grow old, I don’t want to burden my family to take care of me because I didn’t care of myself.

I didn’t write this post because I was angry or mad at the people that celebrated eating Chick-fil-A after seeing how many ingredients there are. It’s the opposite. It saddens me that people choose to continue to harm themselves and their families by ingesting these chemicals after acquiring this knowledge. IMO, they are walking around half dead. I am, however, hopeful that my blog and leading by example, will turn the lights on in someone new and they won’t ever look at a Chick-Fil-A sandwich ever again.

Wishing you a healthy, long and joyful life!

UPDATES:

If you really like Chick-fil-A and loathed me for writing this – Check out my organic homemade version. You have no excuses now. Click Here for the Recipe – Chick-fil-A Now Open on Sunday

For a even more comprehensive look into this controversial fast food chain – check out my investigation called “Why Chick-fil-a?” on 100 days of Real Food.

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306 Responses to “Chick-fil-A or Chemical-Fil-A?”

  1. toni sawhney

    I love chick fila but no more. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Ts

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to toni sawhney)

      If you treat your body like a temple, you will feel so good, that you’ll never miss it.

      Reply
      • Lane S (to Food Babe)

        What a stupid statement! But I didn’t expect any different from you.

      • Average citizen 2 (to Lane S)

        I agree. What a terribly stupid statement. Those Corinthians were complete idiots…

        1 Corinthians 3:16-17

        Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

    • Hillary (to toni sawhney)

      Thank you for your post. I love chickfila but have always lived in bliss (i.e. ignorance) not knowing what is in their chicken. It was bad enough knowing it wasn’t organic, but this gives me the help needed to stop eating it. So, thanks for pointing it out! I’ll definitely share with others.

      Reply
      • Food Babe (to Hillary)

        You are welcome Hillary…Just remember you can always make my homemade version if you ever get the craving :)

  2. george

    I love Chick Fil-A, I love their sandwiches, I love their chicken strips, I love their chicken nuggets.
    People like you have screwed up loving Chinese food, burgers, fries, cheesesteaks, KFC, Arby’s, chips, dairy, wheat, candy and everything else God gave us.
    Just sit down and be quiet about Chick Fil-A, I don’t care whats in the ingredients, Just don’t care.
    Love me my chicken sandwich from Chick Fil-A.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to george)

      George -I have compassion for you. Not everyone can be part of the revolution.

      Reply
      • george (to Food Babe)

        Thank you for your compassion. Interestingly enough, I’ve given up so very much over the years, the caffine, the sugars, the sodas, the artificial sweeteners…the list goes on…when I saw your column, I don’t know, I saw red, well, maybe pink. I do like Chick Fil-A, it’s the best of all of the fast food chicken sandwiches and for someone on the road an awful lot, it’s one of the best of the bunch.
        I understand your point and I think you’re right, but I also think that if you were to have a sandwich perhaps one a month or two, you wouldn’t become a burden to your family or keel over or even get fat. I know I haven’t.

      • Food Babe (to george)

        George – this new post is just for you. http://foodbabe.com/2011/07/24/chick-fil-a-now-open-on-sunday/

      • Misti (to Food Babe)

        I agree FB and those who name call and pick on those who want to argue against the info you provide are definately not going to make them reconsider either. I do pose one question to anyone who can look at a simple chicken sandwich with over 100 ingredients and say it’s the best tasting sandwich out there. Could it be the “best tasting sandwich” out there because of all the chemicals they add to make it so?

      • Joe (to Food Babe)

        WHAT!?!? WHAT REVOLUTION!!?!? WTF does that mean?

    • Cole (to george)

      Hey George, it’s great that you don’t care. I guarantee you’re overweight, probably obese just like 30% of the US adult population. Have fun with the numerous health problems you’re going to experience for the rest of your life.

      Reply
      • Annoyed by Trolls (to Cole)

        And we will have to pay for his health bills, I’m sure. Nobody thinks or cares about the long term. Sad.

      • keith (to Cole)

        Cole… not sure what your guarantee is worth, but if I were you, I would try to sell your Cristal ball! It is worthless, but eBay might work even if there is no value for you!

    • Jeremy (to george)

      Food Babe- this hotshot is definitely neither bright enough nor quick enough to keep up with your revolution, which is currently running laps around his puddle of cardiac mess. I find it odd that I have never credited God with the blessing of cheesesteaks, candy, fries or the beautifully generic “chinese food.” Must have missed that biblical passage along the way. Oh, it just dawned on me that George must have read this right beneath the 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not pick your fat behind up off the couch.”

      Reply
      • george (to Jeremy)

        Jeremy, since you don’t know me or anything about me, I guess I have to assume that you’re a complete imbecile, having made comments about me in a public forum considering we’ve never met. After all, that’s fair right? It could be said that a man that is so conscious of the fat or additive content of his every once in a while on-the-go chicken sandwich must be small penis-ed and unsure of his manhood or perhaps both stupid and small penis-ed, who knows.
        I wouldn’t make those assumptions about you and say them out loud let alone write them for everyone to read.
        I just think that you must have been a little too deep in the bottle tonight after a hard day at the unemployment line to have made scurrilous comments that you have no idea if they are true or not and for that, I forgive you, now go sleep it off buddy.

      • Overlord (to george)

        ZING! I’m still laughing!

    • Jeremy (to george)

      George- Much to the contrary, I have been blessed to have never experienced the unemployment line and hitting the bottle is something I’d rather not take part in, except for the occasional weekend enjoyment. However, as a personal trainer and and EMT, I must say that your comment to Food Babe hit a rather frustrating nerve. Whether it’s clients in the gym or patients on the stretcher, the main reason for illness and injury (most times) is, at its deepest level, ignorance. We have known about carcinogens in cigarettes for 50 years, yet tens of millions of people still choke to death on them. Likewise, we have known about the harmful effects of the fast food industry since the “Supersize me” revolution of the 90′s, yet those companies continue to rake in billions. Afterwards, when the cancer, heart disease, diabetes and loss of functionality set in; it is often then when these same people cry foul. So, contrary to your original comment which indicted Food Babe for attempting to “screw up” your enjoyment of all of these healthy options, I argue that she guiding people towards a more proactive lifestyle, when the world we live in is so painfully reactive.

      Reply
      • Irene (to Jeremy)

        Don’t mind George. I’m sure he’s a fat slob but he wanted to create a reasonable doubt since you haven’t met him. No fit person ever loves greasy fast foods.

      • hahahahahahah (to Irene)

        hahahahahahahahahahaahhahahah, no fit person ever loves greasy fast foods??? That is one of the most foolish comments I have ever read. Irene you should think before you type. People are going to think you are as stupid as you think george is fat.

      • hahahahahahah (to hahahahahahah)

        Think about it!!! If no fit person loved fast food, every single person in line at a fast food restaurant would be overweight. While many obese people eat fast food it would be the height of foolishness to believe everyone who does is a fat slob.

      • keith (to hahahahahahah)

        Much of the overweight thing actually comes from the diet drinks. Really!

    • Mr Bill (to george)

      I love it! Even something as simple as pickles has to have Yellow and Blue added to make it Green.

      Reply
    • Average citizen 2 (to george)

      george, I am wondering why you prefer chicken sandwiches. I find all chicken sandwiches to be dry and tasteless. I don’t care where they come from. I also tend to notice that most people order chicken sandwiches, not because they taste good, but because they think they are healthier than red meat. I think it’s not even usually a conscious decision. It has just soaked in over the years due to media and ads saying white mean chicken is healthy for you.

      I will never eat a chicken breast (or white meat turkey) if I can avoid it. It’s dry, tasteless and nasty. I always go for the dark meat part of the bird. But you can’t get that at fast food restaurants. You can get the worst, fattiest beef burgers but when it’s chicken, it’s always white meat.

      Based on your comment, I think you are doing the same.

      Reply
  3. nate

    keep rockin it fb!

    Reply
  4. Chick Fil-A

    I LOVE CHICK FIL-A, I’m eating it right now

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Chick Fil-A)

      Hope you are washing it down with fresh raw veggie juice!

      Reply
    • frank clarke (to Chick Fil-A)

      and yer illiterate immature candyass will be dead soon…i’m ok with that but i feel sorry for all the animals you helped torture and murder

      Reply
  5. lesley@homemade grits

    not that this comes as a surprise, but DANG. just gross.

    Reply
  6. Paul

    Great job! Keep posting! Everyone can benefit from this. Stop trashing your bodies and start respecting them.

    Reply
  7. leavemealone

    Who cares? Eat a hamburger and enjoy life. It’s much too short to spend time dissecting a Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

    Reply
    • Chachi (to leavemealone)

      The worse part is that I see SO many replies SURPRISED fast food contains preservatives and artificial coloring. And honestly, unless you’re eating junk food 3 times a day, you shouldn’t care. But “babe” is in an intellectual and moral high horse so I seriously doubt she’ll admit how inane this food-nitpicking nonsense is.

      Reply
      • hahahahahahah (to Chachi)

        Thank you!!! I am SOOOO very tired of hearing about how bad fast food is for you. OBVIOUSLY its not healthy ITS FAST FOOD!!!!!!!!!! People might not know exactly what is in the fast food that they eat, but i wish all of these health nuts would hope off their soapboxes and understand that WE ALL KNOW ITS NOT HEALTHY IF WE CHOOSE TO EAT IT ANYWAYS THATS OUR BUSINESS. DAMN!!!!!!!

      • Annoyed by Trolls (to hahahahahahah)

        THEN DON’T READ THIS BLOG and keep your nasty, unproductive posts to yourselves. Am sure some hateful blog somewhere is missing you.

    • aurora (to leavemealone)

      Ha! And it’ll be even shorter, not to mention more painful, if you keep eating fast food!

      Reply
  8. MeanButTrue

    The “Food Babe” is not a babe at all and doesn’t look like she even eats food.

    Reply
    • JEMS (to MeanButTrue)

      Next time you want to knock down someone else’s image, try growing a pair and posting a picture of your disastrous self so that the rest of us can leave you a few kind remarks…

      Reply
      • MeanButTrue (to JEMS)

        I love your reply by the way because A) You did the exact thing you were yelling at me for an B) You don’t even have a picture.

        Honestly, thank you for the laugh.

      • george (to JEMS)

        I want to post a picture but have no idea how to do it, I noticed you haven’t either but you talk like you know how so can you enlighten me?

      • JEMS (to JEMS)

        No, I did not include a picture, but I also did not fire off an unprovoked, rude and false comment towards the author of this website. While the rest of us are learning and engaging in related discussion, all you could come up with was a shallow and judgmental criticism of appearance and frankly, nothing about that is laughable.

      • Chachi (to JEMS)

        So humorous! An engaging conversation? Really? You really didn’t know that fast food contains chemicals, additives and preservatives? Are you that clueless and naive? The only exposé “foodbabe” did is to show that she can read, write and knows how to take picture of a menu. Which in today’s society is not really that great of a feat.

  9. BreakingNews

    Breaking NEWS!!!!!!!

    Fast food industry uses preservatives, artificial coloring and additives!!!!! Wow, who would’ve think it?

    Reply
    • MiniMe! (to BreakingNews)

      Breaking NEWS!!!! It’s WOW, Who would have “thought” it?

      Reply
      • Haole Boy (to MiniMe!)

        Uhhhh…. miniMe…. that what we call sarcasm.

  10. Meri

    Loved this article!! It’s a great reminder to eat at home saving yourself and some $$ during these sketchy times! I posted it twice on FB.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Meri)

      Thanks Meri!!! Have you tried making my homemade version? Click here for recipe – Chick-Fil-A now open on Sundays!

      Reply
      • jenna (to Food Babe)

        ok I fall into the category as SHOCKED! I cant believe it! I love Chick-fil-A but I dont eat it all the time – MAYBE 1 time every 6 months (its hard too bc there is one about a block from my house but dang, its kinda expensive) Im really looking forward to trying your reciepe. When I saw Chick Fil A Opened on Sundays I kinda chuckled, like the owners FINALLY gave in! HA! I wish I understood labels more so that I knew what I was putting in my body and I REALLY wish that eating healthy wasnt sooo darn expensive!!! Why is that do you think?

  11. abir mandal

    Mind your own business.

    Reply
  12. kurt

    Well, I enjoy the occasional cheese burger and- horrors- chicken sandwich from Chick Fil A (although I get the grilled one). Yesterday I even had a Wendy’s double. (Okay, that was a rare indulgence.) At Wendy’s I lay off the mayo completely (12g fat), have a Caesar salad instead of fries, skip the croutons and cheese and go really light on the dressing. 30+ g protein, 20g fat.

    I suppose if you’re there three times a week or more it might start to add up, but if I listened to every health expert, I’d spend most of my time taking care of myself vs living.

    For instance, a cardiologist will want you to live on tofu and green tea. A urologist wants you to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. A dermatologist expects you to slather yourself in thermonuclear-resistant sunscreen the second you walk out the door. You get the idea.

    At some point ya gotta die of something.

    Oh, and FYI I’m 5’11″, 180lbs, I can bench 225 and deadlift >300lbs.

    Reply
  13. c.e.coffey

    George, Im like you …. I eat Chic-fil-a because it taste so good. Also because it is run by good moral people and the help they hire are so nice and friendly. I dont have to worry about a STD contaminating my meal when I eat there….

    Reply
    • Big D (to c.e.coffey)

      Don’t be so sure about that. I worked in a chick fil a where molded food was sold to customers because it was 4 days past its shelf life and was told to leave sandwiches in the warmer for 4-5 hrs past there recommended hold time. At another location I worked food was dropped on the floor and the owner himself told me to cook it for another minute and it would be alright. There were many untrained mexicans, not a stab at all mexicans, who did not follow health code by using utensils for raw and cooked products, and they rarely washed their hands after handling raw chicken. Your concern when eating out should not be just what is in the food but who is handling it. Remember the lowest paid and least trained people in the world in my opinion are cooking your food right now. People eat at home I have worked there and seen it take my advice.

      Reply
    • Elle (to c.e.coffey)

      if chick-fil-a were so “moral” why would they be supporting factory farming? the animals are treated SO inhumanely …we kill 13 billion per year this way. so sad. they claim to be religious too…I bet Jesus wouldn’t eat factory farmed chicken.

      Reply
      • keith (to Elle)

        The last time I looked, the bible said that God made the animals for people to eat.

        Your fight should be with God! Good luck…

    • Alicia (to c.e.coffey)

      Wait, how is a sexually transmitted disease going to contaminate your food?

      Reply
      • SkaryMoviez (to Alicia)

        My guess is that they are a hard core Christian who thinks it’s okay that a company like Chick-Fil-A funnels their profits to hate organizations. They think that homosexuals are the only ones who carry STD’s, What bothers me, is how many of these so called “Christians” will line up to support this hate factory, but yet, you don’t see these same Christians helping out the less fortunate at food banks, hospitals and other places that REALLY need help.

        “good, moral people”? REALLY? If I recall, Jesus wants us to love ALL and to never judge. You can’t pick and choose from the bible to meet your agenda! There is no sin greater than the other. And these “Christians” who support Chick-Fil-A’s immoral practices will burn in Hell just as fast as homosexuals.

      • keith (to SkaryMoviez)

        So… You are saying that homosexuals are going to burn in hell as fast as you and your hate groups? So, again… Is there a problem with that??

  14. Jessica

    Thanks for sharing this! With the holidays coming up, we’re doing a lot of traveling and this is enough for me to remember to pack my own bag of food for our 7 hour trip up north next week…no stopping at Chick Fil-A or anywhere else off an exit for that matter.

    Reply
  15. Vanessa

    I loved your post! This is similar to an article I read about Subway. Do you know there are more than 20 ingredients in their steak alone? They shouldn’t be allowed to use the phrase “Eat Fresh.” excuse me for saying but looking at all of these toxic substances in our food makes me want to vomit. I too choose to eat whole natural foods like you so I can enjoy my life to the fullest.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Vanessa)

      Vanessa – Thanks for your support. I plan on writing about places like Subway soon too – if more people write about it then more people will know how horrible they are treating their bodies when they are supposedly “Eating Fresh”… Subway absolutely disgusts me. Did you know their jalapeño and pickles have food coloring and preservatives? So even the folks who get a veggie sub with all the fixings are still ingesting toxic crap. Terrible. I don’t think I could ever eat there. Period. I hope I don’t sound self righteous, because I am not – just passionate about voting with my dollars and not supporting any institution that puts chemicals in my food! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
    • Food Babe (to Vanessa)

      Vanessa – Thank you! I plan on writing a article on places like Subway soon! There is nothing fresh at Subway – even their Jalapeños and pickles have food coloring and preservatives. The only things I could imagine eating there is Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers – but why would I go there for that? The thing that upsets me the most is when people say they just eat this stuff “once and a while” Knowing about these ingredients and what they do to your body is enough knowledge that will keep me and my family away. Thanks for stopping by!!!

      Reply
  16. Tracee

    When I started reading labels I was blown away by how creepy most things are. I wish I would have paid more attention sooner. (although my parents did for my brothers autism growing up and it stopped the tantrums). Everyone makes the assumption our government has our best interests in mind and wouldn’t allow anything that would hurt us in food. It’s quite a rude awakening when you start researching this stuff.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Tracee)

      Tracee – Me too! It is startling to understand what easily can be mistake for a piece of chicken and two slices of bread and pickle! I can’t wait until all companies are required to release and display their ingredients. I could careless about the calories, fat and protein – as long as I know what I am eating!

      Reply
    • Carvin (to Tracee)

      Congratulations. You have admitted you are afraid of what you do not understand. That makes you ignorant, (as in literally you lack knowledge, not that you are stupid). And, it seems, the idiom ‘if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything’ is true. Nicotine, arsenic, alcohol- all very natural (only sometimes with the alcohol, of course) and all potentially deadly. The nice thing about ignorance is it is easily fixed. You want better health? Eat less, exercise more, use restraint. Don’t go barring ingredients or food because of something you feel is ‘scary’ for no good reason.

      Reply
    • keith (to Tracee)

      “Everyone makes the assumption our government has our best interests in mind”

      Not in my world. Even before obama we could not trust the government… It is one thousand times as bad now.

      Reply
  17. Morgan

    Ok really? Every fast food restaurant, from Subway to Chick-fil-A to Schlotzkis use preservatives in absolutely everything. Its common knowledge. I mean if this is really that shocking then I guess the fact that people breath must be shocking too. Yes, eating so much of that crap is bad for you but its alright to eat the occasional burger or chicken sandwhich. It won’t kill you. Occasional indulgence is fine. Plus these business have managed to stay open and make millions of dollars for years. They’re actually very smart practices. No matter how you feel about it. It’s smart. Even some of the things you buy at the store have preservatives and “natural/artificial” flavors. Read Fast Food Nation. The crap that’s in those “flavors” is redicilious. The world is ran on fast food. Its something we’ll have to deal with. I do eat fast food but I don’t condone it everyday. People who rip apart establishments based on what they use are just as ignorant as people who eat it every single day three two four times a day. Every single restaurant uses that crap. Done deal.

    Reply
  18. Morgan

    P.S. My typos were accidental. I’m on my phone and it likes to change things. Sorry about that.

    Reply
  19. GSA Traders specializes in technical and tactical products supply to all three branches of armed forces in Pakistan. Our range of products ranges from defence procurement to civilian applications for different government and non-government enterprises thr

    Generally I do not learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.

    Reply
  20. Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    Can I tell you how much that long list freaked me out? Seriously, got a chill through my spine kinda creepy action. I am going to post this on my blog FB. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Melissa @ Dyno-mom)

      Hi Melissa – Please feel free to spread the good word! I still can’t believe people think Chick-Fil-A is healthier than McDonalds. It’s the same crap wrapped up in prettier marketing and messaging. Can’t wait to visit your blog…

      Reply
      • keith (to Food Babe)

        OK fb… you have an ax to grind with Christians… From the overwhelming good response for the company, who really cares what you think??

    • Carvin (to Melissa @ Dyno-mom)

      Yes, that is why it is call fear mongering. This is merely half truths. Nothing in a CFA sandwich is unsafe, other than the amount of calories, fats and carbs in it.

      Reply
      • aurora (to Carvin)

        Carvin, you can’t be serious. The pile of studies on the harmful effects of MSG alone (one of the main ingredients) beg to differ.

  21. Jim

    Hello FB,
    Ok, so a Chick-Fil-A has opened about 2 miles from my house. It is so convenient for me because I am constantly on the run. Being a real estate broker I often find myself on the run and looking for a place to grab a quick bite to eat and a place with wi-fi. Voila! CFA fills both those needs. I really do love CFA and recently I have been eating the 3-4 times a week becasue of the convenience. I know, don’t yell at me because up until about 15 mins ago when I first found this post I thought it was “the better” place to eat. Now I’m a little bummed out that I am going to eb giving up my “fix”. But that is the scary part, I do feel like I am always craving another trip to CFA.
    I’ll tell you that being a single guy, always on the run and not a big fan of cooking for one, I very often take the easy way out and go out to eat and I want to stop that! Not only does it cost too much but I just need to stop putting all of the garbage in me! It’s truthfully a little scary and overwhelming to think about purging this stuff out of my life! I’m not even sure where to start, other than checking out your site daily, liking FB on FB and checking out the Cleanse with Elle.
    Thank you for sharing this information with us, not to hurt the CFA business owners of the world but to inform us so that we may each make our own decisions about what we put in our bodies!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Jim)

      Hi Jim – Thank you for your thoughtful comment. There’s lots of easy places to stop and grab a bite in Charlotte these days – some places to try – Earth Fare Grill at South Park, Luna’s Living Kitchen (bfast and lunch only), Berrybrook Farms (bfast and lunch only), Home Healthy Market, and even Chipotle. At earth fare you can really load up – get soups, salads, and pre made deli items – as well as fresh made food like Turkey burgers and sweet potato fries! yum. It’s quick and easy. I don’t know where you live… but there’s a new one up in Huntersville now too. Also – coming up with a few easy recipes you can make ahead of time that you can eat at night is something you should invest time in doing. For instance, quinoa (which is a whole plant based grain packed with protein) can be made in 12 mins! Nothing is better than homemade food! Good Luck – and if you ever need any other tips – you know where to find me :) Oh and check out my travel section on “Top Posts” link on the top of my blogs for more travel tips – like snacks you can carry with you… etc.

      Reply
  22. Monica

    Nooooo!!!! I thought Chick-fil-A was the only half-way decent fast food place due to the fact that all their chicken looks like it came from an actual chicken. Super sad face, the rest of the day:(

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Monica)

      Your comment me totally made me crack up “Super sad face…” Thanks for sharing Monica…Luckily when I found out the truth about Chick-Fil-A, I had already stopped eating it because of other reasons…I can’t imagine finding out when I was eating everyday in college.

      Reply
  23. Scott

    I wondered why I found myself craving a Spicy Chik-Fil-A sandwich every few weeks. I had also convinced myself that they were a healthy option!!! What a fool!
    The reason you and I are always craving it is because it has Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in it twice! If you do a little research on this nasty stuff, you’ll see that, ‘The food additive monosodium glutamate was first used in the United States in any quantity in the late 1940s. According to Dr. George Schwartz, author of “In Bad Taste: The MSG Syndrome”, although considerable effort had been spent to introduce MSG to the USA, little had been accomplished prior to World War II. However, sometime during the war, the use of monosodium glutamate in Japanese soldiers’ rations was noticed, and in 1948, a symposium on monosodium glutamate presided over by the Chief Quartermaster of the Armed Forces, was held in Chicago to introduce monosodium glutamate to members of the food industry. ‘
    Today, among others, MSG (processed free glutamic acid) can be seen on labels as:
    Glutamic acid (E 620)2, Glutamate (E 620)
    Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
    Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
    Calcium glutamate (E 623)
    Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
    Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
    Natrium glutamate
    Yeast extract
    Anything “hydrolyzed”
    Any “hydrolyzed protein”
    Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
    Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
    Autolyzed yeast
    Gelatin
    Textured protein
    Soy protein, soy protein concentrate
    Soy protein isolate
    Whey protein, whey protein concentrate
    Whey protein isolate
    Anything “…protein”
    Vetsin
    Ajinomoto

    I know that if I say Nacho Cheese Doritos, an exact taste comes to mind and you might even start craving it. Same with say, Cheetos or other snack foods. Those flavors are stored in your mind by the MSG. This is exactly why it is such a valuable additive to the Food industry and why they are so deceptive about hiding it’s nature from consumers.
    Enough rant, check out this website: truthinlabeling.org and others for more info. Avoid this stuff like mercury, because it has been shown that it has a cumulative effect on Neurological processes (RUSSELL L. BLAYLOCK, MD, board certified neurosurgeon. Excitotoxins, The Taste that Kills.)
    I hope that some of you choose to do a little more research and cut this crap out of your diet.

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Scott)

      Thanks for the additional info. This is great.

      Reply
    • keith (to Scott)

      Scott, you are dreaming. “I wondered why I found myself craving a Spicy Chik-Fil-A sandwich every few weeks. I had also convinced myself that they were a healthy option!!! What a fool!”

      Craving anything “every few weeks” Is not an addiction. An addiction would be to eat one for lunch and then go back for another one for the afternoon break. Some of you people must just get a thrill out of trying to make points with FB.

      She is correct about the disaster of the deadly chemicals we cannot get away from..

      Reply
  24. Melissa

    Thank you so much for sharing. I banned McDonalds etc.. years ago and vowed never to have my childeren eat there. However I did take them to Chick Fil A thinking that this would be a healthier option since they promote on PBS. I have learned something by reading your information that you must read the ingredients. The saying goes you can not trust a book by its cover(marketing). I will try your version at least I know whats in it.

    Reply
  25. Carvin

    You realize that all of these ingredients are actually safe and that just because you can’t pronounce them or that there are many of them doesn’t make them less safe that other ingredients. MSG is the prime example. Blind taste tests will find people will claim there was MSG, getting headaches or whatever mysterious symptoms, when there was none. The rate is usually within the margin of error. It’s this sort of nonsense fear mongering that makes food unhealthy. You realize that MSG can flavor a meal with less sodium than table salt? THAT is a health benefit.

    Reply
    • Alicia (to Carvin)

      Herbs and spices can flavor a meal with less sodium than table salt too. Use real salt (sea salt or Himalayan pink salt for example) at the table if you need a salty taste (which I love) and salt isn’t that problematic unless you have a medical condition.

      Reply
  26. Ashley

    Carvin, can you share some sources that speak to your claim? I tend to believe that chemicals in general are not good for me and best to be avoided–which is quite possible if you make your meals at home from real/raw/whole ingredients, as we have started to focus on the past few months and it’s been a very positive experience. However I’m open to knowledge, if there’s another side to this, I would be willing to consider the argument from documented sources. Thanks!

    Reply
  27. Cortney

    Just so everyone is aware Chick-fil-A has grilled sandwiches, nuggets and you can order really anything on the menu grilled with no breading on it. They offer salads which ingredients are delivered freshly every morning and then prepared for salads from there. None of the salads or ingredients come pre-made so no preservatives. The fruit cups are the same way, the produce comes to the store and is prepared as you would in your own kitchen. The chicken comes as you would buy it in the store and prepare in your own kitchen. So it’s not Chick-fil-A’s fault you choose the unhealthy breaded option, you can just as easily get a grilled filet or nuggets and a salad or fruit cup. Things you buy from the grocery have preservatives in them as well, they didn’t slaughter those chickens or cows in the back of the Kroger store, they had to be processed and shipped there as well. I am getting ready to pursue a Ph.D in Health Promotion so I encourage healthy behavior choices but I am not unrealistic or insane about it. When someone can pay me to be at home every day by 4 or 5 to cook fresh meals every night instead of having to work and go to school and do everything else that Americans have do, I may be able to cook at home. However, like all the other people living in the real world my life is busy and there is not time to cook at home every night. Even if I was cooking at home every night there are still going to be ingredients in my food that MAY cause me harm. That’s just life. Until we go back to everyone raising their own animals and growing their own ingredients were will never have a pure diet. It is not that Chick-fil-A is poisoning you it is that you are poisoning yourself by choosing the fried unhealthy sandwich. Blanket statements are a tool of ignorance.

    Reply
  28. Rebecca

    I agree with Cortney..sadly we are stuck with the grocery stores we have and the world we live in because of the fast pace of our lives. It would be lovely to read each label and do the right thing every day but quite frankly, it is just not that easy to change the way you eat. I have 5 kids and it is so expensive to be healthy. That is no excuse I know but I also worked at Chick Fil a and know that everything they make is fresh. I never saw sandwiches sitting for 4 hours or food cooked from the floor. My Owner Operator was a crazy man about cleanliness and proper cooking protocol. Every morning the “Mexicans” got there at 5 am and starting making carrot raisin salad, cole slaw, salads, wraps etc from scratch. Eating Chick Fil a food is like eating from your own kitchen, truly. I guess you really need to go to the government with all this because they are the ones who need to start regulating the food market if we are going to come out of this unscathed. And those Mexicans were amazing workers by the way…

    Reply
    • K Parrish (to Rebecca)

      It may be expensive to eat healthy but believe me when I say you’ll save on your children’s and your own medical care in the long run (which is waaaaayyy more expensive) if you eat properly….. some of you are way confused, it saddens me really, Food Babe hit the nail on the head with this post!

      Reply
      • Food Babe (to K Parrish)

        Thanks Kimberly – I totally agree!

  29. Kevea

    U rock Food Babe, way to go!!! Im convinced, enough said!

    Reply
  30. Amanda

    I guess it shouldn’t surprise me how many people simply don’t care what they put into their bodies or how it impacts their health. We are one of the fattest nations in the world so I guess it makes sense that more then a few people are happy to cover their ears, sing lalala, and shove a fast food sandwich in their mouths. But what really bugs me is that they think this is about fat and carbs. Nope, please, eat a stick of butter! Eat a hamburger! Just make it yourself/ buy ingredients local from healthy sources. Fat actually is good for your brain and your hormones. Man made chemicals however are not. Just think of fast food as things you could make at home, but they add poison to theirs because it makes it cheaper, faster, and keeps it from going bad. Ick.

    I think the heart of what Food Babe is getting at is not that you need to eat leaves and sticks the rest of your life to be healthy or that you can’t take pleasure in food. I think she just wants you to bring food back to it’s roots… made in your kitchen with ingredients sourced from local organic farms and groceries just like in olden times.

    Reply
    • Kevea (to Amanda)

      Amanda I totally agree with what you said. It is evident that Food Babe enjoys life and her food. That is what I love most about this blog and what better way is there to eat other than home cooked natural foods that nourish your body instead of poisoning it.

      Reply
      • Food Babe (to Kevea)

        Thanks Kevea – I appreciate you leaving this feedback.

  31. BJ

    Thanks for the posting. My daughter has been eating a lot of Chicken strips from Chick Filet when she’s away at college this past year. She has developed a cough and she has acne for the first time in her life. She had a little weight gain, but we think it’s from her being a dance major and dancing so much every day. When she came home this past semester she was so exhausted, we had a hard time getting her up at times. I wonder if part of these changes could be related to her diet. She eats fast food at times when she’s home, but not 4 to 5 times a week! We mostly eat home cooked foods, but we do go out at times. I eat very little fast food due to allergies and just not liking how I feel after eating fast food. Just for info, most grilled chicken items have MSG in their marinate. I stay away from marinated foods. If I order a breaded items I take off as much of the breading as possible. I will throw away the buns most of the time too for the few times I eat fast food. Lettuce leaves make a good bun. :( thanks for the information.It served as a good reminder to me.

    Reply
  32. Angelica K.

    Something to honestly think about for the selfish, uncaring, self-destructing, non-understanding people….. I am living proof of the harm that is produced by eating processed/restaurant/fast-food/take-out foods and so is all of my 7 brothers and father…and we are all living proof of the positive effects that staying away from that kind of foods with better health and well-being in every way possible. We all were healthy, no illnesses not even frequent colds but once my mother died, as well as after each of us kids grew up and moved on our own leaving homemade meals and end up falling into the convenience food traps, we all started developing various health problems- especially me within a year after moving out on my own and my health and well-being have landslided ever since until the past year when I took control and started to wean myself off of all that garbage and I DO mean garbage. My health is greatly improving as well as the rest of my family except my one brother that has a selfish lazy wife that refuses to cook for him and their 5 children. I’m not an OCD organic hippie guru Martha Stewart wanna be or anything like that. Just as there are those that don’t care that they make bad choices regarding food consumption, I am one that does car and chooses to make wiser decisions regarding my food intake. I don’t just take people’s word on what I read- I get the facts from reliable sources such as physicians, nutritionists, etc. and also experiment with certain foods to find out what, if anything benefits me or disrupts my health in some way. Not caring what chemicals are in our foods is about as destructive as ingesting what we put in our automobiles. I doubt you’d get suckered into the habit of frequenting your local auto parts store craving a nice cold Prestone anti-freeze milkshake or Valvoline steak sauce on your next NY strip steak or hamburger. Caring more about what all we can fill up on that tastes good instead of caring about the after effects of being selfish and gluttonous which involves how is your untimely death going to affect your spouses, children, dear friends, etc.? People that don’t think or care about anything other than their stomachs and tastebuds make me sad thinking about how devastated the families would be and that will stick with them the rest of their lives. Do you want viewed as one of the most selfish, inconsiderate people in the world? It also makes me sad seeing more morbidly obese people around the places I go daily, let alone sometimes hear complaints or even see tears form when others look at them and make derogatory remarks about their size. Not everyone can get away with the scapegoat that they’re fat because of health problems not caused by gluttony, a small percentage can but the rest are plain out pigs. Those that complain about this are the the poster children for this outbreak and are getting their toes stepped on that refuse to help themselves in the right ways such as utilizing moderation as well as making efforts to eat more healthier foods than ‘junk’ foods. This isn’t just opinion but also vivid facts that everyone can research on their own so their minds can contain self-witnessed truth other than comparing yourselves and the majority of the population to our relatives back in our grandparents days growing up and generations before them. You know darn well that they didn’t ingest what you are ingesting. Go ahead keep complaining about people like me that give a damn, you’re only making fools of yourself but it’s never too late to care about yourself even a little bit more each day.

    Reply
    • MikeinVA (to Angelica K.)

      If I eat out, it’s at Chick-Fil-A. With that said, my wife and I have dropped over 100 pound between us. We’re no longer over weight and getting ready to run our third marathon next month. Needless to say, we take our health seriously. Home cooked meals aren’t always possible so when we’re on the run we know Chick-Fil-A offer a good, cheap, and healthy meal. Chick-Fil-A is the only place that has grilled nuggets, fresh mixed fruits, and milk for my kids and grilled sandwich, carrot or side salad of me and my wife.

      Reply
      • Food Babe (to MikeinVA)

        Not sure if hidden MSG is exactly the definition of healthy. Stopping off at a grocery store has always been my best bet while on the road.

  33. Joe

    This was worthless. Every food product has so many chemicals and ingredients. Is people just finding this out now? This won’t stop me from eating food. You don’t like it? Then don’t eat it.

    Reply
  34. Real Food Confessions: Chick-Fil-A | Modern Alternative Mama

    [...] The Food Babe had some really great articles going into the details of Chick-fil-A ingredients: ”Chick-Fil-A or Chemical-Fil-A”? [...]

    Reply
  35. Paul

    Joe’s reply represents the general mindset of a public who has been isolated from the idea that ‘what you eat has a profound impact on your health’ for so long that they no longer care – regardless of who the revelation comes from. Classic example: cigarettes. Seems like no warning will deter use. And we wonder why health care is so darn expensive and diseases like cardiovascular and cancer are one the rise despite ‘medical advancements.’

    Well, I’m off to a festival for some deep fried butter-on-a-stick. Just kidding.

    Reply
  36. Natalie

    Very interesting! My family has recently started trying to eat healthier and cleaner and its amazing how much better we feel without all of these chemicals. We do occasionally still eat out but now it is a treat and not a routine. Last night we made your Copycat Chik fil a sandwich and it was amazing!!! No need to ever go back to the processed one again!!! Thanks!

    Reply
  37. Jeff

    I always thought Chik Fil A was one of the healthier fast foods and came from a caring Christian organization.

    Please don’t tell me that they are just as bad – or worse – than the others…

    Reply
  38. josef mcpike

    Hmmmm…. I wonder if our dear Food Babe has a hidden agenda. I’m pretty sure you could insert the name of any big chain restaurant in this article. That Chick-Fil-A is run by courageous conservative Christian probably has nothing to do with this attack piece.

    Reply
    • MikeinVAMikeinVA (to josef mcpike)

      That’s the first thing I thought when I read the article

      Reply
    • Alicia (to josef mcpike)

      Except it was written last year.

      Reply
      • josef mcpike (to Alicia)

        Wow, I really needed to read the date more carefully. Wonder why this comes up on a current news site? Of course, its also long been known that Fil-A has Christian ownership.

      • Food Babe (to josef mcpike)

        I promise Josef… I have no hidden agenda. Just spreading the good word about food. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Josef McPike (to Food Babe)

        Your words I accept as true, I appreciate making healthy choices about what we eat.. It seems that everything is politicized these days, including food.

  39. Haole Boy

    I remember the Mom & Pop stores that sold healthy nutritious foods. That’s what we get for “advancements” of big food chains.

    Reply
  40. MikeinVA

    I’m planning two trips out to Chick-Fil-A today, lunch with co-workers and diner with my family. Of all the fast food possibilities, Chick-Fil-A offers the healthiest choices. My wife and I normally enjoy the grilled chicken sandwich, side salad or carrot salad, and diet lemonade and kids enjoy the grilled nuggets, fruit, and milk. Can you show me one other national fast food chain that gives such choices? I don’t see McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendy’s even coming close to matching these healthy choices. I prefer home cooked meals but Chick-Fil-A is a close second for when we’re on the run.

    Reply
  41. Nate

    food for thought, a friend of my daughter works for the butcher shop of a Major grocery chain. They have to soak the chicken they package in ammonia water Before they wrap it for sale at the counter…. Our food system is a mess, same as the court system.

    Reply
  42. Laylah

    I am a vegan and I juice. I know there are not many places to go to have a great meal. Sometimes we get stuck having to grab lunch near to work and the only things avail are fast food. In that case, most of them have modified their menus to include a salad option. I still believe that CFA is probably not the worst of the worst. It’s most likely very typical of franchised food. They were the first to introduce fruits and veggies on the kids menus, at least that is something. I would love to see a piece on McDonalds and BK. I can’t even imagine what they have in their food. My old boss used to get the fried “fish” sandwich at BK b/c she believed it to be a healthier option than the chop meat burger. When I checked the nutrition facts I found that it was much worse in some ways than the burger. At any rate, I will always be a garden girl. :)

    Reply
  43. JimBob

    I find their food to be lacking in sincerity, much as I find their values to be mixed-up and their mission an insult to humanity. I prefer my sandwiches to taste of bread, meat and vegetables, not the bitter taste of false piousness.

    Reply
  44. What would Jesus order at Chick-fil-a?

    [...] – I certainly don’t!  But that would make more sense.  Not paying a few bucks for a chemically enhanced and hormone-filled chicken sandwich that’s made up of close to 100 ingredi… to show who’s side you’re [...]

    Reply
  45. Tom

    You’re cute. That’s the only reason most people even read your garbage. But you’re also a libtard. Go ahead and publish the ingredients for everyone else’s burgers and sandwiches. Troll somewhere else skank.

    Reply
  46. Keri

    it’s funny i came across this post because i just said yesterday that i don’t think i could ever stomach another sandwich from chick fil a, because of the greasiness. i didn’t even know all that was in the sandwich, but every time i would eat there [before our switch to organic and healthier eating] i would feel bad. it never failed, i would always get a headache, which i had pinned specifically to eating the chick fil a sauce. thinking of eating there so many times over the years, or of anything i use to eat for that matter, makes me much happier that that part of my life is over. thank you for being you and for caring about others enough to look into all this stuff. you rock!

    Reply
  47. Walter Cronkite

    News flash…. not…. food has lots of ingredients – most are naturally occurring and stomach acid breaks down the rest. Test your “organic food” and see how many chemicals it has in it from the air and ground pollution. You are probably more at risk from the plastic and “metal” toxins you put around your neck and in your ears as jewelry their food babe. Check out PCB’s and PBDE’s that they use to make that stuff and your computer that you are typing on and your ikea furniture and almost all plastics…. you are breathing these in and they go straight into your bloodstream. But you have a blog and are trying to get readers any way you can…..

    Were you the one who interviewed Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-Fil-A? Probably not I say. He was quoted as saying he has eaten over 7500 CFA sandwiches. What is he like 92 years old and still goes in to work a couple days a week. Dang, maybe he should read your article and the advice from the ill informed in these posts….. sounds like he should have died at 40…. better warn him.

    Reply
    • Bill Hudson (to Walter Cronkite)

      There are people who have smoked heavily there whole lives and have lived into there 90′s. I don’t think the owners longevity means anything other than he ate for free 7,500 times.

      Reply
  48. Bill Hudson

    I personally have never understood why people love Chick filA, I was not familiar with the product until several business trips to the Atlanta area where I was served this … for lunch. I was told what a popular chain this was in the south. All I could think of was how boring was the sandwich, there is nothing special about it at all. It is the exact same sandwich you get at any other fast food chain.The fries are awful too.

    Reply
  49. Brisket

    Did you do your study in response to Chik-fil-a’s owner’s comments on Gay “marriage”? Or is it just a coincidence that you are looking into the ingredients of a Chik-fil-a sandwich now? I travel all the time so I don’t have the luxury to eat what I cook very often. Often the choice is a choice of eating nothing or eating fast food. So I look for the healthiest alternative. No one eats any fast food thinking it is good for them. How about doing a study comparing many of the fast food chain options and help us make better choices?

    Reply
  50. Brisket

    In looking back at previous comments I see this was written some time ago. I thought it had just come out so I apologize for assuming your piece was politically slanted. I would still love to see a study of all fast food options to make the best choice when fast food or skipping the meal are the only options.
    Thank You

    Reply

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