Is Subway Real Food?

Breaking: Please join the petition to remove dangerous chemicals from Subway Bread: HERE


Subway is the single largest chain restaurant in the world. That means you’ve probably eaten there at some point in your lifetime and if you are like me could possibly have 10 of these restaurants within a 1 mile radius of your house. But is eating at America’s favorite fast food chain really eating real food?
food babe - me and subway

Subway would certainly like you to think so. With their slogan “Eat Fresh,” marketing with avocados and a guy who lost hundreds of pounds eating their famous sub sandwiches, it’s easy to get duped.
You may also feel tricked when you see a little heart logo, indicating a menu item at Subway is “heart healthy.” Just last week it was announced that the American Heart Association (AHA) has endorsed several menu items at Subway and added the heart logo to indicate which ones.

At every Subway on the “sneeze guard” glass they display one version of their nutritional information – the infamous “6 grams of fat or less” menu. This menu includes calories, fat grams, and that new little heart logo, but doesn’t display anything about the ingredients. Doubting that Subway or the AHA would actually ever create a real food information guide for you, I decided it was time to do this myself. Below are the “6 grams or less” menu items and critical real food information you should know about each choice.

food babe - subway sandwich

Let’s take a closer look.

  • Subway definitely keeps it fresh and I figured out how. Every single one of their items on the “6 grams or less” menu has preservatives to keep it …well…fresh! Sure Subway makes your meal right in front of you, but what is really happening behind the scenes? Boxes of already cut up and prepackaged processed foods and chemical additives are being shipped from Big Food industry factories to each location.
  • The 9 grain wheat bread might look and smell freshly baked but it contains close to 50 ingredients including refined flours, dough conditioners, hidden MSG, refined sugars, etc. Could bread this processed ever be real food? Certainly not, when it includes a chemical ingredient called azodicarbonamide, which is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000. Azodicarbonamide is more commonly used in the production of foamed plastics, however, it is allowed in the United States as a food additive, a flour bleaching agent, and a dough conditioner that improves elasticity of bread. The U.K. has recognized this ingredient as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because azodicarbonamide can exacerbate the symptoms. Let’s not forget it only takes 4 or 5 simple ingredients to make REAL whole-wheat bread including flour, yeast, salt, water, and maybe honey.

food babe subway sandwich meat

  • Three sandwiches on this menu, along with several other menu items not listed, are comprised of processed meats and filled with nitrates and forms of MSG. The consumption of nitrates need to be taken very seriously. Nitrates are frequently converted into nitrosamines, which have been proven to increase the risk of disease dramatically. The latest research from World Cancer Research Fund declared that “processed meat is too dangerous for human consumption.” Studies have shown it may only take 1.8 ounces of processed meat (about half of what is in a typical 6 inch sub) daily to increase the likelihood of cancer by 50%, heart disease by 42% and diabetes by 19%. I still know people who eat Subway for lunch everyday, but I’m glad I don’t know anyone on the actual Subway Diet. Sheesh. I can’t imagine what their percentage would be, could you?
  • Can you believe the American Heart Association is now putting their seal of approval behind these processed meat based Subway menu items? WOW. After all these studies that show an increase in heart disease? Is this a joke? Even the processed turkey meat that seems harmless because it doesn’t contain nitrates is full of preservatives, chemical flavorings, and carrageenan. I wrote about carrageenan last month after the Cornucopia Institute revealed a study that once the food grade version of carrageenan is ingested it turns into a carcinogen in your digestive system.

food babe - subway salad

  • Preservatives and even artificial colors are added to many of their “fresh” vegetable offerings – like the banana peppers and pickles. The ingredients for the black olives unveiled a new additive I learned about, “ferrous gluconate,” which is an iron based preservative that helps keep olives black.
  • While the “6 grams or less” menu says the totals don’t include cheese or salad dressings, it is important to know that some of the cheeses offered at subway also have artificial colors, preservatives, and even cellulose that’s made from wood pulp.
  • Two of the healthiest sounding salad dressings were actually the worst based on my analysis. Fat free honey mustard and the red vinaigrette both have corn syrup, artificial colors, preservatives, and other chemical additives.

To top it off, the majority of foods at Subway have been conventionally sourced and probably include pesticides, antibiotics, and/or growth hormones. In my research, I didn’t find one single organic ingredient or menu item available at over 36,000 stores. Even the lemon juice comes in a pre-packaged squirt pack filled with preservatives. Because of this I haven’t consciously ever considered going to a Subway in the last 7 years.

Last weekend, I broke this streak and went into a Subway in search of real food. I have to admit the thought of going into a Subway and ordering off the menu was a little bit daunting, but I decided this was the best way to get the answers to my questions, like whether or not their avocado was really fresh or not. Could it be possible for me to order something and actually take a bite without squirming? Going against my “vote with your dollars” philosophy and purchasing something from the “bad guys” went against every bone in my body. But I did it.

Watch it all unfold in the video below. Everything at Subway may not be “fresh” but if you are ever stuck on a deserted island and this was the only place you could eat… now you know what to order.

Special thanks to Nicole Galuski for filming

P.S. You can check out my favorite “fast food” sandwich I am eating now and how to get it here.

Please remember to take action to remove dangerous chemicals from Subway Bread HERE!

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216 Responses to “Is Subway Real Food?”

  1. Alonso Rodriguez

    I forgot to add this to my comment. When ever I order subway, I only get a 6″ with Spinach, Beekeepers, and Olive Oil. I figure these are the only vegis with the most nutritional value.

    • Stew (to Alonso Rodriguez)

      Beekeepers? What’s that?

      • Jared (to Stew)

        It’s on the special menu. Subway slays beekeepers and uses their flesh for their sandwiches because being around honey makes their meat tastier and gives the consumer a real buzz.

      • Alonso Rodriguez (to Stew)

        Ops! jejejejeje, I wanted to say Bell Peppers. My second glass of wine kicked in when I wanted to write bell peppers.

    • Allison (to Alonso Rodriguez)

      LOLOL Alonso beekeepers!!!!!!! Who doesn’t want beekeepers in their sandwiches? Come on. It’s the new trend sweeping the nation.

      • Sue W (to Allison)

        I assumed beekeepers was an American ingredient that we couldn’t get here in Australia lol

    • Patrick (to Alonso Rodriguez)

      Sadly their Olive oil is only 10% olive oil, and the rest is a vegetable oil mix

      • jill (to Patrick)

        I have read that most of the Olive Oil we get in the US is not 100%

  2. Angel

    If they were radical enough to convert their food supply to organic and GMO free food, I think they would make an impact on the QSR sector as they have with their $5 foot longs. Every other fast food joint started copying the $5 meal. They would make huge profits for their franchisees and themselves! And has any of you looked into their breakfast menu? It’s a joke! They are trying to get a cut in the breakfast market but they should just stop and focus on their core menu. Work on making the sandwiches the best you can in the QSR first before offering breakfast too!!!

    • MaryLSU (to Angel)

      Organic foods have hidden additives and chemicals as well. Organic foods–meats, vegetables, fruit, breads and others have to be eaten within a day or 2 otherwise they spoil. They also cost depending on the item 100% more than conventional foods.

      • Angel (to MaryLSU)

        So what? It’s better than what they are serving. Get a delivery more than once a week. Since they have the most locations compared to any other franchise, can’t they get a deal on bulk? If I was a supplier I would be wining and dining them to get their contract. I’m sure they can atleast get rid of the GMOs like chipotle.

      • Julie (to MaryLSU)

        ORGANIC lasts longer.. ARE you kidding me?? I have proven it .. ORGANIC in bulk is cheaper so get a BJ or Costco card. THERE are no pesticides. THE FRUIT and veggies taste even sweeter… YOU should compare !

      • Melody Nicole (to MaryLSU)

        Yes. Definitely get a BJ.

      • mackytack (to MaryLSU)

        what chemicals and additives are in organic produce?

      • Laura (to MaryLSU)

        Have you ever buy anything organic? 2 days really??!! Everything I buy is organic and last me way longer than 2 days and definitely is not 100% more expensive, I buy 5 lbs of organic carrots for $3.99 and last me over a week, frozen and processed food are actually more expensive…
        Is a proven fact that americans dont spend enough in their food, its for your own health! Get rid of the eveyday coffe and/or snack, hbo, fast food, eating out and other things you dont need and spend a little more in your nutrition, you will end up saving money by not having to pay medical bills :)

      • tommyboy (to MaryLSU)

        I agree. Unfortunately, the organic movement while being a positive endeavor, is not realistic about COST. Subway, and ALL other fast food purveyors, have to deliver a GOOD (not PERFECT) product at a GOOD cost. You want to solve the problems of the world via Subway? Maybe you just shouldn’t eat there. The vast majority of people in this world APPRECIATE a LOW COST MEAL, and can accept that ‘unknown substances’, or poisons as the health food crowd would put it, are present in their food. NOBODY wants a $10 dollar sub that is organic and devoid of preservatives. Decades after the introduction of preservatives in food, people are not dropping dead in droves due to their consumption.
        Eat someplace else, that’s my recommendation. If you don’t like whats on TV, change the channel.
        While I’m rambling, show me the study that confirms that doubly priced organic produce/other food is truly beneficial, and I’ll eat the paper. Pay double for a PURPORTED BENEFIT. I’m just too intelligent to do something like that. I need evidence to change my behavior. I’m not trying to dissuade any organic food fans, just playing devils advocate.

      • Bcabrera (to MaryLSU)

        They do not spoil within a day or two. The ONLY organic items that fit that description are berries. Come on now. Do you even eat organic?

      • Sarah (to MaryLSU)

        I do believe the only untrustworthy organic produce is on the floor with the non-organic in chain/commercial grocery stores. That fruit often has pesticides transferred through contact with moisture and air that passes through the non-organic, not to mention other methods of contact and contamination.

      • Andy (to MaryLSU)

        If you don’t want food additives, don’t buy from a company that uses them. Simple enough. Because personally, I love my additives and GMOs and everything else that gives me wonderful food at a lower cost when and where I want it. If you don’t like that, go live off your own garden in hippy-ville and leave the majority of us alone. Just don’t come running back to the modern age the first time you get a famine and your pretty ‘organic’ crops all die – instead follow your convictions and die with them!

      • Vee (to MaryLSU)

        In reply to tommyboy … boy, are you ever wrong. You said “NOBODY wants a $10 dollar sub that is organic and devoid of preservatives.” Well guess what … I do! And so do amount a million other people who have EDUCATED THEMSELVES and read books and blogs and reports by scientists, nutritionists, and doctors, and now understand that eating “Frankenfood” is killing us. You’re also wrong about organic food costing twice as much … it doesn’t. Take an afternoon and go see for yourself.

        People will always believe what they WANT to believe … “What, I haven’t heard that. It must not be true.” “Oh, that’s not what I think, and since I’m so intelligent, this new info must be hogwash.” Do yourself a favor … start reading, educating yourself, and being a true devil’s advocate. If you were so smart, you’d know that the best way to prove yourself RIGHT is to try to prove yourself WRONG.

        If I were you, I’d start today.

    • vole whisperer (to Angel)

      who eats breakfast at subway? even if it was made out of organic hippies something about breakfast at subway is just depressing.

  3. Sally

    GEEEZ where do eat anymore lol How do you know those tomatoes are full of chemical sprays? Spinach too??

  4. jay

    you know they’re $5, right?

  5. Mike

    The “pick-on” restaurant for January 2014 must be Subway. Honestly does anyone think that ANY fast food restaurant is selling wholesome, nutritional food, free of preservatives, chemicals, GMOs, pesticides, etc. and selling it for $5? Seriously?

    Take any fast food franchise you can think of…now put their name at the top of the chart. Randomly add their menu items on the left of the chart. Go take some various pictures inside and outside of the restaurant and replace the photos above…voila! Next month’s “pick on” restaurant.

    Do we want to venture into any high end sit down restaurants and look into the food they serve? How about what goes on in the kitchens of those restaurants? It will scare you too. Believe me.

    Anyways, regarding Subway, are there better alternatives? Sure. Are there worse alternatives? You betcha. If you are really that concerned, pack your own lunch. But if you do, don’t use any plastic wrap that contains diethylhexyl adipate, which most do.

    • Kelly (to Mike)

      The point of this was to DEBUNK their claims of “healthiness” and “freshness.”

      • Drake (to Kelly)

        …except no such “debunking” has occurred here – just a listing of scary buzzwords and fearmongering.

      • tommyboy (to Kelly)

        So, their food isn’t FRESH? It looks and tastes pretty darned FRESH to me. And I really never noticed their claim of HEALTHINESS in their last commercials/advertisements.

      • tommyboy (to Kelly)

        I agree with Drake. I ate there recently and the food was PRETTY DARN FRESH to me. And I never heard them boast of HEALTHINESS per se. What’s not HEALTHY about a low calorie sandwich where YOU can choose the HEALTHY toppings of your choice, relative to a cheeseburger.

      • Katie (to Kelly)

        Tommyboy, just because a food may APPEAR to be “fresh” does not guarantee its healthfulness for your body. The entire point of this article and the research behind it is that the products in the foods at Subway are made of junk that is designed to make you want to come back for more…hence MSG, nitrates, etc. These same ingredients are linked to cancer and various other health issues that are clearly stated in the article.
        I feel like you shouldn’t bother to read these types of blogs if you aren’t actually going to absorb the purpose behind the information.
        Ps. MOST of Subway’s commercials are all about the “freshness” of their subs AND the healthfulness. Have you all blocked out the years and years of Jared commercials???! He went on a Subway DIET! How is that not promoting a supposed “healthy” food?

      • Sarah (to Kelly)

        Kelly is completely right. This article is aimed at readers who are concerned about the chemical additives in many food products such as MSG, High fructose corn syrup, and the countless others. Why are we concerned? Yeah they taste great and the mental stimulation that feeds the addiction feels nice but these chemicals are carcinogenic, they cause cancer, and inflammatory, which promotes disease and the deterioration of the human body. Food that is created and aimed to hurt the human body should not be allowed, but it is, and it’s everywhere and some of the food is paraded as not bad for you, so we must know our enemy and know how to get by in desperate times, if we aren’t already in them. So go read your own articles if you can’t stand this stuff. Keep killing yourself with bad food, except please try to learn I don’t really want you to hurt….

      • Ariel (to Kelly)

        I agree with everyone here, in a sense. I agree that it is very important to know what goes in and out of our bodies, and even more so to understand that places like Subway might say everything is healthy, when there might actually be a lot of chemicals in the food. However, I also agree that there are a lot of other places that are about 9082713049812935819285 times worse than subway, and just about anything you buy anywhere will have these ingredients. so unless you start your own garden and wheat field and dairy farm and everything else necessary to keep yourself alive, and only use cutlery made of your own trees, never use a microwave and things like that, then you’re going to be exposed to all of these things. Subway just does a good job of making it as healthy as they can with all of the crap they’re working with.

    • Annie (to Mike)

      Actually there is a place who doesn’t have all that crap and is fast foot. It’s called in n out burger! I worked there a year and their ingredients are fresh as you can get

      • Laura (to Annie)

        In n out burger uses gmo cotton seed oil… And they discovered that the meat came from really sick cows & the bread is full of gmo’s, they may use “fresh produce” (more likely with pesticides) but still full of gmo’s

      • Nichole (to Annie)

        I can’t be the only one, but In N Out tastes almost just like McDonalds. So regardless of everyone’s claim on its “freshness,” I’m willing to bet their food isn’t really that fresh at all. Like Laura said.

    • pete (to Mike)

      amen .. additives are nothing new. there’s literally almost no food out there (even organic) that doesnt have at least some crap added to it and most the time it’s even more than the stuff subway adds. the world must be fed and demand creates the supply and transportation needs require everything mentioned to be added otherwise everybody would starve to death.

      • Maisie Clarke (to pete)

        But you ARE starving to death if you eat this crap. You will likely die of cancer first, though.
        Organic is better in every way, especially if you grow your own.

      • 87 going on 30 (to pete)

        To Maisie.. The last 3 words of your response to pete “grow your own” is the only thing that agree with on this entire subject. Thanks.

    • Candy (to Mike)

      I totally agree Mike. And about packing your own lunch, don’t consider making your own sub sandwich. The deli meat you buy (unless you go to a place like whole foods) is going to contain the same “poisons” that Subway does. And the bread isn’t going to be any better either.

  6. Scott

    While I am not a fan of any fast food if I have to make a choice in this category I will go the Subway route. I realize that the meat is full of nitrates and that bread just isn’t a good bread, it sure beets our friends at McDonalds, Burger King and KFC. Just pick wiser and if given the option pick local and organic.

    • Amy (to Scott)

      did you even read the article? The bread at Subway contains azodicarbonamide which the principal use of azodicarbonamide is in the production of foamed plastics as an additive.
      So you are basically eating plastic when you consume Subway.

      • Scott (to Amy)

        Wow that is just ridiculous! I don’t understand how they are able to get away with this “ingredient”. Thankfully I don’t eat any fast food for the most part.

      • Nichole (to Amy)

        and the bread at Mcdonalds contains? Probably something 100x worst than Subways bread. We all saw the videos of how McD’s bread doesn’t even mold.

        I do agree with Scott. Regardless of what’s in subways food, they are still a better alternative to McD’s, BK, KFC and all those places using way more disgusting ingredients. Granted, subway is something we shouldn’t be eating too often either, but if you’re starving, get subway instead of the other stuff.

  7. Luc Pichette

    How about the tuna?

    • vole wisperer (to Luc Pichette)

      haven’t eaten tuna since they took the marine mammals out of it. it just doesn’t taste the same.

      • Nate (to vole wisperer)

        See, I knew I was really craving dolphin all along…

    • Deanne (to Luc Pichette)

      I worked at Subway throughout my college days and the problem with the tuna is that it is more than 50% mayo. We would get the tuna in large cans and to prepare the tuna for sandwiches we added an even larger prepackaged bag of mayo to it. It really turned me off of the tuna – it definitely isn’t healthy.

      • ariel (to Deanne)

        DUDE i hear you. Once i worked at Subway I never wanted to eat tuna again. not even because of the tuna itself- there’s just so much mayo. so so so so much mayo.

  8. jesse

    Unless you grow your own foods, go to a farmer’s market, or kill your own cattle, you aren’t going to get anything without preservatives and additives. Welcome to America.

  9. Michelle

    Yes, it looks like your absolutely correct to say all the things you did in your article, especially about all the additives. But to single out Subway isn’t right. This is a problem with the whole American food system. The crap that the US allows to be put in their food is insane. You will also find all the additives and chemicals you listed as Subway adding to their products will be added to a large portion of the items your purchasing at the grocery store and other fast food and mainstream restaurants! I’d highly recommend the books / movie “King Corn” , “Wheat Belly”, “Pure White and Deadly” – there are a whole host of other books out there exposing what the government refuses to because their more concerned with the profit they’ll make from drug and medical companies. In all honesty, I think there’s really no hope for the United States. Sorry.

    • shelby (to Michelle)

      ..I totally agree..! ITS APPALLING that other ‘ substances’ not allowed in food in EUROPE are ” OK IN THE U.S”….adn you are also correct on the Government..which is why they DONT want people ‘ healthy”..! No matter what it said..its all garbage from the mouths of two faced politicians. No, its not JUST ‘ Subway”…the grocery stores and a lot of farmers are just as guilty! And you should not EVER apologize for the Truth.. ; good for you for saying it ! Dont people find it disturbing that the “P.C.” movement has made its way so far to the masses that they apologize for telling the TRUTH ..>!!! Thats another issue w/ this country, altogether .. NO ONE WANTS TO ‘ OFFEND ANYONE’.. and people apologize for being truthful. .BUT a lot of muslims and whoever can OFFEND US, the average population..???!!

  10. Rhonda

    I totally know how bad Subway is from personal experience! The ladies in my office decided to do Subway every day for lunch during a Spring get fit, loose weight plan. Within three weeks I had a large lump in my left breast. The only thing I had changed was eating the processed meats each day!! I knew better, I just didn’t realize how dangerous it is to our bodies! Had it tested, only a cyst, and I stopped eating the subway meats, it started to shrink. No doubt in my mind it was from the processed meats!!

    • karl (to Rhonda)


    • Kay (to Rhonda)

      Really, it only takes 3 weeks for a cyst to grow? Get real. It was probably growing for years. I’m glad it was benign, but you need to learn more.

      • Rhonda (to Kay)

        Kay, I have a a masters degree and Doctors reports so maybe you she learn more!!! Just love stupid people who have absolutely no idea what others are going through!! Why don’t you take your stupid ignorant comments to another blog!!!! Let me guess, high school drop-out sitting at home waiting for your check to come in on the 3rd??!!!! Go eat at Subway!!!

    • mary (to Rhonda)

      Have worked in the medical field for years-Radiology to be exact.Most cysts “seem” to be caused by hormones and hormonal changes.Not sure how old you are but many women start experiencing cysts as they age.It seems more to do with their cycle than anything else.Once you start getting cysts they will come and go for years.Once your hormones go away(welcome to menopause) so will the cysts.

  11. J.M.

    One study found by Cornacopia, you can find one study that will say most anything. You lose credibility if you are only going to reference one study that fits your argument. Here is a bit more info from Wikipedia: the take away is “It is yet to be determined whether such observations are pertinent to dietary safety considerations.”

    Carrageenans or carrageenins (/ˌkærəˈɡiːnənz/ KARR-ə-GHEE-nənz) are a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. Their main application is in dairy and meat products, due to their strong binding to food proteins. There are three main varieties of carrageenan, which differ in their degree of sulfation. Kappa-carrageenan has one sulfate per disaccharide. Iota-carrageenan has two sulfates per disaccharide. Lambda carrageenan has three sulfates per disaccharide.

    Gelatinous extracts of the Chondrus crispus (Irish Moss) seaweed have been used as food additives for hundreds of years.[1] Carrageenan is a vegetarian and vegan alternative to gelatin in some applications, although it cannot replace gelatin in confectionery like jelly babies.

    Carrageenan has undergone many long-term dietary studies under defined regulatory conditions en route to its current global regulatory status. While some indicate that carrageenan safely passes through rat GI tracts without adverse effect when it is a dietary ingredient,[2] other animal dietary studies have observed colitis-like disease and tumor promotion.[3] In the late 2000s, some scientists raised concerns about whether the amount of “degraded carrageenan” (poligeenan) in food-grade carrageenan may lead to health problems, leading to a debate in the research literature.[4] It is yet to be determined whether such observations are pertinent to dietary safety considerations.

    Europe prohibits the use of carrageenan in infant formula, organic or otherwise, for precautionary reasons,[5] but allows it otherwise. In the U.S., it’s allowed in organic foods, including juices, chocolate milk, and organic infant formula, as well as other types of foods.

  12. Fabio

    Who wrote this article? FoodBabe or Natural News?

    • Auntie Lolo (to Fabio)

      Woah, and that’s from 2013. Interesting.

    • GiGi (to Fabio)

      What is your point!?! It is not the same article. Food Babe has other articles on the Subway issue from last year as well. It is not a new topic just more push and focus to get change faster.

      • Jnine (to GiGi)

        It’s called plagiarism when you don’t reference the source, take whole sections of the article and claim you wrote them. Not sure which one came first, but they sure do read the same… Minus the colorful commentary.

        I’m all for awareness, but don’t claim other’s writing as your own.

    • GiGi (to Fabio)

      As I said, she wrote other articles on this topic. Someone is saying suggesting she may have not wrote the article because someone else wrote on the same topic in 2013, but didn’t do their full research because Food Babe wrote this article in 2012. Here is the link:

      We are here to support positive change in our food supply and instead people are here to shine wholes in her claim the article is Plagiarisms because they stumbled on something else and failed to do no additional research.

  13. Clarke

    If you want to see what a truly healthy fastfood place is, goggle clover of Boston. They are growing by leaps and bounds, a really amazing concept.

  14. Arthur Boogerhead

    I only eat my boogers, I know where they come from and there are not preservatives or chemicals…. high protein.

  15. Truthie Betold


  16. T.J.

    thanks food babe, I was in a similar situation as yourself, I was 27 overweight, high blood pressure and cholesterol, irritable bowl, a slew of other health problems, 5 or 6 different medications, I made many changes over the years with my diet and excercise, im now 36 150lbs I feel better now than in my early twenties, I try to be a power of example but sadly people don’t get it until they’re literally on deaths door, every day I do something else to improve my diet and my life, thanks for your activism, you’re inspiring

  17. Lia Huber

    VERY interesting. Thanks for digging this stuff up! I’ve never liked the taste of Subway bread–it always tasted “fake” to me … now I know why.

  18. A guy

    Ferrous gluconate is a freakin’ iron supplement. Just because humans named it something that doesn’t sound like food doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.

    Would you eat food with pyridoxamine, cobalamin and alpha-tocopherol? If you want to be healthy, you should, because these are the names of compounds we know as Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin E, and they’re essential to the operation of your body.

    • Sarah (to A guy)

      Extracting the specific component from a natural compound and then ingesting it is not smart. If you keep doing it, it’ll tell you why later down the road.

  19. Aaryn

    Food Babe! Help!! I’ve been learning about carageenan and want to avoid it, but it’s in EVERYTHING! I can’t find any milk alternatives without it. I can’t drink milk due to lactose intolerance. Carageenan is in my usual soy milk, coconut milk and rice milk. Do you know of any milks that do not have this??

    • Misty (to Aaryn)

      My son has a dairy allergy and we buy Rice Dream Rice Drink. We get the shelf stable one, not the refrigerated one. The front says Rice Dream Rice Drink and there is a yellow/red label on the left front that says NOW Organic. The bottom of the milk carton says Original Classic. I had to search all over creation to find one that didn’t have Carageenan in it but we finally found it and my son and I both love it!!!

  20. Kim

    Vani, are you wearing a shirt with smiling hamburgers? That’s a funny shirt for a vegan LOL.

  21. Chaz Wilke

    Well, I’m never eating there again. Thanks for the report, Food Babe! Keep up the good work!

  22. Max

    How do you eat anything ? Enjoy life. Eat subway. Eat Mcdonalds. Smoke a cigarette. We will all die of wifi cancer anyways. Stop being crazy.

  23. Brian

    It is only an asthmagen when INHALED in OCCUPATIONAL SETTINGS. Ingesting it does not produce asthma! There are valid reasons to remove it from our food, but asthma is not one of them.

  24. Skip

    Umm… Avocados turn brown very quickly after being cut – even when refrigerated. I can’t imagine the stuff Subway serves has no preservatives in it, since it stays green for hours. :/

    • Emma (to Skip)

      Oh thank goodness! I was searching and searching the comments before I posted mine about the color of the “avocados” because I didn’t want to repeat the same thing. I thought dozens of people would have pointed this out already! There’s no way those avocados have nothing added to them! They would be brown, no doubt!

  25. Aj Cookies

    Can everyone stop trying to drag out GMOs, “chemicals” and what ever other nonsense. Everything can cause cancer. Everything can be unhealthy. It is called moderation ladies and gentlemen. Without GMOs and “chemicals” you wouldn’t be eating the food and using the products you do everyday – even if you think you are being “organic”. You would be sitting in your garden waiting for your precious untainted lettuce to grow and find out some snail came and destroyed it while you were taking a potty break using toilet paper and hand soap most likely harvested from a non-organic crop and full of “chemicals”. Why the quotations around chemicals Aj? Oh well because people like to throw this dangerous word around like a toxin – which is the more appropriate word I think. Chemicals are everywhere people, they don’t just kill you… omg you ate acetic acid – thats a chemical.. oh what thats vinegar I put on my fancy salad last night. Let’s just eat whatever the hell we feel like and stop trying to propagate crazy nonsense. If you don’t like 50 ingredients in your bread – make your own, don’t eat at subway – but believe me, I will definitely be eating there (and elsewhere full of chemicals and cancerous agents) when I want a sexy chemical infused load of food in a a slab of bread. Point is, I think… we all die eventually – start enjoying it and stop trying to desecrate tasty things (just because you don’t like it) with scary key words like CANCER and CHEMICALS. Btw I am not joking when I saw cancer is everywhere. Take a cell bio class and you will realize your cells are trying to kill you anyway – like please, who makes radical metabolites that are proven to be carcinogenic and then throws them into their neighbours blood stream? Just saying :) but if you do manage to start your own full self-sufficient green house covered little farm free from the chemicals surrounding you and the cancer sitting in every thing you eat, please let me know – I will support your crazy ways by trying your not-yet-corporate product! (no seriously I will). Sorry for rambling and seeming to attack your subway thingy but lets just chill – its food – be happy you have it!

    • Sue W (to Aj Cookies)

      I know chemicals are everywhere and I know we’re all going to die and I don’t want to live forever but if I can reduce my chances of dying slowly and painfully of cancer then I’ll do whatever I can to reduce my chemical exposure and that includes not only the food that I eat but my skin care regime and the products I clean the house with

  26. michael P

    before you get ur panties all in a bunch regarding this article…..remember two things….1st it’s on the internet published by someone called “food babe”….2end, there is no referral to any 3erd party independent research lab that actually tested this observation or hypotheses…..Just b/c “food babe” said it’s this way, does it really make it so??

  27. ModernSurvival

    If I ordered a salad like that I would be starving within say an hour.

  28. Sondra René Eisenman-Torian

    It safe to assume that all restraunts.. will use the cheapest possible ingriedents. All of them are guilty of this, even those that promote healthy lifestyle . I rarely eat out and dont feed my kids food from restraunts.

  29. dudleydogooder

    I would expect Subway does not supply it’s chains with organic veggies or bans GMO’s so you probably just ate a plateful of pesticides and genetically enhanced garbage…good job there, food babe! : ) Might want to avoid recommending anything that someone makes at any fast food restaurant… maybe suggest people stop being lazy, go buy their own healthy organic ingredients and take the time to make something healthy with their friends and family. Now that’s real healthy living!

  30. Leah

    Such a pity Food Babe ordered and forgot to ask for her meal to NOT be then put in a plastic bag! It’s already in plastic, with plastic cutlery.

  31. DJ Rogue

    So…once the witch hunt against Subway is done, is Quizznos next on the list? I mean, not for nothing, Subway probably DID make themselves an easier target with their proclamations of eating “fresh”, but this is sounding more and more like an agenda against them. How ’bout going after the FDA for deeming azodicarbonamide suitable for human consumption?

    Though, I would STILL like to know what the reason behind the yoga mat chemical being in their bread.

  32. cant reveal

    I am sorry but this has got to be said. Organic is not GMO free! Unless you are buying from a farmers market and even then it is still sketchy! Hate to break it to everyone but 95% of the worlds freshly grown produce is grown with chemically enhanced pesticides. Who am I to say this? I worked for a company which sold the crop treatments that treat not only the produce after its grown but before and during. The soils they are grown in are treated 3 years in advance just to clear a brand new crop area!!! The chemicals placed on the ground are flown through because its soo toxic the farmers cant manually spray them!!! So highly toxic it clears small trees and shrubs from ever growing back! Thats just the initial treatment! Doesnt even begin on the before the crop is laid while its at its first three stages or the two or three treatments it recieves after its fully grown. Organic now a days simply means not treated after removed from the farm!

    • Soinia (to cant reveal)

      Really? Isnt the soil organic? And free from pesticides? How long ago did you work for this industry. I’m just trying to educate myself.

      • cant reveal (to Soinia)

        Really! I worked there for just about 6 months and other then it comes from the ground no its not. It is chemically treated there are several products used through out the process. There are ground treatments, leaf treatments, clearing treatments, pesticide treatments treatments used in assisting harvest. And out of rhe whole id say the ground/ soil treatments are probably the most volitile as in some cases straight nitrogen both liquid and solid form are directly wove through the ground to increase growth.

    • Soinia (to cant reveal)

      Please excuse my ignorance, nitrogen is organic. Plants need enough of it to grow. Nitrogen can come from manure and its many other forms. At least what I am understanding is plants need inorganic nitrogen to grow and thrive. Too much is too much which will hurt the plants. Is this correct with your knowledge base?

  33. mike

    Isn’t Monsanto worse? What can we do to get them shut down?

  34. Scott Douglas Lemoine

    Ultimately the problem is that whoever is in a position to determine our ‘safe’ level of exposure to these unnecessary chemicals, has and will continue to possess the utmost authority in the scientific world and the protection of the USG to maintain their position that all of these chemicals are safe. Along with the fact that most Americans would rather have access to cheap toxic mechanically processed food today, knowing damn good and it will increase the chances they won’t be able to afford the medication necessary to treat the diseases ‘linked’ to cancer in the cheap mass produced food they’ve been eating. That whole “we’ll pay for it later” mentality is a disease many different ways.
    What you have inspired so far is a significant and important first step Vani, congratulations!

  35. Dan Ruiz

    What restaurants ARE good to eat at? Please let me know your choices.Thanks

  36. TLA

    The first thing out of your mouth is to order the spinach? Non-organic spinach is the single most chemical-laden veggie there is.

  37. Jackie

    Oh for pete sakes……yet another person knocking another food chain. Don’t these people have anything better to do???!!! Bottom line is simple…….We all know “lunch meat” isn’t the healthiest thing on the planet…..but if we want to eat it we will…..everyone has a choice…..and personally I think Subway is a lot healthier than a double cheeseburger and fries……but if someone wants to eat that, that’s okay too….it’s their body. And Food Babe, F.Y.I. we all take a chance everyday with what we eat…… including meats and vegetables from the store…….have you not read about contaminated foods lately??!!! I think it’s hilarious to read some comments…..that people actually say they won’t eat at Subway anymore because of your article….oy vey.

  38. Jeremy

    Look folks – most of you have been eating preservatives, nitrates, MSG and GMOs your whole life. You probably don’t have cancer. Neither do your children. The only food poisoning you’ve ever had was from the “fresh” steak you bought at your local diner, or some piece of pork you didn’t cook properly.

    These things are ADVANCES in the technology of food preservation and preparation. If they weren’t at least relatively safe for consumption, YOU WOULD BE DEAD ALREADY.

    I understand the desire to eat natural foods and avoid man-made chemicals and modifications, but for most of us, it’s time to move on to the beauty of the modern age. These additives have revolutionized the way we store and consume food. These kinds of technological advances in the food industry could literally end world hunger one day.

    So stop being so paranoid. The food industry does not want to kill you. The better you feel after eating, the more of their product you consume. While it may not be especially healthy to eat fast-food every day, it’s highly unlikely to be the primary cause of your death.

    My guess is that getting hit by a truck kills vegans equally as easily as omnivores. Eat what you like: man-made or otherwise. As with everything, do it in moderation.

  39. Ariel

    I actually worked at Subway, and although i can agree that the meats do have preservatives and all that crazy stuff in them (honestly though, what deli meat can you buy anywhere without that stuff in it? unless you spend an obnoxious amount of money on organic), I can also say that all of our fresh produce is actually always fresh. None of it comes frozen or anything like that. we get the produce delivered weekly, and anything that goes bad doesn’t get sold. With the bread, we do bake it fresh (3 times a day where I worked) but it does have way too many ingredients. Also, I’d like to say that just because something is considered a “chemical” doesn’t mean it is going to kill you. and almost ANYTHING you buy anywhere, any fast food place for sure, is going to have artificial colors and refined sugars. literally anything. that is our society. so why freak out about the restaurant chain that is at least trying to be a little bit healthy instead of the places that make chicken nuggets out of mystery slime, and have over 1000 calories in their burgers?

    it’s subway.

    it’s sure as heck not perfect, but at least we don’t cook any of our food in a buttload of grease. #cardiovasculardisease

  40. Cindy

    Wow! What a real eye opener, thank you Vani for exposing this for us that really want to eat healthy. I thought that letting my son gave the turkey sub was one of the healthier choices & me having the veggie delight as well. Subway will never see myself or my family in any of their locations again! It just disgusts me that they claim “fresh” when all of those chemicals & additives are in their food! They need to make some serious changes!! Soon!!

  41. Daddy

    This chicks breasts better be organic, or this whole thing is a ruse.

  42. Gino V

    Problem is that no one actually grows their own vegetables or fruits. No one raises an animal and then butchers it to put on the dinner table. Organics just means that the animal or vegetable or fruit is healthy. Ignorance is Bliss. However once you are no longer Ignorant you can never go back, just like the matrix. should have picked the blue pill lol

  43. menu

    I just like the valuable information you provide on your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here frequently. I’m reasonably sure I’ll learn many new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the following!

  44. Neal

    Funny, I was on a road trip last week and I found myself in Kingman, AZ. As I’m sure you know, finding any sane food on the road can be very challenging. I usually pack my meals now, but ran out by the time I made it to Kingman. Anyhow, I found myself at Subway and ordered the Veggie Delight, bread and all. I was not feeling good about it, though, as I’m trying to stick to a GMO free diet and keep my processed food at a minimum. So, when I walked out of Subway I looked down the street and there was a Chipotle sign! I totally forgot that they went GMO free (for the most part) and so I had to stop in and pick up a veggie dish. I’m really liking where they are headed and I hope other “fast” food places follow suit. Way to go with the salad idea. Keep up the good work, super hot food babe!

  45. John Frank

    Bravo for putting the spotlight on the lie Subway keeps putting forth that it offers healthy food. I focus on salt content in my blog and have repeatedly warned people about the high salt content of almost every offering at Subway. Anyone with heart issues, such as I’ve had, needs to get all the hidden salt out of their diets ASAP, eating at Subway will not help with that, unless you only get salads. So-called reduced sodium lunch meats still have more salt that a person should eat in one meal:

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  47. Suze

    Subway food is disgusting and I am not even counting the fact that it’s gmo, processed or whatever. You can see for yourself the “avocado” is mashed up guacamole (and tasteless, and they charge extra for it in a salad). The “chicken” is pre-cooked cold meat that they heat up when they add it to a sandwich. They ask if you want the salad chopped. I never heard of it so I said yes. She literally chopped it into quarter inch shreds. It was not edible. Ten years ago I enjoyed their salads. As for their fresh bread, all of it smells too bready. It’s not normal bread. Their large photos of the special are lies. I got the prime rib whatever with cheese and it looked nothing like the picture. Two or three tiny specks of beef and couldn’t even find the cheese, and about half the size of the photo. Some false advertising. I could go on but I do not intend to go there again. This review is from having gone there twice in the last 5 years or so. Never again.

  48. Kelly (to Laura Brown)

    Keep in mind that the FDA approves many chemicals and additives that are “safe” but many people consume these so-called “safe” ingredients regularly- too regularly. MSG is a flavor enhancer; thus non-flavorful food with added MSG has a more appealing taste to most and then becomes a desirable taste/flavor. I agree, research-based evidence is beneficial, but even some published research is biased, or even inaccurate; read a little about some of the published research that have recently become misconduct cases- many involve cancer medications- anytime there is money involved temptation lurks.

    Bottom line, eat real food. I purchase meat and veggies from local (within an hour drive) farmers- it is time consuming, but actually much less expensive than buying from a local grocer and tremendously less expensive than eating out. And no, I do not have extra time as I teach high school physics and research and am in school full time. It’s all about choice. Everyone should read, educate themselves, and avoid food-like products when real food is available to anyone willing to avoid restaurants and cook. Unfortunately, people turn to quick fixes, whether it is restaurant food or information on the Internet, because it is easy.


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