When I first heard that Chick-Fil-A was going to start serving up Cauliflower Sandwiches, my first thought was… WOW… you can get a vegetable sandwich at Chick-Fil-A??!?
But my second thought was…
What are in those sandwiches? Knowing the crazy amount of processed ingredients they put in their chicken sandwiches (like MSG, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Potassium Iodate, and Dimethylpolysiloxane)… Let’s just say I was REALLY suspicious.
And now that I have the full list of ingredients for the Chick-Fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich in my hot little hands, it’s safe to say my suspicions were confirmed.
This sandwich is NOT what you’d think.
You’d think that you’re just eating healthy cauliflower in a simple sandwich…but NO…
And before you think that it is a vegetarian or vegan option…it’s not that either “due to its cooking environment”. (1)
Here’s the sad truth:
Chick-fil-A’s Cauliflower Sandwich is full of heavily processed unhealthy ingredients linked to cancer, heart disease, and obesity:
Chick-Fil-A’s Cauliflower Sandwich is spiked with three ingredients strongly linked to increased obesity:
- Soybean Oil
- Natural Flavors
Just like their chicken, Chick-Fil-A couldn’t resist adding MSG to their cauliflower. Would you EVER add MSG to your healthy cauliflower at home? Of course not.
MSG is used by restaurants to make you crave their food so that you keep coming back. (2) It also makes you eat more than you should. There is simply no other reason to use MSG. It has been shown to help you gain weight, despite how many calories you eat. (3) This is why MSG is fed to rats in animal studies to make them obese! (4, 5) MSG is also an excitotoxin that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases. (6) This is one of the top ingredients to avoid if you want to lose weight or maintain your weight. MSG is found in the breading that goes on that cauliflower in this sandwich.
Natural Flavor is another ingredient that is similar to MSG. These are proprietary (ie. secret) mixtures created in a laboratory to make food taste irresistible so that you keep coming back for more. (7) Ever eat something and feel like you can’t stop? It probably had natural flavors added.
Companies won’t tell you what ingredients they use to make these flavors…it’s top secret and heavily protected. I don’t know about you, but I hate the idea of eating something with secret ingredients. Who knows what it could be!? We do know that natural flavors can contain preservatives, emulsifiers, solvents and other additives that can make up 80% of the formulation (such as: sodium benzoate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, and propylene glycol – none of which are disclosed to the public). (8) Chick-Fil-A adds “natural flavor” to the Honey Buffalo Sauce on the cauliflower sandwich, and also to the Butter Flavored Oil that they spread on their buns (which is mostly soybean oil, and no actual butter).
This is a very popular cooking oil used by most restaurants, but it also happens to be one of the most unhealthy oils out there. It’s widely known that Chick-fil-A uses peanut oil in their fryers, but you may not know that they use soybean oil in their buns, breading, and some sauces. Soybean oil is too high in omega-6 fatty acids and increases the risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurological conditions, and autoimmune diseases. (9, 10, 11) Several animal and human studies have found that eating seed oils (like soybean oil) increases obesity. (12, 13, 14, 15) The dramatic rise of soybean oil consumption in recent decades parallels the rise in obesity. (16, 17)
Soybean oil is also made from GMO soybeans (heavily treated with pesticides and Roundup) and the oil is extracted with hexane–a neurotoxin! During processing, whole soybeans are submerged in hexane to separate the oil from the protein. It’s possible that some of the hexane remains in the oil (which is why organic expeller-pressed oils are safer). (18) It’s much healthier to use organic virgin coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed ghee and extra virgin olive oil.
Still tempted to buy the Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich?
If you can stomach it, read up on other processed ingredients you’ll be eating:
Potassium Iodate: I was surprised to see this controversial dough conditioner in the buns at Chick-fil-A. Most store-bought bread brands have stopped using it and it’s thankfully becoming increasingly rare. This ingredient has been linked to an increased risk of cancer because it can lead to excessive intake of iodine when it’s used in bread. It may also break down in dough to form iodide (a Japanese study found that high doses of potassium iodide leads to cancer in rats). (19)
Xanthan Gum: This thickening ingredient in Chick-fil-A’s Honey Buffalo Sauce has recently been shown to actively alter the gut microbiome. (20) Gut bacteria is very important for our health and well-being, so disrupting this can have a negative effect on overall health. Animal studies have shown it to be inflammatory as well. (21) This additive is often made from GMO corn.
Potassium Sorbate: This preservative has been shown to be genotoxic to white blood cells, which could lead to cancer. (22) It has also been shown to damage DNA when it’s mixed with Ascorbic Acid (which is also an ingredient in Chick-fil-A’s Cauliflower Sandwich). (23)
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour: That healthy cauliflower is breaded in the most processed and refined flour known to man. It’s stripped of fiber and nutrients and is essentially dead food, so they “enrich” it with synthetic vitamins that are not from nature. It comes from a heavily hybridized wheat crop, which may have been pre-harvested with a spraying of Roundup weed killer, a chemical strongly linked to cancer. (24)
Sodium Aluminum Phosphate: This leavening agent in the breading contains Aluminum (a neurotoxin) which can build up in your body over time, especially if you have kidney issues.
Dimethylpolysiloxane: This de-foaming agent is added to the fryers at Chick-fil-A. It’s otherwise known as the main ingredient in Silly Putty. It was commonly used as a filler fluid in breast implants, until it was phased out due to safety concerns. If this substance is considered to be a hazardous ingredient when it’s placed inside our bodies, doesn’t it make you wonder why the FDA says we can eat it?
What is the point of this? Why is Chick-Fil-A even creating a “cauliflower” sandwich with so many processed ingredients?
I’ll tell ya why. They are jumping on the cauliflower trend to lure you into believing this sandwich is the healthy plant-based fast food option you’ve been dreaming about.
I get so angry when I see products like this because I used to be so duped by them! It checks all the boxes I’d look for… lower in calories, full of vegetables, easy to pick up on my busy lunch break.
Well thankfully, I’m duped NO MORE.
If you love Chick-Fil-A…don’t despair! I have some incredible copycat recipes that will satisfy your cravings without the nasty ingredients:
- “Chick-Fil-A” Chicken Sandwich Recipe
- “Chick-Fil-A” Waffle Fries Recipe
- “Chick-Fil-A” Chicken Nuggets Recipe
- “Chick-fil-A” Peppermint Chip Milkshake Recipe
- Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Recipe (try this instead of their sandwich!)
All of the major media networks (CNN, Yahoo, The Washington Post, USA Today, Fox Business) wrote about Chick-fil-A’s new Cauliflower Sandwich and never even bothered to investigate or report about the ingredients. All they did was promote it. It’s shameful! This is why it’s important to seek out independent investigative reporting on topics like this.
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P.S. Know anyone being tricked into buying the Chick-Fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich? PLEASE SHARE this with them.