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Dissecting In-N-Out Burger (Gross or Healthy? You decide!)

Updated: See end of post.
 
There’s some good news and bad news I need to share with you about the beloved In-N-Out burger chain. I started investigating the food at In-N-Out Burger for so many reasons. There is a ton of hype surrounding these restaurants. The burgers are quick and simple. People actually drive dozens of miles out of their way to eat there. I’m sure you’ve seen all the celebrities that tweet about this place and show pictures of them eating it, and for some reason it has this untouchable cloak around it that makes it seem healthier than McDonald’s and other mainstream fast food restaurants.
 
Even Eric Schlosser, who is one of the most influential food investigators of our time that helped to change the way that I and so many others view food when he wrote Fast Food Nation, once said about In-N-Out: “It isn’t health food, but it’s food with integrity. It’s the real deal”.  

But is it really???

FB_DissectingInNoutBurger640x480_2
 

Up until this point, In-N-Out Burger has refused to tell us exactly what is in their food, which should make everyone skeptical… 

They have such a basic menu, but they don’t list ingredients online and blatantly refuse to tell you the full list of ingredients when you ask. I’ve gotten lots of emails from readers that are frustrated about this too and asked me to reach out to them. Just like when I first investigated Chipotle back in 2012, In-N-Out describes their food as made fresh with quality ingredients: “We don’t freeze. We don’t pre-package. We don’t over-process. We just make things the old-fashioned way”.

Well, if that’s true – why hide the ingredient list?

I realize that In-N-Out Burger has been in business for a very long time, but it’s not the 1950’s anymore. People have woken up to the alarming amount of food additives that are used in most fast food places, and who’s to say that In-N-Out is any different? It’s time for them to publish their ingredients online like almost every other fast food restaurant does (and Chipotle and Starbucks do now!) This is an important step towards transparency that more and more customers now want and expect. 

My team and I spent months contacting In-N-Out’s Customer Service and spoke directly with some restaurant locations trying to nail down all of their ingredients. We were successful in obtaining some ingredients used by In-N-Out, but because they are unwilling to share the complete list they would only confirm or deny if specific ingredients are used – one, by one, by one (which is so ridiculous!)
 
Eventually last December, I sent a letter to the owner and President of In-N-Out, Ms. Lynsi Snyder, asking to chat with her to discuss my concerns. She declined without further comment. I moved forward by replying to her assistant and asking directly for a list of ingredients and also for their policy on the use of antibiotics in the production of their meat. A few weeks later on January 15, 2016, I received an email from Keith Brazeau, Vice President of Quality, with an exciting announcement!
 
In-N-Out Commits To Publishing Ingredients
 
He wrote: “we are already working toward publishing our ingredients. Our goal is to ensure this information is readily available to any customer looking for it; and that it will be useful, clear, and of course, accurate.
 
I’m thrilled that our behind-the-scenes pressure made In-N-Out Burger commit to publishing “useful” “clear” and “accurate” ingredient lists online, but when will they do it?
 
The size of their regular menu is super limited, so it really should only take an hour (or less!) for someone to add a PDF of the ingredient list to their website. This is not a difficult task and I see no reason why they cannot implement it immediately, do you? They also didn’t send me the list of ingredients, which they could have easily and quickly done. I followed up with them twice now asking for a timeline and haven’t heard back from them yet (but will update this post when they do).

How healthy do you think In-N-Out’s ingredients are going to be? Here’s what we already know… 

FB_InNoutBurgerFries_4

(We found the information above by asking Customer Service about each ingredient individually. I find it appalling that the corporate headquarters didn’t send this information to me after direct communication.)

1.  They admit that they use Cottonseed Oil to fry their fries. Cottonseed oil does not belong in our food supply and should be strictly avoided. This oil is made from a byproduct of the industrial waste from the cotton farming industry, which isn’t a food crop. Despite being one of the most prevalent GMO crops (designed to produce an insecticide), cotton crops still require an intense application of agricultural chemicals and that’s why cotton has been called the “World’s Dirtiest Crop”. Residues from these pesticides can remain in cottonseed oil according to data collected by the FAO/WHO Joint Meetings on Pesticides Residues in Food. If that isn’t bad enough, to extract the oil the cottonseeds are subjected to intensive chemical refining with toxic hexane, bleach, and deodorizers.
 
2.  They get their meat from one of the largest factory farms. If you drive on I-5 in central California – you’ve probably smelled it. I posted a video of what it looks like on Instagram – check it out here. Harris Ranch is one the largest concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) on the west coast – critics call it “cowschwitz” because thousands of cows can be seen crowded and walking in their own excrement.
 
3. The cows are raised with GMO feed. Study after study is revealing that meat raised organically and grass-fed is healthier for us because it is higher in healthy fatty acids, and is not raised with antibiotics or growth hormones linked to cancer
 
4.  The spread on their burgers and their shakes both contain High Fructose Corn Syrup. One study found that this sweetener can be contaminated with toxic mercury. HFCS has been shown to contribute to type II diabetes, especially in children
 
5.  Their burger spread is artificially colored with Yellow #5. This is the same dye I petitioned Kraft to remove from their mac & cheese (which they have done) because it’s derived from petroleum and linked to childhood behavioral problems that require a food warning label in Europe. If you add pickles to your burger, those are colored with yellow #5 as well. 
 
6.  We were able to get some of the bun ingredients from their supplier and released them in this post about fast food buns. They contain: Enriched Flour, Water, Sugar (from sugar beets), Yeast, Fully Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Calcium Propionate… (and may contain more ingredients that haven’t been disclosed yet). 
 
7.  They use the Artificial Flavor Vanillin, which is typically made from petrochemicals and paper industry waste, in their shakes. An awesome reader sent me this email recently:
 
“Years ago we used to eat at In-N-Out because they advertise “no preservatives” etc. But our family noticed that we didn’t feel good whenever we ate there, so we now just pack a cooler for road trips or try and find a Chipotle. A couple of months ago we stopped for gas on a road trip and went into an In-N-Out that was next door. I asked the manager what the ingredients were in the milk shake – the menu says “made with real ice cream”. He said he didn’t know, but had a company hotline he could call to ask about a specific ingredient. I chose one that I thought would tell me the quality of their ingredients – Vanillin. Sure enough, he came back to the counter and said their milkshakes contain Vanillin. The company keeps their ingredient list completely private and won’t share with consumers. I know many, many families who think that In-N-Out represents a healthier fast food option. Would you consider doing an investigation or requesting that they share their ingredients with the public?
– Jennifer

There is no time like the present for In-N-Out to post their ingredients, as we all deserve to know what we are eating and In-N-Out shouldn’t hide their ingredient lists from their customers.

But – the broader and more important commitment here is for In-N-Out to stop using meat from animals that are routinely fed antibiotics and growth hormones on factory farms. 

The routine use of antibiotics is a major issue that I’ve written several times about (here, here, here, here). I am continuing to work with several consumer advocacy groups (CALPIRG Education Fund, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union) to eliminate this practice.

In January, we sent a letter to Lynsi Snyder of In-N-Out Burger outlining the public health threat we are facing in regards to the misuse of antibiotics on farms and what In-N-Out can do address it. Specifically, we asked Ms. Snyder to develop an antibiotic use policy that prohibits their meat suppliers from routinely using antibiotics in the raising of their meat.

We received a response to our letter on February 16, 2016 from Mr. Brazeau at In-N-Out that stated, “we support Food and Drug Administration guidance on the use of antibiotics in livestock which were designed to protect both animal and human health.” 

The FDA’s new guidelines on antibiotic use do not go far enough. Here’s why:

The FDA’s policy is full of gaps and still allows for the routine use of antibiotics on animals that are not sick, and is only phasing out the routine use of antibiotics for growth promotion. The FDA will continue to allow farms to routinely use antibiotics to prevent diseases that the animals are at risk for when they are raised in crowded factory farms. As you can see, anyone who is following the FDA’s guidelines will be able to continue regularly administering antibiotics to their livestock and does little to curb its use. 

In-N-Out is a highly regarded chain that many people believe serves better food than other fast food competitors. It’s time to live up to their reputation and stop lagging behind companies like Elevation Burger and Shake Shack who have responsibly decided not to serve meat raised with routine antibiotics or growth hormones. Switching to sustainable grass-fed beef is one way In-N-Out Burger could meet this requirement and help encourage best management practices for animals.

Collectively, we made a huge impact last year when we petitioned Subway to stop serving meat raised on routine antibiotics and were successful. Now, we can do this again and we need your help!

Get Beef Raised On Routine Antibiotics Out

Contact In-N-Out Burger today and ask them to:

  1. Phase out the routine use of antibiotics and growth hormones across all of their meat supply chains

  2. Require suppliers to improve management practices and conditions for animals in their facilities, reducing the need for routine use of these drugs.

  3. Provide a more healthful and sustainable grass-fed option on the menu.

Make Your Voice Heard!

If you know someone who eats at In-N-Out, please share this post with them. We are creating a safer food system together and I love each and every one of you for getting involved! 

Xo,
 
Vani 
 
Update2/24/2017: Major press release announced on February 24th, 2016 – Over 50 groups are calling on In-N-Out Burger to: (1) Phase out the routine use of antibiotics across all of their meat supply chains. (2) Require suppliers to stop using beta-agonists and growth hormones and improve management practices and conditions for animals in their facilities, reducing the need for routine use of these drugs. (3) Provide a more healthful and sustainable grass-fed option on the menu. —- Make your voice heard!—– Keep sending them messages, tweets and calls to 1-800-786-1000. Share this news with your friends and family!
 
Update 2/22/2017: A member of the Food Babe Army notified me that InNOut Burger quietly switched to Non-GMO expeller pressed sunflower oil to fry their fries in some locations. My team contacted InNOut Burger and they confirmed this information, but that it is not their intention to switch in all locations. Some locations still serve cottonseed oil.
 
 
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169 responses to “Dissecting In-N-Out Burger (Gross or Healthy? You decide!)

  1. This is so sad. It would be so easy for In-N-Out to change their ingredients to be “Food Babe Compliant”. I really wish they would because In-N-Out is my favorite. I really didn’t want to know this information 🙁
    But it can’t be unseen and now I guess our only hope is to try to get In-N-Out to step it up and serve grass fed beef and non-GMO ingredients

    1. The best we can do is ask for change! Make your voice heard, I know it’s possible for them to do it the right way – for example, their competitors Elevation Burger and Shake Shack are using meat that is not raised with routine antibiotics.

      1. I’m sorry, but a place like Shake Shack can’t even begin to compare with In-N-Out. There’s no competition between them. Like none at all. They are two completely different concepts. The only thing they have in common is that they have “hamburger” listed as an item they sell. Instead of focusing on fast food places that get everything wrong, why not (for a change) focus on ones that do everything right. They deserve the attention.

      2. Carmen,

        When you say “those who do it right”, who do you mean exactly? I’ve never met a fast food restaurant who does it really right. And if no one makes a big deal out of it, nothing is going to change. Ever. I appreciate this post immensely.

      3. Hi Vani, I appreciate you being a game changer. I am sick of all the GUNK that is in our food supply. Personally, I don’t feel fast food industry intention from the get was ever to serve healthy food. Although there are many healthier options to choose from not at In n Out but many others. I still question the food grade quality of the chicken on my salad lol. For the most part I just stay away unless I’m desperate for sub par meal. I don’t expect much, this is the sad part not just for me but for everyone. I hope this doesn’t sound naive but I would really like to gut punch the FDA by forcing them to improve the GUNK across the board in our food standards. As long as their standards are low the consumers will continue to consume and the dollars will continue rolling into the fast food and food industry in general. I for one would like to see real changes made thru FDA. Thanks

    2. Food Babe you are fast to tear apart the In n Out chain and mention Chipotle as a great place to get your fix. How many cases of food borne illness has been on the news lately? All of them have been about Chipotle! Have you seen a more clean workplace and open grill area to observe your food being prepared and served?

      1. If you have been keeping updated with the Chipolte incidents, you would have found out that the investigation done proved that the food borne illness was planted in Chipolte more than likely from the GMO mafia. Yes that is what was reported. I’m not surprised, either. The GMO companies can’t stand it when someone speaks out against them. They don’t care about whether we eat healthy food or not. They only care about money. When testing several facilities they were able to prove the illness was planted. It did not come from any of the manufacturers they get their food from. Make sure you know your facts before reporting them. Chipolte is working hard to prevent this from ever happening again. They are putting more cameras in all their facilities and having meetings on training their employees to watch for this type of incident. Someone purposely went out of their way to make many people sick. This is scary.

      2. Suzzette you are a nut!!!! I did check out your “PROOF” and found it to be speculative and a NO on Snopes!! I did read all of the conspiracy thought police ramblings and personally don’t believe Monsanto would care about Chipotle!

  2. Fortunately this one is easy for me to avoid. I had in-n-out for the second time last weekend…I guess I really don’t see what the big deal is there. The burger was fine, the fries have a really weird texture that I just don’t care for.

  3. People eat too much and then want to blame the people they’re buying the food from for them being fat. Quit eating so much people and then you won’t be fat.

    1. Did you read the article? It’s not about getting fat from In N Out’s food. Weight gain has nothing to do with it. There are far greater risks to your health than obesity.

      1. Actually I do not think one thing affects your health more. GMOs and Antibiotics are certainly bad, but obesity directly or indirectly kills millions.

    2. Unfortunately you have fallen victim to the false notion that the obesity epidemic is caused by a lack of willpower. Some basic knowledge will tell you that toxic chemicals in our highly processed food supply are huge contributors to the problem. Ridiculously high sugar content in almost all processed food (and that includes artificial sweeteners) can screw up your metabolism, not to mention that eating a high sugar diet works on the brain to cause food cravings. This is all an oversimplification, but it doesn’t take much research to find out how and why toxic chemicals in our food are making us fat

      1. True, true, and true!! Rid the body of the toxins (Deep-sixed by the liver in fat to protect the body from its toxic, carcinogenic effects) and your body dumps the fat!

  4. Vani, this is a start. When I emailed in n out asking them for ingredient list, I received an email and call back. I explained I do not eat anything I don’t have the Ingredients for and my kids had a field trip coming up and I wanted to know if they could eat there. I received in n out gift cards but no ingredients. My kids have never had fast food. Thank you so much for leading the way and for the hard work.

      1. Not sweet, if you don’t know what you’re eating, or worse yet, you don’t care if you ingest the things Vani broke down in the hamburger diagram.

  5. Can you hammer The Habit on this too.? A few years ago they did post the ingredient lists of all their products. That list has disappeared as they expanded. People think they offer some good quality food there, but I know from when they did post the ingredients that they did use ingredients that were not of good quality from a ‘clean and healthy’ point of view.

      1. The Habit is a burger chain. They are another made to order, fresh ingredients, type of fast food chain.

      2. The Habit started in Santa Barbara CA. I have eaten there. They taste good but always good to know ingredients. Very popular in CA.

  6. What makes them any different from any other fast food corporation. I think if someone were to do this as a comparison for all top 10 fast food corporations. It would appear to be less of a direct attack. But then, I am looking for less drama and more of a solution based approach.

  7. Vani, I am so greatful for your constant research in this matter.. and thanks for caring so much for what we eat!! Love you!!

  8. I went directly fro meaning this article to the In-n-Out website and found the following ingredient list:

    Double Meat
    two 100% pure beef patties hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread, with or without onions, stacked high on a freshly baked bun
    4 x 4
    four 100% pure beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread, four slices of American cheese, with or without onions, stacked high on a freshly baked bun
    Protein Style
    your favorite burger wrapped in hand-leafed lettuce instead of a bun
    3 x 3
    three 100% pure beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread, three slices of American cheese, with or without onions, stacked high on a freshly baked bun
    Grilled Cheese
    two slices of melted American cheese, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread with or without onions on a freshly baked bun
    Animal Style
    burger of your choice with hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, a mustard cooked beef patty; add pickle, extra spread with grilled onions

    1. This is not the ingredient list unfortunately, this is just the main foods they use to make the burgers. This doesn’t say what’s used to season the meat, what’s in the cheese, buns, or pickles or sauce.

  9. Where are you getting that their fries are cooked in Cottonseed oil when their website specifically states that the fries are cooked in vegetable oil? If you can’t be trusted to truthfully communicate something that is so easily verifiable, how can you be trusted on other things?

    1. Robert – I want to encourage you to call and ask if you are questioning my research, they will tell you on the phone if you ask specifically about cottonseed oil – here’s the number – 1-800-786-1000

      1. I want to encourage you to check out their website: http://www.in-n-out.com/menu/food-quality.aspx where the information is listed and it says “100% pure vegetable oil.” Someone is lying here. I would think that a company with so much to lose financially for falsely reporting ingredients would do a better job of truthfully relating what is and what is not used. Wouldn’t you?

      2. Cottonseed oil is often used in a blend of vegetable oils – but In-N-Out should absolutely publish accurate information about their ingredients and this is why posting them online will provide transparency for consumers.

      3. Once again you’re not addressing the “100% pure vegetable oil” statement on their website. A “blend” is not “100% pure vegetable oil.” A multi-million dollar corporation would be a little more careful about putting untrue things on the internet, wouldn’t you think?

      4. I really like in-n-out… I mean really like them. Reading this was a bit surprising.. I called in-n-out. And Dave answered, I asked what do they fry their fries in.. He said cottonseed oil. No one likes to hear bad news, or have what they thought was one thing, to be another. @hal and @robert, Food babe did the leg work, even supplied you with the corporate number to call. Why don’t you call yourself and ask? Ask why the website says one thing, yet the person your speaking to, who works at the corporate in-n-out offices says something different from what is published on their website. It’s sad news, as I really like in-n-out. But… Great reporting @food babe

    2. In N Out is classifying cottonseed oil as a vegetable oil. I have asked three different locations over the years and any employee will happily tell you that they fry in cottonseed oil. One told me they used to use peanut oil but there are too many people allergic to nuts now so they switched to cottonseed oil.

    3. Robert – Yeah – Again, thanks for pointing this out. I agree – they need to be truthful on their website.

    4. Robert, you seem to be willfully misunderstanding the pretty clear responses to your comment. If you doubt the veracity of the claim that cottonseed oil is used to fry with, why not simply call the number listed and verify one way or another? A debate is based on quantifiable facts, and since you have only researched one source and refuse to understand that, as Vani stated, “Cottonseed oil is often used in a blend of vegetable oils”, your debate points fall short.

    5. Robert, this isn’t a formal ingredient list. And “100% pure” just means it’s all vegetable oil. Do more research, buddy.

    6. Robert, cottonseed oil IS vegetable oil. The words “100% pure” are meaningless, a marketing scam at best. All it’s stating is that whatever vegetable oil used in the product is vegetable oil. It can still legally be mixed with anything else, the oil itself can be laced with anything. “Pure” is a word the food industry has been using to trick the American public for decades.

    7. Robert, I’m a nutritionist, and can tell you there are several different oils that fall under “vegetable oil”. A vegetable oil is basically any oil that is plant based, as opposed to animal derived oils such as lard and tallow. Cottonseed oil is a vegetable oil, and so no one has been lying here. Peanut oil, canola oil, corn oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil… all vegetable oils. It is all in the wording.

  10. Just because you don’t care if you are poisoning yourself, don’t wish that on the rest of us. I greatly appreciate all the work that Food Babe does to try to make the foods that are available, more nutritious.

  11. I been trying to find information on ‘meat glue’ the product that binds meat pieces together so that a larger size of meat is Obtained, like the deli meat. what do you have on this?

  12. Just left a note on the In-N-Out Facebook page and got a boat load of flack from folks protecting their fries cooked in cotton seed oil. An angry mob to be sure. You must get a ton of hate mail. I just want healthy fries! 🙂

    1. That’s because cottonseed oil is perfectly safe. It is not and has never been a trash by-product of a cotton crop. This post will be deleted because the Food Babe can’t tolerate the truth.

      1. Hal – I’d love to see the data that shows it’s a healthful oil – have only seen the opposite.

      2. Your link says that cottonseed oil didn’t cause problems for lab animals. Not sure why you would post something like this. Hopefully you’re not crying fire when there is none like most on this site do.

  13. Vani, this is not surprising news. Any company that “hides” their ingredients list is, well … HIDING something. I hope you will next take on Culver’s, a similar chain of midwestern hamburger restaurants that sell an item called a “butter burger.” The list of ingredients/chemicals in their tartar sauce … wow … you should see it! And let’s not even get started on the condiments that chain uses.

  14. Wouldnt it be easier to create a petition everyone could sign and share to be signed on ? I hope yourr working on it already..

  15. Here is my two cents…. the planet can not sustain the current rate of meat consumption. Factory farming is responsible for 51% of global warming according the UN. So put down the meat, make wiser plant-based food choices, do some research on your own and make the world a better place!

  16. I went to the hospital to find out I had gallstones and had my gallbladder removed. Maybe one too many in and out trips? Unless they release their nutritional information I can never eat there and majority of their menu is already on the never again list.

    1. Blame your gallstones on how many trips to in and out you have made and other similar foods of high fat contents you have consumed

  17. I don’t know why people are surprised that a fast food hamburger chain isn’t healthy. I don’t need an ingredient list to tell me not to eat that crap.

  18. Thank you so much for this! I’ve sent a message to In N Out. My family is Californian, and we eat there as an alternative to McDonalds and Burger King. My mom saw me reading your post and asked what I was doing. I said, you don’t want to know! Then I told her that the Food Babe had exposed something that she *really* didn’t want to know about. In N Out was her third guess. I hope that In N Out will listen. I won’t eat there again until their treatment of animals has improved. They also need to improve their fries. We usually don’t get theirs just because we can make far better ones at home.

  19. I’m in Canada, and just rencently a “Carls Jr” opened in Guildford mall in my city, and I’m really just worried for all the line ups of people I see there. Cost of living is going up in Vancouver (Brisith Columbia) in gerenal and I’m starting to notice more people going to places like burger joints while real food is going up in price! It’s ridiculous! I really hope these places close down and replace with real food joints! As long as the Food Babe is fighting for us, we’ll have to all do our best to fight with her! Because places like this In and Out Burger are a many and they just keep killing us!

  20. Interesting article, but irrelevant to me, as I live in Texas, nowhere near an In & Out Burger. Have you done similar research on Whataburger? I shudder to think what the National Burger of Texas consists of. Keep fighting the good fight!

  21. I can get you the full ingredient list of the spread (special sauce). When california changed the law they started having to label the entire list of ingredients on the large bags it comes in. I assure you its scary, the list of ingredients is a mIle long and not easy to read.

      1. Doesn’t that kind of debunk your arguement? If somebody is able to get the ingredients of the bag of their spread packet then obviously they are letting the public know the ingredients right??

      1. @nicole, sorry but you are 100% wrong. I never said I know the recipe (less than a handful of people actually do), but the ingredients list is printed on the bulk bags of spread that the store associates use on a daily basis. and ill post a picture to prove it.

    1. Oh look my comment got deleted. You just lost a little credibility there. Again, this person does not have the list of ingredients. It is never given out because people can rip it off. They make the spread in house, nobody knows the recipe besides a few handful within the company!

      1. lol, now retracting that I have and will post the info? I used to work for them, but alas have moved on! You were being idiotic because I do have the info and I dont care if my IP is public there is nothing they can do. California law says the ingredients must be available. Why are you so hell bent on covering up for them? Me thinks you either used to or still do work for them. I cant wait until Food Babe posts the list and you get shut down.

    2. I’m not trying to cover for them, I’m just using common sense. They have stated before that they don’t give out the ingredients because people can then figure out the recipe and rip them off. I haven’t worked there but I do eat there several times a week for lunch. I also have several friends who work there. I will defend them to the moon and back. The last thing I want is for them to change the way they do things. Also, if you no longer work there, how can you get a picture of the ingredients?

    3. Also, everyone knows in n out is still fast food. Nobody is expecting it to be healthy. It is a much better alternative to McDonald’s though and any other fast food joint. The spread is similar to thousand island dressing. Guess what? People still buy it and love it! Nobody is going to care about the ingredients you post. Well the majority isn’t anyway. By the way, it is illegal to post private information like that. They can sue you. And they should, people try to rip them off all the time. It’s not about hiding ingredients because they are horrible.

  22. I was just wondering where I can find the research you did to support this article. Surely you can provide me with the links to the peer reviewed scientific journals that you had used for this. Websites and heresy do not count as research to support claims. Again please provide a list to backup you claims.

  23. Thank you for opening our eyes to this. My kids would like you to investigate Freddy’s. I love to educated them in food and always use you as a resource.

  24. Newsflash: No fast-food restaurant in the world will conform to our approved food list. Grass fed, pastured beef??? Can you imagine how much the burger would cost? Extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil instead of cottonseed? Fries would be double!

    My point is… why pick on In and Out? I’ve never been to one, I’ve seen advertisements, I’ve never once heard them advertised as “healthy”… so why pick on them? We know their food is crap. Just like McDonalds. And Burger King. And Wendys. And anyone else that puts beef on a gluten-laced bun. I don’t need an online ingredient list to tell me that.

    Instead, let’s educate people on the importance of cooking and preparing their own food, removing the need for these fast food joints. Educate people on better ingredient selection. Our lives depend on it.

      1. Well said Ryan. But why are some saying their fries are crap? They are fresh sliced potatoes? They are not frozen, processed fries like the other burger chains.

    1. ( to Ryan Smith) Elevation Burger fries their non GMO French fries in extra virgin olive oil. They also only offer grass fed beef for their burgers. Check out their website, they are a really nice alternative to fast food. They are transparent with their ingredient list & their practices. Several of their items are organic as well.

      1. (to Ryan Smith) Oh! The beef used at Elevation burger is organic, grass fed and free range. The chicken that they use is also organic. Their cheese is unprocessed and aged. Just thought I would provide a bit more info.

  25. You take the happiness out of everything. Just don’t eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything in moderation. You won’t die from having a burger every now and then.

  26. So if you don’t like how they make their food and what they do to it don’t eat there pretty damn simple

    this is America eat what you want and where you want but stop trying to dictate and scare other people into not eating things that you might not like I’ve been the third world countries where they eat cow poop and eyeballs and intestines and they do just fine dogs cats as well

    1. They can abort and rape there children to , but that don’t make it right . I believe we where created to do good and share our knowledge of good by helping others . Our knowledge keeps us from perishing . Why would we not want to share that knowledge with others ? I have 2 granddaughters one 3 the other 4 and when they are sick I hurt for them . and I take time to teach them and there parents what is better for then . You have a right to eat whatever you chose , The food babe has the right to share her knowledge and LOVE for others as well . She has no interest in closing this chain , her interest is helping this company keep there consumers health and alive , she is full filling what she was created to do . GOOD

  27. Hi
    I won’t argue there is still better choices they could make. But, if you recall the movie” Super size Me” He talked to someone from In &Out. They say other places use meat that comes from “many cow”.
    Processed together and made into a patty. Whereas In&out is at least using meat from 1 cow. A sad cow , maybe, but 1 not many.
    And at least the cut the fries so you know they come from an actual potatoes. Verses, a paste formed into a frie.
    Sure, there is progress they can make but I’m guessing there less risky than other places.
    I get sick a feel like junk easily from fast food. And that doesn’t happen from In & Out ,for me.
    Just houghts.

  28. I was told – by an In-N-Out corporate employee off the record – that all of In-N-Out’s beef comes from Niman Ranch, not Harris Ranch as you claim in your article. I didn’t think they disclosed their meat source to the public anyway, so I’m curious how you came to this conclusion. Thank you.

  29. Never been there and I definitely won’t try it. I hope they cave and post their ingredients. It should be a national law. People have the right to known at they’re injesting.

  30. I understand everyone’s concerns with what’s in our food. But I’ve been eating in n out for years and don’t see any problem with it. If you eat it every single day then yes it will be a problem! Everyone needs to chill out and just eat with balance and stop stressing out over things that we can’t prevent! If someone wants a damn in n out burger, go for it! Everything in this world is bad for us and so is stress!

  31. Or you can just stop eating it. Go to a more reputable establishment that makes burger, that’s if you can find one.

  32. It gets worse. HFCS is used in their shakes, ketchup and all soft drinks.
    My nephew is allergic to corn.
    Always had problems with the shakes until I had a Manager look at the box the shake mix came in.
    Grew up on In-N-out almost weekly – live a mile away from orginial stand.
    None of this was happening back then.

    1. Please tell me a restaurant/fast food establishment that does not have HFC in their ketchup? Because my daughter is allergic to corn too. We bring our own ketchup with us when dining.

  33. While In n Out may use these types of products or Not ( has not been officially validated) bottom line is what is the cost of producing their product ? If they indeed did everything the author called for would the price of a double double be 3.40/ea still ? Ask yourself could you go to your favorite grocery store and by the proper ingredients suggested in this article and make an equivalent hamburger for the price listed ? If you can now add packaging cost , labor, electricity to keep the lights on , labor taxes, insurance, ….. And now can you still make this burger ?
    If IN n OUT did what was asked if them I think the double double would double in price .
    Some people here should reevaluate their stand on the value of their comments

    1. My comment was recently deleted. As I stated before my husband has worked for the company for 16 years. This article is 99% B.S. There is a reason they are so secretive and don’t list their ingredients. Again, while I appreciate the authors intent to make fast food chains report their ingredients, there is no need for false information and slander of this company.

  34. For me personally, InNOut Burger is the best burger choice for my family. Having a daughter with food allergies, (dairy, gluten, soy, corn, egg, nuts) she is able to enjoy a burger (protein style wrapped in lettuce) and fries without any worry. Being able to eat FRIES is HUGE!! Most Burger establishments cook with soy oil. One of the biggest GMO offenders out there today. There is also a very popular burger establishment with a clown that has soy & dairy in their fries! So frustrating!

    You are comparing them to Shake Shack, which in my opinion, fails in comparison to InNOut! When I pulled up their nutritional page, this is what I found. Also, their online allergen page is unavailable. Sound familiar?

    Below is info I copied and pasted from the Shake Shack website:

    I have allergies. What can I eat?

    Peanuts, nuts and other food allergens are present at Shake Shack. If you have a food allergy, please refer to our allergen sheet prior to ordering and be sure to let our team know. We cook with 100% soybean oil.

    What are your gluten-free options?

    We’ll gladly accommodate a gluten-free diet at each Shake Shack upon request. Just ask our staff for assistance and they’ll be happy to help.

    What can someone with a soy allergy order?

    The soy in our burgers is contained in our buns, Shack Sauce, cheese and ‘Shroom Burger. While not ideal, we do offer the option to order our burger without the bun or Shack Sauce.

    Unfortunately, many of our hot food items contain soy. Based on your allergy, you should not consume our fries, cheese, bun, Shack Sauce, or the ‘Shroom Burger. You should be able to enjoy most of our shakes and custards worry-free, though!

    WHY…….will they not let you order a burger without a bun and sauce? Do they realize it is not a gluten free option when served in a bun? InNOut does! You can’t even eat the fries from Shake Shack! Boo! Hiss!

    While I am so grateful for all the work you do and I’m a huge supporter of of all those who fight against GMO’s, I feel InNOut is many steps ahead of most Burger chains. Based on your findings, I agree they can improve their oil, get rid of the HFC in the shakes and improve their beef supplier (that’s if those facts are true.) In the meantime, InNOut is our family favorite!!

    Sincerely,

    Christine Byram

  35. Correction:
    Just read that they go offer you the option to order without the bun and sauce. But they cook with 100% soy oil. Regardless, soy is in everything they cook!

    Sincerely,

    Christine Byram

  36. Correction:

    Just read that they do offer a burger without a bun and sauce. My bad. But they still cook with 100% soy oil.

    Sincerely,

    Christine Byram

  37. If you are going to have an opinion piece you should be open to opposing opinions. Instead of just deleting anything you don’t agree with.

  38. I haven’t eaten there since last year. I live on the East Coast. For many years when I lived in California it was the place to go. Love their food. We don’t have that here but we have 5 Guys which I love as well. Honestly people are going to eat there if they like it whether or not you find anything wrong with it. I am sorry but I don’t need you to police my food choices for me. If you don’t like the place don’t eat there it is as simple as that. Why can’t you just go to the places you like or you know what the ingredients are? Why can’t you just leave things alone? I am so tired of people bashing companies because they have secret ingredients. If you are allergic to something ask them if it is in their product. Stop policing other peoples choices.

    1. She isn’t policing your food choices. She is putting info out there for people who want to know, and encouraging those who want to know to act. If you don’t care, that’s great. Go eat it. She isn’t going to throw you in jail for it. Ha ha ha You people on here yelling at her for writing an expose article are hilarious.

  39. I never heard of “In & OUT Burger” before… I guess they don’t exist where I live. That said, I stopped eating out more than 3 years ago when I realized that there was no way to know what was in the food I was being served. As for people who know the truth and still refuse to avoid such places, it is their own health they are putting at risk; if that’s the way they want to live, fine. You can lead a horse to water and all that. Some people live in a permanent state of denial, and nothing will change that until they suffer a serious health crisis and have a major “Oops!” moment. I had that moment nearly 6 years ago, made the correct changes, and probably added a good 20 years to my lifespan. At least I’m healthier now than I was then, and it is because I made those changes that are so difficult to make: I paid attention to what I ingested. And, believe it or not, I spend less eating purely organic foods than I ever spent eating… whatever. Thank you, Food Babe, for all that you are doing.

  40. I was already not a big fan of their stuff. I am glad I don’t eat there any more.

    Definitely opened my eyes to cottonseed oil, though. Yech! I’ll be watching out for that from now on. I thought it was actually a healthy alternative until now.

  41. Thanks so much for this article. So sorry you have to deal with all the morons who are taking your writing as personal criticism. The world is crazy. You’re doing great! I’ll think twice before taking my kids here again.

  42. Thanks for writing this! So sorry you have to deal with all the crazies in the comments getting personally offended that you wrote this. I’ll think twice before taking my kids here again. Thanks again for your work!

  43. They don’t claim anywhere on their website or public forums that their food is healthier. It’s fresher because they prepare the produce in-house every single morning. Drive by the fishbowl kitchens around 12-2 and you can see people prepping cases of lettuce and tomatoes, and peeling up onions. They get shipments of everything they sell to customers every two days from centralized warehouses. Having said that, I challenge you to provide us with another QSR model that does as much as INO does to protect its mission statements while keeping prices as low as it does for the customers. It claims to provide a fresh and tasty product, not to be an option for health-conscious eaters.

  44. Thanks. I hate eating any fast food but do like In N out on occasion. Would really love to see them use healthier ingredients. I sent an email and also posted on their FB page. I really do hate FB! You dare say what you feel and the vultures come out and attack you. I decided to Block them all. Lol Need to go to bed and have a peaceful night. Thank you for all that you do.

  45. I’ve been going to In n out for over 50 years, since Baldwin Park. I’m 73 and so far so good. Haven’ t been much lately since I moved to Idaho 10 years ago. Having said that I’m trying to avoid anything from a CAFO, mainly for the way the animals are treated. The problem with grass fed AND finished organic beef is that it is quite expensive. Milk is about $4.00 for two liters. It does sort of help you cut down on calories consumed.

    How about Five Guys? I do drop in there every once in a while for the fries.

    The “finished” part above means the animal never sees a feed lot and is never offered grain.

  46. Darn! We were going to take some kids there next Sunday, but now that I know how really bad the food is, we’ll have to find something else.

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