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Here are the 55 ingredients in a Chick-fil-A Sandwich. Should you eat them?

QUICK LOOK:

  • Chick-fil-A’s famous chicken sandwich has 55 ingredients, including MSG, artificial colors Yellow 5 and Blue 1, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Potassium Iodate, and Dimethylpolysiloxane.
  • These additives are linked to several health risks, and some are banned or heavily restricted in other countries. 
  • Chick-fil-A has made some good progress in eliminating antibiotics, high fructose corn syrup, and TBHQ from their supply chain, but they still have a long way to go. 
  • Chick-fil-A’s new Mac & Cheese is made primarily with “Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread” – which is like that cheese in a can – and “Margarine”.
  • Food Babe investigates food brands and restaurants, revealing the truth about what is in their food. She has influenced how major food giants create their products, steering them towards more healthful policies.

Read More Investigations Exposing The Food Industry Here

I had an early love affair with Chick-fil-A. While in college, I’d eat there at least 3 to 4 times a week, sometimes more. I’d pick up one of their sandwiches on my way back from the gym and thought they were healthy because they were only around 400 calories. If only I knew then what I do now.

One of my first restaurant investigations was into Chick-fil-A (about 7 years ago!) That’s when I posted the ingredients in their chicken sandwich on my personal Facebook page and got an intense reaction from my friends and family – everything from horrified to “no one is going to stop me from eating those 100 ingredients of deliciousness….”

Ha ha, yeah, I once thought those sandwiches were delicious too. But I finally came to a point in my life where I realized that eating “food” full of artificial additives was making me feel and look horrible. It was not worth it.

I went on to write several blog posts about Chick-fil-A during the summer of 2012, exposing the unholy ingredients in the company’s sandwiches from antibiotics, to MSG, to artificial food dyes, to GMOs and TBHQ (1). This eventually got the attention of the executives at Chick-fil-A, and to my surprise they invited me to their headquarters to consult with them on how they could change their ingredients. I came to them prepared with a laundry list of what it would take to improve their food. I tried my hardest to convince them that they’d be surprised by how many people would choose clean, organic chicken sandwiches, if offered. And if Chick-fil-A did make their menu items additive-free, I promised them that I’d rent a cow costume or whatever they wanted and run up and down the street on live TV. That promise still stands!

Unfortunately it may be a while before you see me running around in a cow costume cheering for Chick-fil-A…

They did some outstanding work in implementing a No Antibiotics Ever policy for their chicken – the #1 suggestion I made to them (2). They also dropped the TBHQ and high fructose corn syrup – another suggestion I made (3). And then they made a big announcement about dropping artificial dyes from their sauces a few years back (4). Well…

Those same artificial dyes are still in the pickles found on nearly every Chick-fil-A sandwich. And there are dozens more health-wrecking additives still in their food. 

What’s still in a Chick-fil-A sandwich, and should you be eating it or feeding it to your kids? Let’s take a look, it’s eye-opening…

This is the complete list of ingredients in the Chick-fil-A Sandwich – some items appear more than once because they are used in multiple items, like in the chicken, and again in the bun.

CHICKEN:

1. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Filet – Not organic or pasture-raised, Chick-fil-A’s chicken is raised in large barns where the chickens likely spend little to no time outdoors (5).

2. Salt

3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – What is it that makes Chick-fil-A sandwiches so addicting? This ingredient is the main culprit! MSG is a flavor-enhancer and excitotoxin that excites brain cells to death, increases food cravings, and makes you eat more than you should (6).

4. Sugar – Refined likely from GMO sugar beets.

5. Spices – We asked Chick-fil-A what exactly is in their “spices” in the Chick-fil-A sandwich and they said the spices are: “black pepper, paprika, and mustard” and confirmed that this is the complete list in this sandwich.

6. Paprika

CHICKEN COATING:

7. Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour – Heavily processed flour treated with bleach to quickly make it white. It has no nutritional value and is essentially dead food, so they “enrich” it with synthetic vitamins that are not from nature (6).

8. Sugar – Again, likely from GMO sugar beets.

9. Salt

10. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – There wasn’t enough MSG added to the chicken itself, so they add it to the coating too.

11. Nonfat Milk

12. Baking Soda

13. Sodium Aluminum Phosphate – Stabilizer additive that contains aluminum, linked to neurological problems, and on EWG’s Dirty Dozen Additive Watch List (9).

14. Monocalcium Phosphate – Rising agent found in baking powder

15. Spice – This ingredient is listed twice in this sandwich.

16. Soybean Oil – One of the most unhealthy vegetable oils, known to increase the risk of obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases (6). It’s most likely made from GMO soybeans, which have been shown to contain high levels of residues from the herbicide glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) compared to non-GMO soybeans. Glyphosate was deemed a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). To extract the oil, the soybeans are typically subjected to intensive chemical refining with toxic hexane, bleach, and deodorizers (6).

17. Color (Paprika)

18. Water

19. Nonfat Milk

20. Egg

21. Fully Refined Peanut Oil – A heavily processed oil that is treated with bleach and deodorizing chemicals. All of the heat and processing that it goes through creates free radicals (10) – which are renegade molecules that damage cells in the body, triggering a host of diseases from liver damage (11) to cancer (12). Peanut oil is also very high in omega-6 fatty acids which promote harmful inflammation in the body.

22. Dimethylpolysiloxane – The main ingredient in Silly Putty is used as an anti-foaming agent in their cooking oil. This substance was also commonly used as a filler fluid in breast implants, which is being phased out due to safety concerns, but supposedly it’s “safe” to eat (6). It also can be preserved by formaldehyde according to the FDA. 

BUN:

23. Enriched Wheat Flour – Refined wheat flour in which the healthy part of the wheat is removed. The refining process removes most of the fiber, vitamin E, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins from the wheat. Some synthetic vitamins (not from nature) are added back in to “enrich” it (6).

24. Water

25. Sugar – This is the 3rd time refined sugar is added, this time in the bun. There are 5 grams of sugar in the entire sandwich – equivalent to eating about one heaping teaspoon of sugar.

26. Yeast

27. Soybean Oil – The 2nd time this unhealthy oil is found in this sandwich, and it will show up again.

28. Wheat Gluten – This additive is an isolated form of gluten, which is already present in the wheat flour used in the buns. It’s added to improve texture.

29. Salt

30. Cultured Wheat Flour

31. Vinegar – Likely made from GMO corn like most white vinegar in the U.S.

32. Calcium Sulfate – Also known as “plaster of paris”, this ingredient is used in some breads for many reasons, commonly as a dough conditioner/strengthener (13).

33. Monoglycerides – An emulsifier made from oil byproducts including partially hydrogenated canola and soybean oils – which contain artificial trans fat, making this additive a potential source of trans fat. Even trace amounts of trans fat are considered harmful to the heart (6).

34. DATEM – Another potential source of trans-fat, this dough conditioner is usually derived from soybean or canola oil (GMO crops) (6).

35. Calcium Propionate – Considered a safer preservative, but research published in the Journal of Pediatric Child Health links it to “irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance in some children” and long term consumption has been shown to damage the stomach lining and induce ulcers (6).

36. Ascorbic/Citric Acid – Although citric acid is naturally found in lemon and other fruits, the additive form is typically derived from mold made with GMO corn. Ascorbic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin C typically derived from corn too.

37. Enzymes

38. Soy Lecithin – Another super processed additive that comes from GMOs. Just like the soybean oil, it’s extracted from GMO soybeans with the neurotoxin hexane (14).

39. Potassium Iodate – This additive is banned from flour in Europe and several more countries as it can negatively affect thyroid function (15) but in the U.S. it can be used as a maturing agent in dough.

BUN OIL

40. Soybean Oil – That buttery-looking substance on their buns is not butter at all. Instead of real butter, Chick-Fil-A uses oils that are colored and flavored to taste and look like butter. Unhealthy soybean oil is the main ingredient.

41. Palm Kernel Oil – This semi-solid oil is used by the industry as a trans-fat-free replacement for partially hydrogenated oils (which were recently banned). Unfortunately, not only is it unhealthy for the body, but the cultivation of it is killing orangutans and destroying rainforests (16). This ingredient should be banned.

42. Soy Lecithin – The 2nd time this processed emulsifier is found in this sandwich.

43. Natural Flavor – The only difference between natural and artificial flavors, is that natural flavors are derived from things found in nature. Natural flavors are a proprietary mixture of chemicals and each flavor may contain up to 100 ingredients, including sodium benzoate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, and propylene glycol (none of which are labeled) (17).

44. Beta Carotene – A yellow color additive derived either from vegetables or synthesized in a lab from chemicals (18). This makes their “buttery” spread look yellow.

PICKLES

45. Cucumbers

46. Water

47. Vinegar

48. Salt

49. Alum – This ingredient used to make the pickles more firm is comprised of aluminum (a neurotoxin) which can build up in your body over time (19).

50. Calcium Chloride – Another additive used to make pickles more firm.

51. Potassium Sorbate –This preservative has been shown to be genotoxic to white blood cells, which could lead to cancer (20).

52. Natural Flavor – The 2nd time this proprietary ingredient is added to this sandwich.

53. Polysorbate 80 – An emulsifier linked to weight gain, inflammation and digestive problems (21).

54. Yellow 5 – Artificial dye derived from petroleum that is linked to allergies and hyperactivity in children. Artificial dyes have been found to be contaminated with carcinogens, such as benzidine (6). This is used to brighten up the color of the pickles, but simple turmeric could be used instead.

55. Blue 1 – One of the worst artificial dyes because it has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. This dye is also linked to hyperactivity and an increased risk of kidney tumors. Some research suggests it is a potential neurotoxin (6).

Does Chick-fil-A really need all these risky and artificial ingredients to make one delicious tasting sandwich??? Of course not. Most of these ingredients cut costs and make their food addicting so we keep coming back for more. This all means more money in their pocket, which comes at a great expense of our health if we continue to eat there.

And, how about Chick-fil-A’s new Mac & Cheese that everyone’s talking about?

When I heard Chick-fil-A say their Mac & Cheese is a  “classic” blend of cheddar, Parmesan and Romano… I didn’t believe it for one second. 

It’s mostly made out of “Pasteurized Processed Cheese Spread” – which is like that cheese in a can.

This is NOT real cheese. It’s made by mixing and heating cheese together with colors, emulsifiers, whey, salt and preservatives. This makes a “cheese food” like product that doesn’t separate when heated or get moldy as fast as real cheese.

Then they blend this FAKE cheese with FAKE butter… “Margarine”.

Margarine is made by heavily processing vegetable oils so that they’re solid at room temperature. Since partially hydrogenated oils were banned by the FDA (due to trans fats that are horrible for the heart) the food industry has found out how to skirt by this issue by blending unhealthy refined oils with “mono- and diglycerides” and palm oil. 

I can only imagine how many kids are going to be eating this Mac & Cheese along with chicken nuggets.

Chick-fil-A gets kids hooked with MSG…

Does Chick-fil-A have healthier choices?

When I examined the ingredients in the Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Grilled Cool Wrap, I still found soybean oil, yeast extract (alternative form of MSG), and natural flavors

The chicken on their salads is spiked with MSG, unhealthy refined oils, flavors, and more preservatives. Those colorful chips on top are artificially colored with Red 40 and Blue 1. Why can’t they just use uncolored chips?

The cheese comes with a side order of “powdered cellulose” (i.e. wood), which keeps the shredded cheese from sticking together but is also linked to weight gain and digestive problems (22).

And then there’s the healthy-sounding Superfood Side…

What COULD be a super healthy menu item – kale and broccoli – is ruined with the addition of yeast extract (a form of MSG), natural flavors, synthetic preservatives, and unhealthy oils (soybean and canola). It even rings in with over 30 ingredients – many of them completely unnecessary. Chick-fil-A really missed the mark here.

If I absolutely HAD to eat at Chick-fil-A… What would I eat?

I’d order their Market Salad without the chicken, nuts, granola, or dressing, as that is where most of the unhealthy ingredients are in this item. Or maybe the Superfood Side without the unhealthy dressing and toppings, which just leaves me with kale and broccoli. But… we both know that’s not going to happen – it’s just as easy for me to just make a salad at home and no one is forcing me to eat there. And, who really wants to go to Chick-fil-A and not have their chicken?!?

If I totally just ruined the Chick-fil-A Sandwich for you, I have great news…

I figured out how to make a “Chick-fil-A sandwich” at home that tastes exactly the same (even better, seriously!) with none of the nasty preservatives, dyes, and MSG. Ok, yes, it takes a bit more effort than standing in line at Chick-fil-A, but it’s actually pretty simple to make and you can even enjoy it on Sunday!

Get my “Open on Sunday” Chicken Sandwich recipe here

If you know anyone in a serious love affair with Chick-fil-A, please share this blog post with them. Who knows, maybe they’ll surprise you with a deliciously organic homemade “Chick-fil-A” sandwich next time you see them!

Sign up here for my free email newsletter to get more breaking investigations like this sent straight to your inbox. 

Xo,

Vani

P.S. There’s a newer fast food chain that I love, The Organic Coup (in California) that makes certified organic chicken sandwiches that are out of this world. The founders are friends of mine, but no, they didn’t pay me to mention them. I just love what they are doing to bring organic fast food to more people!

 

 

 

References:

  1. https://foodbabe.com/chick-fil-a-or-chemical-fil-a/
  2. https://foodbabe.com/chick-fil-agrees-go-antibiotic-free/
  3. https://foodbabe.com/breaking-news-chick-fil-a/
  4. https://www.nbcnews.com/businessmain/getting-dye-out-chick-fil-cleans-buns-sauces-2D11689346
  5. https://www.chick-fil-a.com/About/Great-Food/~/link.aspx?_id=45ACF92FD0FB447AB2F24D9F2DEDC5D1&_z=z
  6. https://foodbabe.com/ingredients-to-avoid/
  7. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.22
  8. https://www.fairwarning.org/2010/08/an-adverse-reaction-to-food-labels/
  9. https://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives/food-additive-watch-list
  10. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/peanut-oil/
  11. http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/3/604.abstract
  12. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants
  13. https://culinarylore.com/food-science:does-bread-contain-plaster-of-paris/
  14. https://chriskresser.com/harmful-or-harmless-soy-lecithin/
  15. https://www.cseindia.org/whats-in-our-bread-6408
  16. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/10/palm-oil-orangutans-multinationals-promises-deforestation
  17. https://foodbabe.com/the-differences-between-artificial-flavors-natural-flavors-organic-flavors-and-other-added-flavors/
  18. https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article/2/2/69/4970186
  19. https://www.livestrong.com/article/540321-what-foods-contain-harmful-aluminum/
  20. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887233309003853
  21. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/food-additives-linked-to-obesity-digestive-problems/
  22. https://foodbabe.com/are-you-eating-this-substance-that-lines-food-industry-pockets/
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137 responses to “Here are the 55 ingredients in a Chick-fil-A Sandwich. Should you eat them?

      1. Annie, it seems to me that Chick-Fil-A is being very transparent about the ingredients that go into making their food. You are trying mighty hard to say that Chick-Fil- A’s food is fattening and bad for you. By the way, how much are you charging for your book? It seems to me that you’re trying to profit from them. Just sayin’….

      2. Vani, #52- Natural Flavor “is” MSG! You said so yourself. Why do you have MSg and Natural Flavor listed S separate ingredients when they are the same thing(PRESERVES!)????

      3. Geez. Thanks for the info. I can’t actually remember the last time I ate at CFA, but good to know. Any info about Bojangles? They’re across the street from CFA.

      4. Helllo Vani
        Thank-you for this information about Chick-Fil-A . I just read yesterday that McDonalds is looking to compete with their own version of a Chick-Fil-A sandwhich, because Chick-Fil-A just became the 3rd largest fast food company in the world due to people loving their chicken sandwhiches. They had to jump over 4 other big chains in order to gain this new spot. I wondered why they were able to do this so quickly! Well the MSG explains it all! MSG makes food taste good as it excites your brain cells, some of those brain cells die which is why MSG is a brain toxin and an addicting one at that.
        Alll those people lining up to the drivein window to take their brain cell toxin in the form of a chicken sandwhich. McDonalds and the rest are no better. That explains the long lines wrapped around all the fast food places at breakfast, lunch and dinner, these people are clearly addicted to the deadly ingredients in the food. McDonalds frachise owners as well as Chick-Fil-A and the rest of the fast food restaurant millionaire owners make so much money off their food addicted patrons, they are no better than drug dealers.
        I have warned many people of the dangers of fast food myself and often the response is, ” Well it must be good, look at the long lines around the restaurants, they must be doing something right.” Well we all know their secret now and I will notify everyone I come into contact with, whether they want to know or not. We have a very sick population here in the U.S.A. and we cannot afford to carry on like this into the 21st century, we as a country need to regain our health. And for the commentors all discussing the religion and politics of their support for Chick-Fil-A, supporting them is all well and good but don’t eat the food and lose your health over it, Chick-Fil-A is not going to pay your future medical pills caused by their food! Chick-Fil-A does what all corporatiins and companies do, the put money and profit first! Thank-you Vani, I have been reading your blog for several years and have read your book! I share my food knowledge and have helped loads of people just sharing the knowledge you give.

    1. At a time when Chick-fil-A is peaking in sales and popularity and overtaking the fast food industry, this appears as just another unnecessary attack, be it for political reasons, competitive reasons, religious reasons, or whatever the case may be. You went to extreme lengths to besmirch their name with your excessively lengthy article, even making the faith of the owners with the facetious term “holy” ingredients. I suppose they’re the only restaurant using these ingredients? Stop the hate, bias, and attacks. Stop the prejudice!

      1. As someone who works in the basement that helps make the food and lemonade I’ve only seen natural stuff and there’s someone who works cutting up full chickens and preparing them into patties and nuggets and there’s another station where there is a woman chopping lettuce and eggs and meat for salads I had to help make the lemonade with a box of lemons though it requires a crap ton of sugar idk if every chick fil a does this but the one I work at does

      1. @Ryan…..Keep telling yourself that and keep eating it then.

        I retired from the food manufacturing industry 15 years ago after a career of 30 years. Our main competitor used MSG in their products and my company did not. We successfully marketed against that product for years and took market share from them.
        If MSG is so safe and good, why are more and more food products prominently labeling….”No MSG”….”MSG Free”?

        There are many people who are allergic to and get reactions from eating MSG. A lot of people have the allergy and don’t even know it……Heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, sweats, headaches…..to name a few. Not to mention its addictive component.

  1. Oh no, say it ain’t so!
    No longer stopping by. Will definitely be cooking at home.
    Thanks for your info.

    1. Like the comment above – Chik-fil-A is being transparent. What about all other fast food sandwiches? Liberals seem to like to “pick on” Chik-fil-A.

      1. I agree…where is his criticisms of the other fast food joints? Guess Chick-fil-a would not hire him!!! Almost all restaurants get their supplies from the same sources so what is true for this one is true for them all. Any idiot knows that fast food is not good for you but the phrase ‘everything in moderation” seems to have escaped the masses.

      2. You really just went political on a fast food article? With a stupid comment like that, it’s highly likely you missed the entire, underlying, point of the article.

      3. Everything in moderation is a statement that applies to ingredients fit for human consumption, of which some of these are not. If you apply a dose of reason, consider that kids are being fed this food with little or no choice and certainly no grasp of the underlying data. This site it ripe with trolls.

  2. Don’t forget the glyphosate that the wheat is drenched in just before harvesting. That glyphosate is then ground into the flour and other wheat products that are used.

    1. Unless it’s made from ORGANIC wheat they ALL are filling you up on Glyphosate by the ton. BK, WAWA, Wendy’s, McDonalds, etc!!!! Poison, just poison!

    2. If you are that worried about the wheat they use in your bun, you shouldn’t be eating out at 95% of restaurants currently in existence. I don’t see the need to pick on a particular fast food restaurant.

      1. You are absolutely right Bill. As far as I am concerned ALL fast food and ALL chain restaurant food is garbage and is has gotten worse over the years instead of getting better. As these huge chains get bigger and bigger it is virtually impossible for them to use quality and clean ingredients and maintain a price point……Hence smaller and smaller portions and poorer and poorer ingredients.

        I eat out very little anymore as I nearly always get stomach issues afterwards…..never happened years ago.

        And to those on this thread saying Vani is “picking on” C-F-A, she is not. She has gone after most all chain/fast food restaurants…..The obesity epidemic is rampant in the US and one of the main reasons is the awful food that is produced here and that the obese people are addicted to. Vani is attempting to inform people, if you don’t like what she says, you don’t have to read her articles and visit the website.

  3. Vani,

    Please keep up the pressure on them… Politely that is – I like Chick Fil A because of some their principles they’re standing by.

    But I believe most of us would be more than willing to pay more for clean food, and I doubt it would hurt their sales.

    1. Then stop wasting your time “putting pressure” on one of the good guys (compared to other fast food restaurants). If you are that concerned and want to make a difference, start your own “clean food” restaurant.

  4. Um, what’s wrong with paprika? Otherwise I agree with you. I am totally disgusted with Chick-fil-A because although I like their attitudes in general, I have pointed out to them numerous times CHRISTIANS DO NOT POISON CUSTOMERS. They do NOT listen!

  5. Vani Hari is spot on with this exposition of truth. Sadly, here in Tennessee, according to the CDC out of Atlanta, Tennessee has the most overweight and obese children in the country from ages 10-17. We are fast tracking to be the most obese state in the Union!
    We witness on a daily basis the lines wrapped around the Chick Fil A restaurant filling orders for these growing bodies with nutritionally depleted products. I say that as objectively as possible since I have yet to witness a child in that age range order one of their salads as a main entree.
    I would love the opportunity to meet with them as well, since nutritional weight loss is the main service we provide in addition to Nutrition Response Testing.
    God Bless You Vani for courageously sharing the truth, despite knowing it will draw fierce opposition at times.
    Dr Tim

    1. I’m sure the children aren’t obese because of their sandwiches. As for salads – the kids are not buying the food-their parents are! The lines around Chik-fil-A are not only because of their delicious food, but also the vast number of people who support them because of their values.

      1. Are you kidding me? the fact that CF is willing to have all these horrid ingredients into their food supersedes any other great values they might have. customers come first, obviously they dont care about theirs !

      2. Anyone who buys food for any reason besides the taste is an idiot. If I like how something tastes, THAT is the determining factor for me. People need to keep political reasons out of it.

      3. Well, we liberals have been getting hired there right and left. I wouldn’t eat at one. No better than taco bell.

    2. Having lines at chick fil a locations doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the reason tho. You’re being deceptive/ misleading

    3. Chic fi le isn’t making TN kids fat. Sitting on their butts playing video games instead of getting outside is. Kids don’t play outside like they used to.

  6. Thank you Vani, for sharing this information. It comes as no surprise. It saddens me to know that for the most part (exceptions obviously), if you don’t cook all of your own meals at home with healthy and organic ingredients, you are probably risking your health by consuming additive and chemical laden “food” from many of these quick chains. It’s really shameful that so much of our society is totally driven by profits, not by nurturing the health of our people. The executives, at not only Chick Fil A, but ALL fast food establishments should be ashamed of themselves!! I wonder if they eat their own food lol.

  7. NO fast food is healthy (was it ever?) and clean food is getting harder to find. Most people blindly trust the food supply but they really need to teach their kids what not to eat. Thank you for keeping our attention on this! It’s no coincidence Americans are getting sicker and fatter.

  8. I would hate to see what is in Mc Donalds, Burger King, Wendy’s etc. I do NOT eat any of this stuff. Nasty

    1. What’s nasty about a Whopper? Flame broiled beef Patty (or impossible burger alternative), lettuce, pickle, tomato, onion bread, sauce. Basically the same ingredients used for burgers grilled in backyards across the US.

  9. Anyone who eats fast food more than in an emergency, needs a lesson or two in planning. Put together a menu for the week every Sunday after a big food shopping trip. Make some things like pasta sauce or bone broth and freeze it so it’s ready when you need it. Not to be harsh, but bring your lunch to work every day. You will also save a lot of calories. Buy a crockpot and let your dinner cook all day so it will be ready when you get home. When traveling, have some beef sticks, fruit, veggies and keto bars or other organic food bars, a thermos of coffee with you so you have a healthy snack and only have to stop for dinner.

    1. I respectfully disagree with your comment. There are many people, myself included, who do perfectly well with planning but simply lack the time necessary to do ‘a big food shopping trip’, put together menus, and spend an entire day cooking for the week ahead. It is definitely not for lack of trying that many of us fall short in this arena – it is a lack of time. Trust me, if I could somehow ‘plan’ for more time in the day, I would. Fundamentally, I think this is one of the root causes of our nutrition issues in this country.

      1. How much time do you spend on media daily? Smart phone, computer, TV, video games, texting? Gym, nails, massage, pedicure, yoga?
        Prioritize your time. Cooking good healthy meals is far more important than ANY of the aforementioned.

    1. Yeah this list and this lady are beyond ridiculous!! Eating CFA OCCASIONALLY is NOT going to hurt a thing obviously!! I’m SOOO unbelievably tired of the OCD health freaks shoving their info n beliefs down everyone’s throats when so much of what they say is only hyped up BS taken to the extreme end of the spectrum!! NOBODY can totally avoid everything unhealthy for ourselves and if you even try,you’ll only succeed in lying to yourself, spending more time and money,and basically driving yourself nuts making only a small insignificant difference in your health over the long term so what’s the damn point?! Go live a lil while you can instead of being freaking miserable and obsessive!! Your article only makes me wonder what your real purpose is and what you’re being compensated for behind the scenes so go get a life already.

    2. I’ve never had a Chick-fil-a sandwich, but next month when they open a near-by restaurant, it’ll be my first stop. Who cares what’s in them, so long as they taste OK, and are reasonably competitively priced. I don’t have $7 or $8 to waste on dinner, but an occasional $4 or $5 is do-able.

  10. In other words just starve! I wish you would do this same thing with McDonald’s, Burger King, Hardee’s, and Taco Bell. I’m sure they’re much worse but for some reason you don’t like Chick-fil-A! Some educating is also necessary. Just because a chicken can’t wonder around outside doesn’t make it less healthy. Just because the oats coming from Canada have been sprayed with Roundup doesn’t mean the wheat grown in Kansas is. It isn’t! Also you’re dislike of GMO is uneducated. GMO is genetically modified, which means the genetics are mixed. Like if I take an Angus bull and breed it to a Hereford I will usually get what cattlemen call a Black Baldy. I’ve genetically modified the calf. That’s GMO. Also there’s no way to tell by sampling grain if it’s organic or not. The grain buyers make the farmers sign a piece of paper saying their grain is organic. However they always get far more organic grain than what seed was planted could ever produce. So often people eating organic or GMO free food are eating the same as the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to eat like my great grandparents did. However I’m quite sure no one wants to work as hard for it as they did. Whenever possible let’s grow a big garden and eat at home but don’t feel bad when you can’t by eating a somewhat unhealthy sandwich at Chick-fil-A. Don’t even think about going to McDonald’s though !

      1. @Pam…..Amazing how the trolls(MSG defenders) are out on this article. Obviously if they had spent any time here over the years they would know Vani isn’t “Picking On” C-F-A, she has gone after ALL of the fast food and chain industry.

        She is attempting to inform….educate people but they reject it. Sad.

        Ignore the trolls.

    1. Unless I am mistaken, gmo is a modified seed that is developed to live after being sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, without affecting said plant.
      Crossing two or more strains or varieties results in a Hybrid variety of said plant. Done for disease and drought resistance, not chemical resistance.
      Research before you comment please and thank you

      1. Try actual research sites instead of forums next time. There is no research ANYWHERE that indicates GMOs do anything bad for anyone. At all. EVER. I promise. I just googled it. Arlen’s point was that you fear the term GMO over what it is. You really think you are eating the same exact plants your ancestors ate tens of thousands of years ago?

        You might want to do some research yourself before complaining that no one else does research. You’re already on the internet, so you’re almost there!

      2. @Erin……I assume your post is sarcasm…..”There is no research ANYWHERE that GMOs do anything bad for anyone. At all. EVER. I promise. I just GOOGLED it.”

        LOLOLOL….eyes tearing.

  11. There aren’t 55 ingredients. Not only are you repeating ingredients between parts of the sandwich, but you’re repeating ingredients within individual parts. Nonfat milk is 11 and 19. Then you’re counting paprika on top of spices when it is a spice. You’re counting MSG on top of salt and spices when it’s both. You’ve counted water three times and salt four times. How about you put the real number of ingredients instead of fluffing the numbers.

    1. Haha – you make a good point… that would be one way to count it… but I wanted to depict exactly the ingredients in each component of their ingredients accurately as stated on CFA’s nutritional information.

  12. What ground breaking reporting! I’m angry this came up in my Google news. It’s obvious you spent a lot of time preparing this article and I give credit where credit is due, however you are going up against a very formidable foe: the Chick-fil-A loyal. You failed to present an argument that will convince anyone who doesn’t already hate Chick-fil-A to cease eating there. If we aren’t taking in garbage through our mouths, we’re taking it in through our eyes and ears. That’s the real problem today.

  13. This is good information, thank you!
    If you’re ever in Arizona you should check out a place called Salad and Go. It’s a fast food salad place but they are constantly improving their menu to offer clean organic foods and eco friendly items at a fair price. Their stores are popping up all over the metro areas. I’d be interested to hear what you think.

    1. Can you guarantee animals were not killed in the process of providing this restaurant with leafy greens to provide their patrons? Can you 100% say the farmers who grew those crops did not kill multiple animals in wildlife to grow those crops? Idk if you know this but eating green does not mean it doesn’t have blood on its hands. Because it does. The farmers who grow these crops kill every living thing they see. Turtles, birds, squirrels, insects of various kinds, rabbits and many more. Whether it be by poision, guns, or traps. So you see nobody is perfect and no restaurant is perfect.

  14. Everyone from McDonald’s to Starbucks (aka chemicals in a cup ) you will find many of the same ingredients and chemicals in their food and drinks . People like what they like regardless of the ingredients even if you do tell um what’s in their food. Even many so called Organic companies will put in wonky preservatives. So it comes down to the consumer choice ..and reading labels. I haven’t had fast food in years plus I know as a former food handler what goes on behind the scenes in fast food restaurants, dropped on the floor? They’ll send it on through… so no thank you .

  15. Hmmm, let’s see. Delicious food. Ingredient transparency. Makes Liberals crazy mad. Funds a lot of great charities. What’s not to love!? I’m off for Chick-fil-A! Yum!

    1. I’m a liberal, and it doesn’t make me mad. I don’t eat there very often because I don’t care for how it tastes. I’m more if a KFC or Wendy’s guy. If gay people are offended by their policies, then don’t buy their food.

  16. Well what about those of us who like chick-fil-a just the way that it is? No food chain is perfect. Not one!! My personal expiernece with chick-fil-a has never made me feel any type of way physically speaking. I will continue to eat my chick-fil-a regardless of what someone else’s opinion of it is. I see more danger to your health getting inside a car and driving down a freeway than a chick-fil-a sandwich. We live in a world where drug addicts are shooting up in the park where kids play and an over whelming population of homeless who would LOVE to have a chick-fil-a sandwich just the way it is. Organic isn’t always the best choice just like being vegan/vegetarian doesn’t mean animals don’t die for you to eat. The farmers who grow the crops to provide vegetarians and vegans with food kill numerous animals in the growing process to protect their crop. Turtles, birds, squirrels, rabbits, insects, are all killed my farmers to grow crops. Hardly something to be proud of.

  17. Thanks for the article. You actually ended up pointing out how good a sandwich Chick-fil-A makes compared to most other fast food joints. I was pleasantly surprised to see a minimal number of questionable ingredients compared to most major chains. You should avoid using “likely” and “heavily” as terms though because they aren’t scientific and take away from your credibility.

    1. Likely is about as legitimate as probably. When I hear either one used I immediately think, they don’t know so they are guessing.

  18. Alum is a basic ingredient in pickling that was once common to find in the pantry in the days when it was common to make your own pickles. Lots of “Looney Tunes” cartoons would show a person accidentally consuming Alum and their head would shrink like cucumbers do when pickled. But this doesn’t happen. It was a joke. Yeah it’s a “chemical” but, it’s as harmless as salt. If you are not convinced then stop eating pickles because they all use it, unless they are “quick” pickles.

    Also since citric acid/ascorbic acid is both harmless (citric acid) and helpful (ascorbic acid or vitamin c) does it really matter that it was produced by gmo corn? I’m not sure I mind getting the extra vitamin c. I kinda like it.

    1. YES, it certainly matters that ANYTHING is genetically modified – it’s been doused and grown with RoundUp (Glyphosate) which is a known carcinogen.

  19. Hi,

    I went once to one of their restaurants about 20 years ago and never set foot in any of them again since. It was obvious the food was pumped up with all kind of rubbish. I was nauseous for the entire afternoon afterwards.
    In any case, you forgot to mention one of the worst ingredient: the large dose of Bigotry they inject in their awful food.

  20. I don’t eat fastfood at all and haven’t for years. However, this article isn’t going to stop anyone from eating there. You might as well write an article saying ALL Fast Food is BAD for you! People don’t care. If they eat fastfood, they don’t care what’s in it. This is why the US has millions of people with diabetes, heart disease and multiple other chronic health problems. If they wanted to eat healthy, there’s dozens of articles and books to tell them how to do it but those who aren’t interested, just aren’t interested. They’d rather think their health issues are inherited so they can’t do anything about it or that the universe struck them down with diabetes or heart disease so they can’t do anything about it except pop a pill.

  21. The author kind of misses the point here. They’re trying to get a fast food chain to be healthy when in fact it’s far easier and better to get consumers to eat healthy by taking fast food out of the equation. At the end of their article they even admit knowing the obvious, it’s all about cost in the fast food business and cleaning up your ingredient list and going with more natural alternatives greatly increases the cost that consumers simply wouldn’t be willing to pay versus the competition. Anyone who is truly bothered by the number of ingredients in a fast food chains menu should be making their food at home with natural or minimally processed items they have purchased at the grocery store.

    1. Ryan – Hi there, I’m the author… Yeah, I actually agree with you – but how do you get people to stop eating fast food? 🙂 I think investigations like this are very persuasive!

  22. Thank you so very much for this article and for what you are doing. This is mind blowing and powerful knowledge.

  23. Want to avoid most of this mess? Avoid fast food in general. And even better for your health, the environment, and the animals everyone claims to love – avoid eating animals altogether. So, you know, you stop supporting a sick system that makes people, well, so sick.

  24. Please make a fries chicken sandwich and count the ingredients too. Make sure to count salt 4 times, sugar 4 times….

  25. I would like to forward this to my friends, but I don’t see a link to do that via email. I don’t use social media. Please help me spread the word.

  26. Well first of fast food isn’t health. And 2nd of all chick fil a is fast food and never claimed they were healthy. If you went to any fast food company and told them to go pasture raised none would do it. The fact that they even had that meeting with you shows a lot about their character. Carls Jr tried an all natural burger, no one bought it. People aren’t going to chick fil a because it’s healthy. They go cuz it’s fast food and for fasst food it tastes way better than your typical fast food ( McDonald’s, burgerking, Wendy’s, zaxbys etc)

  27. None of this matters to me since I have Chick Fil A so infrequently. Forcing people to eat healthy and cook at home is just not going to happen. Should folks eat healthy, of course! You choose what you put in your body; no one should be forced to eat only certain foods. There are far more threats to health than just food. Now I could really go for some delicious Chick Fil A nuggets right now!

    1. No one is forcing anyone… this investigation is about knowledge – what people do with it, is none of my business 🙂

  28. Just another angle to attack an overtly Christian company…
    If you can’t bring down the people you hate with anti-moralism and protests, try this angle.
    I guarantee your Whole Foods and local business ‘coffee shoppe’ have the same list of compiled this way.

    1. Because they are used multiple times…….the chicken itself has ingredients, seasonings…..the also coating has ingredients(some different, some the same)……the bun also has ingredients(some different, some the same)…..the pickles have ingredients…the mustard has ingredients…..etc.

      Get it? Go to the store and spend an afternoon reading the ingredients on the back of food labels(the fine print). It will help you understand………It may scare you too. A good place to start is Costco in the prepared frozen food aisles.

  29. Ok , now….. eating at Chick-fil-a is not the big problem no more than eating at all the other restaurants who have their little dark secrets.
    Nor does it have anything to do with being opened or closed on Sunday. Even who they chose to hire. Believe me, we are a nation of hungry people. Who are addicted to food ,and addicted to drammy and gossip and finding fault and lots of other things .

    But to let you know I really appreciate this information . I really wish all of the food industry would gather this type of information and have to display web sites on their packaging .to give the good and the bad of what is in our food .

    What a travesty , the lack of information we have allowed . We as smart intelligent , educated people have not demanded more information .
    Let me thank you again and say I too am guilty of not seeking out answers myself . I appreciate information that is positive and needed .
    Sincerely FRANCES

  30. There have been multiple studies showing MSG isn’t the danger it was made out to be. Also chick fil a doesn’t hide their ingredients. Funny how everyone is trying to tear them down now that their on top, but you won’t succeed.

    1. ……..And, there are multiple studies showing MSG…..”Is”…..a danger, and addictive.

      Next.

  31. CFA is just like any other fast food. You cannot expect completely clean and non processed ingredients in a product that gives us a tasty meal in a fraction of the time it would take to cook and make the meal at home. That being said, you shouldn’t be eating fast food all the time nor should that be your life style. Once in a while it might make sense depending on your situation. Your article isn’t really eye-opening in any way other than an attempt to draw attention to your blog and to draw attention to a franchise that has been serving customers with kindness and tasty fast food for years. I think for me as well as others who have experienced the customer service and food at CFA, this article just comes off as a passive attack on the organization imo.

  32. I wish my superpower was the ability to give Internet time-outs to people who spend their precious time on this Earth to leave unfounded, uneducated, and unasked-for comments on websites. Thanks for the info – I already subscribe to the “if it wasn’t in Grandma’s cupboard, I don’t eat it” philosophy for the most part…was good info to troll my “I’m happy to put my and my family’s health in jeopardy to make a political point and to do my part in this ‘war on religion'” friends, though.

  33. IM A LIBERAL, so what? I LOVE CHIC FILA! Dont like the food dont eat there! But this is pure haterism of a wonderfully Christian owned company. Thank you JESUS for them and their chicken. Of course evil wants to destroy them but no weapon formed against them shall prosper. Now I’m going to franchise one Food haters.

    1. Lookit. Chick-fil-A has multiple poisons in its food. It has nothing to do with its politics or other practices, which I AGREE WITH. But Christians have NO BUSINESS poisoning the customers.

  34. Can you please look at the new Sam’s Club Chick-fil-a comparable that just rolled out?

    I’m sure it’s more than likely no better, but if it’s pretty similar and cheaper at least people will know.

  35. Thank you so much for this. PLEASE REVIEW ZOES KITCHEN!!! They are so horrible, refused to give me ingredients when I contacted them.

  36. I read a bunch of the comments, and I am absolutely appalled at the number that just shrugs off your information, Food Babe. Why do they even bother to come read your stuff? Some people said it would be too expensive to make fast food without harmful ingredients. Hey, tell that to Wendy’s! They manage it. There is no reason Chick-fil-A can’t manage it as well.

    You are doing a very important service. Obviously, the number of critical comments shows you have your work cut out for you. But let’s face it. If people cared what they ate, fast food restaurants would be a thing of the past.

    1. I’m sure Chick Fil A will now go after you, Vani, spreading false information and trying to discredit your work. You can see that they’ve already mobilized in the comments on your blog. Why would someone who doesn’t believe in the important work you do even be on this website at all? I have felt so much better since I started watching the toxic ingredients that I eat.

      I have avoided Chick Fil A for years because I didn’t particularly feel good when I ate their food. Now I understand after reading the ingredient list. I’m extremely sensitive to a number of the toxic ingredients. I also didn’t find the taste all that appealing. But what really doesn’t taste good to me is that this company funds bigotry. So I’m glad that I don’t give them any of my money.

      Vani, thanks for the work you do. I’m sure it gets old to have the toxic food companies forever attacking you. I for one can say that you’ve helped change my health for the better, and I know I’m not alone.

  37. Please stop recycling the “MSG is an excitotoxin” meme. Totally bogus and discredited for decades by now. MSG is world-tested by 1 billion Chinese people who use MSG as liberally as we use salt, and there is no resulting epidemic of harmful of effects to show for it.

    We even have taste buds for detecting the stuff. That’s why everyone likes it.

    I appreciate your work exposing unnecessary artificial ingredients. Stick to that.

    1. Bruce – I encourage you to look at Rat Studies and consumption of MSG. That’s enough data for me.

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