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You Won’t Believe This New Fast Food Packaging!

When I first started this blog (7 years ago), I had no clue what an adventure it would be. I had no idea that anyone besides my own friends and family would read what I wrote. I certainly never knew that my investigations would inspire some of the largest companies in the world to change their ingredients and become more transparent.

I was shocked when I investigated the food I was eating and saw what was really in it. And once I realized the food that I was eating, wasn’t actually real food but full of processed chemicals, my health began to soar! Reading ingredient lists and knowing what’s in your food is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. 

When we ask what’s in our food – companies should tell us. Period. We all deserve to know exactly what we are eating.

That’s why I was pumped to hear what the new restaurant chain The Organic Coup is doing.

Starting today, The Organic Coup is the first fast food chain to start putting the ingredient list directly on the package.

The Organic Coup was the first certified organic fast food chain and has quickly grown to 12+ restaurants. It is even in Levi’s Stadium where the San Francisco 49ers play. I can’t wait for them to be on my side of the country! The founders Erica Welton and Dennis Hoover are formerly from Costco and spearheaded bringing organic offerings there, helping to make it the largest organic retailer in America.

Although The Organic Coup had their ingredients published online since inception, now when you eat there, there will be no question about what you are eating as it will be RIGHT THERE when you get your food. I know of no other restaurants who are doing this, and I think this is remarkable. Wouldn’t it be awesome if all chains did this?

At the very least, every restaurant out there should publish their ingredients for consumers.

If a restaurant wants to be a leader in the industry, they should have nothing to hide. Unfortunately that is not the case. Many big restaurant chains refuse to tell you what is in their food if you ask, let alone publish the ingredient list online. The FDA doesn’t require restaurants to disclose this information, so they are given a free pass to hide their ingredients from consumers. Restaurants will tell you that they won’t disclose ingredients for “Proprietary” reasons… as if they’re worried a competitor will steal their recipes. We all know this isn’t the real issue. The biggest restaurant chains like McDonalds, Subway, Taco Bell, and Burger King have had full ingredient lists published on their websites for years. 

Nonetheless there are some big holdouts. Big chains like Bojangles, Shake Shack, Quiznos, Panda Express, and Sonic Drive-In downright refuse to disclose what’s in their food (except for allergen info). When we called Little Caesars corporate offices last week, they told us they wouldn’t disclose the full ingredient list in their pizza unless we had a DOCTOR contact them. Isn’t that ridiculous?!! Is there a doctor in the house who wants to give them a call and get the ingredients for us? Other big restaurant chains like Red Robin will eventually provide ingredients if you call and pester them to death… but most customers don’t have that kind of tenacity. These restaurants serve millions of customers who have no clue what they are really eating. 

How can we inspire these companies to be transparent and publish their ingredients?

Years ago, one of my first big investigations was into Chipotle. They called themselves “Food with Integrity” – yet at first, they blatantly refused to tell me what was in their food. I found this astonishing, and of course, felt compelled write about it. I made it loud and clear on my blog that no one should trust a company that is not willing to disclose their ingredients. I wrote, “How can we trust Chipotle’s definition of ‘Food with Integrity’ when they refuse to post their ingredients or send the information to customers who ask?” People got so angry and frustrated that they stormed Chipotle’s social media pages. Someone even started an online petition on my behalf to pressure the company into being honest about how their food was prepared. We gathered 2,000 signatures almost immediately. Ultimately, this petition came to the attention of Chipotle’s corporate offices and the next thing I knew they were contacting me and agreed to publish their ingredients on their website. This was a huge win for consumers!

As you can see – putting pressure on companies to change their practices leads to actual results. Consumer activism and demanding transparency is very effective. We together are changing the food system and I could never do this alone.

ACTION: Join me in asking these restaurants to publish their ingredients! 

This simple action can make sweeping change and takes very little effort. To give you an example… here’s a message that I just sent to Shake Shack this morning. I will be sending similar messages to the entire list of chains below. Feel free to copy what I wrote, or make it your own… but please take a minute to ask your favorite restaurants to do the same:

Please publish the complete ingredient list for your food on your website. Customers are increasingly seeking ingredient information because they are concerned about food additives and their relation to health, or have other allergies and food sensitivities that are not provided on your allergen statement. Without full ingredient disclosure, consumers are left in the dark, which prevents them from eating at your restaurants.

Most big restaurant chains like KFC, Subway, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, publish their complete ingredient lists online. I simply ask that you do the same. I thank you in advance for listening to your customers and doing the right thing.”

Let’s make some noise! Send emails, post on their social media pages, and give them a call. 

Here’s a list of contact information for popular chains that refuse to publish their ingredients online. Pick one (or a few) and join me in asking them to be transparent and publish their ingredients:

Over the last few years, we’ve convinced some multi-billion dollar corporations, like Chipotle, Starbucks, and Anheuser-Busch, to finally publish their ingredients for the first time in history. And, we can do it again! Everyone deserves to know exactly what he or she are eating and our job will not be done until we all have this information.

Also, take a moment to thank The Organic Coup for spearheading the transparency movement by putting their ingredients right on the package. You can find them on Facebook here.

Thank you for being warriors of change along with me!



P.S. The more of us who take action, the more likely it will be that restaurants will be inspired to change. Please share this post with your loved ones and ask them to take action too! It only takes a few minutes.

UPDATE 4/30/18On 3/2/18 a member of my team submitted a contact form to Sonic asking for ingredient information. The email response from their Customer Support team said, “Sonic recipes are proprietary information, and by law, this prevents us from sharing them”...

A second request was made on 4/4/18, in which Sonic responded, To better assist you please reach out until your local Sonic Drive-In. When we subsequently called a restaurant looking for ingredients, the employees we talked to did not know where to find that information. We published this blog post the following week and many of you joined me in contacting Sonic asking them to disclose their ingredients.

On 4/30/18, the same member of my team received an email from the Sonic corporate offices with the complete list of ingredients in their Hamburger Bun…

We’ve since reached out for additional ingredients and will update again when we hear back. This just goes to show (yet again!) that consumer activism is very powerful. Please continue to join me in asking Sonic (and all of the other restaurants on this list) to publish complete ingredient lists for their customers!

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40 responses to “You Won’t Believe This New Fast Food Packaging!

  1. Isn”t Chipotle the first non-GMO fast food testaurant?
    If so, let’s tell people!
    Organic can be contaminated by GMOs.

    1. I have always heard that organic has to also be gmo free to be organic. Not that they would tell us if they changed the definition.

    1. Jill,
      I was thinking exactly the samething….Also they need to show the total amount of Sodium in there food…Wow so much salt in this Sandwich!

      1. Not being rude but isnt it the same almost everywhere if you go out and eat? The topic is about labeling ingredients not about the salt content or even fat content.

      2. Pretty much any restaurant you go to will have everything sky rocket high in sodium, and if not sodium then saturated fat or cholesterol. Also, who knows HOW they handle the food.

        I have a lot of severe food allergies which is the reason I NEVER eat out. Have had so many anaphylactic reactions from places my mum and dad took me too even though they KNEW it was extremely dangerous to do so.

      1. It would be great if you highlighted that the container is made of compostable pulp paper. A headline today: “A sperm whale that washed up on a beach in Spain had 64 pounds of plastic and waste in its stomach”. We need an Earth Babe.

  2. All it takes is the 1st one to post all ingredients, then others can follow, seeing the good PR in it OR be pushed/pressured to follow because other places are doing it.
    PR & advertising are a great thing sometimes.

    1. Maybe, however it will take a extremely long time for the places that use highly toxic ingredients to follow through as they do not want to change, use better ingredients in other countries, and try to hide the fact they use certain ingredients.

  3. I hate to say it, but I doubt very much that this will lead to very many other fast food chains following suit. Obviously this company has based its whole corporate image on having a clean and organic food ingredient list, and so of course they’d print it on there. It’s part of their marketing, plus they are rightfully proud of the list. But most fast food chains are not proud of their lists, and printing those lists on the packaging would be to their detriment rather than to their advantage, so I can’t see them doing it as long as they’re not legally required to do so. The laws really need to be changed.

  4. Hi Food Babe,
    I just posted two posts on In-Out Burger! Guess they didn’t like my second post about what is in there ingredients, cause they Deleted my second post right a way!
    Btw, I was Not rude at all.

  5. Panko bread crumbs have multiple ingredients but they are listed as one. That strikes me as odd. I’ve never seen organic panko bread crumbs in any store, I wonder where they source these.

    1. Check out Ian’s Panko breadcrumbs non gmo verified label. 4 ingredients Uncle ached wheat flour, cane sugar, yeast and sea salt made in the USA, found in co-op

  6. The name of the game is Organic. Unfortunately, there is more information slowly coming to the surface reflecting glyphosate; showing up in organics. In a few years, the Victory Gardens will reappear. If they currently have bacteria that eat petroleum released from oil spills, strains of Pseudomonas bacteria that actually nullify radiation from Japan’s accident then it is just a matter of time . . . Someone will bring to light perhaps another bacteria and or a group of bacteria that will eat and nullify glyphosate. The amount of new information about nutrition and how toxic our food chain really is, independent research has and is underway to truly meet these challenges and resolve them outside of the pharmo/medical/chemical farming industries strongholds; just like defeating the tobacco industry. It was not the government that stepped forward, it was the people.Our responsibilities are to educate everyone you can, buy organics and get involved with groups like ‘Mother’s Across America.’ We can create a massive consciousness shift in this country that will demand changes. They will have to make the shift or go bankrupt. .
    Changing the topic somewhat ::: Check out the vitality/nutritional punch the so-called weeds contain. They are powerhouses. Check out the book written by Katrina Blair . . . . ‘ The Wild Wisdom of Weeds,’a great message to be sure. Information on Dandelions/Plantain and CBD, to name a few, is rapidly growing. People are waking up, asking questions and want clear answers. Nature is the path and we are intrinsically linked.
    To get glyphosate out of the body’s systems has been accomplished through diet. Start by eating organic, drinking 1/2 your weight in ounces of clean water everyday and exercise daily to sweat that poison and others out. Organics/Water can and do synergistically heal.
    The last item is the power of prayer and it’s collective impact on society. With the changes/challenges that are coming, this will prove to be a major foundation. We must not forget our total makeup! We can choose to reach/express our full potentials,physically /mentally/emotionally and spiritually capabilities daily. The more we use them, the stronger they will become in our thoughts, in our words and in our deeds. We can act daily to grow within our full potentials and express them in our communities. God’s peace.
    p.s. ‘ . . .nobody makes an apple like Him . . . ‘

  7. Any restaurant that does not say they use 100% organic ingredients, I consider most of their ingredients are derived from GMO sources.

  8. I am not even totally sure why people are even eating at these places, to be completely honest and harsh. I don’t eat. Haven’t for probably 15-18 years now. But Chipotle I do eat at. That’s it. I make all my own meals at home. Or I take food from home with me. Or I cook away from home when on vacation or traveling. If more people did this, the fast food places would only cater to those who are uneducated and uninformed about healthy eating, leading to ONLY those people eating there. What would be the greatest thing in the world is if (1) everybody stopped eating there and they would go out of business, or (2) everybody would ONLY order the healthy stuff, thereby encouraging them to stock their menu with only healthy stuff. But neither of these are going happen, at least not in my lifetime. People, we have choices. The better choice is to not eat at these places, eat at home, bring your own food, or cook away from home. IT’S NOT THAT DIFFICULT, and don’t give me the song and dance about it being more expensive. If that’s your argument, then you should probably consider the long-term effects of ingesting cheap, unhealthy, zero-nutrition stuff some people would erroneously call “food” into your body. THAT’S EXPENSIVE with doctor bills, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, medications that cause symptoms leading to more medications, and just all-out not feeling well day-to-day so quality of life suffers.

      1. Thank you. By the way I am currently in school to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through NTA. I have studied nutrition for over 30 years in my spare time as a hobby, doing research and reading all kinds of books. I made the mistake of attempting to think I could take “nutrition” in college to become a dietician, but found curriculum is HEAVILY GEARED AND SLANTED towards the USDA MyPlate (f/k/a Food Pyramid) and that is total junk and garbage and not at all what people should be following. It is a total disgrace and really malpractice. I am absolutely beside myself and completely disgusted by what is listed on the American Diabetes Association website ( what diabetics are being told to eat!!!! It’s killing them. The rest of the world views Americans as fat, and we are, only because we are following what the government puts out as guidelines. It’s all wrong. The rest of the world eats so much more healthy and have less chronic health problems than we Americans. Please, if you are reading this and you have health issues, contact a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in your area. They can help you get to the ROOT of your problem and get you back on track NATURALLY by helping you choose the right foods to nourish you and bring your health back to homeostasis without medications that cause even more harm.

    1. Most Americans do not think about the ingredients in food. Sure a good amount might but there are way too many that buy into the packaged stuff and eat out at toxic restaurants. Many are are uneducated about it but many DO end up hearing about how bad these things are and end up making jokes about it and continue eating the toxic SAD way of eating it’s either that or they just don’t believe the facts or they are just plain too lazy to actually make and prepare something with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

      I am extremely proud to be a a Yemeni girl born and raise in Yemen. My family always make fresh foods at home and filled with vegetables.

    1. Registered dietitians such as myself who have been through accredited degree programs support evidence-based recommendations to help folks eat more healthfully. We solidly support individualized approaches for the best results. People in other countries eat better because of a health/medical system that supports disease prevention over a fee-for-service, “treat the existing disease” mentality.

  9. Tough to eat at restaurants when you don’t know what you are getting. I like Chinese best as I am a little more confident by staying with vegetables and brown rice.

  10. Since I am allergic to 6 of the most common 8 foods and 4 others, I rarely go out to eat. Chipotle has always shown what is in their foods. It is the only place I eat at because it is the only place I can actually get a meal, not exactly what I want, but pretty close. Bojangles does have their menu with a breakout online. I researched it yrs. ago & found they have only one thing I can eat, which is about 1/5 of the sandwich it is supposed to be. Better than nothing; in a pinch, I would do it. So I don’t know why you are wanting them to list everything when it is already listed. Other than a fruit cup at Chick Fil A, whoopee, I know nothing else out that I can eat. So y’all are very fortunate.

    1. Mary, please get in touch with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in your area who can help you get to the root of your food allergies and turn your health around so you can enjoy more wonderful foods that nourish you and bring you true health.

      1. Good advice Jenn-Jenn! I am also currently studying to be an NTP, and like you, have always studied nutrition on my own. I am still shocked, however, as to how we have been kept in the dark about what is in our food. I am looking forward to educating my clients about what real food is just as FoodBabe is doing

    2. “I know nothing else out that I can eat. So y’all are very fortunate.” Seriously? You are NOT the only person here that has food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerance.

      I have severe food allergies and am anaphylactic to all of them so I am unable to eat out or eat foods other people make. It’s not a bad life and eating out is insignificant in life. It doesn’t bother me that I can’t eat out. If you have issues the best thing is to just eat at home and actually make/prepare something.

      Also, not to be rude but why are you here? I’ve never seen a Bojangles or even have one where I live/am from. I have checked the website and they have no menu of the ingredients on their website all they have is nutrition facts, but not ingredients. Also, a place like this has an extremely high risk of cross-contact of allergens so not sure why you would be eating at such an unhealthy place that hides ingredients and supposedly the allergens you say you have.

      Also odd with the fact you can get anything at Chipotle but only a small amount of sandwich at another, and only a fruit cup at the other. All these places have similar (almost same) allergens in all three of these places that I checked.

      Also, based on the places you go to or have mentioned this place might not be right for you, sorry to say, and apologise if it sounds rude.

  11. Well of course it would be a place that isn’t everywhere/ available for everyone. This might be nice for some to see but we really want the places using toxic ingredients to be up front and honest about it- and hopefully change them too.

  12. I messaged most of the restaurants on Facebook yesterday. So far only Jimmy John’s and The Habit have replied. I had to message Jimmy John’s back because they just sent me a link to their allergy list… The Habit said this: “Thanks for reaching out! Due to proprietary reasons we cannot list the full ingredients list but if you are allergic to something or looking to see if a specific ingredient is in an item, we can look up that information for you. Have a great day!” I guess we could send them a very specific list of all the things we hope aren’t in their food items??

    1. The listed ingredients of the Jimmy John’s website are not 100% clear. They have not listed everything.

      That response from the food place The Habit will only most likely tell you only about the common allergens. There are many places that will only tell you about the common allergens only. So if you had an allergy to lets say rice, gelatin, or anything not as common they most likely may not tell. Places have done this in the past.

      You could contact places about what you want to avoid in their foods but the response might be delayed or they just might not reply. Most food places (if ingredients are hidden) probably don’t want to mention they are using ingredients such as HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), propolyne glycol, MSG, (Monosodium glutamate), artificial/synthetic colours, added flavourings, etc. Also since people don’t have a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis to these things they can keep it hidden. People however can have intolerance or sensitivities to these things and that is how these places see it. I contacted places in the past about these type of ingredients and many more and some end up mentioning on how they are not dangerous and were proven safe.

      Many people who have actual issues such as lactose intolerance or coeliac disease or Non- coeliac gluten sensitivity are not taken too seriously in restaurants always. Many places still think of anything wheat and gluten free as a food people are choosing to avoid and as dairy people are avoiding because of the high fat content and/or the fact that it came from animals. There are a few people out there that have an anaphylactic reaction to these foods so eating out with these allergies can be extremely difficult and is best to eat at home or a restaurant that doesn’t have dairy and/or wheat products. << I know this whole part is unrelated to the post.

      My main thing to say is that you can not trust restaurants. If you are following an organic way of eating most places can not be trusted many places do not mention their ingredients, or those handful of places that use garbage/toxic ingredients in the US but not in other countries. Or maybe you are organic and whole food plant based and/or vegan. Most places aren't going to intensely clean the equipment for you because meat products/or other animal containing products were cooked on something There are risks when you eat out and many are different depending on the way you eat.

      This is why it is much better to make your own food at home. You can cook/make your own food and add your own choice of spices and such so you know exactly what is going into your food and trust how you prepared it.

  13. Hi, Vani and Foodbabe followers. I just reached out to a local sub sandwich place called Firehouse Subs. You may have heard of them before or may even be in your town or city. I had some questions and this was the reply I got back.

    Hey Rachel,

    I received your inquiry regarding our products and some questions you had about them.

    Here are the answers:

    1) Are your deli meats free of nitrates/nitrites? No
    2) Are your deli meats organic/ NON-GMO? No
    3) Are your deli meats free of carcinogens? No
    4) Do you have gluten free breads? No
    5) Are your breads organic and from NON-GMO grains? No
    6) Are your cheeses from cows that come from 100% grass-fed source? No
    7) Do you have any vegan/vegetarian options? Yes, veggie is vegetarian


    Katie Milligan, Senior Manager of Guest Services
    Firehouse of America, LLC
    12735 Gran Bay Parkway, Suite 150, Jacksonville, FL 32258
    [email protected]
    o. (904) 289-2290

    Firehouse Rewards

    Order Firehouse Subs Online!

  14. This new idea of fast food packaging is really awesome and exceptional. I think every fast food vendor should apply this idea for customer convenience. Thanks for sharing such a great information.

  15. I am so glad you started your blog. I have learned so much over the years. I totally wish that I had The Organic Coup near me. Hopefully, they start expanding to more than 12 locations real soon. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I tried to publish on some of the companies web sites, BUT they want to know too much about me that I don’t want to disclose-name, addres, phone, email etc.

  17. I am having a problem finding an area to ask a general question so please forgive me in advance if this is not the right area. I am looking for some nutrition or I should say chemical information on the diet drink ICE. I know it can cause seizures and other horrible things. I like when Vani breaks out each ingredient in the product and of course shares the detrimental affects it has on the body and what it actually has in it. Can you do that for me? I have a girlfriend who drinks 10 of these a day, yes 10 and I know t these drinks can cause so much damage to the body besides the carbonation alone. Maybe if she sees or her husband sees how these horrible drinks are affecting her body, she may have an ah hah moment and stop.Thank you Vani!

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