Subway Removing Artificial Ingredients From Its Menu By 2017

Last April, Subway stopped using Azodicarbonamide – a chemical that is used to improve elasticity in bread but that also shows up in things like yoga mats. Now, the sandwich shop is taking things a step farther, by making plans to drop all artificial ingredients from its menu by 2017.

The Associated Press reports that the company will remove artificial flavors, colors and preservatives from its stores in North America, joining a long list of other food-related businesses including Chipotle, Panera, Nestle and Kraft that have done the same in recent months.

Subway says that ditching the artificial ingredients has been an ongoing process.

Elizabeth Stewart, the company’s director of corporate social responsibility, says that most recently the restaurant chain has been working to remove caramel color from ham and roast beef, and replacing the preservative proprionic acid with vinegar in turkey.

When it comes to sandwich toppings, the AP reports, Subway plans to switch its banana peppers from those with artificial dye Yellow No. 5 to ones colored with turmeric, among other things.

Stewart says the company is also working to remove the ingredients from cookies and sauces.

Subway’s effort to drop artificial ingredients comes on the heels of other major food companies doing the same.

Last week, Yum Brands announced that two of its fast food chains – Taco Bell and Pizza Hut – would remove artificial flavors from most of its menu offerings by the end of the year.

Before that, Chipotle announced all of its food would be GMO-free (while simultaneously acknowledging that GMOs may be completely safe).

In April, Kraft announced it would remove synthetic colors and artificial preservatives from its Original Macaroni & Cheese in the United States.

That announcement came two months after Nestle said it would remove artificial flavors and colors from all its chocolate products by the end of the year. Earlier this week, the company said it would remove artificial flavors and reduce salt by 10% in many of its frozen pizza and snack products.

Subway Joins Companies Dropping Artificial Ingredients [The Associated Press]