Monday, October 3, 2011

The Truth About Your Food - Subway 9-Grain Wheat

To continue in the series, The Truth About Your Food (see Doritos, see Skittles)...

What's Really in...Subway 9-Grain Wheat (6") = 210 calories, 2g fat (.5g saturated), 410g sodium
Okay, so you're probably not in the habit of ordering a la carte bread loaves at Subway, but there's a good chance you've eaten at least a few sandwiches built on this bread. The good news is that Subway actually delivers on the nine-grain promise. The bad news: eight of those nine grains appear in miniscule amounts. If you look at a Subway ingredient statement, you'll find every grain except wheat listed at the bottom of the list, just beneath the qualifier "contains 2% or less". In fact, the primary ingredient in this bread is plain old white flour and high-fructose corn syrup plays a more prominent role than any single whole grain. Esentially this is a white-wheat hybrid with trace amounts of other whole grains like oats, barley and rye.

So, outside the nine grains, how many ingredients does Subway use to keep this bread together? Sixteen, including such far-from-simple ingredients as DATEM, sodium steroyl lactylate, calcium sulfate and azodiacarbonamide. But here's one that's a little unnerving: ammonium sulfate. This compound is loaded with nitrogen, which is why it's most common use is as fertilizer. You might have used it to nourish your plants at home. And Subway does the same thing; the ammonium sulfate nourishes the yeast and helps bread turn brown. What, did you think that dark hue was the result of whole grains? Hardly. It's a combination of the ammonium sulfate and the caramel coloring. Seems like Jarod might frown on that sort of suberfuge.

Subway's 9 Grain Bread:
You may think that the bread that they make in house would be considered fresh, right? Think again. Here is a list of the ingredients for a piece of their 9 Grain Bread, which sounds oh-so-hearty. My annotations are in bold type to help you understand what this food is really made of:
Enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, barley malt, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid) (anytime a flour is enriched, it means that the food manufacturer has stripped the flour of nearly all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, so they are legally bound to introduce back in the synthetic vitamins) , water, yeast (source of MSG, and a common allergen), high fructose corn syrup (need I say more? a cause of blood sugar imbalances and weight gain), whole wheat flour, wheat gluten, contains 2% or less of the following: oat fiber, soybean oil (Genetically Modified), salt, wheat bran, rolled wheat, rye nuggets, dough conditioners (DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate), yeast nutrients (calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate), degermed yellow corn meal, rolled oats, rye flakes, caramel color (contains cancer-causing nitrates, and is GM), triticale flakes, parboiled brown rice, refinery syrup, honey, barley flakes, flaxseed, millet, sorghum flour, azodiacarbonamide (Use of azodicarbonamide as a food additive is banned in Australia and in Europe. In Singapore, the use of azodicarbonamide can result in up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $450,000), natural flavor (another source of MSG) (maltodextrin, natural flavor, silicon dioxide, lactic acid). Contains wheat.

Subway's Oven Roasted Chicken Patty:
Oven roasted chicken with rib meat (conventionally produced with growth hormones, pesticides, antibiotics), water, seasoning (corn syrup solids, vinegar powder [maltodextrin (GM sugar syrup, source of MSG), modified corn starch & tapioca starch, dried vinegar], brown sugar, salt, dextrose (a sugar derived chemically from starch), garlic powder, onion powder, chicken type flavor [hydrolyzed corn gluten (MSG!), autolyzed yeast extract (MSG!), thiamine hydrochloride, disodium inosinate & disodium guanylate]), sodium phosphate.
That chicken sure went through the ringer, didn't she? Bathed in MSG (a flavor enhancer that is a nuerotoxin used to make mice obese for diabetes trials in labs). Lathered in sugar.

Subway anyone???

David Zinczenko
Natalie Pescetti


  1. Great post. I don't even like subway. Not only because I don't think it is tasty, but because they push the low-fat agenda so much. I avoid it as much as possible.

  2. I have eaten there for the last time today. Everytime I eat their bread I get sick. I am tired of kidding myself. I thought it was the white bread, I tried the 9 grain, today I tried something else. OMG I got sick every time. NO TO SUBWAY PERIOD. I am going to start making healthy bread and sell at the swap meet. These big corporations are not going to fool me any more.