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There’s been a big to-do in the news recently about Subway and their bread.  Subway is known for their sandwiches, right?  That’s what they do, so their bread is pretty important to their total package.  Not long ago, a food blogger took to the blogosphere and called them out on an additive in their bread, Azodiacarbonamide (ADA), which is used as a dough conditioner.  Other uses for Azodiacarbonmide: to increase elasticity in yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather, among other things.  Vani Hari, the aforementioned blogger (, started a petition asking Subway to remove the ingredient from their breads and over 67,000 people signed on to support her—and it worked!

Subway recently responded with this statement: “We are already in the process of removing Azodiacarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts despite the fact that it is an FDA approved ingredient.  The complete conversion to have this product out of the bread will be done soon.”  They also stated, “This process began last year and is nearly completed — we have already developed an improved bread formula, conducted extensive performance and consumer testing on it, and pending final government approvals, we should complete the entire conversion process within the coming weeks.”

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Subway is correct about this chemical’s FDA approval, BUT they add that this chemical has been poorly tested.  Some of the breakdown products of Azodiacarbonamide are known carcinogens.  The maximum allowed amount of ADA by the FDA is 0.0045% by weight of the flour when the ADA is used as a dough conditioner.  While the danger of developing cancer is low when used in such small quantities, other nations and worldwide associations have banned the use of ADA in foods.  ADA has been banned in the European Union and Australia; and WHO (World Health Organization), in response to reports that ADA can induce asthma, says, “The level of risk is uncertain; hence, exposure levels should be reduced as much as possible.”

While pretty soon you may not find ADA in your Subway sandwiches, you’ll still find it in a lot of other places, like McDonalds, Arby’s, Starbucks and many other grocery store and restaurant breads.  Know where you won’t find it?  At Brown Bag.  We get all of our bread from a local bakery, Lyon Bakery.  Lyon Bakery is committed to serving all-natural, artisan breads with no artificial additives or preservatives.  Started by three friends who are committed to and skilled in the art of making gourmet bread, they’ve grown to a business that supplies breads for hotels, government organizations, leading restaurants, gourmet delis, culinary service groups and catering services (and Brown Bag!).  To read more about Lyon Bakery, checkout this blog or go to their website.

At Brown Bag, we care about what goes into the food that we serve our customers, so we strive to find the best local suppliers of quality foods that we can.  Lyon Bakery is one of our favorites.  When you come into a Brown Bag location for a sandwich, salad, soup or noodle bowl, you can trust that it’s got all of the nutrients and flavor you’re looking for naturally.  We do healthy, delicious cuisine that you can trust on the fly, so you can keep moving with your day and not worry about what kinds of chemicals you’ll be unwittingly ingesting.