Are You Eating Yoga Mats from Subway?


The internet erupted in February upon discovering that the sandwich chain had been using a chemical called azodicarbonamide, or ADA, in its bread. The agent is the same chemical found in yoga mats and flip-flops and serves a similar function in Subway’s bread as it does in your sandals. It gives all of the aforementioned a ‘fluffy, spongy’ feel, making it more pliable. Those are certainly not adjectives that should be used to describe food, but once reports circulated at the beginning of this year that Subway has agreed to pull this chemical from their breads, they inevitably entered the conversation. For the bread specifically, ADA has the double duty of bleaching the flour and assisting in getting the yeast to work overtime (a.k.a. rising faster) so that the texture remains soft. And when you’re mass producing bread products and using it for fast food like Subway does, it allows your bread to bake like it’s in a microwave. Now it’s the hot new buzz phrase (“yoga mat chemical”) and has everyone totally freaking out about vowing to never again eat sandwiches again—until they forget the issue exists. I could care less about the presence of ADA in the realm of my universe, but it certainly won’t help anyone’s kidneys or lungs, let alone one’s life expectancy.