Following a viral blog post that exposed the ingredients in a single Chick-fil-A signature chicken sandwich, the fast food giant has decided to work on making things a bit healthier. They are working to remove high fructose corn syrup from their buns and artificial dyes from their sauces and dressings. Though the few ingredients they are removing are only a drop in the bucket, it is certainly a step in the right direction.
When a food maker comes under fire for feeding poisons to the masses, we should all join in to publicize the criticism. Too often these food companies hide behind their golden arches or PR folks and don’t address the health concerns of the people. So, when the heat is on and they actually take note, it doesn’t only signal a victory for health-foodies, but motivation to keep fighting for greater change.
For Chick-fil-A, the motivation to change came from a blog post on Food Babe, where blogger Vani Hari exposed the entire ingredient’s list of a chicken sandwich from the restaurant. With over 100 ingredients—including GMOs, MSG, refined grains, artificial colors, and even TBHQ, derived from butane—the ingredients looked more like a recipe for death than a beloved treat for millions of Americans.
According to the Huffington Post, execs at Chick-fil-A invited Hari to come visit with them and discuss her concerns.
“They took my concerns and started developing a road map of how to address them,” she said. After that, she was notified via email that the company would begin with the HFCS in buns and the colors in dressings.
Interestingly, fast food companies don’t make these changes in a spotlight; there are no major press releases or public campaigns. Why? Because they likely don’t want to bring the heat on the ingredients they are actually choosing to remove. They don’t want any additional attention brought to what’s still being put in their food.
Still, representatives from Chick-fil-A have confirmed they are working on improving, saying they are “systematically going through the menu.” Perhaps like other big fast food companies, such as Kraft removing artificial dyes or Cheerios (from General Mills) going GMO-free, they’ve realized people really do care about what they eat.
“More and more these days, we’ve become kind of a food culture,” said David Farmer, vice president of product strategy and development at Chick-fil-A. “People seem to care a lot more about what’s in it, how it’s made and where did it come from.”
Chick-fil-A’s notable move to improve their ingredients (however small a move it is) should be a rallying point for food activists and conscientious consumers. If a blog post motivated them to make changes, we shouldn’t down play our input in the battle for healthy foods.