Earlier in the year, Subway came forward about including yoga mat chemicals in their bread. Now, McDonald’s has come forward with the same claim, but they are not backing down.
Companies have been accused of serving customers yoga mat foods in the past, but the latest accusations of McDonald’s are different. The story broke out on Twitter over Halloween weekend and was trending on Yahoo. To this sudden burst of social media interest, McDonald’s has responded directly on Twitter and their own website to affirm they know about the chemical — and that it is staying.
The reason this story is different this time is that McDonald’s is coming forward about the accusations directly, admitting to them, and keeping the yoga mat chemical in their food.
Do they say directly that there are yoga mats in their food? No, but they do admit that the chemical compound in their sandwich buns is the same one used in yoga mats.
This has prompted several Twitter users to post that there are yoga mats in McRib sandwiches. In addition to saying that they would never eat at McDonald’s again because the food has yoga mats in it, there are firm supporters on Twitter that are loyal to McDonalds.
Newsweek reported in February that Subway would no longer use yoga mat chemicals in their food. Will McDonald’s do the same? As it appears, they stand behind the yoga mat chemical as being harmless.
About the incident, McDonald’s answers the question, “Do McDonald’s buns contain the same chemicals used to make yoga mats?” on their website.
“The ingredient in question is azodicarbonamide (ADA)… However, it’s not in our artisan bun, which is used in the Bacon Clubhouse Sandwiches. There are varied uses for azodicarbonamide, including in some non-food products, such as yoga mats. As a result, some people have suggested our food contains rubber or plastic, or that the ingredient is unsafe. It’s simply not the case.”
McDonald’s goes on to make a comparison between de-icing salts used to clean your sidewalks after a snowstorm and the salt you use on your food.
“Think of salt: the salt you use in your food at home is a variation of the salt you may use to de-ice your sidewalk. The same is true of ADA — it can be used in different ways.”
Despite the fact that McDonald’s thinks this chemical found in yoga mats is okay, there are other websites that disagree. Salon states that there are over 500 foods that contain yoga mat chemicals. The complete list is provided by the Environmental Working Group. The main quote in the Slate article says,
“The chemical, azodicarbonamide (also known as ADA), has been banned in Europe and Australia, but is FDA-approved so long as its presence is limited to fewer than 2.05 grams per 100 pounds of flour or 45 parts per million. The World Health Organization links it to respiratory illnesses, allergies and asthma in workers handling large volumes of it.”
There are multiple articles online that give suggestions for recycling yoga mats into useful products. Could there be yoga mat-to-McRib repurposing in the future? We will know if we see yoga mat recycling bins at McDonald’s.
[All images are from social media, Wikimedia Commons, or the referenced links in this article.]