Category Archives: fast food

It doesn’t matter who you are, fast food consumption affects you the same way it affects everyone else.

KFC_Bandung_Supermall-300x199For years, we’ve all heard certain myths regarding fast food consumption. Among those myths are that low-income families are consuming more fast food than those with higher incomes. We’ve also been told that those who are overweight and obese are eating more fast food than those who maintain a healthy weight. We’ve also come to believe that folks who live in a “food desert,” or an area where there is limited access to fresh foods are consuming more fast food. These ideas have always made sense to us, but perhaps they shouldn’t have.

We may make fast food out to be worse than it is, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Consumption of fast food has been linked to weight gain in adults, as well as associated with higher caloric intake and poorer diet quality among children and adolescents, said researchers from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHNES). These effects have seemed more prominent among low-income families, as well as individuals who are overweight and obese, where there’s less access to fresh food, also known as a food desert. And yet, the CDC doesn’t find this to be the case.

Analyzing the data collected from the NHNES in 2011-2012 — a cross-sectional survey designed to monitor the heath and nutritional status of the U.S. population — the CDC reported “no significant difference was seen by poverty status in the average daily percentage of calories consumed from fast food among children and adolescents aged 2 to 19.” Similarly, “the average daily percentage of calories consumed from fast food did not vary significantly by weight status.” As The Atlantic first put it, the level of fast food consumption based on poverty and weight status was “pretty even.”

There were, however, some trends among age and race groups. Adolescents aged 12 to 19 consumed twice the average daily percentage of calories from fast food than did younger children, and overall, non-Hispanic Asian children and adolescents consumed fewer calories from fast food compared to non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic children and adolescents. The CDC noted that previous studies have shown that acculturation to the U.S. lifestyle plays an important role in the adoption of unhealthy behaviors, including but not limited to fast food consumption.

The Atlantic added these findings may dispel the idea that fast food is a primary cause of obesity in the U.S. The magazine cited a fast food ban passed in South Los Angeles, where the obesity rate was higher, failed to slow the epidemic. In fact, it seemed to speed up obesity levels.

That’s not to say the CDC is giving everyone a pass to load up on fast food; studies do show fast food items are spiked with potentially harmful antibiotics, fat, sodium, and sugar. But what they are finding is that everyone eats fast food, so the obesity rate among low-income families could very well be fueled by another type of food. The Atlantic pointed a finger at the general cheap access Americans have to sugar foods. As Medical Daily previously reported, sugary drinks in particular have been shown to weave “a complicated web of disease and increased risk of death” not just in the U.S., but around the world.

While the findings may dispel the belief that fast food is a key culprit in the obesity crisis in America, they also point to the idea that too many of us are eating it, no matter where we live, no matter our socioeconomic status, no matter our weight. wants us to all get on the bandwagon and stay away from fast food!

Just too much!!! 12% of American kids’ calories come from fast food consumption doesn’t like fast food for anyone, but when it comes to our kids we really have a problem. That feeling should be shared by everyone here in this country. And here’s some great information that backs up our stance.

At a time of growing concern over childhood obesity, a new report shows kids are getting12 percent of their total calories from fast-food restaurants.

Not surprisingly, teens are more likely than younger kids to consume fast food, according to the report from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those 12 to 19 years old got 17 percent of their calories from fast food in 2010-2011, versus 9 percent of children 2 to 11 years old.

By comparison, an earlier CDC report, done in 2013, found that adults got about 11 percent of their calories from fast food.

A third of kids eat fast food on any given day, according to the new report, which found that children eat the equivalent of a small hamburger — such as the kind found in a McDonald’s Happy Meal — every day.

Sandra Hassink, president of the Elk Grove Village-based American Academy of Pediatrics, credits advertising fast food with cartoon characters and including toys with meals.

“The marketing is working,” says Hassink.

Children who eat a lot of fast food tend to consume more calories but have a nutritionally poorer diet versus other kids, the report says — of special concern given that the obesity rate among children has more than doubled in the past 30 years, from 7 percent in 1980 to nearly 18 percent in 2012.

A growing number of children are developing health problems once seen only in middle-aged people, such as high blood pressure, liver disease and type 2 diabetes, Hassink says.

“Childhood is not a place where you can say, ‘Let everyone eat what they want, and we can fix it later,’ ” she says.

Let’s keep our kids healthy. Let’s make the same kind of commitment to giving them the best start in life that we make about reading to them, playing with them, and building their self esteem. Our commitment to their nutritional health and well-being should be on that same list. Let’s take fast food off the menu for children everywhere!

The new Tailgater Breakfast Sandwich from Dunkin

1439797627427What exactly is the taste of tailgating? Dunkin Donuts seems to think so and hence has created the Tailgater Breakfast Sandwich. The Dunkin website encourages us to “Enjoy the flavors of tailgating with juicy Smoked Sausage, Peppers and Onions, and Ancho Chipotle Sauce.” will admit that we had no idea that tailgating involved Ancho Chipotle Sauce.  Or breakfast sandwiches.


Let’s take a closer look and see what we can find out about this new breakfast sandwich.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                   610
Fat:                            29 grams
Saturated Fat:         10 grams
Sodium:                   1620 grams

That’s more than we really wanted to know. Too many calories. Too much fat. Too much saturated fat. Too much sodium. This particular breakfast sandwich is worse than most fast food breakfast sandwiches we’ve seen … which doesn’t bode well for the ingredient list.

INGREDIENTS: French Roll: Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Enzyme, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid added as Dough Conditioner), Water, Contains less than 2% of the following: Yeast, Salt, Vegetable Oil (Soy or Canola), Dextrose, Concentrate Mix [Whole Bean Flour, Rye Sour (Wheat Flour, Rye Flour, Lactic Acid, Potato Starch, Acetic Acid), Rye Flour, Soy Lecithin, Ascorbic Acid, Enzyme], DATEM, Calcium Sulfate, Malted Barley Flour, Guar Gum; Split Smoked Sausage: Meat Ingredients (Pork, Beef), Water, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Corn Syrup, Potassium Lactate, Natural Flavors, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphates, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Diacetate, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Sodium Nitrite; Fried Egg: Egg Whites, Water, Egg Yolks, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Sauteed Flavor (Soybean Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Natural Flavor), Salt, Artificial Butter Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavor), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Coarse Ground Black Pepper; Fire Roasted Vegetables: Yellow Onion, Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers; Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese: Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto (Color); Ancho Chipotle Sauce: Water, Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Canola), Vinegar, Sugar, Tomato Paste, Egg Yolk, Salt, Contains less than 2% of: Chipotle Sauce (Water, Sugar, Chipotle Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Modified Food Starch), Molasses, Spice, Garlic, Ancho Chili Pepper, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Modified Food Starch, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Benzoate and Calcium Disodium EDTA (Preservatives), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Onion, Caramel Color, Buttermilk Solids, Citric Acid, Sour Cream Solids, Yellow 6, Yellow 5.

There are over a dozen controversial ingredients in this sandwich. This newest breakfast effort from Dunkin is one of the worst breakfast options we can remember seeing in a very long time. We won’t be tailgating any time soon.

A new “Happy Meals” bill ‘Happy Meals’ may make parents a lot happier about healthier fast food choices for kids in New York City

ap110725132481“Happy Meals” is one of those phrases that no longer simply applies to the McDonald’s kids meals to which it actually refers. Kind of like “Kleenex” and “Coke” (referring to facial tissues and cola drinks), a “Happy Meal” is now a universal reference to a kids meal that comes in a box along with a toy or sometimes a book at a fast food restaurant. Traditionally, though, has always thought that a Happy Meal isn’t really a happy meal – at least not nutritionally. The term “miserable meal” would be much more fitting when you take a good look at what goes into those boxes.

Now, a new bill to improve the nutritional value of fast food restaurant meals marketed to children — like McDonald’s Happy Meals — could have a wide enough impact to reduce calories, fat, and sodium, according to a new study led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center.

The study, which will publish in the American Journal of Preventive Medicineonline on August 31, includes collaboration from NYU College of Global Public Health, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

The “Healthy Happy Meals” Bill, proposed by New York City Council member Benjamin J. Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, would require that fast food meals marketed to kids using toys or other promotional items include a serving of fruit, vegetables or whole grain. They must also be limited to 500 calories or less, with fewer than 35 percent of calories coming from fat, fewer than 10 percent coming from saturated fat, fewer than 10 percent from added sugars, and fewer than 600 milligrams of sodium. The bill is currently being considered by the City Council, and is similar to legislation recently enacted in California.

To identify whether the bill might make a public health impact on nutrition improvement and number of children reached, the researchers analyzed receipts collected in 2013 and 2014 from 358 adults, which included purchases for 422 children at multiple New York City and New Jersey locations of Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s, three fast food chains that market kids’ meals.

Adults purchased on average 600 calories for each child, with 36 percent of those calories coming from fat, according to the findings. Over one-third of children ordered kids’ meals, and 98 percent of kids’ meals did not meet the nutritional criteria outlined in the proposed legislation.

If kids’ meals meet the bill’s criteria and children’s orders do not shift, there would be a 9 percent drop in calories — representing 54 fewer calories — a 10 percent drop in sodium, and a 10 percent drop in percentage of calories from fat.

“While 54 calories at a given meal is a small reduction, small changes that affect a wide number of people can make a large impact,” said Brian Elbel, PhD, lead author and associate professor in the Departments of Population Health at NYU Langone and at NYU Wagner. “Passing the bill could be a step in the right direction, though no single policy can singlehandedly eliminate childhood obesity.”

“The policy’s effectiveness will depend on whether the food industry attempts to neutralize it through marketing or other strategies,” said Marie Bragg, PhD, co-author and assistant professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and at the NYU College of Global Public Health. “For example, the industry could remove children’s meals altogether, forcing children to order the larger portions from the adult menu.”

Dr. Bragg offered another approach: “Policymakers could consider broader restrictions on marketing, similar to legislation in Chile that banned any use of toy premiums in children’s meals in 2012,” she said.

While it may not seem like it goes far enough, this bill is far better than recent attempts by fast food giants to make kids’ meals appear healthier by promoting them without soda and fries – even though the meals are still sold with soda and fries as options. We hope we see this get through the legislation process. It’s been a long time coming.

Fast food you can eat … at least without the topping

Greek-Yogurt-ParfaitChick-Fil-A has introduced a Greek yogurt parfait that’s actually a reasonable choice for food-conscious consumers. Of course, you’d be doing yourself a favor by foregoing either the granola or chocolate cookie crumb topping, which leaves you with the yogurt topped with strawberries and blueberries.

Let’s take a quick peek at the new parfait in all its forms so you can make an informed decision the next time you find yourself on line at a Chick-Fil-A near you.
Nutrition Facts

Plain Parfait                                                              Cookie Crumb Topping                 Granola Topping
Calories:                     100                                        120                                                    160
Fat:                              3.5 grams                             5 grams                                            5 grams
Sugar:                         11 grams                              12 grams                                          14 grams

The differences between the plain parfait and either of the two toppings is relatively small and not something most would worry about. Now let’s explore the ingredient lists:

Greek Yogurt (cultured pasteurized milk, cream, live and active cultures [S thermophilus, L bulgaricus, L acidophilus, L. lactis], sugar, water, pectin, vanilla extract), strawberries, blueberries.

Granola (toasted oats [whole rolled oats, soybean oil, honey], soybean oil, sugar, honey, glycerated raisins [raisins, sunflower oil, glycerin], golden seedless raisins [raisins, sulfur dioxide added for freshness], glycerated cranberries [cranberries, sugar, glycerin, citric acid, safflower oil], pecans, almonds, walnuts, corn syrup, brown sugar, molasses, salt, natural flavors).

Oreo Cookie Crumbs (sugar, enriched four [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate {vitamin B1}, riboflavin {vitamin B2}, folic acid], palm and/or high oleic canola and/or canola oil, and/or soybean oil, cocoa [processed with alkali], high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, leavening (baking soda, and/or calcium phosphate), salt, soy lecithin [emulsifier], vanillin-an artificial flavor, chocolate)

While the number of controversial ingredients in either topping is small, can’t help but point out how fast food again takes a perfectly acceptable option and has to add to it in a way that makes it less acceptable. We don’t need the high fructose corn syrup in the cookie crumbs or the artificial and natural flavors in either topping. And we’re less likely to purchase this menu item because of those things.

Of course, we’d also like to point out that in order to consume a more natural, healthier option at a Chick-Fil-A, you’ll need to order yogurt – not chicken.

We’ve still got a long way to go …

Taco Bell tries to heat things up again with Daredevil Loaded Grillers

pdp-DareDevil-Ghost-Pepper2Taco Bell’s newest introduction, Daredevil Loaded Grillers are certainly loaded. The website describes these “creations” as follows: “The Mild Chipotle Dare Devil Loaded Griller starts with a warm flour tortilla and is filled with seasoned beef, nacho cheese, crispy red strips and our mild chipotle sauce then wrapped up and grilled to perfection.” sometimes feels like fast food chains use code words that can translate into bad ingredients and nutrition facts. The same way you can safely assume that the word “cozy” in a rental apartment ad means “way too small,” things like “crispy red strips” and “mild chipotle sauce” stand for any number of controversial ingredients. Let’s find out what’s really in this one.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                     420
Fat:                              22 grams
Saturated Fat:           5 grams
Sodium:                     940 mg

That’s pretty typical for fast food fare. The numbers aren’t good and the food isn’t good for you. Now let’s take a look at the ingredient list:

Flour Tortilla: Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (soybean, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sugar, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophophate), molasses, dough conditioner (fumaric acid, distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate), calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and/or potassium sorbate (P). Contains: Wheat, Seasoned Beef: Beef, water, seasoning [cellulose, chili pepper, onion powder, salt, oats (contains wheat), maltodextrin, soy lecithin, tomato powder, sugar, soybean oil, spices, garlic powder, citric acid, caramel color (C), disodium inosinate & guanylate, cocoa powder, natural and artificial flavors (contains gluten), trehalose, modified corn starch, lactic acid, torula yeast], salt, phosphates. Contains: Soy, Wheat, Nacho Cheese Sauce: Nonfat milk, cheese whey, water, vegetable oil (canola and soybean oil), food starch, maltodextrin, natural flavors, sea salt, contains 1% or less of jalapeno puree, vinegar, lactic acid, potassium citrate, potassium phosphate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, citric acid, cellulose gum, annatto (VC), yellow 6 (C). Contains: Milk,Creamy Chipotle Sauce: Soybean oil, water, egg yolk, vinegar, sour cream, chipotle peppers, contains 1% or less of chili peppers, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, sugar, salt, natural flavors (including smoke flavor), xanthan gum, canola and sesame oil, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium EDTA (PF), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (P). Contains: Egg, Milk, Red Strips: Ground corn masa, canola oil, carmine & yellow 6 (C).

There are at least a dozen items in this list that should have been left out altogether. We won’t be trying these, even on a dare.

In the world of fast food, bigger is better and spicy is trendy … meet Burger King’s new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger

Jelapeno_product-V2Big and spicy seem to be the name of the game in fast food these days. has been filling you in on everything ghost pepper and jalapeno for months now as fast food continues to “kick things up a notch.”

Burger King’s latest introduction is designed to do just that. And while we may not understand the “build” of the sandwich (the new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger places two beef patties side by side on a hoagie roll – sort of a burger sub) or the nutrition facts, or some of the ingredients, we are at least encouraged by the idea that there’s no spicy “ghost pepper sauce,” or any other element that suggests a barrage of controversial items hidden inside.

So here are the facts –

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                                   590
Fat:                                            35 grams
Saturated Fat:                         13 grams
Sodium:                                   1190 mg

The nutrition facts are fairly typical for a fast food burger. They aren’t good. But you probably knew that before we took a look. Now let’s examine the ingredient list:

SPECIALTY BUNS: Enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, sesame seeds, yeast, soybean oil, salt, wheat gluten, calcium sulfate, calcium propionate (preservative), flaxseeds, mono- and diglycerides, datem, citric acid, potassium iodate, soy lecithin. CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOY, HAMBURGER PATTIES: 100% USDA inspected Ground Beef (Fire-Grilled), AMERICAN CHEESE (PASTEURIZED PROCESS): Cultured Milk, Water, Cream, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Sodium Phosphate, Artificial Color, Enzymes, Acetic Acid, Soy Lecithin. CONTAINS: MILK and SOY LECITHIN, MAYONNAISE: Soybean Oil, Eggs, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: Egg Yolks, Salt, Sugar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Protect Flavor, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Onion, Paprika or Paprika Oleoresin. CONTAINS: EGG, Jalapenos, Iceberg Lettuce, Onions

There are items in this list that we obviously do not like. Honestly, though, for fast food this is a fairly clean option. It’s certainly not great. We try to avoid natural flavors, artificial color and Calcium Disodium EDTA. But in comparison to other fast food burgers (especially the ones relying on specialty sauces to spice things up), this is “less bad.”

We know that’s not saying much. We do try to be fair, though. How about we leave it at this: Burger King’s new Extra Long Jalapeno Cheeseburger is a better effort than some of the other spicy fast food options.

Going where no breakfast sandwich has gone before … Dunkin’s Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich

1368630299433If you go to the Dunkin website and look this one up, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich is promoted with the tagline, “Going Where No Breakfast Has Gone.” If you’re, a line like that can be pretty scary as it can imply any number of things that essentially translate to “stay far, far away.”

To be honest, making a sandwich out of a glazed donut strikes us as a messy, sticky meal and does not push any of our happiness buttons. We understand that there may be others that aren’t left with that immediate impression. So if you’re one of the folks out there who’s wondering whether or not to indulge, let’s explore more about the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                360
Fat:                         20 grams
Saturated Fat:      8 grams
Sugar:                    13 grams

Honestly, considering the idea that the sandwich is a glazed donut WITH eggs AND bacon, the nutrition facts are fairly reasonable. They aren’t great, but honestly we expected to see worse.

What about the ingredients?

INGREDIENTS: Glazed Donut: Donut [Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Whey (a milk derivative), Skim Milk, Yeast, Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Defatted Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts and Beta Carotene), Eggs], Glaze [Sugar, Water, Maltodextrin, Contains 2% or less of: Mono and Diglycerides, Agar, Cellulose Gum, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Artificial Flavor]; Fried Egg: Egg Whites, Water, Egg Yolks, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Sautee Flavor (Soybean Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Natural Flavor), Salt, Artificial Butter Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavor), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Coarse Ground Black Pepper; Bacon: Pork, cured with: Water, Sugar, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Smoke Flavoring, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite.

There are far too many controversial ingredients in here – a few of which really stand out from the pack. Things like Natural Sautee Flavor, Artificial Butter Flavor and Smoke Flavoring are terrible additions to this ingredient list.

So in addition to the major possibility that the sandwich itself is messy and sticky, the contents in the sandwich in our opinion are messy and stick. We wouldn’t have indulged before we knew what was really in here. We’re certainly not going near it now.

Taco Bell’s new Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken – it really is too much

pdp-smothered-burrito-chickenIf you’ve heard about the new Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken from Taco Bell and you’re considering giving it a go, would like to suggest that you wander over to the Taco Bell website and do a little research before you indulge.

What you’ll find is an image of the burrito that honestly looks just a bit over the top. One look at that image and you have to know that the nutrition facts and the ingredient list won’t be good because the product itself is really just too much … of everything. Here’s the Taco Bell description, “Our Smothered Burrito is filled with shredded chicken, premium Latin rice, hearty beans, and creamy chipotle sauce. Then it’s smothered with red sauce, loads of melted cheeses and topped with reduced-fat sour cream. Also available with seasoned beef or marinated premium thick-cut steak.”

Here are the nutrition facts:

Calories:                         640
Fat:                                  27 grams
Saturated Fat:               9 grams
Sodium:                         2,220 mg

Just imagine what the seasoned beef and steak versions look like! The sodium content in the Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken is waaay too high and the calories are pushing it for a menu item featuring chicken. Why bother? Taco Bell has lost the appeal of featuring chicken in a product when the nutritional benefits are completely buried by everything else going on.
And here’s the everything else that’s going on in the Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken:

Red Sauce: Water, seasoning (modified cornstarch, maltodextrin, paprika (VC), salt, tomato powder, onion powder, spices, garlic powder, natural flavors (contains gluten), xanthan gum, malic acid, caramel color (C), ascorbic acid, citric acid, trehalose)., Shredded Chicken: Chicken breast, water, seasoning (salt, natural flavor, tomato powder, modified potato starch, garlic powder, dextrose, paprika (VC), onion powder, spices, maltodextrin, citric acid, safflower oil, disodium inosinate & guanylate, vinegar, sugar, soy lecithin), canola oil, rosemary extract (P). Contains: Soy, Flour Tortilla: Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (soybean, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sugar, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophophate), molasses, dough conditioner (fumaric acid, distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate), calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and/or potassium sorbate (P). Contains: Wheat, Refried Beans: Pinto beans, soybean oil, seasoning (salt, sugar, spice, beet powder (VC), natural flavors, sunflower oil, maltodextrin, corn flour, trehalose, modified cornstarch).,Premium Latin Rice: Enriched long grain rice, seasoning (salt, natural flavor, sugar, maltodextrin, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried cilantro, disodium inosinate & guanylate)., Three Cheese Blend: Part skim mozzerella cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey pepper jack cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, water, cream, sodium citrate, jalapeno peppers, salt, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic Acid (P)), anti-caking agent. Contains: Milk, Reduced-Fat Sour Cream: Milk, cream, modified corn starch, contains less than 1% of modified tapioca starch, maltodextrin, gelatin, lactic acid, sodium phosphate, citric acid, potassium sorbate (P), natural and artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, locust bean gum, carrageenan, vitamin A. Contains: Milk, Creamy Chipotle Sauce: Soybean oil, water, egg yolk, vinegar, sour cream, chipotle peppers, contains 1% or less of chili peppers, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, sugar, salt, natural flavors (including smoke flavor), xanthan gum, canola and sesame oil, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium EDTA (PF), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (P). Contains: Egg, Milk

How’s that for a too-long ingredient list? Double-digit controversial ingredients. And honestly, even some of the ingredients that aren’t considered controversial are somewhat disturbing. Tomato powder, anyone?

We don’t think anyone should ever be this hungry. Sorry, Taco Bell.

Wendy’s Blackberry Lemonade … not the best way to beat the heat

THE WENDY'S has noticed a trend in fast food lately. Chains seem to be introducing beverages outside of the soda category in an effort to listen to their consumers who are moving away from sodas in their beverage choices. We do like the trend, but some of the beverages have proven fairly questionable.

Today we’re taking a look at Wendy’s Blackberry Lemonade. In the heat of the summer this certainly sounds like a great choice with summery blackberries and old fashioned lemonade combining to quench our thirst. We feel like we have to investigate before we indulge though. So here’s the inside information.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:              390
Fat:                       0 grams
Sugar:                  93 grams

Wow. If we order the medium sized Blackberry Lemonade (depicted in these nutrition facts), we’ll be consuming over 23 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR!!!! We really don’t like this at all and we can’t think of anyone that would.

Lemonade (sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon pulp, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavor), Blackberry Syrup (sugar, water, strawberries, blackberry puree, corn syrup, ginger, modified cornstarch, blackberry juice concentrate, natural flavor, raspberries, citric acid, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate [preservatives]).

We’re not particularly fond of the ingredient list either. Come on Wendy’s, why do we need natural flavors when the lemonade contains actual lemon juice and lemon pulp and the blackberry syrup contains real fruit? Why can’t that be flavorful enough? And we don’t understand the need for the sodium benzoate either.

Sorry Wendy’s, the new Blackberry Lemonade did not make our list of summer thirst quenchers. We would appreciate the opportunity to report on just one of these non-soda fast food beverages in a positive way. It appears, though, that we’ll have to keep waiting for that opportunity. This one is certainly not it.