Category Archives: fast food

McDonald’s burger declared the worst in America according to a new Consumer Reports Survey

McDonalds Sales.JPEG-054a3We know that the majority of fast food burgers aren’t exactly what we’d call healthy. Too many calories, too much fat, and a variety of bad ingredients makes the staple of American fast food a less than desirable choice for consumers. But what do you think would happen if you asked consumers to rank the fast food burgers? Do you think there might be some surprises?

Some major fast-food chains – McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell – may find the latest Consumer Reports fast-food survey hard to swallow.

According to the survey, released on Wednesday, more than 30,000 Consumer Reports subscribers say these restaurants’ signature items are the worst in their categories: McDonald’s has the worst burger; KFC has the worst chicken; and Taco Bell has the worst burrito.

Consumer Reports surveyed 32,405 subscribers about their experiences at 65 fast-food and fast-casual chains. This is what they were asked: “On a scale of  1 to 10, from least delicious to most delicious you’ve ever eaten, how would you rate the taste” of their signature dishes?

Habit Burger Grill, In-n-Out and Five Guys Burgers received the highest rating for their burgers, 8.1, 8.0 and 7.9 respectively. Meanwhile, McDonald’s scored a paltry 5.8 rating.

McDonald’s has been busy changing its menu in an effort to attract more customers. But despite the novelty items the company promoted in 2013 – Fish McBites in February, McWraps in March, Mighty Wings in September, etc. – the company’s U.S. sales dropped 0.2 percent last year.

During a conference call with investors, McDonald’s chief financial officer Peter Bensen said the company “probably did things a little bit too quickly” in terms of introducing those new menu items. The constant changes and bold experiments with the menu put pressure to the restaurants’ kitchens,which sometimes took too long to fill orders. But new items introduced this year will be welcomed by the chain’s new kitchen equipment. Prep tables will be replaced with larger surfaces that are able to hold more sauces and ingredients.

In 2014, Bensen said, the company will “refocus the core,” including tried-and-true favorites such as the Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets and the Quarter Pounder, as well as breakfast.

Research shows Americans are spending $683.4 billion a year dining out, and they are also demanding better food quality and greater variety from restaurants to make sure their money is well spent.

When deciding where to dine, consumers are giving more consideration to food quality, according to the Consumer Reports survey. The restaurant’s location is less important than it was in 2011, when the group last conducted the survey. Diners today are more willing to go out of their way and find tasty meals that can be customized.

“Fast-casual dining in places like Chipotle and Panda Express lets the consumer guide the staff to prepare their meal just the way they like it,” Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food-service consulting firm, said in the report.

While many of the traditional chains have lagged in offering higher-quality ingredients, he said, some food chains — including Chipotle, Noodles & Company and Panera — have been offering meat raised without using antibiotics in animal feed, a feature that attracts consumers searching for healthier options.

FoodFacts.com has to wonder whether or not bad food is catching up with the king of fast food. Sales are dropping. Over 30,000 Consumer Reports subscribers have let the world know that McDonald’s burgers taste about as good as their nutrition facts and ingredient lists reflect. While Panera and Chipotle may not be our favorite eateries, we can still agree with those subscribers who have stated that the food from those fast-casual establishments is fresher and tastes better than a McDonald’s hamburger. McDonald’s still serves up millions of burgers every day. Consumer opinions create change. We can only hope change will start with this survey.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/07/02/consumer-reports-mcdonalds-burger-ranked-worst-in-the-u-s/

Is it a quesadilla? Is it a burrito? It’s both — the new Taco Bell Quesarito

Taco Bell QuesaritoWe’re living in a world of mash-ups. Music mash-ups are making headlines. Two or more different musical genres making their way into one recording often create a brand new listening experience. Artists of different eras have come together to bring new meaning to old songs. Website mash-ups bring together different technical functions to bring us new processes and performance. Some things can be brought together easily with amazing results.

And some things can’t. And that about sums up the new Taco Bell Quesarito.

Think about this. A cheese quesadilla is cheese melted between two soft taco shells. A burrito is meat, rice, cheese and typically beans rolled inside a soft taco shell. So now lets take that quesadilla and roll the burrito filling inside it. We’ll leave out the cheese in that filling and replace it with chipotle sauce and sour cream. Maybe it’s just as, but FoodFacts.com really can’t wrap our heads around the combination. It just doesn’t sound appetizing. Instead it sounds more like a wet, gooey roll with beef and rice. In all fairness we haven’t tasted it … and we’re not going to. For us, this is one mash-up we’ll be happy to miss.

Just in case you want to try it, though, we thought we should fill you in on the nutrition facts for the Quesarito.

Calories:                          650
Fat:                                  34 g.
Saturated Fat:                12 g.
Cholesterol:                    60 mg.
Sodium:                          1450 mg.

The quick assessment for the Quesarito is that the facts are just not good. But let’s go a little further. You can actually eat a Big Mac (which is definitely not a healthy choice) for better nutritional value. Specifically a Big Mac contains 100 less calories, 6 fewer grams of fat, 2 less grams of saturated fat and and 480 fewer mg. of sodium. The only thing the Big Mac gives you more of is cholesterol.

So not only do we not think this odd mash-up works, even bad fast food is better for you (even if it’s only minimally). Taco Bell, this is really just a bad interpretation of Mexican food. It doesn’t work.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/quesarito?gclid=COGswdeh_b4CFUNgMgodYykAgA

Dunkin’s newest Coolatta … the Frozen Arnold Palmer

iStock_000021757029Small (1)Summertime is here, and along with it new introductions of iced and frozen beverage from the fast food chains. The Dunkin Donuts Coolatta has been providing consumers with an icy cold way to beat the heat since 1997. Flavors have ranged from coffee varieties to strawberry, orange and blue raspberry in addition to the popular vanilla bean.

For a variety of reasons, FoodFacts.com hasn’t been a tremendous fan of the Coolatta. Some of those reasons are artificial colors and too much sugar. But we stand by the idea that every new product introduction deserves a fair chance. So when Dunkin announced the new Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta, we waited to take a look at the nutrition facts and ingredient list before we decided we wouldn’t be trying it.

It’s official now, though, we won’t be trying it. We wanted to fill you in on how we came to that decision.

Here are the nutrition facts for the medium size drink

Calories:                 270
Fat:                         0 g
Sodium:                 35 mg
Sugar:                    67 g

We’re highlighting the medium drink because this is the most common size sold. We’re not attempting to make it appear worse than it is. We’re certain we don’t like the idea of spending 270 calories on a drink. To put it into further perspective, the medium Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta weighs in at 16 ounces. A 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi has 250 calories. That’s four ounces more for 20 calories less. That same bottle of Pepsi has roughly the same amount of sugar as this frozen beverage. Everyone in our community already knows how we feel about soda. Since the nutrition facts here look quite comparable, our feelings are pretty much the same.

Here’s the ingredient list:

Frozen Neutral Base: Water, Neutral Base (Sugar, Glucose, Fructose, Silicon Dioxide, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum); Arnold Palmer Half & Half Coolatta Base: Lemon Juice from Concentrate, Pear Juice from Concentrate, Filtered Water, Citric Acid, Black Tea, Natural Flavor, Dextrose, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, Gum Acacia, Acesulfame Potassium, Ester Gum.

O.k. there aren’t any artificial colors in the Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta. But there are still many ingredients we really don’t like. More importantly, we have a serious question about these ingredients. There’s so much sugar in here — a little over 11 TEASPOONS in 16 ounces. You can see the Sugar, Glucose and Fructose listed. Why then, was it necessary to make things even worse with the addition of Acesulfame Potassium to the ingredients?  Someone thought they needed to sweeten the beverage even more — we get that. But it isn’t a “diet” drink, so how did it make sense to add artificial sweetener to the product?

FoodFacts.com’s assessment: we don’t need 11 teaspoons of sugar in 16 ounces of anything. As the weather heats up, we still like actual brewed, unsweetened iced tea. And if we want to sweeten it, we like deciding on the sweetener we use — and controlling how much of it we’ll be consuming.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/beverages/frozenbeverages/coolatta/new_frozen_arnold_palmer_coolatta.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Frozen+Arnold+Palmer&DRP_SIZE=Medium

Under the Bun: The Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger

rtttertte566edit334This week we have the pleasure of featuring another Under the Bun installment. Here, we turn our attention to the new Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger. That’s right, the Extra Long Cheeseburger. Kind of looks like a hot dog, but there are two burgers inside the bun instead. You may be asking why anyone needs a cheeseburger that’s sort of like a hot dog. What’ the attraction here, anyway? Couldn’t someone just order a double cheeseburger?

FoodFacts.com wants to report that, in fact, the Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger is actually just an odd translation of a double cheeseburger (except for the crispy onion rings topping the two burgers that lay side by side on a hoagie roll). Not the most original fast food creation. But let’s take a look at the nutrition facts before we make any decisions.

Here are the nutrition facts for the new sandwich:

Calories:                 590
Fat:                         28 g.
Saturated Fat:       11 g.
Trans Fat:              1.5 g.
Cholesterol:          70 mg.
Sugar:                   14 g.
Sodium:                1080 mg.

The Extra-Long Cheeseburger might be a translation of a double cheeseburger, but it’s certainly no better. With more calories, more fat, more trans fat and more sodium. In addition, you’ll be treated to 55% of your RDI for saturated fat.

While we don’t yet have access to the ingredient list, we can say with confidence that we won’t be trying this sandwich after looking at the nutrition facts listed.

And really, Burger King, there are better directions to go for new product introductions. We don’t get this sandwich at all. It didn’t take much creativity or thought. With fast food chains at least attempting to introduce healthier foods (even when their attempts aren’t incredibly successful), Burger King should be trying to follow suit. It’s called staying relevant. This sandwich isn’t.

http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/lunch-and-dinner-menu-202/fire-grilled-burgers-and-sandwiches-220/extra-long-bbq-cheeseburger-m2738/index.html

Under the Bun: Dunkin Donuts Grilled Chicken Flatbread

1400146640078Dunkin Donuts recently introduced another new lunch option, the Grilled Chicken Flatbread. Of course, it’s being promoted as a healthier selection in the regular Dunkin lineup. On the surface it appears to be at least a passable possibility. Grilled chicken, reduced fat cheddar cheese with ancho chipotle sauce. Certainly doesn’t sound terrible, does it?

Let’s go under the bun with FoodFacts.com and find out if there’s more going on with the new Dunkin Grilled Chicken Flatbread than meets the eye.

We’ll start with the nutrition facts:

Calories:                      360
Fat:                              12 g.
Saturated Fat:            3.5 g.
Cholesterol:                65 mg.
Sodium:                      1020 mg.

While the Grilled Chicken Flatbread isn’t perfect, it’s certainly not the worst fast food sandwich we’ve seen. It’s under 400 calories and it contains 12 g of fat. We could live without the cholesterol and sodium levels. But overall, the numbers aren’t terrible.

What ingredients can you expect to consume with this sandwich. Let’s take a look:

Grilled Chicken: Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Natural Flavor, Salt, Yeast Extract, Sunflower Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Silicon Dioxide), Sodium Phosphates, Seasoning [Modified Corn Starch, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean/Cottonseed Oil), Maltodextrin, Smoke Flavor, Hydrated Silicon Dioxide]; Multigrain Flatbread: Whole Wheat Flour, Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Multigrain Blend [Water, Wheat Sourdough, Wheat Grains, Rye Grains, Oat Grains, Flax Seed, Rye Sourdough, Millet Seed, Teff Seed, Salt, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)], Yeast, Sugar, Dough Conditioner [Water, Mono and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Natural Flavor, Enzymes], Oat Fiber, Salt, Soybean Oil, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Soy (Trace); 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, Xantham 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.

That’s about 90 ingredients with almost 20 controversial ingredients. Not our idea of a healthy option — even for fast food. We should also mention that among those controversial ingredients are some of our least favorite items (not that we have favorite controversial ingredients – because we don’t). We’re especially sensitive about things like partially hydrogenated oils, Sodium Benzoate, Caramel Color and Artificial Colors. They’re all in there.

Sorry, Dunkin, but you’ll have to keep trying when it comes to healthier menu items. This one isn’t really working out for us.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/sandwiches/Bakery_Sandwiches/new_grilled_chicken_flatbread.html

Under the Bun: Dunkin Donuts Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin Donuts Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast SandwichWe’re going under the bun with the latest from Dunkin Donuts — the Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich. The big attraction here is the chicken apple sausage. It not only promises fast food consumers more flavor, it also holds the added benefit of a more healthful selection than regular pork sausage. But is that just a perceived benefit? And, more importantly, are the ingredients in the chicken apple sausage — and the entire sandwich, for that matter — worth that benefit?

We’ll start with the nutrition facts for the sandwich:
 

Calories:                         360
Fat:                                 11 g
Saturated Fat:                   4 g
Cholesterol:                    120 mg
Sodium:                         1240 mg
Sugar:                              7 g

If all you’re simply concerned about calories and fat, this may not appear to be the worst choice you can make at Dunkin. If you compare it to the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Bagel sandwich at Dunkin, this new option contains 260 fewer calories, 15 fewer grams of fat, and 7 fewer grams of saturated fat. There’s also less sodium and a bit more cholesterol in the Chicken Apple Sausage sandwich.

FoodFacts.com wants to get to the “meat” of the situation — the ingredient list. For us, that’s the defining factor for any product, fast food sandwiches included. So let’s take a look:

Sausage (Chicken, Water, Corn Syrup, Sugar Brown, Apples Dehydrated, Contains 2% or less of the following: [Salt, Sodium Lactate, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphate, Parsley, Sodium Diacetate, Flavors Natural, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrate Nitrite] ) , English Muffin(Wheat Enriched Bleached Flour [Wheat Flour, Barley Malted Flour, Niacin Vitamin B3, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Folic Acid Vitamin B9] ,Water, Wheat Starch, Yeast, Sugar Cane Fiber, Contains 2% or less of the following: [Corn Syrup High Fructose, Chicory Root, Corn Flour Yellow Degerminated, Corn Meal Degerminated Yellow, Wheat Durum Flour Whole, Wheat Gluten, Vinegar, Calcium Propionate,Salt, Dextrose, Soybeans Oil, Calcium Sulphate, Fumaric Acid] ) , Eggs (Eggs Whites, Water,Eggs Yolks, Corn Starch Modified, Flavors Natural Sauteed [Soybeans Oil, Triglycerides Medium Chain, Flavors Natural] , Salt, Flavors Artificial Butter [Propylene Glycol, Flavors Artificial] , Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Peppers Black Coarse Ground) , Cheese Cheddar Reduced Fat (Milk Pasteurized Part Skim, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto Color)

While the chicken apple sausage does, in fact, contain less fat than traditional pork sausage, it’s important to point out that it still contains sodium nitrate. So the benefits consumers may perceive are limited to fat content and don’t extend to the ingredients. Add to that some high-fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors plus propylene glycol and you’ve pretty much got a very typical fast food breakfast sandwich.

Our conclusion for Dunkin Donuts Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich is simple. We can come up with more than a few better ways to spend 360 calories for our morning meal. This one is lighter in fat and calories than some other choices, but the ingredient list is a definite turn-off.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/sandwiches/breakfastsandwiches/new_chicken_apple_sausage_breakfast_sandwich.html
http://www.foodfacts.com/ci/nutritionfacts/Sandwiches-Wraps/Dunkin-Donuts-Chicken-Apple-Sausage-Breakfast-Sandwich-/92402

Let’s take a look at Taco Bell for breakfast

Taco Bell Breakfast A.M. Crunch Wrap BaconWe’ve been hearing about it for months and now it’s finally here. Taco Bell breakfast is being served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day of the week. As expected, the morning offerings all present a new twist on Mexican flavors. The new breakfast items bring Taco Bell in direct competition with McDonald’s and Burger King, both of whom own mornings in the fast food world.

So, will Taco Bell breakfasts present a serious alternative to the already established fast food leaders? FoodFacts.com isn’t really sure about that. The only thing we can be sure of right now is what you’ll actually be eating if you choose to sit down at Taco Bell for your morning meal.

We chose the A.M. Crunch Wrap with Bacon to focus on because it appears to be a Mexican interpretation of a traditional fast food breakfast sandwich. Just replace the biscuit, or the English muffin, or the bagel with a tortilla and add some creamy jalapeno sauce. While we’re pretty certain you won’t find the A.M. Crunch Wrap in Mexico, these are the American fast food wars. Let’s find out what the A.M. Crunch Wrap brings to the table.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories:      660
Fat:              41 g
Sodium:    1280 mg

Might as well have a burger for breakfast, don’t you think? A McDonald’s Egg McMuffin weighs in at 330 fewer calories, 29 fewer grams of fat and 460 fewer mg of sodium.

Let’s see what the ingredient list tells us:

Eggs (Eggs Whole, Flavors Butter [Soybeans Oil, Soybeans Oil Hydrogenated, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Flavoring Artificial and Natural, Beta Carotene, TBHQ, Citric Acid,Polydimethylsiloxane] , Contains 1% or less of the following: [Salt, Citric Acid, Peppers,Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum] ) , Hashbrowns (Potatoes, Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil,Palm Oil, Soybeans Oil, Sunflower Oil, Potatoes Dehydrated, Salt, Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate, Dextrose, Oil [Canola Oil High Oleic Low Linolenic, TBHQ,Polydimethylsiloxane] , Bacon Topping [Bacon Topping, Cured with Water] , Creamy Jalapeno Sauce [Soybeans Oil, Water, Vinegar, Peppers Jalapenos, Buttermilk, Sour Cream Powder,Eggs Yolks, Dextrose, Spices, Peppers Chili, Salt, Glucono Delta Lactone, Onions Dehydrated,Flavors Natural, Paprika, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Garlic Powder, Cocoa Powder,Calcium Disodium EDTA] , Tortillas [Wheat Enriched Bleached Flour, Water, Vegetables Shortening]

Plenty of controversial ingredients in that list, not to mention hidden MSG. Generally not our idea of an ideal morning meal.

If we want a Mexican-inspired breakfast, we’d prefer cracking some eggs, adding some jalapeno peppers with the appropriate herbs and scrambling them up in a pan in our kitchen. We’re pretty positive the flavors will be far better and we absolutely KNOW the ingredients will be too.

http://www.foodfacts.com/ci/nutritionfacts/Specialties/Taco-Bell-AM-Crunch-Wrap–Bacon-1-crunchwrap/92161

Burger King offers to be the main course for the upcoming Kardashian/West nuptials

burger-king-logo-kim-kanye-wedding-300x197.jpgJust imagine it. You’re a guest at one of the most glamorous weddings in history. You’re probably in France, somewhere on the outskirts of Paris. Every extravagant detail has been scrupulously planned and orchestrated. It is, as they say, “over the top.” Dinner is finally served and on your exquisitely beautiful, fine china plate sits …

A Whopper and fries.

That’s right, Burger King is offering to cater Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding reception.

While we don’t think that will fly with Kim and Kanye, it’s certainly been worthy of some press. Just exactly how did that offer get extended anyway? Burger King isn’t in the business of catering weddings, especially not for a couple who may currently be the most famous duo on the planet.

It appears that there are rumors circling that claim that Kanye has bought Kim a chain of ten European Burger King restaurants. Supposedly, a source shared the information with a U.K. tabloid, saying that “As always, Kanye is thinking outside the box when it comes to gifts for Kim. She owns all the jewels anyone could ever want, so he is taking the practical route by investing in businesses for her instead. He knows the fast food industry is reliable and lucrative, plus BK is international so he thinks it’s the perfect fit for Kim.”

It seems difficult to believe that fast food restaurants would hold any business appeal for Kim Kardashian. Let’s see, there’s a clothing line, clothing stores, makeup, fragrance, tanning products, and jewelry bearing the Kardashian name right now. We’re pretty sure the Kardashian Kids line just launched, but honestly it’s hard to keep up. We can’t understand how 10 Burger King restaurants in Europe fit into the growing portfolio. But we guess you never know!

“Burger King Corp. is familiar with the recent news stories regarding Kanye West and Kim Kardashian,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We are unaware of any purchase of BURGER KING® restaurants made by either Mr. West or Ms. Kardashian, but we’re available to cater the wedding!”

Haven’t yet heard a peep from the happy couple about that suggestion. FoodFacts.com can’t imagine that we will. While it was certainly a generous offer, we’re pretty sure that Burger King isn’t expecting to hear from them either. With hundreds of guests traveling to France for an extravagant wedding celebration, we’re fairly certain that the feast will reflect the setting — and that the ingredients chosen to create that feast don’t exist anywhere in the Burger King repertoire!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/28/burger-king-kim-kardashian-wedding_n_5050685.html

http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2014/03/30/Kanye-West-Kim-Kardashian-wedding-to-be-catered-by-Burger-King/4901396202865/

Under the Bun: Dunkin Donuts Eggs Benedict Breakfast Sandwich

egg.jpgIt’s that time again! Let’s go under the bun at Dunkin Donuts with their new “brunch” offering, the Eggs Benedict Breakfast Sandwich.

We’re sure that by now you’ve either heard about it or read about it. If you haven’t tried it yet, FoodFacts.com definitely thinks that there are things you should know before you decide. It’s important to point out that many of the online reviews have included information about how the “hollandaise sauce” doesn’t drip. Actually we’ve read that it doesn’t move. So we had a few preconceived notions before we read the nutrition facts or the ingredient list.

Here’s what we found:

Nutrition Facts
The numbers here aren’t the worst we’ve ever seen.

Calories:                    300
Fat:                             9 grams
Saturated Fat:          4.5 grams
Cholesterol:              90 mg
Sodium:                     790 mg

In the world of fast food breakfasts, the Eggs Benedict Breakfast Sandwich is actually better than most. That might not make it ideal, but if you were to base your choice of this option simply on the nutrition facts it might appear to be a better alternative to say the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant.

But here at FoodFacts.com, we need to dig a little deeper under that bun.

Ingredients
English Muffin: Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Wheat Starch, Yeast, Sugarcane Fiber, Contains 2% or less of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Chicory Root, Degerminated Yellow Corn Flour, Degerminated Yellow Corn Meal, Whole Wheat Durum Flour, Wheat Gluten, Vinegar, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Salt, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Calcium Sulfate, Fumaric Acid; 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; Black Forest Ham: Cured with Water, Salt, Potassium Lactate, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite; Hollandaise Flavored Spread: Pasteurized Milk and Cream, Water, Maltodextrin, Whey Protein Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Modified Food Starch, Sugar, Cheese Culture, Whey, Sodium Citrate, Yeast Extract, Butter, Stabilizers (Carob Bean and/or Xanthan and/or Guar Gums), Enzyme Modified Butter, Spice, Turmeric and Annatto (Colors), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Lactic Acid, Sodium Caseinate, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Diacetate, Dehydrated Butter, Lemon Concentrate, Vinegar, Sodium Phosphate, Lemon Oil, Enzymes.

The sandwich doesn’t seem like a better alternative after reading all that, does it?

88 ingredients. 11 controversial ingredients. 9 sources of hidden MSG. We can say with confidence that we now completely understand why the sauce doesn’t drip. In the ingredient list, Dunkin refers to it as Hollandaise Flavored Spread, not sauce. It’s too coagulated to move, so spread made more sense, we guess.

All things considered, we’re not going to be biting into this one.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/sandwiches/breakfastsandwiches/egg_benedict.html

http://www.foodfacts.com/ci/nutritionfacts/Sandwiches-Wraps/Dunkin-Donuts-Eggs-Benedict-Breakfast-Sandwich-1-Sandwich/91883

Under the bun: Starbucks new breakfast sandwiches

starbucks.jpgSome months it’s actually difficult to keep track of the new menu introductions from the fast food chains, and March is certainly no exception. This time, we have new product news from Starbucks.

While some don’t consider Starbucks to be fast food, it’s important to keep in mind that the chain is relying more and more on its food items as an integral part of its future success. About half of Starbucks total sales occur before 11 a.m. So we shouldn’t be surprised that earlier this month, they introduced four new breakfast sandwiches to the menu.

Let’s take a peek “under the bun,” as FoodFacts.com likes to say, and see what’s really going on with these four brand new breakfast choices.

Vegetable & Fontiago Breakfast Sandwich
This new option certainly sounds healthy enough. It features Spinach, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions and Fontiago cheese on a multigrain ciabatta bun. It also contains 470 calories, 17 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, and 910 mg of sodium. And while the ingredient list isn’t the worst we’ve seen, you’ll also enjoy some sulfur dioxide and caramel color.

Slow-Roasted Ham & Swiss Breakfast Sandwich
Simply ham, swiss cheese and egg on a croissant. Here you’ll be eating 490 calories, 25 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat and 830 mg of sodium. The saturated fat content equals 60 percent of your recommended daily intake. Not great. Natural flavors are included in the ingredient list, but there’s nothing else controversial listed.

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
Reduced-fat turkey bacon and reduced-fat white cheddar cheese on an organic wheat English muffin. This one actually is a better choice if you’re looking for a Starbucks breakfast sandwich. With 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 560 mg of sodium, it’s a lighter option. The English muffin is made with organic ingredients. Natural flavors appear in this ingredient list as well.

Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich
This new sandwich is simply described as egg and cheddar cheese on multigrain toast, which certainly doesn’t sound bad. A closer look tells us that this simple sandwich will cost us 400 calories, 17 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat and 730 mg of sodium. We honestly weren’t expecting to find this particular set of nutrition facts in this sandwich. The good news here, though, is that there are no controversial ingredients included in this one at all.

FoodFacts.com “under the bun” conclusion: There’s definitely a mixed bag here. While most of these sandwiches are high in calories and fat (not to mention, saturated fat), the ingredient lists are better than many fast food breakfast choices available. The sandwiches aren’t the worst we’ve seen … but with a little work, they could be a lot better.

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/food/hot-breakfast/egg-cheddar-breakfast-sandwich

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/food/hot-breakfast/reduced-fat-turkey-bacon-breakfast-sandwich

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/food/hot-breakfast/slow-roasted-ham-swiss-breakfast-sandwich

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/food/hot-breakfast/vegetable-fontiago-breakfast-sandwich