Popeyes customers fought each other over the fast food chain’s chicken sandwiches when they were first introduced. People continue to stand in long lines at Chick-fil-A for their chicken sandwiches. Why are these foods so seemingly addictive?
Some accuse the chains of hiding ingredients and describe the items as “chemical-laced” sandwiches. One of the main culprits most likely is monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Labeled a “toxic addition,” MSG is primarily used to enhance taste and increases cravings for the food it’s added to, Black Health Matters reported.
MSG, a flavor enhancer, is a topic of debate. The United States Food and Drug Administration recognizes MSG as generally safe, yet some people associate it with symptoms like headaches, flushing, and sweating, known as MSG symptom complex. Research, however, hasn’t conclusively linked these symptoms to MSG.
Studies have indicated a potential link between MSG consumption and weight gain, and it’s associated with neurodegenerative diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The FDA has received many reports of concerning reactions that people have attributed to foods that had MSG in them. These reactions — called MSG symptom complex — include headaches, sweating, face pressure or tightness, fluttering heartbeats, and chest pain, among others.
But, researchers have found no clear proof of a link between MSG and these symptoms.
In Popeyes’ Spicy Chicken Sandwich, MSG appears multiple times. It’s injected into the chicken, added to the spicy seasoning, and even present in the batter as “yeast extract,” which contains free glutamic acid, a component of MSG.
Popeyes has announced plans to eliminate MSG from its menu by 2025.
“We are currently testing all-clean ingredients in our batter, breading, and sandwiches in a few U.S. markets, and we expect to be on track to an all-clean menu nationwide by 2025,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We had hoped to achieve this earlier; however, our process of testing new ingredients and getting extensive guest feedback on recipe changes has been slowed down by a challenging supply-chain environment.”
The Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich has a whopping 55 ingredients, including MSG, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Potassium Iodate, and Dimethylpolysiloxane. Many of these additives are linked to several health risks, and some are banned or heavily restricted in other countries, Food Babe reported.
The sandwich also contains Blue 1 sye, which Food Babe reported, is one of the “worst artificial dyes because it has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier.” “This dye is also linked to hyperactivity and an increased risk of kidney tumors. Some research suggests it is a potential neurotoxin.”
While Popeyes admits to the additive of MSG, it doesn’t publish their ingredients on their website like other major fast food places do meaning their ingredients are under tight wraps.
Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, photo via website, https://www.chick-fil-a.com/menu/entrees/chick-fil-a-chicken-sandwich/ Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, photo via website, https://www.popeyes.com/menu