The restaurant chain Panera Bread, who advocated the slogan “Live consciously. Eat Deliciously.” has lived up to their promise to have a 100% clean menu by 2017.
Panera Bread Ingredients 100% “Clean”
In June of 2014, Founder and CEO Ron Shaich announced that all Panera Bread ingredients would be “clean”, meaning no artificial ingredients, artificial food dyes, chemical preservatives, and dangerous nitrates. (1, 2)
“[We want to] actually be a part of fixing a broken food system in this country” Shaich stated. (1, 2)
Panera Bread Nutrition
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Despite touting themselves as a healthy alternative to the regular fast food giants, as of 2014 Panera Bread still used GMOs, MSG, chemical preservatives, nitrates, and other toxic food additives. Since then, they have phased out all of these dangerous ingredients. (1, 2)
Panera Bread worked with hundreds of vendors and reviewed over 450 ingredients, finally leading them to rule out 96. These ingredients include: (1, 2)
- FD&C colors
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium Nitrate
- Sodium phosphate
- Artificial flavors and sweeteners
- Propylene glycol and other petro-based chemicals
- Aluminum-based ingredients
You can read Panera Bread’s “No-no list” here for all ingredients you will no longer find in their food. (1, 2)
Tested and Re-tested
While Panera Bread is committed to servings healthy, toxin and chemical-free food, they do not want to compromise on taste. This meant the process of remaking their menu items with only clean ingredients took time – and sixty versions of broccoli cheddar soup. (2)
Other notable ingredients include their deli turkey, which now is made of just turkey breast, water, sea salt, and potato starch, contains 50% less sodium than their old deli turkey meat, and comes only from turkeys fed a vegetarian diet and raised without the use of antibiotics. (2)
From their bacon to their bakery, Panera Bread ingredients are healthier and more flavorful than ever before. Even their grocery line, Panera At Home, is 100% clean. (2)
Panera Bread Ingredients You Will Still Find
You will still find gluten in some soups and in their breads, as of now Panera Bread does not have gluten-free bread options. (1)
Panera Bread does offer some gluten-free and gluten-friendly menu items, as well as offers suggestions on how to modify certain menu items to suit your needs. They do state, however, that because they bake their bread in-house daily, they cannot guarantee there won’t be any cross-contamination and therefore don’t advise those with actual Celiac Disease to eat there. (2)
We are happy to see Panera Bread taking the lead at stepping up the quality of our food in North America. Join us in spreading the word about this momentous achievement – Hopefully, this will spur other restaurants and food establishments to follow suit!
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