If you've ever looked at the obviously processed chicken patties at your local Subway and thought, "There's no way that's 100 percent real chicken," you're right.
In fact, according to research into the DNA of major fast food brands' chicken sandwiches, Subway's chicken is only about 50% actual chicken meat.
Researchers were so shocked by Subway's DNA results that they tested the sandwiches twice. While all other brands' — McDonald's, A&W, Tim Hortons, and Wendy's — hovered between 86 and 90% chicken DNA, Subway's two sandwiches had only 53.6% and 42.8%.
The rest is made up of soy and seasonings.
But don't worry — that doesn't make your Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki gross or inedible. Soy is not detrimental to your health — as long as you don't eat it for every meal, of course. Some research links the isoflavones in soy to adverse effects, like imbalanced hormones and problems with the endocrine system. So taking it easy on soy products isn't a bad idea, but the occasional Subway chicken sandwich isn't going to make you OD on soy overnight.
Besides, Subway swears that their chicken isn't as soy-heavy as the research would let you believe, and we have to remember that this is just one study.
"We are concerned by the alleged findings you cite with respect to the proportion of soy content," Subway representatives said in a statement. "Our chicken strips and oven roasted chicken contain 1% or less of soy protein. We use this ingredient in these products as a means to help stabilize the texture and moisture."
They continue to say that all of their chicken comes from 100% white meat chicken which is then marinated, roasted, and grilled. Though the company contests the findings, they have vowed to look into it with their supplier and "ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients."