Fast food chicken: Testing Subway, McDonald’s, A&W, Wendy’s & Tim Hortons (CBC Marketplace)


♪ [theme]>>Charlsie:This isMarketplace. Putting your favourite fast food chicken sandwich to the test. How much of it is really chicken?>>They’ve restructured it and kind of reformed it.>>Not all of the samples that you’ve had in front of you are 100 per cent chicken.>>Wow.>>You’re kidding!>>Charlsie: And what’s the fast food industry feeding us?>>Compared to the home cooked chicken, the fast food chicken has between seven to ten times the amount of sodium.>>Charlsie: Get ready for the ultimate chicken challenge. On yourmarketplace.[ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie:We’re testingchicken from popularfast food chains.Can I have one of those grilled chicken sandwiches, please.Not the deep-fried stuff,the grilled no-batter stuff.Is it 100% chicken?>>Yes.>>Charlsie:Check out the pitchfrom all the big brands.Surely if you’re thinking it’sall natural and all justchicken, but is it?♪ ♪To find out,we turned to science.♪ ♪Matt Harnden is a technicianat Trent University.His labs tested meatsamples for industryand government.How?Analyzing DNA>>Hi, Matt.>>Hi.>>Which is why we’re here.♪ ♪>>Will a DNA test tell us how much chicken is actually in the chicken?>>It’ll give you a rough estimate of a ratio.>>It will give us a rough estimate.>>Between chicken DNA and a plant DNA, if there’s plants.>>Charlsie:DNA tests won’tgive us an exact percentageof the amount of chickenin the whole piece of chicken,but Matt says it’sa good indicator.This idea then, that if you’re not getting 100 per cent chicken DNA, does that mean that you’re not getting 100 per cent actual chicken meat?>>Yeah, exactly. So there’d be a legitimate chicken in there mixed together with some plant filler. ♪ ♪>>Yup.If there’s something else inthere, besides chicken,the DNA test will find it.♪ ♪Matt and his team get to work.The samples we’re testing,grilled chicken breasts,grilled strips,and this oven roasted chicken.While we wait forthe lab results…♪ ♪Back atCBC,we’re setting upa another test.A taste test.♪ ♪ It’s a chicken challenge. We’re bringing in taste testers to judge this chicken. Let’s meet them. ♪ ♪>>Lunch time, baby. Let’s go.>>Charlsie:Will Mahood isserious aboutSubway. >>..cucumbers and black olives.It’s pretty wellalways chicken,it’s a little leaner, less fat,no sugar in it.You’re getting a little better quality than say, you know, a typical fast food chain likeMcDonald’s.>>Charlsie:Will trusts he’sgetting the real deal chicken. I expect that it’s going to be 100 per cent chicken breast. And that’s lunch, folks. ♪ ♪>>Where do you guys want to eat?>>McDonald’s!>>Charlsie:Fast food givesthis busy mom a break.>>They have the grilled chicken burgers.>>Charlsie:Rose Heron feelsbetter about chicken.>>Worker:Chicken wrap?>>Yes, grilled chicken.>>Charlsie:And so doesher son, Daniel.>>I think the chicken burger is a healthier option, not as much sodium and all that bad stuff in it.>>Rose:If we’re goingto eat fast food,better that we eatchicken, right?♪ ♪>>I’m ready for a snack.>>Charlsie:Irena Valenta likesto treat herself.Her go-to:Wendy’s.>>Can I have the grilled chicken sandwich. Do you know if it’s frozen or fresh.>>It’s fresh.>>Charlsie:Irena has highblood pressure, so she’s careful.>>I’m watching salt, the fat content. Hmm. That’s good. ♪ ♪>>Sample A.>>Charlsie:Our taste test isabout to get started.>>Sample C. ♪ ♪ Sample F.Our judges are standing byoutside our studio.♪ ♪>>Houston, we have lift-off.>>Charlsie:Here tospice things upToronto chef, Rod Bowers.>>Welcome to our test kitchen.>>Thank you.>>Charlsie:And to fill us inon the nutrition facts,registered dietician,Christy Brissette.>>Rod, we’re also going to have you put a little twist into this competition. What we want you to do is cook off some chicken. We’re going to see if our testers can spot the home-cooked chicken from the fast food chicken.>>I got to bring my gourmet.>>A-game.>>Let’s do it, let’s make it happen. ♪ ♪>>I’m going to put a little bit of love in here. And it’s very simple. It’s just, you know what, it’s actually just some dried herbs and a little bit of salt. That’s all you need, right?>>Well take a look at your competition here. These are our samples.>>I think I am well out in front of this chicken game.>>Charlsie:To keep this tastetest blind and unbiased,we’re stripping it down.Only we knowthe brands behind the buns.Well, all of our samples have been undressed, but there’s still one plate, that’s looking for a little love.>>Da,da,duh. Duh, duh, duuuuh. I’m ready, come on.>>Bring it on. ♪ ♪>>Alright, final sample is in. You guys ready to meet the testers?>>Let’s do it.>>Bring ’em on.>>Alright, taste testers, come on down! ♪ ♪ Charlsie:Rose, Daniel,Will, and Irena.All fast foodies, about tofind out what they’re in for.>>Welcome, welcome. You guys are here for the chicken taste test challenge. Are you guys up for the challenge?>>Yeah.>>Let’s eat some chicken.>>Yeah. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie:We startwith sample A.Rose, there you are.A&WDig right in. ♪ ♪>>Tender.>>Charlsie: Tender. yeah.>>Better than I thought.>>Yeah.>>Mine was more rubbery.>>I found it a lot rubbery.>>You find it rubbery?>>Yes, mine’s dry. ♪ ♪>>There you are, sir.>>Thank you.>>Charlsie:Next up,McDonalds. ♪ ♪>>This one was juicier.>>I find mine a bit stringy.>>Stringy, okay.>>Yeah, I’d agree with that.>>Seemed to be juicier.>>Charlsie:Here comesSubway’s first sample.>>What’s that?>>Irena’s face is priceless.>>What’s got you there , Irena? What are you thinking?>>Is it real?>>Charlsie: Is it real, okay.>>It looks like the grill marks are there just to make it look like it was grilled.>>Yes.>>Charlsie:Hmmmm, we’ll getto the bottom of thosegrill marks later.♪ ♪>>Very salty.>>Charlsie: Salty?Let’s see aboutthe nextSubwayitem.>>Now, sample D is actually – one of our first chicken strips that we’re gonna take a look at.>>The pieces I have look real. Like everything there, a good chicken. ♪ ♪>>This is the first one that tasted a little more seasoned. The other’s have been a lot plainer.>>For me it tasted like more flavour than it did actual chicken.>>It’s artificial, it’s not chicken to me. I think a bit too much salt for me.>>Charlsie:What will they sayaboutTim Hortons?>>Uhmmm. I’ll try it. ♪ ♪>>It tasted more like chicken because of the stringy-ness.>>Charlsie: And Will, what did you think about this one?>>I didn’t taste real at all.>>I found it very rubbery.>>Like, I didn’t taste any real chicken at all in it.>>As I was chewing it, I wasn’t sure that it was chicken. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie:Tough crowd.Look out, Chef Rod.>>We’re gonna start clucking.>>Charlsie:But right now,here’sWendy’s. ♪ ♪>>It’s good.>>I love the flavour.>>That “je ne sais quoi.” [laughing]>>I think this is very good.>>Mmhm.>>I felt that I tasted lemon.>>Didn’t love the taste, per say, tasted almost like sanitized.>>Even thought I didn’t find the flavour that good, it tasted like it’s more real and not too artificial. Because when things are artificial they taste a lot better than if they’re real. [laughing]>>Oh dear. Charlsie:Oh dear is right.What will Daniel think aboutthe chef’s home cooked chicken?>>Here we go, sample G. ♪ ♪>>These grill marks look possibly real. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie: Will our top chef get top marks? ♪ ♪>>It was juicy.>>I love the natural flavouring.>>I found mine a little tough at first to cut, I think. With that being said though, it tasted real.>>I found it a bit salty.>>Salty, okay. Yeah, and Rose?>>Very comparable to the one previous, either one of those I think is good choices.>>Charlsie:Now that you’vetasted these seven pieces.Did anybody havea particular favourite?>>Toss between F and G.>>G tasted the realest.>>My favourite was G, even though it was a bit more salty.>>I’m gonna go with F, even though G was close.>>Charlsie:That’s two-to-onefor Chef.Irena has the deciding vote.Will it be Chef or Wendy’s?>>I change my mind, G.>>Charlsie: G was your favourite, okay.>>It’s juicy, it’s thin and it’s flavourful>>So, we do have a little secret. So one of our samples was actually prepared by Chef Rod. Does anyone want to guess which one it was?>>I think we gotta go with G>>You’re all gonna go with G and you were able to spot the home cooked chicken.Nice job, Chef.And now the least favourite?>>C visually looks fabricated. I wouldn’t touch it.>>Okay. She was scared at the beginning. I saw her face.>>Charlsie: Will, was there one that you just did not enjoy.>>C, I’d have to agree with. It just…>>Charlsie: Rose and Daniel agree too.>>It just tasted real off and it didn’t really even have much flavour at all>>Charlsie: Subwaytakes a bighit on this chicken challenge and it’s not over yet. Which one of these pieces of chicken had the least amount of chicken in it?>>We expected 100% chicken.>>Charlsie:The labresults are in.>>Misleading. You got a company that’s branded itself a healthy alternative.>>Charlsie:This is yourmarketplace. Which chain do you think uses the least amount of chicken? Send me a tweet @CBCharlsie. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie:Fast food chicken,coming right at you. ♪ ♪We’re testing popular fast foodchicken sandwiches.Looks like chicken.>>It’s not chicken to me.>>Charlsie:Sort of tasteslike chicken,according to our judges.>>I found it very rubbery.>>Charlsie:So everyone’swondering, how much chicken isreally in your chicken?♪ ♪Remember, that’s the meatmystery we asked this DNA labto solve.>>So take a small biopsy punch of it.>>Charlsie:Trent University’slab has been testingand retesting oursamples for months.We have results.>>Yes.>>They’re in. What did you find in our chicken test?>>Most of the samples came back very close to 100 per cent chicken.>>Charlsie:Except for two.♪ ♪>>We have some more news for you. So it turns out that not all of the samples that you’ve had in front of you are 100 per cent chicken.>>What kind of filler?>>Yeah, what else would it be?>>What else would it be, that’s a great question. Any guesses, everybody, as to which of one these pieces of chicken, had the least amount of chicken in it?>>I’m going C.>>C.>>Charlsie: C?>>Oh, yes, big time.>>Charlsie:Are they right?Hmm, not quite, but close.Sample D.Our DNA test shows it couldbe less than 50% chicken.>>You’re –>>Wow.>>You’re kidding.>>Charlsie:And sample C… Well our DNA test shows it’sonly slightlymore than 50 per cent chicken.And who makes both C and D?Subway chicken.>>Oh, my goodness.>>Wow.>>Whoa, yikes, eat fresh.>>Healthy choice?>>That’s misrepresentation.>>We expected 100 per cent chicken.>>Charlsie: Subway’schickensamples have the leastamount of chicken DNA,and the mostamount of fillers compared tothe others.>>You’re getting these inexpensive fillers that aren’t as nutritious for you.>>Previously I would have said oh, great Subway, that’s a pretty good choice, you don’t feel as bad, but not anywhere.>>Misleading. You’ve got a company that’s branded itself as the healthy alternative.>>Charlsie:So what doesthe sandwich giant have to say?For months we’ve been asking Subway questions about their chicken. We sent them our DNA results. Got no clear answers. We asked for an on-camera interview, they declined. Now they question our science, but say they’re concerned and they’re checking with suppliers to make sure their chicken meets their standards. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie:But we stillhave questions.So we tracked down a foodscientist whoknows the industry.Hi, Ben.>>Hello.>>Thanks for having me.At the University of Guelph,Ben Boyer specializes inprocessed meats.So these are samples, do you want to take a look?>>Yes.>>Charlsie:He’s filling us inon how he thinksfast food chicken stripscould be made.>>This is likely a restructured type of product potentially.>>Charlsie:Restructured meansbinding pieces of meat togetherand then formingit into one piece.They stick them together>>They use some non-meat ingredients, to add value to those products.>>Okay.Add value,translation: Costs less.And what are thosenon-meat ingredients?♪ ♪We got them, straight fromthe company web sites.We put them togetherin one long list,in no particular order.♪ ♪We share it withour fast foodies.They expected just chicken, butour DNA tests showsSubway could only be half that.>>I don’t know what most things are.>>Wow.>>It’s almost like a chemistry class not a cooking class.>>Charlsie:DieticianChristy Brissetteis not so surprised.>>Many of the ingredients were refined starches or different names for sugar. Lots of different names for types of sodium and different salt combinations.>>Charlsie:But Ben saysaccording to Health Canadathey’re all safe and approved.>>A lot of these, to be honest, you could find in your kitchen as well.>>Sodium phosphate I do not have in my kitchen cupboard.>>Yup.>>What does that do?>>It’s particularly important if you’re going to freeze some of these products.>>Charlsie:It helps thechicken retain water,keeps it juicy.>>Boyer: There’s very tight regulations with sodium phosphate.>>Why?>>That’s to make sure that it’s a wholesome and safe product.>>Okay, is there a danger with sodium phosphate?>>No, certainly no more danger than any other type of salt.>>Charlsie:Well, Christy’snot so certain.>>I think these are going to be the trans fats of the future. The research has shown us so far that when you have higher levels of these phosphates in your blood, you’re at a higher risk of cardiac disease, kidney issues. They are included in amounts that are approved by Health Canada, that are determined to be safe, but we don’t know the long-term impacts of them on our bodies and on our health.>>We’ll go with sodium phosphate next.>>Charlsie:Sodium phosphatesare used in all the recipes,except for Wendy’s.>>And we’re going to be mixing this together, and you can kind of see we’re already starting to kind of form a –>>It’s like getting gel-like.>>Charlsie:And something thatSubwayadds thatthe other samples don’t.Soya protein, why would you need to put more protein in a chicken product?>>A lot of great binding capabilities, potentially improved texture. Those type of things. And in some sense, it also makes the product slightly more cost effective.>>Okay. So cheaper?>>Yes, exactly.>>Okay.Remember, our DNA test showsSubway’sstrips and oven roastedchicken could beonly about 50 per centchicken.And guess what?The rest,mostly soy.>>So it’s very likely they’re probably making more of a product that contains this ground chicken and forming it into a patty.>>Charlsie:Yup. Ben thinksground chicken breast meat isformed to look like this.Let’s just flip this over.>>Flip it over and we’ll see these grill marks here.>>Charlsie:Okay.Surely the food scientist knowsabout those grill marks.What do these things tell you?>>There’s probably some sort of oven or grill type of system, that they run a lot of these sandwiches through and get a very consistent grill mark design on these.>>Charlsie:But evenhe’s not sure.So after some digging, we think we’ve solved the grill mark secrets. According to a former employee at a processing plant, these grill marks are actually seared on to the patty after it’s already cooked. And, they’re pretty much just for show.>>Charlsie:The chickenchallenge continues.>>From a sodium perspective you might as well eat a big portion of poutine.>>Charlsie: Wow.Nutrition shakedown.This is yourmarketplace.Getmarketplacein your inbox once a week.Sign up for our newsletter atcbc.ca/marketplace. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie:The ultimatechicken challenge.♪ ♪Our grilled chicken sandwichtest isn’t over yet.To find out how the nutritionshakes down, we send moresamples to a different lab.How does the fast food compareto home cooked chicken?Nutritionist and registereddietician Christy Brissetteanalyzes the results, and givesus the low down.>>How many grams of carbohydrate, do you think are in our home cooked chicken?>>Zero.>>Zero, right, chicken is a protein. Many of the ingredients were refined starches or different names for sugar, that are being added to your chicken. Chicken breasts should not have any carbohydrate in it whatsoever, and it’s not the type of carbohydrates that we want.>>Charlsie:Now, you probablydo want protein,but fast food chicken,a quarter lessthan home cooked.>>And when we looked at the sodium amount, that completely blew my mind, compared to the home cooked chicken, the fast food chicken had between seven to ten times the amount of sodium.>>Charlsie:And get this,Subway’soven roasted has themost sodium, but the least,Subwaystrips.>>When you’re eating the entire sandwich, two-thirds of your daily limit of salt. So from a sodium perspective, you might as well eat a big portion of poutine.>>Wow.>>The message is that those companies are portraying, it sounds like you’re taking it straight from a farm and it’s just a fresh piece of meat. No manufacturing process to it, then it shows up on a sandwich.>>They put this health halo over these chicken sandwiches where they seem virtuous, seem angelic and people think they’re doing themselves a favour, making a healthier choice. They’re not the pure, virtuous chicken that’s coming from the farm to your plate.>>Charlsie:Last question, doesanybody feel like chicken tonight? [ laughter ]>>Maybe –>>If we cook it.>>Charlsie: If you cook it, okay.Will eating chickenever be the same?Next week onmarketplace,how not to get ripped off.Who’s in charge of that hiddentourist fee?>>It is a mandatory fee for this location.>>It’s sneaky, it’s shady, it’s deceiving.>>We’ve been under cover twice now, it’s gotten worse. Some businesses have hiked the fees.>>Charlsie:Don’t fall for it.And busting sky-high hospitalTV charges.>>Why they charge $17 a day for a TV that you plug in a cable and away you go.>>Charlsie:Another taxon the sick?♪ [theme]

100 Replies to “Fast food chicken: Testing Subway, McDonald’s, A&W, Wendy’s & Tim Hortons (CBC Marketplace)”

  1. I buy my chicken whole, 50 lbs at a time straight from Maple Lodge Farms…Takes me an hour to cut it up the way I want it and freezer bag it and that lasts me nearly 6 months (having a chicken meal twice a week)….If you eat more than 2 fast food meals a week. you need to take a cooking course…Or watch more youtube cooking vids and learn how to feed yourself.

  2. They needed at least one or two black person and Hispanic, also Asian person, to make it fair in judging the chicken

  3. Even as a Professional Chef, I sometimes have cravings for Fast Food (probably from my childhood). Big Mac, Filet of Fish from McDonald's and the Spicy Crispy Chicken W/Cheese sandwich from Wendy's are my Go To choices. When I eat these things I'm very aware that it's probably not the healthiest thing for me to eat, but when I get Fast Food, I know this. Don't think that the grocery stores aren't doing the same. Those bags of loose chicken pieces that say "up to 15% broth added" are just the tip of the proverbial Iceberg. As a chef I've noticed the texture of most store bought chicken that's not "organic" has a rubbery texture these days and the taste is flat. The meat also doesn't really have a strong grain pattern either. I'm not an organic buyer, but chicken is the one exception.

  4. That Chef kept making faces when they ate his so he gave it away that it was his so basically they saw that and voted for him ..awkward ….

  5. I don’t eat fast food period. It’s not that difficult to learn to cook. My go-to meal when I’m really hungry and pressed for time is a extra crunchy peanut butter sandwich (whole grain wheat).

  6. “Two thirds of your daily limit of salt”. That nutritionist just lied. You can consume just over 10x that limit & it will have no effect on your health. It all goes in your pee.

  7. I decided to watch this video since I was walking to Subway to grab a chicken sandwich……… let's just say I'm super glad I did

  8. I really thought this video would be a wake up call to subway but 2 years later… still the same boring old quality.

  9. Not real chicken? That's clucked up.

    Is it just me or did the dude next the old lady have like no elbow room?

  10. anybody that actually cooks there own chicken properly should be able to tell how bad those other chicken pieces actually taste

  11. I rarely eat out. I buy all my food from Aldi. No GMO. No artificial flavors, grass fed, organic meat. I cook all my meals at home. Salads. Rarely eat meat. I was over weight after being a nurse for 15 years. I packed on the pounds. I lost over 40 lbs. just by not eating fast food and eating healthy food at home. No fad diets. I didn't even exercise. No pop.

  12. Who on earth does NOT know that fast food products are just pure crap ?
    People who have been living in a cave for a century ?
    Thank you anyway for these documentaries which inform us.
    Comment from France where food is considered as hugely important since we eat 3 times a day.

  13. For crying out loud! SODIUM IS PERFECTLY SAFE! Sodium Chloride (NaCl) IS FREAKING SALT! THESE POOR PEOPLE WERE TRICKED INTO THINKING SODIUM IS DANGEROUS! It's perfectly fine. Just like calories.

  14. Fillers in meat can cause health issues – this is why Celiacs won’t eat anything that doesn’t say gluten-free, even when it’s something like grilled chicken, because who knows what’s inside. “Natural flavors” can include wheat. This is common in sausage, hot dog, bacons, lunch meat, and any other processed or flavored meats. Most people just don’t even realize because they don’t have the health issues and haven’t dug into what’s really inside their food.

  15. Fast Food 🍔 isn't healthy? It's made with processed ingredients? Whaat?! I'm shocked OMG 😱 seriously!!!!

  16. AGAIN: it's not "processed" ingredients that is the problem. Organic foods are processed. You need to process the grass-fed beef with the quinoa (or whatev") to get it into the bowl. SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS, CHEMICALLY SYNTHESIZED and ARTIFICIALLY ENGINEERED are more appropriate words! How come I need to teach yanks/anglos to speak their own language!?!??????!!!!!

  17. 16:31 All approved as SAFE?? How about you call out the many GMOs loaded with BT toxin: canola, corn (maltodextrin, dextrose, citric acid etc.) and soy! Only missing is cottonseed oil, LOL!

  18. The end commercial = Whoa! And here I thought the hoity-toity canucks were supposed to be angels up there, what with their lib presitard, TruduQ! (You read that right!) And here they are, worst scammers than yanks. Tourist tax?? LOLOL! Tax on the sick?! Burn in hell!

  19. Well considering Subway hired someone who they knew is a pedofile to represent their company, it doesn't surprise me that they're questionable in their representing of the food they sell

  20. even 100% chicken now adays can be shite.they can cook the resedue of the bones.sinues and memrane ,cartilage the make it into a paste and can reconstruct a chicken from crap

  21. There's something in Subway bread that makes me very nauseous, Only the bread… and only Subway bread products. Obviously, I don't eat Subway anymore but just thought I'd pass it on after many trials to see which part of Subway's products was making me feel like puking. Now, just the thought of one of those foot long's is enough to turn my stomach. Anyone else found this?

  22. I'm more of a Burger man than a chicken man. I have always loved McDonald's because of the taste of their burgers & fries. Usually when I go to a fast food joint I order two burgers and fries. Usually when I'm at home, I eat chicken patties and popcorn chicken and chicken tenders and tenderloins and pizza rolls.🐔🐓🐔🐓🐔🐓🐔🐓🐔🐓🐔🐓🐔🐓

  23. I keep watching and laughing at the idea that the chicken from a fast-food chain is healthier. There have been several studies that these so-called healthier options are actually worse for you than the regular menu.

  24. Can you folks do a show on Copacabana Steakhouse Rip-OFF Report!
    https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/copacabana-brazilian/toronto-ontario-copaca-down-1484431

  25. I stopped eating chicken 4 years ago and cow unless it was a fast-food burger 1 year ago… Im vegan now and have never felt so good… I have always been thin until I hit 52 and then I chnaged everything. stop eating that crap if you can.

  26. I worked for one of the suppliers of subways chicken in the usa and we made the long patties shown in video and the strips the grill marks are placed while in the oven and im 99% in America at least the chicken is all chicken unless subway specifically tells them to mix stuff into it since ive never been in the back where they make the chicken ive only seen it cooked and frozen, everyone there eats the chicken the plant produces though. We made all kinds of chicken that I know was 100% real chicken for schools and such but subways stuff is kind of remade into certain shapes or breast is grinded up into massive patties and cooked and partially frozen then diced then frozen solid, that stuff is a pain to make and always leaves a huge mess!

  27. Who cares I still love subway. Honestly if you compare a sub sandwich and everywhere else mentioned here subway is healthier even with the chicken.

  28. Had a Wendy's homestyle chicken sandwich and couldn't eat it. It was still cold and the texture was like tendons. I left a comment on Yelp that it was today's fresh roadkill. This was 2 years ago and haven't been to a fastfood joint since. It's cheeper and tastes better if you cook meals at home. Also, you don't have to wonder if someone spit on your food, stomped on it with shoe, or handled your food with their hands after peeing or pooping and didn't wash afterwards.

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