Most Active Stories
- City Visions: Can Bay Area Catholics and Archbishop Cordileone Find Common Ground?
- Enrollment now open for the 2015-2016 KALW News Audio Academy
- $5,400 for a piece of cardboard? The allure of 'Magic: The Gathering'
- Your Call: How bad is California’s drought?
- The Spiritual Edge: Afro-Cuban movement with meaning
Will Durst: Eat fresh plastic
Note: Will Durst is a comedian and you may find some of his material offensive, or worse, not funny. His views do not necessarily reflect those of KALW.
Will Durst here with a few choice words about plastic bread. I'm against it. And formaldehyde rinsed coffee beans? Not a fan. Flame retardants in my cupcakes? That's a big ol' negativo.
These are heartfelt confessions are the results of recent revelations that the Subway sandwich chain uses the chemical azodicarbonamide in its bread. Azodicarbonamide is an additive whose principle use is in the production of plastic foams like yoga mats and sneaker soles. This discovery has prompted reactions just a wee tad less hysterical than a carload of preschool Catholic girls flying off a rollercoaster into the pigpens of the Nevada state fair. Subway bread is sneakers people! You're eating sneakers. Settle down. All sorts of stuff is in our food. There's a chemical known as castoreum used in raspberry and vanilla flavorings. Now the way we get castoreum is by extracting juice from the anal glands of beavers. Not kidding. Now who first discovered that juice from the anal glands beavers tastes like raspberries has been lost in the sands of time. Probably a good thing. But it does make one think that trappers of yesteryear were a lot braver and more curious than first thought, and apparently, had a whole lot of time on their hands...as well as beaver anal gland juice.
The thing is, you take all the chemicals out of our food, you'd have to sell that quarter pounder as a 2.5 ouncer. Both castoreum and azodicarbonamide have been classified by the FDA as GRAS. Generally recognized as safe. Which sounds to a lot of us like GRABS - generally recognized as BS. This public relations nightmare couldn't come at a worse time for Subway, whose foot-long sandwiches were recently measured at 11 inches. Missing one angry inch. Or, maybe the food involved has something to do with sneaker soles. Of course if Subway really wanted to sell the American public some azodicarbonamide they could save the day by promoting it as a low fat plastic. Mmmmmm azodicarbonamide.