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Panera - say it isn't so!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Panera was our go-to on the go food. We thought fresh ingredients and antibiotic free chicken was great. It often saved us on busy nights and DS enjoyed it. Imagine my HORROR last night to finally look up their ingredient list and realize they put MSG in their soup. They also use nitrates with their meat and HFCS. I was devastated. It is absolutely clear that we can't trust any establishment - even those boasting as "healthy." We have spent lots of money there over the years, but they are officially on our blacklist now.

I sent an email to their corporate office explaining how bad MSG was and that it was dishonest that they purported to be healthy then hid it in their ingredients (it;s in every soup.)

Please consider writing/emailing/commenting.
post #2 of 23
MSG is pretty hard to avoid, especially in soups. In Asia, it is a standard soup base.
post #3 of 23
I don't know a lot about msg, but for some reason I thought it was derived from a vegetable. I know it gives some people headaches, but I'm wondering if there's more I should know?
post #4 of 23
Oh... this is disappointing news! They are one of our once in a while quickies too It's especially tough in this part of the country to find decent quick food.
post #5 of 23
MSG is a carcinogenic neurotoxin.

Very bad stuff.
post #6 of 23
I checked out a few of the soups and didn't see MSG... is it listed in a backhanded way? Or what soups is it in? I might have just checked ones that didn't have it.
I know there are ways that msg can be listed so it isn't obvious, but I don't remember all of them. I have to say when I go to Panera I don't really expect them to be as health consicous as I might be, but they are much better than many other restaurants.

I still think (for many, our family included) Panera is an alternative worthy of consideration over other options. I know when I get one of their sandwiches it has more butter/fat/caleries than I need but when I need a break from cooking it is healthier than many options. I do think that people, in general, are easily fooled by marketing techniques or are ignorant about ingredients (myself included- but I'm trying to learn more) but that overall Panera still gets some credit for what it IS doing. I also know our local Panera's have been breastfeeding friendly, supportive of local organizations, and have some good business practices.

I do think if MSG is in their soup, that should be disclosed and I would hope that is something they would be amenable to. I think also letting the company know that their customers WANT items that are HFCS, nitrate free, etc. etc, they should make good use of that information either by making changes or finding a way to label their products in a way that is satisfactory.

Jessica
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookietooth View Post
MSG is pretty hard to avoid, especially in soups. In Asia, it is a standard soup base.
It doesn't seem like it can be that hard to avoid. There's so many chinese restaraunts around here that advertise themselves as msg-free..
post #8 of 23
Sprouthead, it is actually IN a lot of things but the components are seperated so you don't actually read MSG on the label.
http://www.truthinlabeling.org/II.WhereIsMSG.html

This is the 'list' that I remember reading about what things can be misrepresented as not having MSG


These ALWAYS contain MSG
Glutamate Glutamic acid Gelatin
Monosodium glutamate Calcium caseinate Textured protein
Monopotassium glutamate Sodium caseinate Yeast nutrient
Yeast extract Yeast food Autolyzed yeast
Hydrolyzed protein
(any protein that is hydrolyzed) Hydrolyzed corn gluten Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)

Jessica
post #9 of 23
I have only been in there a few times...and it looks to me that there are only a few organic items on the menu...and that's just the kids menu.
post #10 of 23
I have just removed many posts from this thread. Please remember, per the announcement at the top of the thread, that Activism is a *No Debate* zone. If you don't support the cause, then don't post. Posts that debate in Activism will be deleted.

You are free to submit a counter cause if you wish.

Thanks
post #11 of 23
UGH! What a major bummer!

Thanks for the heads-up!
post #12 of 23
i would venture to assume that their bread contain trans fats, aka partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
post #13 of 23

I am with you!

I felt the same about Panera!!!! I have raised my 3 year old form conception until now on mostly organic food. When we eat out I try to go for all natural and I thought I was safe with Panera. My daughter does not even know what McDonalds is! HOWEVER I found out the other day that they use hydrogenated fats in their bagels!!!! I was like WHAT! I was so mad as they pass themselves off to be a healthy eatery and gave everyone the impression they use natural ingredients. Have you checked their pastries...artificial colors, flavors etc. I am so upset! I sent them a very strong letter, I was so mad and NOW you tell me they use MSG in their soup....wonderful. I should stick to whole foods! My other alternative for eating out was Chipotle Grill, as far as I know they use natural ingredients but now I wonder. I live in NYC and in the city there is Pret A Manger, they are all natural for sure and they use mostly organic ingredients when possible but they are just in the city and I live outside the city in queens. Panera just opened up near me, I was so excited : (
post #14 of 23
Disgusting, isn't it?
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest1226 View Post
I felt the same about Panera!!!! I have raised my 3 year old form conception until now on mostly organic food. When we eat out I try to go for all natural and I thought I was safe with Panera. My daughter does not even know what McDonalds is! HOWEVER I found out the other day that they use hydrogenated fats in their bagels!!!! I was like WHAT! I was so mad as they pass themselves off to be a healthy eatery and gave everyone the impression they use natural ingredients. Have you checked their pastries...artificial colors, flavors etc. I am so upset! I sent them a very strong letter, I was so mad and NOW you tell me they use MSG in their soup....wonderful. I should stick to whole foods! My other alternative for eating out was Chipotle Grill, as far as I know they use natural ingredients but now I wonder. I live in NYC and in the city there is Pret A Manger, they are all natural for sure and they use mostly organic ingredients when possible but they are just in the city and I live outside the city in queens. Panera just opened up near me, I was so excited : (
i am a chiptle fan too, but it squicks me out sometimes when i think about the fact that they are/were owned by mcdonald's.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessjgh1 View Post


These ALWAYS contain MSG
Glutamate Glutamic acid Gelatin
Monosodium glutamate Calcium caseinate Textured protein
Monopotassium glutamate Sodium caseinate Yeast nutrient
Yeast extract Yeast food Autolyzed yeast
Hydrolyzed protein
(any protein that is hydrolyzed) Hydrolyzed corn gluten Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)
Wow, really? Gelatin?
post #17 of 23
I had absolutely no idea and am very sad to read this news about Panera. I always felt so much better deciding to go there for a quick lunch than any of the traditional fast food places. :-(
post #18 of 23
I LOVE Panera but I don't order meat items. I'll have to check out the few soups I order sometimes to see about the MSG, mainly the veggie one and the tomato one.
post #19 of 23
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post #20 of 23
I so don't like Panera's-their stuff all tastes awfully flavor-enhanced to me.
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