How would you like your eggs? Over easy, sunny-side up, soft-boiled — or injected with several additives you’ve likely never heard of? Aren’t eggs supposed to make for a healthy meal?
If you’re not thrilled by the thought of additives, we have some bad news. In a press release, restaurant chain Panera Bread recently revealed “that 50 percent of the top 10 fast-casual restaurants that sell breakfast have an ‘egg’ made of at least five ingredients, often more.” When you include Starbucks’ Sausage, Cheddar & Egg Breakfast Sandwich, this number rises to 16, per The Daily Meal.
In the same press release, Panera Bread says it is petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set clear parameters on what counts as an “egg.” The petition asks that the FDA “clearly define the standard of identity for the term ‘egg’ on the grounds that it would promote honest and fair labeling and naming of food products for sale within retailers and foodservice.”
This seems like a simple-enough request. Since when does an “egg" require quotation marks? Why are restaurants making the egg so complicated? If it ain’t broke, don’t crack it! (Sorry, we had to.)
“In the case of ‘eggs,’ we have no guidance,” Panera director of wellness and food policy Sara Burnett said. “Brands can say they offer an egg sandwich, but sell an egg product that contains multiple additives.”
These additives can include citric acid, the preservative TBHQ, modified food starch, guar gum and xanthan gum, RDN and author of “Secrets of a Kosher Girl” Beth Warren told Women’s Health. The gums are products used for thickening food textures, with xanthan included in items like cosmetics and lotions.
For its part, Panera insists that it is the egg-ception. “We believe people deserve to know what’s in their food and make the best choices for them based on this knowledge,” Burnett told The Daily Meal. And with an item as straightforward as an egg, it really shouldn’t be this hard.
If you’ll be eating up your nutrient-packed eggs at home, thankyouverymuch, here are 11 new and easy recipes to try.
Read more: The 20 Best Ways to Use Eggs
What Do YOU Think?
Were you aware of these extra ingredients that may be lurking in your eggs? Are you surprised to receive this news? Should restaurants and fast-food joints be required to be more transparent about their ingredients? Let us know in the comments section.