Food Babe Investigates: Why Chick-fil-A?

This is a guest post from Vani Hari (a.k.a. The Food Babe) and New York Times Best Selling author. You can read more about her take on the food industry in her second book, Feeding You Lies!

Long before I became the Food Babe I used to be addicted to Chick-fil-A. I remember the first time I tasted it – it was at the mall when I was very little and they used to have the free samples. There was a lady walking around outside of the store with hot, fresh pieces of newly fried chicken on little toothpicks. It was free so of course, my parents let me try it.

The smell alone was intoxicating, not to mention the taste. What continued for many years was countless meals of Chick-fil-A during my childhood followed by almost daily consumption in college. Thinking about it now, even though I haven’t had it in what seems like a decade…I still know what a Chick-fil-A sandwich smells and tastes like.

This is why I chose the mall to begin my latest food investigation. A lot of people who generally don’t eat fast food still eat Chick-fil-A. A lot of people say “I only take my kids to Chick-fil-A once in a while.” Countless moms and dads take their kids to Chick-fil-A, thinking it’s better than other fast food places.

When I first wrote the post Chick-Fil-A or Chemical-Fil-A? last summer, so many of my closest friends and family members were downright shocked at the list and type of ingredients Chick-fil-A uses – which are similar to big chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.

Back in the day, restaurants were not required to list ingredients, there was no google, and we were all pretty much kept in the dark about what was in our food. Now that times are different, and most of the information is readily available at our fingertips and in most stores themselves, I wanted to know how many parents have actually looked at the ingredients in Chick-fil-A. So I asked.

I started off the questioning with “Why did you bring your family to Chick-fil-A today?” I interviewed 30 families in total between a mall based Chick-fil-A and a popular standalone store.

These were the top three (food related) answers.

1. “My kids asked for it.” The information I am about to share may make you think twice about giving in to their requests.

One of the main ingredients of Chick-Fil-A’s nuggets (regular and the new grilled ones) which is listed twice is Monosodium Glutamate, a.k.a. MSG. The amount of MSG that food companies can put in your food is not regulated. MSG is an excitotoxin that can excite brain cells to death. MSG can cause adverse reactions in some people including “skin rashes, itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches, asthma, heart irregularities, depression and even seizures.”

As a follow up question, it was natural for me to ask the parents who first introduced their child to Chick-fil-A. The answer was always pointed back at them. The parents introduced Chick-fil-A to their children.

Which reminds of me of one of Lisa’s older posts – Kids eat processed food because parents give it them. I couldn’t agree more with Lisa’s thoughts here. “Young children have to rely on their parents to provide good food for them.” You have to admit, parents have a lot of control over what their children eat whether they take on this responsibility or not.

2. “It’s better quality and tastes fresh.” It may taste good, but I have to question whether adding MSG to meat from conventional chickens that are sometimes given antibiotics is quality? If you look at a typical Chick-fil-A sandwich to see what keeps it “fresh” you’ll find close to 100 ingredients, 18 of them being different types of preservatives.

I wonder if these preservatives could keep a Chick-fil-A sandwich pretty much intact the same way it kept a Big Mac intact for 30 days exposed to air, illustrated by Morgan Spurlock’s experiment with McDonald’s during the movie Super Size Me?

The FDA allows food companies to add these preservatives in limited quantities.  However, they do not prohibit combining different food items together.

For example, let’s take TBHQ which stands for “Tertiary Butylhydroquinone.” TBHQ is a chemical made from butane and can only be used at a rate of 0.02 percent of the total oil in a product. This ingredient is listed twice, once in the chicken and once in the bun. It’s easy to see how the typical American diet can result in one big whopping dose of preservatives in a given day.

Chick-fil-A abides by the required FDA limits, but limiting TBHQ to a certain percentage is the same logic the FDA used when allowing a product to still contain 0.5 grams of transfat and be labeled “transfat free.” Fresh, as you can see, can be a chemically derived illusion.

3. (Many versions of…) “If I turn in the toy from the kid’s meal I can get an ice cream cone that my kid loves and I don’t have to deal with all these annoying toys everywhere in my house.” Having less toys may sound better, but check out what’s in Chick-fil-A’s “Icedream.”

This little treat has all sorts of processed sugar, transfat, caramel coloring, and artificial food coloring x 2. Since when did you need to color vanilla ice cream white? I couldn’t find out exactly what kind of caramel colors Chick-fil-A sources, but the caramel colors that some fast food chains use in soda is linked to cancer.

California recently added caramel coloring to a list of carcinogens that caused soda manufacturers to reformulate their ingredients to avoid a cancer warning label on their product.

After speaking to these families, I ended each conversation with one last question. I asked “Have you ever reviewed the ingredients listed in the Chick-fil-A nutrition guide?” No one had. Not even one family out of the 30 that I interviewed. I tried to hand out as many guides as possible but only a handful of families accepted them.

How many of these families would think eating MSG, TBHQ, artificial colors, and caramel coloring is just fine? I made it a point to approach each family with an open heart and kindness, but when I was done for the day, the whole exercise left me sad, depleted and reminded me that we have a lot more work to do in this country to educate people about REAL FOOD.

I want to leave you with something you can make the next time you have a craving or your kid “asks”.  Here is a REAL FOOD organic recipe that tastes like Chick-fil-A so you can truly provide fresh to your family.  Enjoy :)

Comments have been closed on this article, which was written by Vani Hari. If you have a question or comment you can reach her at

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425 thoughts on “Food Babe Investigates: Why Chick-fil-A?”

  1. Unfortunately although they say that they are free in
    fact they are not. Scott has been known as the mastermind behind Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator.
    As a result, it truly is much better to download free movies online.

  2. Alarmists will do anything to get page views.

    This site’s whole concept makes Perfect the enemy of Good. I can’t imagine what kinds of comestibles would qualify as “real food”, unless it involves brushing organic dirt off cucumbers grown in a semi-sterile environment and eating them raw.

    If you want to stay healthy, eat a variety of foods and none of them to excess; use common sense to avoid foods that are clearly foolish; exercise regularly and talk to your doctor about any health issues you already have. Poof: instant better living, without all the grief that sites like this impose.

    1. I’m not sure exactly what she refers to as ‘real food’; however, I am so glad that sites like this exist to inform consumers of the dangers of preservatives in foods. I am severely allergic to yeast and will die if I ingest msg, which is derived from yeast. I wanted to check to see if I could eat Chick-fil-A’s grilled chicken breast and found this article. I’m so thankful that it was out here to inform me along with the actual ingredient list that I finally located on Chick-Fil-A’s website. Many people eat at this restaurant because they believe that it is healthy and good for their children. At least people are more informed now because of foodbabe’s research…

    2. You do realize that doctors have zero training on nutrition unless they go out of their way to get educated. So most physicians have no idea what effects our bodies will have as a result of what we’ve done to our food supplies; but their finding out, the hard way…after the damage is done. Why do you think cancer (in all forms) is on the rise? It’s getting to the point where 1 in every 2 people will get some form of cancer in their lifetime. I have stage 3 breast cancer; it doesn’t run in my family, it’s not genetic, it’s because of all the hormones in so much of the foods we eat…and I’m not a junk food junky or fast food queen; 90% of our meals are prepared at home using grocery meats, produce, etc. Sites like this bring to light just how corrupt and deadly our food supply has become.

      And, by the way, they’re called practicing physicians for a reason – they’re still practicing at getting it right.

  3. Michael Woodruff

    Food, yeah. I would like to hear something about looking at porn and the health effects of that. I would say I’ve gone from eating to libidinous looking at porn roller coaster. I eat healthier now and don’t look so much, but maybe that’s age. is there any answer other than im a sick perv?

  4. OK, I GET IT IT IS BAD STUFF. But can you really say that eall the fresh fuits and veggies out there are really fresh!!! They are picked before they ready loaded with preservetives to keep them fresh longer. Then when you get them home you wash znd wash them and that wax feeling never goes away. So all of THOSE preservetives are ok fir our kids because its on fruits and veggies????? There is nothing good left, thats why everyone is always ill…..

    1. If you read a little further into this website, you’ll see that they recommend organic produce for that very reason. Farmer’s Markets and Homegrown is a much better option to avoid the chemicals.

  5. I work at Chick-Fil-A, and I eat there every day that I work. I agree on so many levels that people should be made aware of what they are eating! I think people don’t look into what they are putting into their bodies enough. I agree though, that most things are okay in moderation. I have never had an adverse reaction to MSG, though a few employees can’t eat our chicken because of it. I recommend that anyone with concerns about the MSG levels see a doctor about how your own body may negatively react to it. (The chicken is filleted, seasoned, coated, breaded, and fried in stores, by the way- doesn’t change the ingredients, but fresh should count for something.)

  6. one thing i am surprised you have never mentioned in your ingredient analysis: the term “natural flavors”- the FDA allows that to be used as another euphemism for MSG, as well as other meuroexciter toxins (the usual culprits) so you see, each of the aforementioned poisoned “UFOs” (Unhealthy Food-like Objects) contains even more msg, etc than even you suspect, foodbabe!!! thanx and keep up the good work; so much education to still be done (its galling to see people STILL defending this chemical garbage, as in the 1st comment; what part of poisonous & unhealthful, devoid of nutrition & potentially deadly [and DEFINITELY deadly cumulatively] do people NOT understand?!?!?)

  7. I am so glad someone finally brought this information out about their ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I have eaten my share of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, but after reading the ingredients and sodium content I was floored. They should remove the msg and take the transfat out of the buns. The chicken is really salty. People need to be made aware of what they are feeding themselves and their children. Kudos to you for bringing attention to the ingredients!

  8. When I was pregnant w/my daughter in 2009 if I ate Chic-fil-A (these were pre-real food days) it made me feel sick. Ever since then I haven’t liked Chic-fil-A! Now I know why! My body was ahead of my brain on the real food journey!

  9. Oh, say it isn’t so. I guess I’m going to have to plead- EVERTHING IN MODERATION on this one. I do not intend to quit eating the most tasty chicken sandwich ever made. We probably get a sandwich once a quarter, and you know what, I’m not going to lie- I think about them all the time. So, that said-I’m not quitting and I’m not going to quit giving it to my family when I’m too bushed to cook either, but now, I’ll make sure it’s only about once a quarter…

  10. I think everyone knows that fast food is bad for you but we are lazy in America, so we choose not to read the ingredients because it will only make us feel bad about eating it but it wouldn’t stop us because we are lazy.

  11. Thanks for the info!
    On a side note, if you receive a free coupon for Chickfila and you don’t want it, please pass it on to a charity of some sort and don’t throw it away. People are hungry and starving, and would be happy to have an msg chicken sandwich. Just sayin.

  12. I happened to be eating Chick-fil-A while reading this. Hilarious! For some reason, I feel even better about my decision.

  13. I want to thank you for posting this. Ever since I read your article about chick fil a, I have stopped eating there. This is coming from a mom who allowed her children to eat there whenever we went to the mall, which is pretty regularly. My kids love the place but knowing what I know now, I refuse to feed them that. Im big on reading ingredients and I cant believe that I thought chick fil a was some how better than Mcdonalds or any other fast food joint.

  14. Chick-Fil-a is the only fast food that I would let my kids eat. Until now…thank you, thank you. I am enlightened. And I feel more empowered having this knowledge.

  15. Chick-fil-a is fast food. Pure and simple. I will treat it as such, which means that my family and I will eat it sparingly. Listing all the junk in this or any other fast food restaurant’s food will not affect my decision. I already know it’s unhealthy.

  16. Thank-you for posting this! I’ve never thought about it like this or even bothered to check the ingredients! I do eat their chicken nuggets occasionally or a salad with grilled chicken (hopefully those are just chicken?). I’m always checking ingredient boxes when we do eat processed foods, and try to find healthier alternatives if we still want to splurge on something like Mac-n-cheese. I don’t think we’ll be eating there much at all, even though we cut back a while ago and are trying to eat in more and get healthier meats and more vegetables/fruits.

  17. After reading the comments from other, I am compelled to make a follow on statement. Each has the ability to control the quality of their life, and therefore extend our lifespans. Otherwise, stand in front of an oncoming tractor trailer and see what Psalms will do for you then. God would say that you’re stupid!

    The preservatives and monosodium glutimate are bad enough, but it’s the large-scale use of antibiotics that is a major health risk. One could with reasonable argument say that Chick-Fil-A’s appreciation day last Wednesday with over 700,000 people may well have been the largest wholesale acute public health risk of the entire fast food industry.

    Centers for Disease Control has documented a large upsurge in antibiotic infections, especially urinary track infections in women. These infections can become chronic and deadly. In fact I lost a friend last year to such an infection. Genetic analyses of the culprit bacteria show clearly that they have been modified by the antibiotics given to chickens (in large doses I will add) to make them grow faster. CDC sees the use of antibiotics in chicken as the #1 risk to public health like a ticking time bomb. The poultry industry has been encouraged to adopt the European cleanliness methods, but so far they have resisted and people like Dan and Truett Cathy want to keep it that way. Well, we are not going to allow them. New regulations for cleanliness a for chickens raised WITHOUT antibiotics are just around the corner.

  18. I stopped eating at Chick-Fil-A in 2005 after I learned of the company’s discrimination practices against is employees and against LBGT person. Quite simply, they despicable. Now I see that they use chicken heavily loaded with antibiotics, we have another mechanism to attack them: from a regulatory side.

  19. sadly, justin passed away from a heart attack shortly after writing his comment. I would say you will be missed justin, but I would be wrong.

  20. I drive right past fast food places these days. No more of that stuff for me, even in moderation.
    I’m 54 this year and I’m making lifestyle changes to help the rest of my years be (hopefully) healthier. Good luck to everyone on their own personal journeys — may you choose wisely.
    Live long and prosper.

  21. The author is definitely misinformed and hippie-naive about these products and additives. And MSG is delicious. I will bathe my children in it.

  22. I Love Chik Fil A and will continue to eat there…..everything in life is bad for you to some degree….Moderation and healthy lifestyle are most important and Chick Fil A is a great part of that for me!!!!! I’m going to get some right now….you’re missing out!!

  23. I have heard that Moe’s fast food restaurant uses locally grown and in season foods in their menu items. Might be worth a looking into. It is burritos and wraps and things like that, I know not this is not everyone’s ideal type of food but better than the alternatives if this happens to pan out.

  24. The only fast food restaurant that I’ve ever been to that seems healthy is EVOS.

    Unfortunately, there are only about 5 of them so far.

  25. Hi,

    I enjoy your website, and I appreciate the effort you are going to, in order to educate folks about the things we eat, but the meat thing is a serious issue. I am a single parent, and I cannot afford to buy the entire cow at once, so that my family can have beef for a year. Frankly, I struggle to buy the whole chicken at once! Short of becoming a vegetarian, which isn’t likely, how is a person with a normal budget supposed to buy their meat from local farmers? I’m surrounded by them, and I go to the fair every year, and watch them sell for over a thousand bucks at a time. This would be a MAJOR investment for me. Is there some other way? Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily do you have any farmer’s markets near you? We have a few near us (central fl) that sell grass-fed beef and free range chickens, all are antibiotic free. We cannot afford to buy a whole cow and cannot keep chickens because of city ordinances, but we try to make our meat stretch further and include more vegetables/sides instead of a large piece of meat per person.

    2. Emily, this is late in coming but start asking around. Sometimes the farmer’s markets are filled with people who buy products from farmers and resell them. See if you can locate some small, local farmers and ranchers that will sell you less. In Brenham, TX, there is a farm that raises cattle, chickens and pigs. They actually have memberships where they vacuum pack and, once a month, deliver fresh meat for the coming month, vacuum packed and frozen, to your door. Perhaps there is something like it in your area.

      Local farms for fresh vegetables should be more plentiful than that, though, and you’ll be surprised how good the food tastes. Also, there are cheap (even free) things you can grow yourself in just about any size space to add to your meals and make them more attractive. I would definitely keep up the search if I were you. It may prove worth it in the long run to be patient and keep looking.

  26. Thanks for this information, I’m a type of person who is not conscious of what I eat, but after reading your blog I should be aware of what I will eat and if its beneficial or not.

    Sylvia from bouture rosier 

  27. The clinician who reportedly believes that MSG can “excite brain cells to death” also believes that vaccines are still causing autism. He retired to ‘market’ his own brand of ‘brain repair formula’ to anyone who will buy it. I am all for supporting natural alternatives to fast food, but I’ll believe that MSG (glutamic acid/a naturally occurring substance) is actually harmful when I see someone with decent credentials and research (preferably more than one) supporting it, and not with an ulterior motive.

    1. I agree with you completely. It’s stuff like that that really prevents people from wanting to make a lifestyle change. They see one scare tactic and then assume it’s ALL scare tactics, even though there’s good stuff in there that will help them. Argh!

    2. I can attest to the fact that MSG causes those problems in people. My wife is MSG sensitive and, when she accidentally ingests it, she finds herself in the bathroom hours later with both vomiting and diarrhea and a splitting migraine-like headache. She is in a cold sweat and loses a day’s work each time this happens. We don’t eat out a lot but, when we do, we make sure the restaurants don’t use MSG.

      It also affects me but, since I’m not especially sensitive, I only experience the worst of the symptoms if I eat a lot of the food or its especially saturated. My mother is more sensitive than I and not as much as my wife and, as you would expect, she experiences symptoms to a greater degree than I do but to a lesser extent than my wife does.

  28. This article and the comments make me so sad. Why? Not because I love CFA.. I’ve actually never understood the hype.
    It makes me sad because six months ago the business my husband and i owned had to close from lack of sales.
    Not counting the soda machine (we did have other alternatives), we had nothing that had preservatives or msg. Our bread was made fresh that morning by us, and it had a grand total of 7 ingredients. We cooked all of our meats in house except the ham and pepperoni. Some days we even threw in a gluten free flax seed bread.
    Where do you all live that your area would support this? Sigh…

    1. Austin, TX would support this type of restaurant for sure. I’m sorry you had such a hard time with that business. It’s not right.

  29. Awesome Lisa, thank you for your post! I live in Plano, TX. Yesterday at the Plano Public Library, YES, a *public library* – they were handing out coupons for a free Chick-Fil-A kid’s meal (with a free kid’s Dr. Pepper beverage of course)to children. Let me tell you I was shocked that a place young children go to learn, that Chick-Fil-A and the director of children’s programming would not think twice to market fast food to children. My daughter is 4 years old! That Chick-Fil-A and other peddlers of junk food would stoop this low to advertize to young children is disturbing. Letter to director of children’s programming and the Plano Public Library director sent!

    Mixing paprika, olive oil, and salt and rubbing it on a pasture raised piece of chicken from my nearby market takes no time.

    1. My son’s school gives away coupons for free Chick-Fil-A kid’s meal for joining the PTA or doing things like having perfect attendance for an X amount of days and other accomplishments like that. I will say that the local Chick-Fil-A donates money to the school which is great. I will be hiding the coupons this year before my son sees them.

  30. The Bible tells us that “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16) I say eat a chick Fila sandwich with your family and thank the Lord for giving you such a great meal. This article is written as if you have control over the day you die. remember your MAKER!!!

    1. But you do have a choice in how healthy those days are :) Why not make a little effort to have a quality life, where you can serve God because you have health to do it?

    2. This article in no way states that you can have control over the day you die, however it does that you can make educated decisions on what you put into your body…the one God gave you to take care of and use for good things. Im sure the Lord will approve people taking care of their bodies.

    3. The Bible also says your body is a temple. Why would you fill your holy temple with harmful and cancer-causing chemicals if you could easily avoid it?

    4. If your’e going to go all bible thumping on something like this, then what about ‘Your body is a temple’. The bible talks about caring for your body…How is eating all these chemicals and preservatives taking care of your body and your children s body??

      1. EVERYBODY should be educated about what they are eating… regardless if you’re still going to eat it or not.

      You can enjoy a great home made meal with your family and thank GOd for that! Geez.

    5. Thanks for clearing that up. I’ve been thinking about trying heroin for awhile, and now that I know it doesn’t matter whatsoever what I put in my body, I’m going to jump right on that. Praise Jesus for giving us such a boon of heroin.

  31. I have come to realize (sadly) unless I make the food from scratch from trusted local sources I am feeding my children mystery food. Yes it takes time and money and energy but everything we do as parents is to provide the best life we can for our family. Thank you for your time and energy you put into this blog. Many tasty and happy meals have been made and eaten at our family dining table because of you.
    Also ignorance or “just because” is not a good reason to give up on giving your children the best you can. It is not a lost cause…it is us mommy’s (and daddy’s) that can change the world when we makes choices about what we will and will not buy!

  32. I found this article to be very interesting and a different look at why junk food is bad for us. I live in Australia although I have family in America and I travel there once every few years. I’m always amazed by the number of “chain” restaurants and fast food outlets that I see while there. I think that for a lot of people the convenience of picking something up is just too great over sourcing unprocessed foods. The people are left looking at the options of chains and fast food and feel that they have to make the “best” choice from that. I think it’s a great disservice to a community when there isn’t a way to access fresh meat and vegetable easily. In Australia we have local butchers in every suburb, some better than others still, who can tell you where the meat has come from. We have farmers markets even in the big cities and green grocers where you can find out just where your food has come from. We still have two big supermarket chains (no walmart, though) which sell meat and veg but we have a choice about where we get it. It’s a shame that those mega-conglomo places in America push out little local butchers. At the end of the day a “healthy choice” from a fast food or chain place is still junk food from a chain or fast food place. If you don’t make the food and put the ingredients in yourself; chances are you don’t know all the ingredients in what you are eating!

  33. Wow!! THANK YOU for this! My fiance is not 100% on board with a completely real food diet, though he’ll eat whatever I cook for him (then later scarf down Cup o’ Noodles..) so hopefully showing him this, and making your wonderful knock-off recipe, will help curb some of the fast food habits he has!!

  34. I am embarking on a new effort to feed my family whole foods. I was saying just the other day that if I were out with the kids at lunch and needed to feed them in a pinch that a Grilled CFA minus the bun would probably be an OK thing to do. Guess not! :-( We used to love CFA!

  35. Well, daggone it! My husband LOVES Chick-fil-A as well as other fast food restaurants. He is just now beginning to learn about “clean eating”. Are there ANY good restaurant choices out there??? I doubt he’ll stop eating fast food altogether.

  36. Oh, this makes me so sad. Chick-Fil-A was my last hopeful chain. Now we can’t eat anywhere!! how disappointing! Sigh…..
    My kids will think I’ve once again gone off the deep end.

  37. Great info! Sheril mentioned something in jest but I think it goes to the truth of the matter. Yes we need to start growing our own food again and yes that includes our meats. The corporations love people like Sheril that think its impossible to co op these farming tactics. I am a Christian a conservative and I have a brain! The genetically mortified food and chemicals/pesticides we are consuming are killing us in drastic numbers. Ask yourself how many people do I know right now that have or who have had cancer. Now do a little research and you’ll discover cancer rates have drastically increased over the past 40yrs. Coincidence? Finally, yes its very hard to eat clean all the time but go to your local whole foods or farmers market and buy true nutrition. Our countries citizens are severely under fed with fake food due to the corporations pleasing our tastbuds and not our bodies! lastly talk to a farmer and see what you can arrange you might be surprised with the options !

  38. This made me LOL because I nearly ate their everyday in college too! Except I knew it was bad for me having been raised by semi-hippies;) I wasn’t that great at managing meal planning yet so I chose to buy when I was on campus.

  39. This is sad but true. I always read the nutritional information on what I eat so this is not surprising to me. Unfortunately this and most of what is served in fast food places is unhealthy. What does surprise me is how many people don’t know or don’t care what is in the food they’re eating. I won’t lie, I on occasion will eat a few Chic-fil-a nuggets because they are delicious and convenient, but for the most part I try to select foods from which the list of ingredients contains only food words (oats, cranberries, almonds, honey) and I avoid words like ( partially hydrogenated oil, mono- and diglycerides, artificial flavors and colors) I absolutely LOVE how you employ the words “real food”. Some who are apathetic or ignorant when it comes to nutrition call it “health food” Last I checked, food is supposed to be consumed for health, not for entertainment. I’m a fan of the Mediterranean diet myself. Thanks for this article. Keep fighting the good fight!

  40. Hello Food Babe! (and hello to all your fabulous followers!)

    This post about CFA saddened me beyond belief! Eight months ago I started to eat “clean” but allowed myself CFA as my cheat meal 2-3 times per month. It was my go-to “healthier” fast food option (isn’t it everyone’s?) when I wasn’t at home and the kids were begging for something to eat. I was so disheartened to learn about MSG (among other things) they are using and feel totally bamboozled! Grrrr….

    After two weeks of lamenting over this (and subsequently festering every time I drove by a CFA), I started a petition on While the greater goal is that CFA would take MSG out of their seasoning, my hope is it will at least raise awareness with the general public and the millions of American families who have gladly accepted CFA as that healthy alternative to the places with the crown or golden arches.

    So here’s the petition: – I hope you’ll sign it! And maybe even share it with your followers. ;)

    Thanks for ALL your posts. Our family is eating much more real food because of you!

    Cheri in Cary, NC =)

    1. Cheri thanks so much for starting the petition! I signed and I’m hoping many more will.

  41. I agree with Misty. When I eat Chik Fil A, I too have a hard time breathing and at times have felt like I was going to choke. I had no idea as to why.

  42. Frankthefitter

    I think the important thing to take away is that you shouldn’t make these places a staple of your diet. Taking your children there once a week while feeding them quality food the rest of the week is in my opinion perfectly acceptable.

  43. I ordered grilled nuggets while eating at CFA last week. It was a grilled chicken breast cut into pieces. I picked up a nutrition guide at Chick-fil-a yesterday. No where did I see in the nutritional guide that there is MSG in the grilled chicken (which was cut to be nuggets) as Food Babe stated. Are they perhaps using one of the 5000 names MSG can be labeled under?

    1. Here are the ingredients for the chicken breast off the CFA Website:
      Chargrilled chicken (100% natural whole breast filet, water, contains less than 2% of sugar, butter flavored vegetable oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, natural & artificial butter flavor, TBHQ, beta carotene], yeast extract, seasoning [sugar, spice, paprika, soybean oil], modified food starch, salt, sea salt, natural flavors, dextrose, potassium phosphate, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, paprika)
      According to, the yeast extract and autolyzed yeast extract are relabeled MSG as well as a few other ingredients have the possibility to have MSG in them.

  44. Thanks so much for this information-our son loves chik fil a but has a severe reaction to MSG-we always enjoy eating there because the service is a step above the usual fast food-i also appreciate chick fil a NOT opening on Sundays.
    Praying for Jeff (who posted above)

  45. Ahh, I don’t know where to start with this article! But here’s my two cents (as I see it from both sides). Firstly, I’m a single mom, on a single mom budget, with single mom time. I don’t have the “luxury” of being a stay at home mom, nor do I have the resources either of these women have (you can just look at Lisa’s backsplash and tell girlfriend’s got money!) Which truly, good for them, that’s just not my walk of life. But I’d say my 5 year old and I do eat 85% real, organic, food. Which I manage to buy, prepare, and plan all while working full time and going to school at night. So it IS possible. And thankfully with just she and I, not budget busting. But yes we got to CFA probably once a month and always will :) Love that place, for lots of reasons. All things in moderation I’ve always believed. Unfortunately, I am from the town of a huge chicken manufacturer (Perdue) which is where our CFA gets their chicken. I do intend on writing Frank Perdue (one of these days, I swear it’s on my to do list!) I do think these companies are hearing our cries. Just the other day I read Burger King is starting to use pastured pork and farm fresh eggs. Not that I’ll be running out there anytime soon, but it’s definitely a start. My only thing is this…let’s say I’m on a certain walk in my spiritual life. I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior, I live every day as a true Christian, and I’m pretty much well on my way to eternal life! But then I would NEVER turn around and write a blog entry and judge all of you and basically call you IDIOTS for not being at the same place in the walk with Jesus as I am…get it? For if I really truly wanted you to hear my message, I would not condemn you, judge you, and chastise you, but encourage you the best that I could so we could ALL be in this together :) Okay sorry for the ramble, just the best example I could thing of regarding Food Babe’s “judgey” post. Regardless, I love Lisa, and all she does, and am forever thankful for her plethora of information!

      1. Wow, 125 is actually not much if you have a family of four or more. Our biweekly budget is 250, and it is a stretch. We often get very close to empty on the day before our grocery trip. Kudos for showing the receipts and what you bought from where. It is helpful!

      2. And we do support Chik Fil A when we eat out. We are in the process of our switch to real foods, almost completely off processed foods, but for the occassional “treat” out, we choose CFA for reasons other than their ingredients. We appreciate their high service standards and that the owners are people of faith.

  46. Thank you for this article as I had never thought to look at the ingredients at Chik-Fil-A. Am making your chicken sandwich recipe as we speak…problem is the coating keeps coming off…wonder what I did wrong?

  47. I cannot eat chicken from Chick-Fil-A. I end up not being able to breathe or swallow. When my husband was a young guy, he was a manager of one, and they DO care a lot more than other fast food chains. They have quality standards far above that of most fast food restaurants. Their chicken is hand fileted and marinated and then hand breaded. It’s a step above the preformed meat product that passes as chicken at other restaurants.

    It is pretty obvious that something called “Ice Dream” is artificial. I don’t think there is anything surprising or shocking about that.

    I am glad this article was published, as I, for some reason, had not thought to look at the ingredients in the chicken–and now I know why I nearly stop breathing whenever I have eaten that chicken.

    I do agree that fear and guilt are never good motivators to do anything. If we tried to eliminate every impure thing out of our diet, we would probably not be able to eat anything. This isn’t the land of unicorns and rainbows, after all. :)

    1. I agree completely. I also agree that if we want to choose the best for our families, we will choose wholesome, real, unprocessed food. The word, “FAST” combined with food is a dead ringer that for the most part, the food will be processed with a lot of additives that we do not need.

  48. Thanks for this expose. I found this article because your blog was linked from the Well Trained Mind Forums and I was looking for more ideas for eating whole/raw foods. We had just come back from the Chick fil a daughter son knight and I almost threw up reading this. I can’t believe I was so naive as to believe any fast food could be better. I try so hard to avoid food coloring and additives, especially msg at home. How ridiculous that I’ve been letting my kids eat at chick fil a. Even if it averages out to less than once a month, it is still horrific that I’ve done it and I feel extremely guilty. It makes me wonder about any (not fast food) restaurant though. Am I to not eat in any restaurant in fear that there is most likely msg in everything?

  49. Thank you for the awareness you bring to most people who would not think to educate themselves on the importance of fresh organic eating.

  50. Saz Tim and sherill… Funny I’m naive but are u people so naive u think that fast food is the only place that sales food with these adetives? no what do u think is put into the meats from walmart or publix? They actually put a form of steroids in there meats… So what do we need to do own a farm and slaughter our own animals for food? Honestly that’s the ONLY way to get healthy meat… And for the record I am a Christian but I also watch the news enough to know that A LOT of people are trying to petition against chik fil a bc the owner refuses to open on Sundays. Next time people start trying to “inform” me that my child is not eating foods that are good for him I’m going to ask them if they want to invest in farmland for my family so that I can be sure to give him foods that do not have these adetives in them and see what they say? EVERYONE is feeding there kids foods with god knows what in them so they way I look at it chik fil a is just another corporation selling food with adetives in it. Oh and its funny I’ve been eating these foods that aren’t healthy for me for years and I’m not fat or getting sick or getting headaches from what I’m eating… It’s all in your mind set.

    1. No, I am not naive about this topic, although I appreciate why you would bring it up. I see where your point of view is coming from and it is a place I have been at times. My desire here has been two-fold here. 1) to stand up for the right of the blogger and the regular readers of the blog to have this ongoing discussion and stand up for themselves in the face of vehement criticism; and 2) to encourage and help any others who are somewhat interested and may end up improving their lives and their service to God through the results that may come to them from carefully and hopefully prayerfully paying attention to food issues. I hope that is not offensive to know that I include prayer in these matters and hope that others do as well. Since you said you are a Christian so I assumed I had good odds that I was not going to put your back up with that one.

      I would suggest that if you can get the time to do it, you should read through all the comment to get a fuller understanding of what I have said throughout the discussion. (this discussion has been quite the exception in my life that I have participated so much, but as it is my comments are all through it.)

      And please know, I would be happy to continue studying this with you, on topics ranging from the harmful stuff in Walmart or Publix meats to a Christian’s need to keep balance in their minds between various scriptural concerns (I must be careful of my budget and a good steward of my families money vs. I must try to be wise to be a good steward of our health which may at times cause me to want to spend money for a 25 dollar supplement that I have to pay for out of pocket vs. a 3 dollar co-pay for a chemical medication that will rid me of a serious symptom. This is a real concern with no perfect answer that must be bound on every person. I recognize that. These are things worthy of discussion.

      And on a separate topic, for the record, I think the idea of such a petition is a travesty. There is no room within a just society for a group of people to force another group of people that they cannot believe that they should not work on Sunday’s nor have any of their employees work on Sunday, AND act on that belief. I can’t imagine what their motivation could be that they could convince themselves that it is a worthy cause. But I sincerely suspect that they have unworthy underlying motivations that they may not even be able to be honest with themselves about.

    2. Oh, and I should have mentioned… I never slaughter my own animals, but I do buy my meat directly from farmers who I have real and reliable information from. I pay the farmer. The farmer delivers the animal to the processor. The processor and I speak about what cuts I want, such as so many pounds of ground beef vs. some number of roasts and steaks. Later the processor lets me know when my meat will be ready for pick up, which may include time for the meat to hang before being cut up. I drive to the processor and pay a processing fee for their labor. The processor then gives me my meat, already hard frozen. I take it home and put it in my deep freeze.

      for all that, possibly sounding like a complex thing to anyone who has never conceived of doing such a thing, it is simple after the first time and then I do not have to run to make time to buy meat in the grocery for months at a time.

      also, in the long run it has not worked out to be any more expensive for my family than grocery store meat. We get a variety of cuts all at the same price and it averages out, without me paying any extra for the excellent quality of the meat. For a family that never buys nicer cuts of meat, the bottom line may work out somewhat differently.

      1. How do you go about that? I live in nanaimo bc its a small town. should I look into local farms around here? how do you find a processor? how do I go about asking about this? Please let me know im very interested in doing so :)

    3. 1. Please learn how to spell. It will greatly increase the level that people take you seriously.
      2. Just because you aren’t sick now doesn’t mean that you won’t be later. That reasoning doesn’t hold up.
      3. Lisa actually advocates buying locally raised meat, and it’s really not as hard or time consuming as you make it sound. She definitely does not promote buying meat from Wal-Mart or Publix for those very reasons (antibiotics, growth hormone, fillers, etc.).
      4. You say that everyone is feeding their kids food with God knows what in them. That doesn’t make it OK for you to do! I see people abusing kids all the time that doesn’t make it ok for me to do so.(BTW as a Christian I figured you would know that you’re supposed to capitalize God.)

    4. There are grocery stores in most towns that provide completely fresh products which include, meat, dairy, vegetables, fruit, and a variety of other foods. There are even certain products in stores such as Wal-Mart and Kroger that are fresh and do not include chemicals or preservatives etc. It simply takes a little time to read the labels. There really isn’t an excuse other than an individual’s own desire not to try.

    5. First off you could learn how to spell. Obviously your laziness for proper language skills is a potential indicator for other deficiencies across your life. Second, if you think that feeding your children healthy foods requires an investment in the farming industry than maybe you should`nt have had children. You should start saving your money for medical treatments for your family because of the junk you`re forcing down their gullets. Maybe you`ll get lucky and your children won`t develop issues until they`re older(out of your household) but you probably won`t take care of their medical problems anyway, seeing how that would require investing in the entire medical industry,according to your logic. People should be tested first, before they can reproduce.

      1. I’m disturbed by the tone of some of these responses. If you want the original commenter to actually pay attention to your post, I find that speaking in love will get you much farther (see Sheril’s response for a great example). As a side note, and I only bring this up because I find it very ironic, if you’re going to criticize language skills, make sure your post is picture perfect (in line 4, it should have been “then” rather than “than”).
        I must admit that I have been tempted in the past to reply very quickly and in a similar tone to this when I have been incensed by some comment, but I’ve come to learn to read the whole article and comments over again (in a neutral frame of mind) before writing anything down. This allows me to see where comments are coming from, and it helps me reply more appropriately.

  51. I live a far distance from any CFAs, so on a trip to Baltimore I gave one a try. Blah, not interesting, barely had to chew the thing. That’s not great food, it’s crappy, mediocre food that you have a memory of being delicious once upon a time. I feel that way about KFC, but anytime I’ve had it in the last several years, it’s been a big disappointment. Don’t fool yourself for one second that any fast food is good food, because it isn’t. Living in California we have In ‘n Out, which I’m sure you have all heard is SOOOOO GOOOOD. Not really, it’s maybe less bland and boring that other fast food burgers, but it has nothing on one made at home. Same goes for the fries. I do justify it every one in a blue moon, but once again, I’m usually disappointed in my meal as a whole. When you start eating real food, you realize that fast food just isn’t good. All the chemicals they douse their “food” in to make it taste good should be outlawed IMO, and it would be eye opening to people how the food tastes without them. I don’t have any plans or intentions to give my kids fast food, though I know it will happen at some point. What I do hope is that the foundation I’ve set of real food will help them realize on their own that fast food isn’t good food.

  52. This is meant to be educational. If you dont like it don’t read it. And of course all the “Chemists” are going to cry that this is bad info, wouldn’t want to put themselves out of a job now would they? I dont know all about the chemistry either but what I DO know is that when we haven’t eaten out for a while we feel better, but then we are running real late getting home or whatever and stop for fast food and then we crave fast food for weeks and if becomes a vicious circle getting off of it. I appreciate those like The Food Babe for doing everything she can to educate all of us. Thank you. I loved the article!

  53. @Ian Your analogies are hysterical yet so full of truth. When I began reading Lisa’s 100 Days, I “thought” I bought and made decent food. We only ate fast food and at restaurants occasionally. When it became apparent that myself and my fiance needed to lose a few pounds, we decided to follow a REAL FOOD only diet, we also cut out ALL fast food, dining out and alcohol for 30 days. That month I lost 9 lbs and my fiance, 17 lbs (okay, maybe we needed to lose more than a few, but this is all about denial, right?) We were amazed that we could eat whole dairy, real meat, full fat everything and still lose so much weight! Of course we exercised, but with full-time jobs, a full-time family and extra-curricular activities who has time to do all that much? My point, is that by changing our diet, and exercising a little, we lost weight, gained a ton of perspective and changed our lives forever. Everyone can do this.

  54. What if you thought about cheating on your diet, the way you thought about cheating on your spouse…could you justify your fake-food affairs? Could you tell your wife, “Hey honey, i had sex with my secretary only twice this week, but don’t worry I drank a bunch of water.”

    Try fasting for 40 days consuming nothing but water, let your senses, including taste-buds rejuvenate, and then see if you’re still a slave to your food addictions.

  55. Ilove Chickfila

    I don’t like this post for numerous reasons. Perhaps the biggest one is the ridiculous judgmental and snotty tone and attitude with which it reeks. If some stranger is approaching my family and me in CFA, acting all holier-than-thou and in-your-face, you better bet I am not going to take whatever kind of clutter he or she is trying to force upon me while I am trying to enjoy a meal with some loved ones. Who do you think you are?

    1. Since she spoke, very early on in the comments, about how friendly all the people she spoke with at the CFA were it is a good bet that she did not approach them in the manner you have described. Way to get upset and start projecting.

  56. The idea that fast food is cheaper is completely absurd! I have a family of 5. Three growing boys means big appetites. If we were to go to CFA, or any other fast food establishment, we would easily spend $30+ for the entire family to eat ONE meal. Tell me that you can’t go into a grocery store and purchase fresh, real food to feed your family a meal for $30 bucks! Excuses are excuses. Having a tight budget is one of them. You either commit to spending the extra time and effort to feed your family good food or you don’t. End of story.

    1. Amy, I totally agree with you however we have forgotten how to COOK! We don’t think outside the box..we use the box! Haha. :) I could buy a gallon of milk, some cheese, eggs, ground beef, pasta, rice chicken and frozen or fresh veggies with that and make several meals. It is more about they have made us dependent on them and taken away our power to feed our families which includes basic cooking knowledge. I had a home ec in school…it isn’t offered here anymore! Basics!

      1. Sad, but true. many of us have forgotten how to cook. Even a big time, love to cook person like me sometimes lets the habit go to by the wayside.

        I was just cooking with my daughters a little earlier and speaking to them about having understanding for how easy it is for that to happen so they can be kind to people including themselves in the future, but also about remembering how to get back to simple whole foods and just how few ingredients can be thrown together for a really great result. We have a pot luck to go to tomorrow. We made mashed potatoes, then used them in making shepherd’s pie. Then we made a cucumber salad, which was just cucumber sliced thinly stirred together with some chopped onion, salt, pepper and sour cream. Lastly we made a celeriac and apple salad with a homemade dressing, which mostly involves all the knife time cutting the produce into matchsticks and then making a mustard flavored homemade dressing to stir in.

      2. So true. I just got back from the groceries, while I bought a few organic items mostly I bought real food items, butter, milk, bananas, oranges, green beans, eggplant etc. For dinner I did caesar salad and I used bottled dressing (the only bottled dressing I do buy and we don’t often), chicken shredded onto whole wheat flatbread, much cheaper than eating out and it fed 5. That is generally my idea of not cooking.. :)

      3. “That is generally my idea of not cooking.. ”

        hehe, I love that! Thanks for the smile I got from it!

        You mentioned that there is just the one dressing you do still buy… this is one of my most current issues in my revamping our diet. I held out for a long time not wanting to stop buying bottled dressing. So, I am just starting to force myself to make homemade dressings more often. What a journey! (who knows why that one has been so hard for me?!)

  57. I find it very disturbing how many people are basically defending processed foods (and are so up in arms about it) when cancer is clearly an epidemic in this country and across the world right now. Why? Because we are the first generation to be exposed to so many chemicals and toxins #1 in our food, #2 in the products we put in and on our bodies (toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, etc) and #3 yes, in other things we can’t necessarily control, like fluoride in water or fire retardants in mattresses (until we replace that bad boy for an organic one some day). I agree with some of the people above who wonder WHO CAN DEFEND THIS? WHY??? Make your own chicken. It’s not that hard IF you make health a priority.

  58. Funny this article came up. I took my kids to CFA on Tues, it was a no school day for us so this was a special treat.
    We changed our diets over a year ago and I now believe we eat 100% pure whole, healthy foods. Our lifestyle and the way I cook, what I buy, ect. has been changed for the better.
    However I still have 2 school aged children so I took them to eat and play for awhile.
    I can not even explain to you how sick I felt that evening and the next day. After not eating fast food for so long it was a TOTAL shock to my body. I felt awful. I thought that I was doing ok by ordering the grilled chicken breast, whole wheat bun, and then I ate a handful of fries. I felt so guilty for taking my kids there after the effect that it had on my body, I can only imagine what they felt like.

  59. Did you know that even those so called “whole foods” will contain toxins just from the environment they are grown in, even if grown in your own backyard? If you grow your own food take it to an independent lab and see if there are toxins in it and which ones, you may be surprised. We cannot escape toxins. There was an article in National Geographic a couple of years ago about a man who ate nothing but organic foods and had the toxins in his body tested. They found over 100 different toxins in his body that he said competed with a Kansas wheat field. Do not be fooled by all of this hype. Environment has a lot to do with it too.

    I do not advocate a diet of fast food. I also do not have the food budget to shop ALL organic, so I stick to the dirty dozen. I cook at home 90% of the time so I know what is going in my food, but even then there is no 100% guarantee. We all need to eat as healthy as we can exercise, and stay at a healthy weight. Fat will kill you faster than any of those chemicals. In the end the thing that’s going to decide the outcome is genetics. That is science not conjecture.

    The fact is that we are living longer than ever and for the most part healthier. I have seen both of the movies talked about and yes it makes me sick. But maybe what we should be doing is spending time writing Congress so they will support organic growers, grass fed cattle ranchers, and others so we everyone can afford to buy more organic and natural foods. Otherwise for most people it’s cost prohibitive.
    I like Chick-fil-A and will continue to eat there once in a while. I will also continue to eat Kashi cereal and other goods. With so many families working full time it’s hard to have a garden, shop for expensive foods and cook everything from scratch. I would love to but it’s not realistic.

    In the mean time if one is going to write articles about food one may need to have things independent tested and report on it from a scientific standpoint and not just opinion.

    1. Ummm… yes toxins are everywhere. One of the many reasons is the ongoing support some consumers are giving to the market to produce those chemicals so they can be put in your food and you can buy them. I can’t fathom why you want to discourage people who have made a different choice with such fallacies as you have presented. But those of us who are voting with our dollars and being heard in the marketplace so that good healthy choices are increasing and becoming more affordable are very happy with our decision to go in this direction.

      And you appear to have very little good info to go on about what fat in the diet does and doesn’t do. To say “fat” is killing people as a blanket statement does not reflect the reality of what is wrong with the man-made fats in our diets that are harming people versus healthy fats that are healing people like coconut oil. And don’t even get me started on the fertility problems being caused by low fat diets because of so many people in our society buying into the all fat is bad dogma and failing to get educated to the fact that fat is necessary to our nervous systems and our reproductive systems.

      Some people are living longer healthier lives and a bunch of people are suffering from chronic debilitating and misery inducing health problems that were extremely rare 60 or so years ago and unheard of past centuries.

  60. Thanks for the information! I was definitely like a lot of the parents you interviewed. I figured Chick Fil A was one of the better fast food alternatives and never bothered to look at the list of “ingredients”. The fact is, chemicals should not be considered ingredients in foods for human consumption, period.

  61. I have been a loyal Chick-fil-A customer since I was 9. My father operated a store for 2 years and after that, we were smitten! I have always admired Truitt Cathy’s stand on being closed on Sundays. Their customer service is always outstanding. I guess I just trusted that they held all their standards high. I am saddened to learn what is in their food. I can’t believe that I am just now finding this out. But since I am now on a mission to change what we eat, I am learning so much and most of it is shocking. Everywhere you turn, our food has been polluted. But I can choose what I feed my family. And chick-fil-A is off the list.

  62. The people who get the most defensive, saying the author is judgemental and doesn’t have the facts…why are you all in a twist? Did you READ the title of her blog?

    Look, as parents, and as WORKING parents we are ALL busy. My family NEVER eats at fast food restaurants. NEVER. Really, how hard is it to grab a few healthy snacks on your way out the door to tide kids over until you get home? My kids are 11, 9 and 7 and when we go out they all know to grab their water bottles, and we grab a few snacks. That way if anyone gets hungry while we are out we have healthy options with us. Does it take planning? Of course it does. Are there days when the last thing I want to do is cook something for dinner? Uh, hell yeah. But going to a restaurant where the food is of questionable origin and loaded with chemicals is NOT an option. I suck it up and make dinner for my family. If you *choose* to go to fast food restaurants, it is a choice. No one is holding a gun to your head. If you are educated as to what is served at these places and still *choose* to go there…well, that’s on you. Don’t attack the messenger.

    Oh,and to the poster who said the author didn’t back up her *facts*…google ANYTHING she says and you will find the facts. She isn’t making this stuff up.

  63. I actually enjoyed your post. I’ve never had chick fil A, but I’ve had Mc. Donald’s and I am happy you are so passionate about what you believe. If anyone attacks you I would love to hear their solution to our nations obesity . Cooking at home more often is obviously much more healthy , even my 4 year old can understand that. You are not claiming to be an expert and I’m surprised people get so offended or upset at the fact that you are actually trying to inform people, it’s not like you are stopping them from eating anything at the end of the day the choice is theirs!

  64. I lived in South Carolina for 7 years and we all LOVED CFA!!! Yes, I took my kids there at times….along with some of the other nasty fast food places.

    For the past several years, we have been mostly organic and vegetarian. We have also become marathon runners. I can tell you that we have seen a huge difference in our family’s health and our running performance since we changed our diet!!!

    People, fast food is BAD. I know that CFA as a company is wonderful, but their food is plain old fast food so it is filled with all kinds of preservatives and unprounounceable words and abbreviations. Remember the old adage, “You are what you eat?” Well, I don’t really want my family to be BHT or MSG or hydrolzed anything. That doesn’t feed muscles and brains and immune systems.

    I am a homeschooling mom of four and I also care for my 97 year old grandmother who lives with us. I worked part time until my grandmother’s health got so bad that someone had to be with her 24/7 and I had to do things like take blood sugars and give insulin shots 4 times a day. (BTW, if you want a picture of what bad food choices can do, spend a day with my grandmother…..) Even with all that I do, I find time to cook our food. Crock pots make it so easy to put a pot of soup on or whip up a batch of pasta sauce. When you cook something, just make double and freeze some for later. Believe me, it’s much easier to serve a sandwich of real peanut butter and real fruit spread or honey on some real wheat bread with some cut up fruit than to be testing blood sugars and giving insulin shots all day.

  65. I so appreciated this post. I don’t eat sugar or meat and I’m lactose intolerant. Needless to say I don’t eat much processed food because most of it has sugar in it. And I’m amazingly healthy for a 40 mumble ish (I think it is the good food).

    But I DREAM ABOUT CFA. I used to love that stuff. LOVE IT. Of course, I don’t eat anymore. But sometimes, after the lentil soup is gone and the melon I ate for dessert is a distant memory…I can smell the just right spiciness of CFA. Sigh.

  66. I am in charge of nourishing my family and 90% of our diet is homemade, homegrown, organic or local. HOWEVER, I am guilty of CFA being one of the few escapes we have back to the ignorant food culture! As hypocritical as it sounds, I am a Chikfila lover mostly for what they stand for and their southern style food and service, but AHH.. as hard as it was to hear..I am VERY grateful for your post, information, and research. This has greatly impacted my view of an occasional visit and I will very much limit if not end it as a choice I make for our family! (can’t believe it) Much needed motivation for me. But I also want to THANK YOU THANK you for the make-at home recipe you provided!! Can’t wait to try it!
    {Lisa-along with many others, I LOVE your site and appreciate your work!)

    1. I 100% agree with you!!! It’s hard to hear about our beloved and cherished places and foods, but we all need to be aware of what we’re eating and feeding our families. What we choose to do with that information is up to each one of us. Don’t shoot the messganger because you don’t like the message!

  67. It seems, from reading the comments above, that peoples food choices are nearly as sacred as their religious ones. What we put in our bodies appears to be highly personal and when our choices are attacked, we defend with gusto! The fact of the matter is, whole, natural, unmodified ingredients are better for our bodies. There is no denying the fact that we all try to stay away from something unnatural, trans fats, soduim, MSG, or even sugars and refined flours. This is made clear to me by the amount of food labels claiming what they “don’t” contain. The thing is, when we’re in a rush, pressed for time and our children are hungry, we justify less-than-acceptable choices because some marketing campaign managed to appeal to our feelings of inadequecy as parents. It would take no more time to drive home and make the kids a pb&h with all natural peanut butter, honey and whole wheat bread. It just takes a smidge more effort. But these marketing companies don’t want you to think you have a smidge more effort in you and therefore convince you that CFA and its MSG is a satisfactory choice, instead. This forum is about awareness. Be aware of what food manufacturers DON’T tell you. Be aware of the kinds of food and additives you put in your body and how often. Be aware that no one is claiming you are a bad parent because you want a little treat every once in a while. I don’t believe that they are claiming you will die from it, either, if you consume it sparingly. CFA tastes good. No one will argue that. When you make the decision to eat it, don’t confuse your reasons for doing so with making a healthy choice. Embrace the fact that its not a good choice but you really feel like eating some CFA!

  68. I cannot decide if the desire to put information in front of people ticks them off because they then KNOW they are eating things that are bad for them or if they’re afraid that you might lead some of the “sheeple” away from the Standard American Diet. We love what CFA stands for but carefully choose what we eat there. Its fast food not matter how you slice it. I write them regularly about their use of MSG and food coloring in their chicken. I am hoping that if we(and others) continue to do that, they will come up with an alternate plan. Although I seriously doubt that they will ever refrain from using factory-farm chicken, one can hope. Never give up on trying to educate people. I’d like to think that for every 5 that hear you, at least one will make changes. Keep up the good work!

    1. Amen, Sharon!!!!!!

      Food Babe. .. .have you sent this info to CFA? I think they should see/read it! I would love it if they started to implement some changes :) They already lead the pack in customer service, family values, and keeping God #1. . .. I bet they would be open to this as well.

      1. and get specific when you write them. If they stopped interfering in farming in ways that make conventional farming cheaper to do and in other ways that add a ton to the cost structure of an organic farmer’s bottom line that would be amazing!

  69. I’ve read a lot of comments from folks saying they eat fast food because they have to. It is an excuse. If you are committed to not eating fast food it can be done and it isn’t that hard. I have two small children who have never eaten any fast food. Never. Any. And I take a three day long car trip two times a year to visit my parents. I go alone, with the kids and we don’t eat fast food. I pack everything and we picnic at rest stops or eat inside when it is raining. At home my son is on two soccer teams and swims twice a week so our weekdays are busy. I make meals ahead and pack snacks (cheese, fruit, etc.) that we will need on the road. Basically I plan ahead as if fast food didn’t exist. Food is a ‘hot button’ for me and I understand that it isn’t for everyone. Because it is for me I put the time an effort into eating alternatively and I understand not everyone wants to do that. But, ultimately it is a choice. You don’t have to eat fast food if you are committed to avoiding it.

  70. I think most people were upset at the original post because of the way it was written. Lisa has always been this is what I do for my family but to each his own so the original post from Food Babe was a drastic departure, at least from what I read. I thought the revised article was much better but communicated the actual message far better. Thank you for the updates. Will definitely share with others now.

  71. Here’s a novel idea… Why not stop all the complaining (ie research) and do something about it? Seriously! I’m a working mom of 3 and I would love to spend money on fast and healthy food! I don’t have the time to prepare 3 meals a day from scratch and I do give in to CFA once per week (unfortunately). So please, Im asking all of us to think outside the box here… Clearly there’s a market for this. Make a move, you have my business!

    1. You are not alone. We have a Jason’s Deli near me and it is always busy. An Earth Fare grocery just opened up down the road yesterday and you would not believe the crowds in there. The free market is ripe for these business that are starting to make the right changes for those of us who are educating ourselves and cleaning up our diet and there is money to be made.

  72. Hello, I am rather surprised to see how uneducated many responces have been especially a pharmasist who claims that someone can die from drinking excessive anounts of water and has not released it. I work in a palharmacy as a vitamin consultant and every single person leaves believing that if they take medication more toxins and harsh chemicals it will fix their problem. Chemists fail to observe the cause of the problem and fail to recognise the person as a whole.
    Someone responded about being uncertain of the correct dose of MSG , do you reallly need to know the dose that will cause that? Cant you just know thats what it does? Would it really make a difference in you changing your food because your body levels might have enough now so you’ll have to stop?
    So many people have lost touch with their self and connection to natural foods and what is food and what isnt. What do people think is food or the definition of food? If you userstand how to nourish your body and feed it with what it needs from nature how can you even say that mac donalds is food when it is really rubbish.

  73. Well done. I just do not understand why anyone would be offended by hearing that their food is on fact, not food at all. Please read Dr. Russell Blaylock’s books (he’s a neurosurgeon, perhaps you’ll believe him on the real issues of excitotoxins): MSG allows glutamate to pass through the blood brain barrier, causes cells to swell to the point they explode and die. The sad news is that MSG is now hidden in foods labeled MSG free. Look for Autolyzed yeast extract, Hydrolyzed Soy or Whey protein, Torula Yeast Extract on the label, yep that’s the free glutamate in your “food”; soups and Asian foods, and anything cheese flavored are the biggest culprits/deceivers.

    Unfortunately, people just don’t care and symptoms do not present until around 75-80% of those precious brain cells are damaged. Then it’s too late. You present with MS-like symptoms, or Parkinsons or Lou Gerigs. I AM a Bioligist with a strong Chemistry background. Believe or not, argue if you will, but the damage is real. Either eat REAL food, drink clean water, get your vitamin D from the sun, sleep 7-8 hours…or pay the price with your health.

  74. Thanks so much for this post! I agree with you 100%! I think it’s sad that so many people get all upset and start fuming at you about it. If they are willing to feed this crap to themselves and their kids, then so be it, but don’t get mad about being called out on it. In this day and age, if people don’t know what they’re eating and feeding their kids, then they just don’t care to know. The information and education is out there, they’d just rather do other things than cook healthy meals every day. It’s a lifestyle choice. People shouldn’t get defensive about feeding crap to their kids, they should own up to it and try to do better.
    My family follows the feingold diet, and it’s great. We buy most of our food a Walmart or Target, and without eating in restaurants, we spend LESS each month. There are PLENTY of healthy “convenience” foods, you just have to know the right ones to buy. If I can do it with 4 kids (plus up to 6 foster kids over the last 6 years), anyone can do it. Use your crock pot, cook stuff ahead, and pack your lunches.
    Thanks again for the great post! I just found your blog today and will definitely stick with it :o)

  75. I LOVE CHICK-FIL-A! & I’m not going to stop eating it either. I’ve been eating majority organic or natural but I only have 1 life & my taste buds will not miss the GOODNESS OF WAFFLE FRIES & POLYNESIAN SAUCE MMMMMMM…….

  76. We go there when we are out and about and I need to get my boys food. I have a diabetic who has to eat meals every 3-4 hours. I know it isn’t the healthiest option but I can get the boys applesauce (all natural) and plain white milk. Yes, they eat a strip of chicken, but I feel a lot better about the sides that they are getting then I do about the sides at other restaurant. Besides that, they are helpful. That is HUGE for me with two one year olds. I need a place where I can have some help and no other fast food place will help me with my tray and food. Plus, they are the only place in town that has a playground that my kids can play on when they are done eating. This is super important to me on days when the weather does not allow for us to go to the park. Sure, I would love to eat perfectly all the time. And I have loved including some of the ideas on this webpage into our diet. But we don’t eat perfectly all the time and I don’t foresee doing a complete overhaul of our diets anytime soon.

    1. Dana, You don’t have to justify eating at CFA! As far as a fast food experience, they are paramount. It’s just that it’s fast food. We all know it’s not the best option, but you didn’t dump a bad of Doritos at them and say “have at it!”. (I actually witnessed a small child walking to school with a family sized bag of doritos which was open and he was actively eating them as his breakfast!)

      Every so often (whatever that is for you), is fine. It’s YOUR CHOICE! Heck, maybe the fact that she’s even pointed this out to us will get CFA to use better ingredients so no one feels bad about eating their yummy food. :)

      1. oooh how fabulous would that be. I used to love to go there. I did not give it just from this blog thing. I gave it up years ago. but I have all along been hoping they will make enough changes that I can start going back without compromising my personal food rules! I love that place. Best employees in the world.

  77. My goodness, I can’t believe how defensive people will get about eating food that isn’t even really food! Granted, I am not perfect, but I do not pretend that eating chemicals and preservatives is safe for me – in any amount.

    I like the saying, “Try organic food – or as your grandparents called it – food.”

    1. LOVE THIS: “Try organic food – or as your grandparents called it – food.” Definitely will be stealing this :)

  78. I think it is a fair question to ask what the 100 Days will cost? And I understand we can pay now or we can pay later and probably both, I just want some perspective for me and my family and our budget.

    1. Look at her budget..I think we all adjust our own “rules” too. For my family, we eat local produce when we can, we cut meat consumption and we buy the organic chicken vs reg more often than not, we cook foods from scratch instead of boxes. A box of brown rice, can/jar of diced tomatoes, a green pepper, an onion, black beans (dried are cheaper), salt, pepper, cumin & chili powder go a lot further than a fast food meal. You can also freeze extras and tweak recipes. I think it is very important to eat real foods even if you can do organic, real food is better than boxed. Also creativity and being open to new things helps.

  79. Thank you for the post! We do go to cfa for the fries as a treat every now and then. Sometimes my children will order chicken. We eat pretty healthy otherwise. I was glad to read this post. Goodbye CFA! Btw, my husband and i are vegetarians, so we never eat the meat and now my kiddos wont either!

  80. Food Babe, like everyone else, is not perfect. While her research may be limited at times (keep in mind she voluntarily does this in her spare time) her overall message is outstanding. She also was ASKED to start her blog by family and friends so she isn’t some crazy liberal with a hidden agenda. She is direct with her intentions and honest about what she knows and what she does not. I am so grateful for her blog because it has pushed me to really become a lot more conscious about my decisions with everything from sushi to shampoo. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes I spend more money, but I’m willing to do things the hard way when it means that I’m growing as a person. Keep in mind, awareness is a scarcity in our world. Becoming more conscious of your decisions can be really frightening when you’re faced to take a stand against the trillion dollar corporations who are taking advantage of people who give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m sick of it! In order to regain the happiness and vitality that are our birthrights, we must steer back on course to the degree that we have veered off. That being said, we’ve got our work cut out for us. It seems like every day there’s a new disease that doctors have to name, and some other pill on the market that I supposedly “need” to be healthy. This is not our fate, people! We were meant to thrive! We were meant to keep evolving! I’m willing to do my part to see that happen, what about you?

    1. I find it funny that anyone would call her a “liberal”. If anything, I think her message falls more under the “conservative” ideology where CHOICE is paramount. Thank you for taking the time to educate others, as that is the only way anyone can make a true choice for themselves.

  81. Wow, I am amazed at the critics – on any topic. It amazes me how someone that is against a topic finds a blog on that topic and then attacks them. Nice to point out opposing ideas and discuss them, but really?

    I like to try new foods. I am EXCITED by my new experiences with what Lisa refers to as ‘real’ food. We raise our own meat, mostly for fun, but we enjoy the taste and quality. NOt because we are organic gurus. But once we tasted home grown pork chops – cant eat them any where else. So hey what’s next?

    Started grinding our own wheat. WOnderful bread! All the way to recently adding fresh or raw milk. WOW WOW WOW, especially with the homemade bread!!! Very filling, very delicious and guess what I lost another 6 pounds!!

    THank you on both sides for the information. I will pick and choose what I will supply myself and family with.

    Meanwhile, please be nice.

  82. I would be in disbelief of all the controversy this post brought up if I hadn’t experienced the deliciousness of CFA! I know people who go nuts at the mere mention of it.

    I only skimmed most of the comments but I think the general reaction is ridiculous. People don’t want to be told that it’s wrong to like something they like! If something is unhealthy for you to eat (even if it’s only in moderation) wouldn’t you want to know so that you can do your best to avoid it? I do.

    Chick-Fil-A has a ton of ingredients and you can’t argue with that. If you want to be healthy you’ll do your best to not give into the temptation, to not read the sign the cow is holding. But it’s your choice! If you don’t care about the health and well being of your children, then continue on. But if you want to be healthy, then don’t eat it.

    Does it really have to be that complex?

    1. This is the kind of inflammatory comment that fuels the fire of making this a divisive issue when it need not be one. To go from “you let your kids eat Chic-Fil-A” to “that must mean you don’t care about the health and well-being of your kids” is a giant leap into a falsehood, at best. It is insulting to families everywhere to equate letting them eat at CFA with apathy and neglect. People make food choices for all sorts of different reasons, from money to time to research to allergies and everything in between. The actual posts on this blog never make me feel judged, ever. I feel like the tone in every one is a tone of informative writing and respect for readers’ personal decisions, and I have used so many of the recipes and resources on here. But the comments…they’re another story. Some of them are ridiculously harsh. This is one of them.

      1. I think you took her post too defensively. The spirit was not in judgement. It is objective that the ingredients in the food are not healthy. If that is not an issue for you at the time of the decision, then eat it.

        I occasionally take my daughter to CFA. I am a SUCKER for the Grilled Spicy Chicken sandwich (not on the menu, but just ask for it, and they’ll make it for you). It comes on a wheat bun, but I know what whole wheat texture is, and the one they serve is really white bread with wheat added to it.

        Sometimes, we throw caution to the wind and indulge. If that’s where you are when you pull up to CFA, enjoy! If you are one to put only healthy pure food in your body and that of your children, avoid it!

        As an earlier poster pointed out, our bodies are designed to rid ourselves of toxins, and the occasional indulgence is fine.

        What is inflammatory and fueling a debate at all is comments like yours originated in defensiveness. CHILL! Don’t get mad because someone exposed the truth to you. . ..Be grateful! :)

      2. She did not “expose the truth” to me. I think it is obvious to most people that fast food in any form is not the healthiest choice, so it’s not like the truth was hiding. And I would argue that her use of the phrase “If you don’t care about the health and well being of your children, then continue on” certainly is a judgment. I’m not defensive. Yep, I take my kids to Chic-Fil-A, and I don’t feel the need to apologize for it. And it’s not because I don’t care about their health and well being.

  83. As part of your 100 days of real food, will you be listing the cost of buying real food? I’m very curious about that.

    1. Lisa already did that project! Scroll up to the top of the page, and just under the big banner picture are clickable word links- the second one is “100 days on a budget”.

      There are several other real-food blogs that focus on budget concerns. One that I enjoy is . Linda’s food rules are not the same as Lisa’s, and my food personal food rules are different than both, but both offer good suggestions that I can incorporate into my meal planning.

      This might be weird, but I sometimes think it’s fun to tally up the approximate cost of a home-cooked dinner and compare it with a fast-food meal. This week I did that mental calculation for a meal of local artisan bread, local pastured eggs poached in arrabiata sauce with spinach and romano cheese (based on “Eggs in Hell” from the Passionate Vegetarian cookbook), and a glass of red wine. It cost less than a meal at Taco Bell!

      1. I do that all the time when people swear they can eat cheaper from the dollar menu at McD’s. Sure you can spend 10 on a family of five if you want, but once it is gone, that is it. I can do a LOT with 10.00! And end up with leftovers too!! Rice n beans, egg salad w/ crackers, grilled cheese with fruit, chili, soup, potatoes au gratin, mac n cheese with veggies, pasta with veggies and garlic, cheese mac..all homemade with real foods…..

  84. I took my daughter to the Chick-Fil-A b/c….well everyone said it is a healthier cleaner option then a Mc’ds or Burger King etc. The funny thing is I fell for it (even though I don’t take her to normal fast food b/c I can’t stand the food), took her and while the play area was better than the other fast food places, the food still wasn’t great. Overpriced and tasted just ok. There are to many places out there to stand for “just ok”. The Moms and kids I was with LOVED it, and we ate our fruit and salad. Nothing seemed healthier to me than a normal fast food rest, even w/o looking at ingredients. A lot of fried food, fries, ice cream and the here and there fruit or grilled. Maybe I was expecting to go in and at least have the menu sound healthy :)

  85. It is not just fast food restaurants that are the problem, most sit down restaurant food is as bad or worse than fast food. It just seems like fast food gets singled out more.

    I think it is vital to be aware of what is in your food and this is your responsibility, the restaurant/food industry can not be depended on to do this (obviously)! I think the more info the better to raise awareness for people to make their own decisions on what they are feeding their families. Fantastic post!

    1. I hear what you are saying. I also get very frustrated with that, as in my area there are just tons of chain restaurants and even among the few independent restaurants several of them clearly have very poor quality food. But I have found one independent that I just love and believe to be superior that I shell out the money to go to occasionally. Fresh food, from local farms, prepared well and never under a heat lamp. And I can see into the kitchen and see that they cook with little to know processed food ingredients.

  86. @ Candace, your philosophy of life doesn’t square with the millions upon millions of Americans who are dying prematurely and dealing with avoidable diseases because of their food habits. As far as other countries go, most of them actually have better health as far as food-induced, lifestyle diseases go. Heart disease doesn’t exist in the third world. They might die of aids or a mosquito bite, and that’s not any better, but the point is we have the knowledge to be healthier and live longer, and it is our responsibility to steward the resources we’ve been given wisely (part of that whole “loving your God” thing). Look at the Japanese. The average life expectancy is far greater and the rate of these diseases we’re all dying early from are far lower, and their diets are FAR different.

    1. you are correct. And Candace and I have something in common about wanting people to serve God, be content, etc.

      But my desire to serve God better has been one of my strongest motivators in wanting to get healthier. Bodily exercise profiteth little, but it does profit some. I do not want to be this person who didn’t have enough energy to do right by my family. I do not want to be this person who knew of a family going through a crisis that really could have used a helper with their chores for a day or two but couldn’t do it because of all of my own health issues.

      My desire to make myself healthier is one thing, but my desire to make my family better is a whole ‘nother can of worms. And I think it squares very nicely with the example of the Proverbs 31 woman who brought her food from afar as well as with the natural love God says a woman has within her that she should not turn away from.

      A clean diet is not a religious or political issue that only belongs to one group of people and must be shunned by the other. Far from it.

  87. It’s easy to pin point fast food chains for thier use of ingredients such as msg and arsanic. However, look in your own pantry. MSG is in almost all seasoning salts and meat tenderizers. Also there was just a study done on arsanic levels in Apple juice. The fda does not currently regulate the arsanic in the Apple juice but release statements that the amounts are non harmful. So let’s say a mom makes a grilled chicken breast sprinkled with a little seasoning salt, serves with a cup of Apple juice. This is about the same harm that is in a chic fil a sandwich. I too believe in moderation. If you eat fast food every once in a while don’t feel bad about it. Your body is designed to rid itself of toxins everyday. I think this new wave of healthy eating is positive but in this case I think this particular Blogger is an overkill. This life is temporary, we encounter harmful deadly things all the time. Serve your God, love others and enjoy the time we have here. And let’s not even begin to think of how well the children and families in third world countries are eating. Do you think they are concerned with that days chicken living environment or if Apple juice shipping from the US has arsanic. See what I’m saying, only in America do people have the luxury or stressing about what is in every drop of the food we consume. It’s become the 21st century obsession.

    1. There’s no MSG in MY pantry. Guarentee it! It all depends on what you buy and weather you truly cook from scratch. Some of us do, because we’ve learned. And not everybody uses those seasonings and tenderizers.

      1. Same here Carol. None of that crap in our food either, and we are WAY healthier for it :o)

      2. I’m with you, Carol. I’ve been on my journey to improve my families diet for nearly 15 years now and I’ve known all of the over 40 different ways manufacturers can “hide” msg in an ingredient list for a long time now. Many people are at an earlier stage and need to learn this, but there is no msg in my pantry.

    2. It is exactly this attitude that’s damaging. The life of convenience is what is damaging our health. Don’t buy packaged seasonings. It is NOT difficult to whip up a batch of seasoning at home with some basic spices. Kids don’t need to drink packaged apple juice. Cut up an organic apple or invest in a juicer and juice one OR serve plain water. That’s the whole point of realfood. So, no you can’t compare the food that this mom serves to her kids to fast food. No MSG in my kitchen. As for the third world countries that you mention, their rates of heart disease, cancer, autism and infertility are far less. Contrary to what you state, americans need to say a lot more about our food..the FDA and govt aren’t doing their job. Do you know that Nestle puts better ingredients in the products they make in Europe and not the ones they sell in America? Europe strictly regulates what goes in their food to protect their people. It ENRAGES me that the same isn’t done for us.

      1. I need a like button. lol. I don’t need a thumbs down. I have no need for it. but just for you and several others who have posted excellent comments… well good on you!

    3. Not in mine! I don’t buy seasonings and stuff with it. I also don’t buy boxed goods with seasoning packets….

  88. 1. Mr. Cathy’s health is not a testament to eating fried chicken every day, if he does in fact do this. There will always be anomalies.

    2. Those who eat fast food often and still have no health issues (yet) should not site their own experience as justification to ignore this article or blast it for being “alarmist”, especially when the health stats of the average American are abysmal and getting worse.

    The point here isn’t to attack a particular restaurant; rather, it is about the fact that fast food is worse than everyone thinks, and that is particularly true of Chick-fil-A–not because it is any worse than other fast food restaurants but because good marketing and business tactics have created a public perception that it is somehow more angelic than the rest. The ingredients are virtually the same as all other fast food chains, and the negative impacts of this (among other things) on our health is clearly being seen in the blood work of the average person. The proof is in the pudding.

    The rate of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other “lifestyle” diseases, which most of us will die from, are alarmingly higher in America than in other countries (and lowest in places that don’t have these foods). So you can claim that you’re invincible if you want to, but that is far crazier than sounding an alarm and taking charge of your life for the sake of your family and all the other purposes you’re living for that are hopefully bigger and more fulfilling than food (especially fast food).

    1. Chris, you are so right. In fact, it’s similar to smoking. There are smokers that go their whole life without issue, and there are smokers who contract lung cancer, strokes, etc The choice is up to us, and it’s only a real choice when you are educated.

      I agree with you whole-heartedly, and I want to add that just because you don’t like the message, it doesn’t give you license to kill the messenger.

  89. I read the Chick fil A ingredients a while ago because my daughter is allergic to soy, peanuts and eggs. It was then that I found that the chicken contained MSG. I mentioned this to some people and they nearly stoned me to death because I said something that was offensive about their dearly beloved chicken. I like Chick Fil A as a business. I think they are bringing back the idea of good customer service in an era where people don’t care how they serve their guest. I just know that a lot of Southerners that dire fans and their die hard commitment to Chick Fil A runs deep. I can dig that but the truth is the truth. As for people taking their kids to eat there or anywhere that may not be good always, we all love to live in denial and blame someone or something else for our bad behaviors. What else is new.

    1. I am not one to eat fast food often; just seeing the effect to my wardrobe choices is enough for me. At home, I cook from scratch as often as possible. I think it should be commonly understand that fast food, regardless of the company is not a healthy meal. I will say though that I do like Chick Fil A as a company. We eat there in moderation (a few times a year) as they do Spirit Days for our school, they support family values, and that they are closed on the Sabbath. (Which can be inconvenient in this day & age, but quite refreshing!) It has always driven me nuts to hear parents say that they have given their child a healthy dinner and then go on to say it came from a Fast food restaurant of any kind. Thank you for this blog as it serves to educate us as parents in what we feed our kids. I’m not against the occasional indulgence of fast food, as I have found that it’s sometimes just good for the soul. But we should all avoid it as a go-to place when we are busy. There are so many easy recipes out there that take a few minutes to prepare that even the busiest families can share a homecooked meal at home around the dinner table most nights. Not only is it healthier nutrition wise, it’s healthy for the family’s bonding time as well. Each member having a duty and coming together for a common cause.

  90. I’m very saddened to find out that chik-fil-a uses MSG in their food. However, when pressed for time when out and about and your kids need to eat, or on a rainy day when an outdoor playground is not an option, I still feel its better than the alternative fast foods. Once in awhile is not the same as eating this food daily or even weekly with your kids. Making smart food choices is sometimes having to choose the lesser of two evils.

    1. As far as MSG goes, the MSG syndrome perpetuated by uneducated persons (ala the Food Babe) has been completely disproven in laboratory testing. As far as the remainder of the ingredients, most are found as preservatives or flavoring agents in a plethora of foods, none of which have been proven to cause any ill effects except in massive doses. Basically, if you have no clue, don’t write about it and pretend to be an expert, alarming mothers who read your drivel.

      1. Talk about uneducated! Try going into a public school these days and watching the kids bounce off the walls from their fake food intoxication. Do some research and come back with your own educated reply.

      2. Come on Gene. Don’t you know by now that you can always find a lab to disprove observable theories. There have never been any empirical studies proving the effects between the full moon and peoples behavior but ask anyone working in an emergency department and they will tell you otherwise. Sometimes common sense is essential. If your tells you to blindly follow the infomation put forth by lobbiest, feel free. I prefer to be a more independant thinker.

      3. Gene,

        Only foods with MSG and it’s friends made me very sick while pregnant. You can think how you want, but regardless you can’t see your body on a cellular level. Kind of like the movie with Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow. You see things how you want to see things. I prefer to eat foods on my own and not rely on the gov to regulate them.

  91. “MSG is an excitotoxin that can excite brain cells to death.”

    Maybe that’s why I’m excited just thinking about Chick-fil-a! Is it lunchtime yet??

  92. I try and be careful with what I eat, what I buy but I do believe in the “everything in moderation” Unfortunately there is very little we can buy these days that has not been altered, preserved, or things are added that we do not even know about. I was appalled to find out the “motts for tots” that I thought was a good choice (again for an occasional drink) until I found out how much arsenic was in it. There is something bad in just about everything we consume these days. Fresh fruits and veggies…imported from non-regulated countries. We try and grow a lot of our veggies and buy fruit at local farms, as for meats we do our best but again we have no idea what goes into them. Sad!

  93. I have learned alot about the food that we eat from this blog; as well as the 100 days of real food blog. Before, I was just putting anything in my mouth. But in the last month, I have made the switch to getting all my fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets. I look now at all food labels. I am slowly learning and expanding my knowledge of what exactly we are TRULY eating. It makes since with all the health problems people face these days – that possibly the food (or lack thereof) that we are putting in our bodies is the cause. You never heard of these illnesses during the “Little House on the Prairie” years – because they were eating real food – and not overly processed crap. So, I thank you for your blog. To me, I find it very informative.

  94. I have to say that I’ve never eaten at Chick-fil-a. Or a lot of fast food restaurants people talk about. Now, McDonalds…Everyone knows how bad fast food is for you and people who say they don’t are lying to themselves because they feel guilty eating it all the freaking time. Seriously, people I work with have fast food twice a day. Twice a day! At the most I eat it twice a week, but try to make up for it the rest of the time and drink a lot of water the rest of the day.

    I have never understood why people feel guilty about eating any food. I say if you’re consuming it you may as well enjoy it. Whether it’s a fast food burger or a homemade grass fed burger.

    Has anyone else noticed that people who eat a lot fast have terrible table manners? Golly people it’s not hard to chew with your mouth closed. And don’t talk with your mouth full. It’s nauseating.

  95. You ask people to do research about the foods they eat, yet your own research is shaky and not conclusive. Your conclusions are a You ask people to do research about the foods they eat, yet your own research is shaky and not conclusive. Your conclusions are a far stretch to the evidence presented and a lot of this is conjecture.

    For instance you state “MSG is an excitotoxin that can excite brain cells to death” yet you don’t give the amounts that will cause this to happen and the amount that is actually in the food. You also state “conventional chickens that are sometimes fed with caffeine, banned antibiotics and arsenic,” yet you show no proof that this is actually being done in the chicken that CFA uses.

    Finally, what bothers me the most is that you have been happy to respond to people who have been supportive of your article, but to the people who have questioned you research or your method of presenting the information you have said nothing. It makes me think that you are not as well educated about the ingredients as you lead people to believe since you cannot defend your opinions.

    And the saddest part is people are so motivated by fear that they will read this article and will accept your article as truth without really knowing just because they don’t want to be “that mom who is killing her children by feeding them CFA.” I would suggest in the future presenting your article as your opinion, giving people the information and letting them make their own conclusions. And please, stop judging people without knowing them.

    1. Amanda – I am not a chemist by trade and I’m doing the best with the research I conducted. Unfortunately, like I said in the article, there is no way to determine the amount of MSG in Chick-fi-a because it is not regulated by the FDA – that means Chick-fil-a does not have to disclose this information. I linked to articles and information that will provide the reader further knowledge about the subject. Also – it is widely known that conventional chickens are fed antibiotics to stay alive during very terrible living conditions – have you seen the movie Food Inc.? Because of several alarming recent studies on conventional chickens – I thought it was important to point out the fact that they are routinely fed other terrible things that end up getting passed down to us. This is why I avoid conventional chicken at all costs and eat a mainly plant based diet.

      1. I am a chemist and think its sad that people like you and movies like Food Inc as you also mentioned in your reply use fear as a way to get people to take your side on the food industry. Or make them think that just because its organic that it is better for you. Do you know that some organic chemicals (made by nature)are can be extremely dangerous if to much is ingested. But produce can be sprayed with this chemical as long as they get it from nature and still call it organic. And another thing almost anything can be cancer causing in high enough doses. Haven’t you heard of the guy in CA that died from drinking too much water and not using the bathroom? But then again water (Hydrogen dioxide) is a chemical and so I guess its bad for you too.

      2. As another chemist, I find it pertinent to note that water is not hydrogen dioxide (HO2), but dihydrogen monoxide (H2O).

      3. I’m a homeschool mom and not a chemist but even I knew that water was dihydrogen monoxide. Makes me wonder what the first “chemist” has a degree in.

      4. Sorry I was typing fast and realized that later on but was too busy to go back and correct it until now. Thanks for point out my error.

      5. How can you possibly argue that educating people to avoid foods loaded with chemical preservatives, antibiotics and hormones is using “fear as a way to get people to take your side on the food industry.” It’s common sense and FACT that whole, fresh foods that are not given antibiotics or added hormones are healthier for human bodies. The only people who argue otherwise are those making a profit in the conventional food industry and have something to lose from the truth being exposed or are simply drinking the kool-aid. I feel sorry for you and wish you good health.

      6. Did you know that even those so called “whole foods” will contain toxins just from the environment they are grown in, even if grown in your own backyard? If you grow your own food take it to an independent lab and see if there are toxins in it and which ones, you may be surprised. We cannot escape toxins. There was an article in National Geographic a couple of years ago about a man who ate nothing but organic foods and had the toxins in his body tested. They found over 100 different toxins in his body that he said competed with a Kansas wheat field. Do not be fooled by all of this hype. Environment has a lot to do with it too.

        I do not advocate a diet of fast food. I also do not have the food budget to shop ALL organic, so I stick to the dirty dozen. I cook at home 90% of the time so I know what is going in my food, but even then there is no 100% guarantee. We all need to eat as healthy as we can exercise, and stay at a healthy weight. Fat will kill you faster than any of those chemicals. In the end the thing that’s going to decide the outcome is genetics. That is science not conjecture.

        The fact is that we are living longer than ever and for the most part healthier. I have seen both of the movies talked about and yes it makes me sick. But maybe what we should be doing is spending time writing Congress so they will support organic growers, grass fed cattle ranchers, and others so we everyone can afford to buy more organic and natural foods. Otherwise for most people it’s cost prohibitive.
        I like Chick-fil-A and will continue to eat there once in a while. I will also continue to eat Kashi cereal and other goods.

        In the mean time if one is going to write articles about food one may need to have things independent tested and report on it from a scientific standpoint and not just opinion.

      7. It cracks me up when I hear people accuse the posters on this blog of trying to get people to take their “side” of the food industry. Do they think Lisa is a well-paid lobbyist, trying to put the makers of harmful food out of commission? I don’t think that’s true, but if she is, sign me up to donate to her cause, because I think all she’s doing is educating people…and leaving the rest to them. I don’t think she’s getting a cut of the “Food, Inc.” residuals. I don’t think Earth Fare is paying her under the table to put conventional-fruit growers out of business. She’s encouraging people to think about their choices, and the long- and short-term effects of those choices.

        Hydrogen dioxide? Really? I’m not a chemist, but I know that’s not water.

      8. I understand that popular documentaries can be seen as having a political bent, but to argue for a fast food company instead of healthful eating should betray your obvious ignorance as a professional. Comparing over-hydration (and it’s real danger, hyponatremia) to a purposeful ingestion of man-made toxins is illogical and irresponsible. Yes, there are many forms of dangerous bacteria found in nature. Why do we need to add to this list with artificial dangers? I find the most interesting parts of this debate are the reasons to justify self-poison.

      9. I agree. I just have to shake my head to see a poster say, “you can’t avoid toxins” as if that is a reason to purposefully use or ingest more toxins that are the ones you could have avoided. So much fallacy going on across the entire argument to convince people to eat toxins from so many posters… I have to wonder why is it personally a problem for these people that I disagree with them and I have made my own personal decision to “clean up my diet”.

    2. You know what? Who cares what the amount of toxins in the food is? Shouldn’t we steer clear of putting any amount of crap into our bodies? I can make “chicken nuggets” at home with a few ingredients, yet CFA’s list goes on and on. And the body has to break it all down. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. Also, the blogger doesn’t claim to be an expert, and she is not judging anyone. She’s putting information out there for those that want/need it. If you are feeling judged, what is it you have to feel defensive about?

      1. Karissa couldn’t have put this any better. I help train natural bodybuilders and I’m a nutrition enthusiast myself that competes. The simple fact is that if it’s not whole natural foods you should probably not eat it. The more ingredients that are found in the food the more likely its horrible for you and will cause the chemistry inside of your body to get out of it’s normal cycle. I can’t say I have never eaten fast food or still don’t from time to time, but I do know what I’m consuming. I’m not one of those types that looks for the fast alternative to deiting or eating healthy. If you look back 10’s of 100’s of years ago the way humans ate was completely different. We aren’t meant to consume junk. Just as anything in life you have to want it. To be healthy means you have to eat healthy and exercise. There are tons of ways to eat healthy….you just can’t take the lazy way out.

      2. People died 100’s of years ago and were unhealthy too. They didn’t exercise either/ I’m not advocating that she’s wrong and I too try to eat healthy but but I also think we have to be realistic. There are many people struggling to buy groceries for their families who just have no other choices but to turn to fast food or highly processed foods because they are cheaper. Food Inc. starts out with a family just like that. We need to fight the government for good healthy food. Mrs. Obama has been trying to promote that in poorer sections of the country. In reality it’s obesity that is more dangerous than the other stuff. Some of it is a result of cultural more’s it’s hard to think about what your eating when your just trying to survive.

      3. Or we can use a proven and effective system that is already in place to elevate everyone. we can support the free market and vote with our own dollars. I’ve been doing this for cleaner food for 15 years now and the change in that time has been astonishing given how few people would listen to even one minute of information on it back then. Now it is snowballing.

        All the big companies respond to the market place demands in other countries where these things won’t sell. AND NEWFLASH: they will here too.

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