Thursday, May 20, 2010

Soy-free? eh, maybe close...

Ok, so I'm not totally soy-free yet. But it's only day 3 and I haven't gone grocery shopping yet so cut me some slack. I did however do some research today about what fast food establishments I can visit and the outlook is good :) So far, I've only looked at a few places websites and have found Subway's chart to be the best overall. Well, just compared to McDonalds' chart. Those are the only two I've looked at. Outback didn't even really have allergy information, or if they did it was difficult to find.

Pros: Subway's chart is nice because it's actually a chart. On the left side it lists a standard version of each sandwich on their menu and along the top it has all of the common allergens. As you look at the chart, you can easily tell if your favorite sandwiches (and there's a section for bread farther down the list) are safe for you to eat.
Cons: The allergy chart does not actually contain a list of ingredients, that's separate. It would be nice to see what allergen specifically is in the sandwich. Although, I suppose since Subway's sandwiches are pretty basic anyway (ingredients: black forest ham, lettuce, etc.) and not as lab-created as other fast food places' food, the separate lists aren't that big a deal.

Pros: McDonald's lists everything, and I mean everything. The McRib is even on their list. They show you all the different buns and what's in their chicken (which is kinda scary), all kinds of stuff. They have in bold print what the common allergens in the items are and they list right there the ingredients so that you can see for yourself. That's nice because a lot people allergic to soy can safely eat soy lecithin or soybean oil (Subway had a different mark on their chart if something only contained soybean oil), so if something is labeled as "contains soy" you can see why. McDonald's also distinguishes between types of soy, and will mark things as "contains soy lecithin" or "contains soybean oil" so that you know up front what kind of soy you're dealing with.
Cons: It's strictly a list. A 21 page list. Reading is required. It is definitely not at-a-glance and you have to do some searching to find your favorite things. I will definitely be going through the list and finding all my favorite things, but it hurts them because today, for dinner, I'm going to Subway, because their chart was easy to use and I knew almost instantly what I can and can't order. So it's a very good and thorough list, however for the people who need quick info on what they can or can't have, it doesn't really lend itself to being helpful in that department.

Yay two places I can eat so far!