Daaaaaamn Panera, Back at it Again with the Pseudoscience.

Between tromping through Baguette Falls while whacking out azodicarbonamide, glycerides, artificial colors, and artificial flavors (i.e. amyl alcohol and benzaldehyde), and gallivanting around Crisp Valley Farms spotting the unwanted “No-Nos” trespassing on the property (i.e. hydrolyzed protein, polydextrose, MSG, and sodium erythorbate), Panera Bread continues its pursuit in educating consumers on the perils of “artificial” food additives and preservatives while feeding the pseudoscience madness in a cute new game. Of course, don’t forget the unusual/artificial “alien” sounds accompanying the destruction of each chemical. Luckily for the consumer, upon winning and defeating the awful droves of supposedly detrimental and awful food additions, one wins a coupon!

Panera Bread Land of Clean
Panera Bread “Land of Clean”

Panera Bread LLC introduced its “No-No List” in 2015 in an effort to be more transparent and to provide clean menu options. Complete with a video campaign, and now the “Land of Clean” game, the list focuses on chemicals and hard-to-pronounce additives that consumers find unfriendly at a glance. For example, the No-No list currently contains compounds like MSG, autolyzed yeast extract, and glycerides. Additionally, the list has previously contained common chemicals like tocopherol (it’s actually Vitamin E) and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). As a response to this misleading philosophy, we at Don’t Eat the Pseudoscience also came out with our own video to explain why these chemicals aren’t bad and how they already naturally occur in your food products.

Panera’s vision for transparency and healthfulness, while laudable, creates its own set of flaws by promoting pseudoscience through instilling fear of complex words in consumers. These changes and deletions of ingredients do not necessarily reflect positive, healthier options. A quick glance at Panera’s menu reveals some items that are not only rather high in calories – per serving – but may also approach one’s daily limits of sodium, saturated fat, and total fat. A few examples: a panini that is 1,040 kcal per serving with 46 grams of fat (out of 65g / day); another sandwich has 18g of saturated fat (out of 20g/day). Daaaaaamn Panera…way to continue spreading the pseudoscience!


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12 thoughts on “Daaaaaamn Panera, Back at it Again with the Pseudoscience.

    1. Hi CJ! Thanks for the comment! We do not work for any company that manufactures chemical food additives. As you can see in our Bios of the “Who Are We?” section or in the “About” section, many of us are just entering into the food science word or are still in graduate school.


      1. you do not need to be a graduate student or part of the food science industry to see through pseudo-science. Anyone with critical thinking skills can do it. The level of science education needed to see through panera’s misrepresentation of the facts (and inability to pronounce words, apparently) is really quite remedial.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Where have you guys been hiding?

    Reason and critical thought live!

    Is anyone other than Forbes noting your investigations and commentaries?

    I’d rather have fresh bread, not yukky-free products being driven by marketing teams and press. Scary ADA. Scary preservatives. Glycerin anyone?

    It would be good to stop these assaults before they get momentum.

    Just look at that jar of sourdough starter. Yuk! Bugs!

    Thank you for your efforts. Keep it up..


  2. Pleased to learn that there are young scientists blogging on such issues. I immediately recognized the term “clean food” as a marketing gimmick without legal or culinary meaning. But the bloggers here know a lot more than I do about it and I’m glad to see you sharing your knowledge.


  3. Would love to see a video or comment on ” Are GMOs used in the food chain items at Chicken Salad Chick”?


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