Guess What Panera Is Ditching From Its Menu?

We were psyched to hear that Chipotle is removing GMOs from its menu, and for moms who make their kiddos Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, they’re excited that the company is planning to swap the fake orange color for one made using paprika and turmeric. And now, in response to consumers wanting healthy foods made from ingredients they’ve heard of, there’s good news for Panera Bread fans. The popular sandwich shop and bakery announced last Summer that by the end of 2016, all artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners, and flavors will be removed from its food, and changes have already started to happen!

Panera calls the list of over 150 ingredients the “no no list.” We’re talking tons of ingredients any college-educated student would have a hard time pronouncing like azodicarbonamide, tertiary butylhydroquinone, and carboxymethyl cellulose. And don’t forget the ones we can pronounce but don’t want to see in our food such as MSG, artificial smoke flavor, and partially hydrogenated oils.

Thirty-four of the ingredients on this list have already been removed (woo-hoo!). And beginning Wednesday, all salad dressings will be “clean,” made without artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and preservatives. No more propylene glycol alginate in your Greek salad! Panera aims to ditch the rest of the list in the upcoming months.

Some nutritionists question Panera’s motives, hoping they’re not just doing it for PR purposes but to ensure the foods served are actually healthier. Of course, there’s still the issue that many of Panera’s menu items contain white flour and high amounts of sugar. And while it’s great that Panera openly posts calorie counts, that doesn’t stop people from eating its high-calorie food ¡ª 740 calories for one Pecan Roll! Well, sometimes we’re out and about and need a quick bite, so this news might make walking into a Panera Bread feel a little less painful.

Image Source: Flickr user Mike Mozart