Thursday, August 9, 2007

Jimmy John's

*Update 5/20/2012*
This is what you are funding and condoning when you give Jimmy John's your money.

A basic search of the Internet reveals the bread may not be vegan at Jimmy John's. One blogger reports difficulty in getting a straight answer, but finds eventually that the bread is not vegan. My effort met with the same frustration and even greater resistance. Jimmy John's has thus made themselves the poster child of restaurants who make being vegan difficult. Shame on you, Jimmy John's.

First email

Hello,
I would like to visit your restaurant. Can you tell me what menu items are vegan (no animal products)? Thank you for taking the time to research this.
Best,
Erin


From: webfeedback-owner@mail.jimmyjohns.com [mailto:webfeedback-owner@mail.jimmyjohns.com] On Behalf Of webfeedback@jimmyjohns.com
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2007 10:08 AM
To: webfeedback@jimmyjohns.com
Subject: Jimmy Johns Feedback Form Submission
Erin,
This locations inshop subs are $4.40 Veggie and for inshop clubs are $5.32 Veggie Club. (Prices may vary)
Thanks for writing.


My response
Hello,
Thank you for responding. However, my question is not about prices or vegetarian menu items. Again, can you please tell me what menu items are vegan (no animal products)? This will require looking at ingredients on the foods you sell, i.e. your breads, etc. If you are unable to answer my question with confidence, would you mind providing an email for someone who can?
Thank you,
Erin


Response #2 - Jimmy John's
On 8/9/07, JJ Feedback wrote:
The Veggie (Several layers of provolone cheese (you can ask for it w/out cheese), avocado spread, alfalfa sprouts, sliced cucumber, lettuce, tomato and mayo)
We have two types of bread: homemade French bread or our 7 grain bread. I am sorry I do not have any ingredients nor does anyone else here in the office. You can check out our website at www.jimmyjohns.com for any nutritional questions you might have. Click on the menu box, then go to the top left corner and click nutritional info. Here you can add/delete ingredients to build your sandwich the way you like and get the numbers you need.
I hope this helps and thanks for writing


My response #2
Hello,
I followed your instructions, however, there was no information on the ingredients in your bread. I find it difficult to believe that no one in your company knows the ingredients in your products. It is more important than ever that consumers be able to make informed decisions about the food they are eating. Without allowing potential customers the ability to make such a decision, you are preventing them from doing so and additionally preventing them from becoming customers instead of potential customers. There must be someone who knows the ingredients in your products. Can you provide an email address for someone at Jimmy John's with the authority to determine this?
Thank you,
Erin


Final response - Jimmy John's

Erin,
I am sorry that information is not given out, I can tell you that our bread is not made with eggs or milk or any allergens. We have a girl in our office that is vegan and she gets the veggie unwich (lettuce wrap) with no cheese. Again, I am sorry that I am not able to give out all the ingredients.
Thank you


The verdict:
With such resistance from the company itself, nothing on Jimmy John's menu can be determined to be vegan.
The "Unwich" might be vegan.
Jimmy John's was not cooperative in determining whether any menu items are vegan.

58 comments:

Michael Leddy said...

Erin, yours is a great project, certain to be helpful to many people who lack the patience to ask and keep asking questions.

Your experience with Jimmy John's suggests that the company gives inconsistent answers. I was told, as I posted, that the bread is not vegan. The answer you received seemed, at best, evasive.

Anecdote: At a Taco Bell the other day, a store manager could not tell me whether the rice was vegan. She laughed at the question, which, I then pointed out, was a reasonable one.

One chain I'd suggest looking at is Chipotle -- good choices for vegans and a really helpful website. (My only connection to Chipotle is as a very happy diner.)

Keep up the good work!

Erin said...

Wow, thanks for your comment Michael! It rough terrain indeed trying navigate a menu at a mainstream chain restaurant. Local mom and pop places, at least, usually have the recipe creators at hand or nearly so, are more willing to make friends with the community in general, and don't have bushels of lawyers protecting them at every turn.
We've just recently had the Chipotle chain arrive in Indianapolis, so I'm looking forward to testing your recommendation and adding them to the site. I currently spend many of my quick dining dollars on Qdoba's Vegetarian Taco Salad - no dressing, with rice, black bean and corn salsa, pinto beans, salsa, and guacamole. The buttery guacamole and salsa make a great dressing alternative.
By the way, for the record, the rice at Taco Bell contains chicken products!

Michael Leddy said...

Erin, can you say more about Taco Bell's rice? Their ingredient statement for the rice (in a .pdf from the tacobell.com site) seems vegan.

Erin said...

Michael,
Thanks for bringing up Taco Bell's rice. I know I'd told you it wasn't vegan, and I'd found that out myself looking at the ingredients as posted on the Taco Bell website. I don't know if they've changed their recipe or if I made an error, because I now see "vegetarian broth" listed, and the previous non-vegan ingredient was some sort of chicken flavoring if I remember correctly (and if I didn't dream the whole thing up in the first place! It was only within the last year that I remember shrieking at my computer screen upon seeing a very meaty ingredient in the rice, which I'd heavily relied on in times of need for fast food).

Anyway, since they specify the broth as vegetarian, whereas most companies without vegetarians or vegans in mind would just say "broth" or "flavoring" in my experience, I wonder if they didn't make a change with vegetarians/vegans in mind. That would be really encouraging!

A full report on Taco Bell coming soon...they've neglected my queries but having access to ingredients on their site is the best case scenario anyway.

Thanks again for bringing Taco Bell rice back into my vegan junk food landscape!

Taylor said...

The rice at taco bell is actually not vegan despite the broth. It does not contain any chicken products, but it does however contain casein... Which is not a vegan ingredient. I hope that clears it up for you guys who were confused.

Tina Gilman said...

Erin,
None of our sandwiches are vegan.
Thanks for asking, we are not a vegan restaurant.

Best,
Tina Gilman
Jimmy John's

Skye said...

Tina, no one asked if Jimmy John's was a vegan restaurant. Strangely, though, people who eat vegan eat FOOD just like everyone else, and often they can eat at regular restaurants as long as they can get their questions answered. I used to love your restaurant, but the communication you've had with Erin is atrocious. I'm not even a vegan, but why would I give money to people who treat potential customers with such disdain? Buh-bye!

LML said...

Oh, I am so sad! I love/ed? Jimmy John's. Their veggie sandwich was so good.(Without the cheese and mayo of course...) The only reason I can think of for them being so secretive about the ingredient listing of their bread is that it's their specialty and it might be a "secret recipe". Hmm.

Tina Gilman said...

LML,
You are correct. The bread is a proprietary product created by Jimmy.
Cool that you love/ed the JJ!
Thanks!

Tina Gilman said...

Skye,
Thanks for the clarification on my wording.
I found out we had given inconsistent answers on this blog, that's why I jumped to give everyone accurate information.

Emily said...

Thanks for the info.

I figured out you can make a vegan meal by ordering an unwich, with only veggie selections. Their avacado spread is vegan, it's essentially guacamole. However, it's not enough calories for a decent meal, ~210, and that's including a side of chips.

Tina Gilman said...

Emily,
Jimmy John has created a new line of sandwiches that use turkey flavored tofu and bacon or smokey flavored tempeh.

They are spectacular. Would vegetarians use Jimmy John's more often if these were available as standard menu items?


Tina

ri said...

Tina, I personally would TOTALLY buy those sandwiches, on vegan bread, if they were offered! Heck, I'd probably go to JJ's every day, because there's one right by my job and no other restaurant in my city offers decent tempeh! Or seitan for that matter *wink wink*. My job may even use JJ's for catering our frequent office b-day parties, if there were more vegan and vegetarian options. Currently we only use one place for catering, because they offer something everyone in the office can eat.

suzy said...
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suzy said...
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Brad said...

i work at Jimmy Johns, delivery. I'll check when I go into work and see if there's an ingredient list on the bread. I'm almost positive that as long as you get a veggie unwich (lettuce wrap) without mayo or cheese, its just veggies in lettuce. So by that definition it should be vegan.

Peace, Karen said...

Those e-mail responses are horrible. The only thing worse than an unhelpful response ("I don't know the answer and I'm not going to help you find out.") is a completely wrong answer. You managed to get both!

At least the person writing the reply knew that that cheese was not vegan, but mayo was included in the list of recommended ingredients. Last I checked, eggs didn't grown on trees.

Even worse, you were told, "I can tell you that our bread is not made with eggs or milk or any allergens." Hello? Isn't there wheat in the bread? Wheat is a common allergen.

It's good to see that you've started getting some reasonable answers to your questions several years later. Still, there is no reason why the restaurant should not post their ingredient list for all food items.

I prefer to eat a whole food diet, avoiding HFCS, hydrogenated fats and artificial ingredients. I also have a child with a life-threatening food allergy. I tend not to eat at restaurants where the ingredient lists are not available. Panera and Starbucks make their ingredients readily available on-line. Chipotle is excellent about responding to questions on ingredients.

I'm sure Jimmy John's is proud of their special bread. So is my local artisan French bakery. But that bakery will gladly tell me that their product contains flour, water, natural yeasts and salt. Knowing this makes me more likely to buy from them, not less likely. If you want to keep your ingredients secret, the only thing I can assume is that it's because you're afraid that consumers will not want to purchase the item if they know what's in it.

Peace,
Karen

short version said...

I can say with 98% certaintiy that a jimmy john's #6 with no cheese or mayo is vegan. I work there, and jimmy john's specialized ingredients are distributed by the jimmy john's company itself to the stores (frozen bread loaves, avocado spread, cherry peppers, pickles, cookies, and chips.) I'm pretty sure that the ingredients are actually on a label on the boxes the bread comes in/containers avocado spread comes in. I'm gonna check tomorrow when i work if you're still interested, even tho i just realized this blog is like 3 years old.

short version said...

oh yeah, its pretty much the law that ingredients have to be labeled in some manner. i figured vegans were really concerned with ingredients and knew that.

Erin said...

short version: thanks for your input. Having someone on the inside can be a big help.

Unfortunately, it is not "pretty much the law" that ingredients be labeled in some manner. As indicated here, "restaurant and food-service foods are exempt from nutrition-labeling requirements."

It is true that food service packaging often does list ingredients. The consumer is not in a position to have access to such labels, however, unless the establishment chooses to share that information voluntarily.

In fact, it is because of the lack regulation forcing this information to be shared with the consumer, like required for food packaged for sale in a grocery store, that the need for this blog exists.

Here's some info on efforts to introduce regulation to require nutrition facts (not even ingredient lists): http://www.restaurant.org/government/Issues/Issue.cfm?Issue=menulabel

The other problem is that ingredient names can be general in nature. As any vegan knows "enzyme" can be animal derived or plant derived. And I suspect that would be the problem with Jimmy John's bread (although I don't even know the ingredient list) - "enzymes" or other ingredients that are of unknown origin. This is where the only hope left is for the company to step in and verify their ingredient sources. And JJ's won't do this.

As Operation Pancake proved, even that isn't necessarily good enough! 7 of 17 supposedly vegan restaurants in LA were scientifically tested and found to have animal ingredients in them.

Anyway, if you can get the ingredient list for the bread, I would love to see it! Although I don't update the blog, it still gets traffic and I leave it up for the record.

Nikki said...

If you get the Jimmy John's veggie unwich without cheese or mayo, the only remaining question would be whether or not their avocado spread is vegan. I really appreciate all of your work. I am waiting right now to find out if i test positive for an autoimmune disease. i've read that some people with this disease have had luck in following a true vegan diet. if my test results is positive, a vegan diet will be my first line of defense.

fattty said...

short version- I just had a discussion w my friend last night about JJ's avocado spread. He believes that like many avocado spreads, JJ's is mainly cream cheese. I admit that I have seen "guacamole" flavored spreads at the market that don't even have avocados in their ingredient list. You mentioned looking at the ingredient listings on the products you receive at JJ's tp help w our questions. Would you mind helping me win this argument? For some reason, I don't believe JJ's avocado spread is cream cheese based. Thanks!

Erin said...

Ok I did a little investigation and might have some clues about the avocado spread.

If you go to http://www.jimmyjohns.com/menu/nutrition.aspx
and select the veggie sandwich, then "x" off all the ingredients for it but the avocado spread, you're left with nutrition info for that alone.

Compare that to the nutrition info for even low-fat cream cheese, changing the serving size to one ounce, to be more comparable:
http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/7645/2

and the info for avocado
http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2

Stabbing in the dark here, but it would seem based on the avocado spread nutritional info on JJ's site that a cream cheese base is not involved. There just isn't much fat, saturated fat, or protein. Per one oz, even low fat cream cheese almost 2x the saturated fat and protein of avo, and 56 compared to 45 calories.

Certainly not enough proof to bet the farm though. I'd love if short version could do some investigating for us.

cckimber13 said...

The avocado spread is vegan. I work at a well known restaurant where we are not allowed to release recipe info, HOWEVER, we can say with 100% certainty if it is vegan, how it could be made vegan, and if there is an allergy someone has-if we can omit, we do, otherwise we suggest a different option for them. Some restaurants have their recipes unreleased due to bringing you, the consumer, back again and again, not because they are trying to hid something. If you can duplicate recipes at home, it wouldn't be the only place you can get the best (fill in the blank), ya know? Anyway, just adding my 2 cents-I am vegan btw. They said the bread was made with no eggs and no dairy-so animal enzymes in bread would be very strange I believe...I guess anything's possible, but I would tend to doubt it.

Erin said...

cckimber, thanks for commenting.

There is a big difference between releasing a recipe and releasing a list of ingredients. Prepared frozen meals in a grocery store have ingredients but not recipes divulged, and those companies do not seem to be suffering for it. This info is crucial for people suffering food allergies in the least and clearly the FDA recognizes that fact. (And abstaining from certain ingredients by choice doesn't mean you have any less right to that info.)

While working in many local, nonchain restaurants over the years with closely guarded recipes, we happily provided a list of ingredients for any customer that wanted it. In a very competitive restaurant community, I know of no business that was lost to another restaurant or individual who tried to recreate or recipes. People don't go to restaurants because the food is so much better there than elsewhere.

Considering how difficult it can be for vegans to determine if an item is vegan or not even when you DO have a list of ingredients, I would never trust someone who isn't vegan to make that decision for me. I've seen nonvegans make an error on this judgment way too many times. Heck, it took my dad years to understand that chicken broth in box rice mix was something to look out for. I sure am not going to trust a complete stranger's word on the subject. And the point is as a consumer we shouldn't have to, and regulations for restaurant food shouldn't be exempt from the same labeling requirement food packaged for retail sale is subjected to.

Because a bread is dairy and egg free means nothing about whether the origins of enzymes used be animal or plant based.

Tina Gilman said...

Nikki,
No one here knows enough about what is a vegan product and what is not vegan to give you an answer on the avocado spread.

JJ's avocado is a proprietary recipe that includes avocado and some seasoning.

I see there's been more conversation about whether JJ bread is vegan after I made my post on the subject. So to confirm, JJ bread is not vegan.

I wish you the best with your test results.
Tina Gilman
Jimmy John's

Erin said...

Well, there you have it folks...2 1/2 years later we have confimation from JJ's their bread is NOT VEGAN and they do not know enough about the sources of their ingredients to confirm their avocado spread is vegan.

While I appreciate Tina's attentiveness to this post, this is not a company for which I want to "vote with my dollars."

Tina Gilman said...

Erin,
I'm glad you have your answer. I thought that I answered the question back in March.

I apologize if I was not clear.

Thanks for lovin' the JJ enough to fight for the information.

I get the "no vote"! I'll keep you posted if we add any vegan sandwiches.
Peace,
Tina

Todd said...

My office ordered Jimmy John's a few weeks ago, and it was delivered in the box that stores their frozen french bread. The ingredients were listed on a sticker on the side of the box. Here are the ingredients for the french bread:

Enriched Bleached Dough (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Yeast, Sea Salt, Dough Improver (Cultured Wheat Flour Sponge, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Salt, Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Peroxide), Calcium Propionate (A Preservative), Dough Conditioner (Calcium Sulfate, L-Cysteine Monohydrochloride, Tricalcium Phosphate), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean/Cottonseed Oil, Dough Conditioner (Wheat Starch, Azodicarbonamide (ADA), Calcium Iodate, Enzymes, Calcium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide)

See: http://i.imgur.com/PdY2u.jpg for the image.

I'm not a vegan, so I can't comment on whether or not the bread is vegan. Most of the non-wheat ingredients look like dough conditioners/preservatives. From a vegan perspective, I'd be concerned about the sources of the enzymes.

As a health conscious foodie, what concerns me more are the hydrogenated oils. I'd still like to know what is in their wheat bread and avocado spread, but unfortunately Jimmy John's doesn't feel that their customers deserve such information. I too have tried emailing their customer service department without even so much as a response. I would wager a bet that both the wheat bread and avocado "spread" contain hydrogenated oils.

Until Jimmy John's values honesty and transparency, I will be spending my dollars elsewhere. I don't eat mystery food.

Erin said...

Wow Todd, THANK YOU FOR SHARING! This is a major coup to get a photo of their actual ingredient label.

In just a quick scan, L-Cysteine Monohydrochloride and enzymes jump out as ingredients that may or may not be vegan.

You make good points about the quality and healthfulness of the ingredients they not only choose to use, but also choose to HIDE from the public.

Molly said...

I find it incredibly funny that they told you there were 'no allergens' and right below the ingredients it clearly states "ALLERGEN:"

Erin said...

Yep, Molly, no kidding! Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in their classification of their own products, does it?

abby parker said...

Wow. Reading this chain has been so eye-opening! So, no Jimmy John's bread- I'm waiting to find out about the Avo spread, but just an FYI for peeps who like to know what they're eating, L-Cysteine blah blah is made partially from hair.

Unwich FTW. And Tina, if you guys EVER get the tempeh, I guarantee you I will partake! That sounds tulry delicious! Thanks for taking the time to update the comments and let us know stuff!

Leonakitty said...

When I go to Jimmy John's and get rid of all the ingredients except the Avo spread and veggies, cholesterol is still listed as (significantly) more than 0g at 20g. Since only animal products contain cholesterol, I'm assuming the avo spread is not vegan.

Work is providing sandwiches and unwiches for us tomorrow. I won't be eating mine - I don't trust the avocado stuff at all.

katrina said...

not sure if anyone is still interested anymore, but somebody confided in me that the recipe contains avocados, tomatoes, chilli pepper, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and some seasonings (salt and dry mustard i believe).

GT said...

I don't understand how JJ's cannot have their ingredients list online. I am allergic to dried corn (starch, syrup, hundreds of other derivatives.) Guess my two JJ card will go unused for now.

Erin said...

GT, I encourage you to let them know.

ph # for JJ's corporate HQ: 217-356-9900

Nate said...

Hi, while it may not be required for restaurants to disclose ingredient lists, not doing so is usually not a good sign, as evidenced by the horrific ingredient list that was posted earlier. I understand the recipes are proprietary, but as someone else alluded to, an ingredient list is not a recipe. Everyone has the right to know exactly what they are eating. Especially with the recent movement toward real, whole, natural foods, transparency is incredibly important these days and for me is the biggest factor for choosing one establishment over another.

Stephanie Doran said...

I would eat Jimmy Johns every day if you had vegan bread! And it would be even more spectacular if you had tofu and tempeh!! I really hope that comes out to all the JJ restaurants!

Stephanie Doran said...

Hippopotamuslee said...

Excellent post, including all of the information shared in the comments. I'm actually vegetarian myself, but I refuse to eat here because their shredded lettuce is cut on the deli slicer.

Erin said...

Thanks for the lettuce tip, Hippo.

Another good reason not to eat at Jimmy John's is their ethics!

MK said...

Jimmy John's: I recently came across this list of ingredients for Jimmy John's French Bread on foodfriend.com


Enriched Bleached Dough (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Yeast, Sea Salt, Dough Improver (Cultured Wheat Flour Sponge, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Salt, Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Peroxide), Calcium Propionate (A Preservative), Dough Conditioner (Calcium Sulfate, L-Cysteine Monohydrochloride, Tricalcium Phosphate), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil And/Or Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Dough Conditioner (Wheat Starch, Azodicarbonamide (ADA), Calcium Iodate, Enzymes, Calcium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide)

ms.franticmelancholicfrenzy said...

The nutrition information for the Jimmy John's 7-Grain Wheat Bread:
Serving Size: 138 grams
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 346
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Saturated: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 518 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 64 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 15 g

...since this bread does not have any Cholesterol in it, I think that it must be Vegan. Thoughts?

ms.franticmelancholicfrenzy said...

The nutrition information for the Jimmy John's 7-Grain Wheat Bread:
Serving Size: 138 grams
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 346
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Saturated: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 518 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 64 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 15 g

...since this bread does not have any Cholesterol in it, I think that it must be Vegan. Thoughts?

Erin said...

ms. frantic - unfortunately a lack of cholesterol cannot be construed as an assurance of an item being vegan. Looking at this list of food additives - http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/non-vegetarian-food-additives.htm - you can see there are many there that pop up in foods with zero cholesterol. I.E., Jell-O doesn't have cholesterol but it certainly isn't vegan nor vegetarian as it contains gelatin.

Unknown said...

Wow, great thread. I just wish the JJ employee would post a picture of the ingredient list for the avocado spread. I will not eat at JJ’s. I’m devoted to organics and only make exceptions when eating out. However, though I’m not vegan, I’m very selective about the conventional food I eat.

The main problem I have with the mystery avocado spread is that I believe there are, at worst, tons of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and/or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) which is even worse. Companies usually label these, but have often hidden them in the generic term “spices”. These so-called natural flavor enhancers are toxic. In addition to causing headaches, joint pain and other types of effects for some people, I believe they can alter brain chemistry and the satiety indicator. At best, I believe the avocado spread has preservatives.

I’ve learned to listen to my body. I have noticed over the years that foods that (I later found out) contained MSG and/or HVP always seemed to make me shovel the food in with the “omg this is so good I can’t get enough” feeling. I am sure this is very intentional. My favorite local Mexican restaurant made their rice w/chicken broth and garlic powder. I’m not vegan, so that was okay with me. Then I realized the chicken broth was canned. It had 3 types of MSG/HVP in it! No wonder I was “shoveling” it in!

I never eat at McDonald’s. My only fast food is veggie sub at Subway w/no cheese. I add organic stuff at home including my vinegar, oil, oregano, turmeric and other things. However, I used to indulge in a vanilla shake about once a year from McDonald’s. I always got a headache. I always attributed it to “brain freeze”… Then I read that McD’s puts MSG in EVERYTHING INCLUDING THEIR SHAKES! That was several years ago… I’ve not been back to McD’s since.

I think somebody made a comment about mayo not being vegan. Actually, most commercial mayo no longer contains eggs, so I would not always assume that to be true. Also, I’m a no-GMO activist. I hope you will spread the word that about 85-90% of corn, soy and canola are genetically modified. They are the top three. So, if there are any corn, soy or canola ingredients in the item (and almost everything has some corn or soy derivative these days) unless it is certified organic, it is almost certainly GMO. For people who choose to use soy as a protein replacement, PLEASE BUY ORGANIC! Loading up on conventional soymilk and other soy products is just filling your body with GMO’s! The best book on this subject is Jeffrey Smith’s “Seeds of Deception”… which accounts for the most books sold globally on the subject. Here are links to the book and Jeff’s website. The book and a 2 dvd/1 cd trilogy are sold together for only $18.45 @ amazon… less that the cost of a pizza… an incredible bargain. This info changed my life and I believe, if you could only read one book for the rest of your life, this book should be it. Our food supply is at risk of being irreversibly contaminated. I also encourage people to join the tipping point network to help get gmo’s out of our products. Also, you can watch Jeff speak on youtube… Here’s a great link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWt0BdMsu0A

http://www.amazon.com/The-Gmo-Trilogy-Seeds-Deception/dp/0972966536/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/

Unknown said...

Wow, great thread. I just wish the JJ employee would post a picture of the ingredient list for the avocado spread. I will not eat at JJ’s. I’m devoted to organics and only make exceptions when eating out. However, though I’m not vegan, I’m very selective about the conventional food I eat.

The main problem I have with the mystery avocado spread is that I believe there are, at worst, tons of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and/or hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) which is even worse. Companies usually label these, but have often hidden them in the generic term “spices”. These so-called natural flavor enhancers are toxic. In addition to causing headaches, joint pain and other types of effects for some people, I believe they can alter brain chemistry and the satiety indicator. At best, I believe the avocado spread has preservatives.

I’ve learned to listen to my body. I have noticed over the years that foods that (I later found out) contained MSG and/or HVP always seemed to make me shovel the food in with the “omg this is so good I can’t get enough” feeling. I am sure this is very intentional. My favorite local Mexican restaurant made their rice w/chicken broth and garlic powder. I’m not vegan, so that was okay with me. Then I realized the chicken broth was canned. It had 3 types of MSG/HVP in it! No wonder I was “shoveling” it in!

I never eat at McDonald’s. My only fast food is veggie sub at Subway w/no cheese. I add organic stuff at home including my vinegar, oil, oregano, turmeric and other things. However, I used to indulge in a vanilla shake about once a year from McDonald’s. I always got a headache. I always attributed it to “brain freeze”… Then I read that McD’s puts MSG in EVERYTHING INCLUDING THEIR SHAKES! That was several years ago… I’ve not been back to McD’s since.

I think somebody made a comment about mayo not being vegan. Actually, most commercial mayo no longer contains eggs, so I would not always assume that to be true. Also, I’m a no-GMO activist. I hope you will spread the word that about 85-90% of corn, soy and canola are genetically modified. They are the top three. So, if there are any corn, soy or canola ingredients in the item (and almost everything has some corn or soy derivative these days) unless it is certified organic, it is almost certainly GMO. For people who choose to use soy as a protein replacement, PLEASE BUY ORGANIC! Loading up on conventional soymilk and other soy products is just filling your body with GMO’s! The best book on this subject is Jeffrey Smith’s “Seeds of Deception”… which accounts for the most books sold globally on the subject. Here are links to the book and Jeff’s website. The book and a 2 dvd/1 cd trilogy are sold together for only $18.45 @ amazon… less that the cost of a pizza… an incredible bargain. This info changed my life and I believe, if you could only read one book for the rest of your life, this book should be it. Our food supply is at risk of being irreversibly contaminated. I also encourage people to join the tipping point network to help get gmo’s out of our products. Also, you can watch Jeff speak on youtube… Here’s a great link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWt0BdMsu0A

http://www.amazon.com/The-Gmo-Trilogy-Seeds-Deception/dp/0972966536/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/

daveola said...

It looks like Jimmy John's has *partially* changed their tune. They will not release ingredients, and they refuse to answer allergen questions over the phone, but they *will* answer allergen questions over email.

You have to send them what you are concerned about and they will tell you whether it's safe - though I do realize you're still trusting them to not make a mistake and to understand the possible ingredients. I was most concerned about dairy (and their bread looks like it has no dairy according to the ingredients above), so I sent this in:



Can you tell me if the avocado spread has any dairy products? This includes:
Milk, butter, cream, whey, casein, sodium caseinate, lactose, butter oil, milk protein, cream cheese, yogurt, and so forth.


The answer from Jimmy John's:


Thanks for eating at Jimmy John's, we love our customers! I am writing you back
in response to your earlier e-mail.

You ask if our avocado dairy products :
There are no milk or dairy products in our avocado.

I hope that this answer is helpful. We appreciate your business.

Jimmy John's

Chelsea Marie said...

JJ Feedback jimmyjohn@jimmyjohns.com
10:31 AM (9 hours ago)

to me
Thanks for eating at Jimmy John's, we love our customers! I am writing you back in response to your earlier e-mail.

You ask if our breads have milk products :
There are no milk or dairy products in our bread.

You ask if our bread has eggs?
Bread - There are no eggs.

I hope that this answer is helpful. We appreciate your business.

Jimmy John's

werehawk said...

Great thread. Tina, if you are still there can you tell me whether the bread (or any of your breads) contains peanuts or tree nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, or any other nut) or are process on the same machinery with other products containing them?

I am vegan so will not eat L-Cysteine (human hair) and cannot eat your sandwiches, but my son really wants to visit Jimmy John's but I really need to know about his life-threatening allergies. No one in your stores nor the corporate office phone number have been able to find the ingredients to give me a response.

Thank you.

werehawk said...

Great thread. Tina, if you are still there can you tell me whether the bread (or any of your breads) contains peanuts or tree nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, or any other nut) or are process on the same machinery with other products containing them?

I am vegan so will not eat L-Cysteine (human hair) and cannot eat your sandwiches, but my son really wants to visit Jimmy John's but I really need to know about his life-threatening allergies. No one in your stores nor the corporate office phone number have been able to find the ingredients to give me a response.

Thank you.

Erin said...

Chelsea Marie - these products could still contain animal-derived ingredients.

Josh Dixon said...

I was just researching JJ's today and was curious what would be vegan there. I appreciate this thread because it has been very insightful.

One thing I want to note is about the avocado spread. No one knows for sure if it's vegan or not. If you go to their website and go to the nutritional info section and get rid of all ingredients except for the spread, you will see it contains 20mg of cholesterol. If you are vegan, you know cholesterol only comes from animal products. If the information on their website is correct, then there's no way it is vegan. I hope this helps.

Tina Gilman said...

Here are some answers to questions about JJ food:

To: ms.franticmelancholicfrenzy
JJ's wheat bread is not vegan.

To: Unknown
Our avocado does not contain MSG or HVP. It does not have any preservatives. Our avocado is vegan friendly.

To: werehawk
You asked about peanuts or tree nuts in our bread: The ingredients in our products do not contain nuts or nuts products (other than chips), however some of our manufacturing facilities, including but not limited to the cookie and pepper facilities do process nut products.

Thanks to everyone for asking your questions! Tina

Gladys Gomez said...

This is extremely disappointing since I was a huge JJ fan! Looks like I had my last meal there today...I cannot support a company who refuses to disclose their ingredients to their consumers. Goodbye Jimmy John's, get your act together.

Sheila Varga said...

A new JJ's opened near my office, and after reading this blog I will certainly say I will not eat there as long as they refuse to disclose a full list of ingredients. L-cysteine is derived from either duck feathers of pig hair, enzymes could be animal derived. If the avocado spread does not contain animal products, they why does it have cholesterol? Honey is also a concern for vegans as is anything noted "natural flavor". Natural flavor can be derived from animal products.(i.e. the dreaded beaver butt juice).
Avocado spread might not have dairy, but it could have natural flavor, or even animal based bouillon for that matter. Jimmy Johns is definately a no go for me when there is a Quizno's and and a Subway nearby that will gladly reveal an ingredient list.

Deniene Gorey said...

this is a hot joke. forget about just being vegan but you are denying millions of people the right to know if there are life threatening allergens in your recipes. You can cause them to go to the ER or even die. We are not asking for just postings of nutritional info we need allergen warnings and knowledge. My mom and I were going to go for Customer Appreciation Day today (even BUSH beans lists the ingredients) but I/we will NEVER step foot in any of your locations again. This chain is a joke. Fix your website and be more people conscience