Dairy Queen Takes Soda Out of Kids' Meals
Dairy Queen is the most recent fast-food chain to start swapping milk and water for soda on the kids' menu. "Dairy Queen deserves credit for being responsive to the concerns of parents, who increasingly want to be able to order off the kids' menu without having to say 'no' to soda," said Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Up next, MomsRising.org, a public interest group, hopes that DQ will target its other unhealthy options. "While Dairy Queen is now offering better beverage options, we need more restaurants to do the same because sugar-sweetened beverages uniquely promote heart disease and type 2 diabetes," said Monifa Bandele, the senior campaign director for MomsRising.org. "We hope Dairy Queen and others will also move to further improve kids' meals by serving whole grain rolls, offering more fruit and vegetable options, and reducing sodium across the menu."
Other fast-food companies to switch out soda on the kids' menu include Wendy's, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Chipotle, Arby's, and Panera Bread.
Panera Bread Ditches Additives
Panera Bread has made a laundry list of additives that will be taken out of its foods, including high-fructose corn syrup, caramel color, and artificial colors. "With this bold commitment, Panera is showing impressive leadership in the restaurant industry to give consumers what they increasingly demand: food with fewer artificial ingredients and additives," said Ken Cook, president and cofounder of the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.
Chipotle ditches GMO
As part of its overall dedication to food made with safer ingredients, Chipotle is ditching GMOs. Notably, the company will use non-GMO corn and soy—which is impressive because 93 percent of domestic corn and soy are from GMO seeds. While GMO companies continue to claim the safety of these products, Chipotle is saying that it will wait to see more definitive research.
McDonald's Refuses (Some) Antibiotics
As antibiotic resistance continues to rise, the world's largest fast-food chain takes a bold step to protect our health: The chain is committing to not buying chicken raised with medically important antibiotics. Because McDonald's is a major buyer of chicken, the ripples of this decision are already being seen, as Tyson later made the announcement that it also will be ditching human antibiotics. has also promised to offer milk from cows not treated with rBST, an artificial growth hormone, and it has pledged to not use GMO potatoes.