With more than 36,000 locations in 98 countries throughout the world, the Subway sandwich chain is as ubiquitous as it gets.
But here in Marin, the is more than a mere blip on the ever-growing chain’s tally. A Subway franchisee’s application to open one in downtown Mill Valley , as its after some neighbors asked to city to get the applicant to produce data on the amount of traffic the 900-square-foot restaurant would generate.
But let’s put the politics aside for now and look at the nutritional and health aspects of Subway.
Subway's slogan, “Eat Fresh,” refers to the service of freshly prepared sandwiches, not the food itself. Deli sandwiches are made mostly of processed meat products heavily laden with preservatives. We preserve meats in this way so they can last many months. They are certainly not fresh. Vegetable toppings like lettuce, tomato and peppers do offer some nutritional redemption but don't stack up to locally sourced organic vegetable fare offered at other local eateries. Subway's breads are baked fresh daily, but the ingredients can be many months old, and with the latest trend of not eating bread, Subway may have a difficult time in Mill Valley. So don't be fooled by the slogan. A commenter on a about Subway posted this link.
The nutritional content of the sandwiches looks reasonable at first, with some choices lower in fat, calories and sodium. But published nutritional content focuses on the 6-inch sandwich, without the optional cheese, while all of their marketing is for the (sing it with me) "$5 foot-long." With our propensity for large portions, the foot long is their most popular sandwich. Consuming foot-long sandwiches on a regular basis is sure to cause an increase in the waist line. Calories for a foot-long range from 460 for the Veggie Delight (without cheese) to 1,140 for the Turkey Bacon Ranch Melt (never mind the 1,300 Mega Omelet breakfast sandwich). Add a bag of Dorrito's and a can of soda and you end up with a 1,550 calorie lunch.
Can you lose weight, as their famous spokesperson Jared did, eating at Subway every day? Of course you could. There are several 6" sandwiches which contain around 300 calories, and if you add the optional apple slices (35 calories) and drink water, instead of chips and soda, you are well within any weight loss calorie target. They also have salads with even fewer calories. The interesting dichotomy is that their new marketing campaign features star athletes who are trying to fuel up by packing on the calories (not that they say it quite that way). They want you to think of them for both low calorie and high calorie options.
Regardless of what the Planning Commission decides about Subway, Mill Valley residents will vote with their dollars and Subway will either thrive or . In the mean time, be prepared to work off some of those 1,500 calorie meals.