Chicken nuggets, french fries, and a fried chicken sandwich are arranged for a photograph during an event ahead of the grand opening for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in New York, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015.
Chicken nuggets, french fries, and a fried chicken sandwich are arranged for a photograph during an event ahead of the grand opening for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in New York, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015.  Michael Nagle—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Chick-fil-A Doesn't Serve This Ingredient Because It's Too Unhealthy

Apr 11, 2016

Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain known for its chicken sandwiches, is keeping one surprising ingredient off its menu: iceberg lettuce.

"There is no nutritional value in iceberg lettuce," said David Farmer, the company's vice president of menu strategy and development, according to Business Insider. "It's at the bottom of the salad food chain."

Chick-fil-A has six chefs who work in a test kitchen to invent new recipes, and they've been encouraged to experiment with healthier items like kale and broccolini instead. "Our focus over the last couple years has been around health," Farmer said. "We're seeing purchase behavior shift toward healthier items, so we're fully committed to providing more nutritional options for customers."

A Chick-fil-A spokeswoman told TIME that while there's no official ban on iceberg lettuce, "w hat you will find is our premium salads and Superfood Side introduced this year include ingredients like kale and romaine lettuce, and we’ve opted for these because of the nutrients and flavor they pack in every bite.”

As part of its health initiative, the chain says it has served nearly 26.4 million pounds of fresh lettuce in the past year.

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