Fake tuna. That’s what a lawsuit says Subway puts in its not really foot long subs. And it’s not fish either, although the lawyers can’t say what it is. Except, not tuna, and not from the ocean.

By David Stone

Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

It brought some nostalgia. Back in my salad days, working at an urban general hospital, my co-workers and I ate lunch and sometimes breakfast in their big, busy cafeteria. It was cheap, and they served up something we called “mystery meat.”

We didn’t know what the hell it was for sure, but we liked the price.

Eater, taking off from a report in the Washington Post, quotes from a lawsuit filed in California: It’s “…made from anything but tuna,” and is instead “a mixture of various concoctions that do not constitute tuna, yet have been blended together by defendants to imitate the appearance of tuna.”

In multiple tests, the claimants say, no tuna was found at all. And worse than fake tuna, they couldn’t find any other fish either.

Not fake tuna, Subway protests…

Subway firmly denied the claim, sticking by its nutrition guide, which describes their ingredient as “flaked tuna in brine (tuna, water, salt).” Then, you mix in the mayo, of course.

But even after that, there may be something else fishy.

“Would you like plain or whole wheat cake for your sub?”

Last year, the Supreme Court in Ireland ruled that Subway’s bread was not really bread because it had too much sugar. So, in essence, you may get fake bread filled with delicious fake tuna.


Years ago, when I was still rooted in a midtown Manhattan office, my friend and I used to hang out in Bryant Park for lunch. On our way there, we stopped at Subway for sandwiches, and she always added a cookie.

I don’t eat meat; so, mine was what I thought was real tuna. On real bread, which tasted sort of sweet, but now it makes sense. The cookie and all. Subway was corralling her sweet tooth.


Size matters, and more…

Credibility may be the larger problem.

Just a month ago, a lawsuit in Quebec accused Subway of misrepresenting its chicken as… well, chicken. Still better than the fake tuna caper, it alleges that whatever it is in total, only about half is chicken.

And Eater raises the question: “…what the hell did I just eat?”

Wouldn’t we all like to know?

In the meantime, the big question — Does size matter? — lingers. As a 2015 lawsuit pointed out, a “footlong” isn’t quite up to it. At 11 inches, it shares a lot in common with braggers everywhere.

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