Chick-Fil-A Fans Think This Controversial Ingredient Might Be Why Its Chicken Sandwich Is So Good

Chick-fil-A has had its fair share of controversial instances. Before 2012, the company was called out for its consistent donations to, and seeming support of, ani-LGBTQ organizations. The Christian Post reported that Chick-fil-A's then-CEO (and son of the company's founder) Dan Cathy said on a radio show in 2012 that "we are inviting God's judgment on our nation" by supporting same-sex marriage. Since the backlash faced there, the company stopped donating to some but not all of the aforementioned groups. And in 2019, they finally refocused their charitable donations, instead giving to "education, homelessness and hunger," reported USA Today.

And while not quite as heavy, Chick-fil-A's chicken recipe has sparked controversial opinions all its own. Some, like those at The Kitchn, believe its increasingly popular flavor comes from its brining in pickle juice. The company itself swears its in their secret seasoning blend. And others even attribute it to the restaurants' special grill. No matter how hard they try, they can't quite put a finger on what makes it so uniquely tasty. But that doesn't mean they'll stop trying. Some Redditors think they may have it solved, and their answer is a bit controversial.

Bad news and good news

The internet has spoken, and the secret, they say, is MSG, a chemical created to artificially mimic umami flavoring, "an earthy and meaty savory flavor that doesn't fall under the categories of bitter, salty, sweet, or sour." MSG has been getting a bad rap for years. As Everyday Health notes, some people with sensitivities or aversions do tend to have not-so-great reactions to the compound, but its really only large doses that harm you, according to Healthline, which tells us that while "fear of MSG dates as far back as 1969," its likely not as harmful as most people would lead you to believe. 

If the FDA recognizes it as safe, shouldn't that be good enough for everyone? As "Today" notes, you can think of MSG like peanut oil — only "dangerous if you are allergic to peanuts or have a natural intolerance to it." So if the knowledge of MSG in Chick-fil-A's sandwiches has you spooked, you might consider the expert opinions, who claim you'll be fine as long as you consume in moderation.