Chick-fil-A has shunned a not-so-nutritious food item. No, it's not the classic Chick-fil-A Sauce, which boasts 140 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 120 milligrams of sodium per serving. Instead, it's … iceberg lettuce. "We have a mandate: Never use iceberg lettuce," David Farmer, the restaurant's vice president of menu strategy and development, tells Business Insider. The site explains the chain has six chefs toiling away on new recipes in an Atlanta test kitchen, but they don't touch the "bottom of the salad food chain" ingredient, which Farmer describes as lacking all nutritional value. That's not actually true: A Bangor Daily News article notes iceberg contains small amounts of vitamins A and C, and if nothing else, helps with hydration thanks to its 96%-water makeup.
While "there's no official ban in place," Chick-fil-A favors kale and romaine lettuce "because of the nutrients and flavor they pack in every bite," a rep tells CNBC, which notes the move away from iceberg started in 2013. On the kale front, the chain recently introduced a "superfood" salad of broccolini, kale, sour cherries, nuts, and a maple vinaigrette. Writing for Food & Wine, self-proclaimed "iceberg defender" Mike Pomranz points to the irony "in a fast food chain dismissing a lettuce over nutritional value." He acknowledges it isn't the superman of greens, "but do you really want me to put it head-to-head nutritionally against a Chick-fil-A Frosted Lemonade?" (Chick-fil-A locations are offering free ice cream—with a catch.)