That Fake Chicken You’ve Been Eating Was Maybe Just Real Chicken


I realize it’s not for everyone—different strokes for different folks, some of whom are cold-blooded murderers and some of whom are not—but around here, we have a certain amount of respect for fake meat. Or at least, respect for the fact that few things in this world are grosser or more disconcerting than slowly (or retroactively) realizing that something you’ve been eating wasn’t… exactly what you thought it was.

A bunch of New York Whole Foods locations apparently do not. Earlier this week—specifically on Tuesday and Wednesday, in case you think this may have actually happened to you—Whole Foods has admitted that a bunch of their Northeast locations (including the Columbus Circle and Upper West Side stores) accidentally labeled their curry chicken salad as the vegan “chick’n” alternative at the cold bar, and vice versa.

Yeesh. Besides the obvious problems this poses—vegans are not known to be lighthearted about their chicken intake, and normies aren’t usually that down with the fake version—there are food allergies to be considered, given that chick’n (I will never get tired of this word) is made partially from soy, and regular chicken salad includes not just meat but eggs.

The problem reportedly originated at a company commissary, and the chain is now issuing a recall, and will be posting signs today warning customers about the mix-up. So, yeah. Even the most uptight of chains may accidentally be feeding you something you’ve sworn never to put into your body (or even just something you think is sort of weird and not that much like the real thing). Unsettling.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.