The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Wendy’s Natural-Cut French Fries

Posted on June 02, 2011 by The VRG Blog Editor

by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director

Wendy’s now offers skin-on French fries made from whole Russet potatoes and seasoned with sea salt. Ingredient information posted on their website indicates that the “natural flavors” used in these fries are vegetable-derived. All other ingredients appear to be all-vegetable or synthetic.

The VRG called Wendy’s in May 2011 to find out more information about this new side menu item. We spoke with Rachel, a consumer relations specialist. When we asked if the Natural-Cut French Fries were all-vegetable, she replied “I can read off the ingredients from the list to you; that’s all I can say.” When we inquired whether she would confirm that the fries were all-vegetable, as they appear to be, she would not confirm it.

Rachel stated that there is no designated fryer for French fries at Wendy’s. In fact, the fries are cooked in the same oil as Wendy’s fish and chicken products. Rachel also said that “even if there were designated fryers, cross-contamination [with meat products] would still be possible because the cooking oil used in all the fryers would be filtered at the same time.”

Wendy’s Natural-Cut French Fries are available at all participating Wendy’s restaurants nationwide.

4 to “Wendy’s Natural-Cut French Fries”

  1. According to, the ingredients are:
    Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following oils: canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (to maintain natural color). Cooked in Vegetable Oil (soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor [vegetable], citric acid [preservative], dimethylpolysiloxane [anti-foaming agent]). Cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain Wheat, Egg, Milk, and Fish (where available). Seasoned with Sea Salt.

    …43% percent increase in sodium compared to the previous Wendy’s version. That’s 500mg (more that 20% of the daily max) in a medium serving of fries.

    The calorie count is 420 for the medium size. That’s BEFORE the burger and the soda. Luckily, each packet of ketchup is only 10 calories.

    To keep the fries from browning when frozen, they are coated with dextrose (a type of sugar from corn) and sodium acid pyrophosphate. Both are safe, but lead to the question why freeze the fries in the first place? Well, the process for making fries is to fry them once at a central location, then ship them to your local neighborhood Wendy’s where they are kept frozen until you order them. Then they are fried again.

    The frying oil includes dimethylpolysiloxane, a chemical that prevents the oil from foaming after repeated use. Its’ a type of silicone (used in silly putty too) and not considered toxic, according to the World Health Organization. And yet, other countries have found other ways to prevent foaming oil.

    To summarize, the image presented to consumers is that of an all “natural” product. In practice, we see it gets quite a lot of help from a chemistry set.

  2. Timmie says:

    Avocado fries could be even healthier!

    1 avocado, peeled and cut length-wise into strips
    1/3 cup cornmeal
    1 egg
    1 TBSP heavy cream
    1/2 tsp stevia (or sugar)
    dash cayenne pepper
    salt & pepper
    Sour cream or Greek yogurt for dipping


    Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk egg and cream together in a bowl. Combine dry ingredients, except salt and pepper, in a separate bowl. Dip each slice of avocado into egg mixture and then into cornmeal mixture coating well.
    Place avocado slices on a greased foil-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.

    illustrated here:
    You can find more vegetarian recipes here!

  3. anonymous says:

    if they fry them in the same oil with the chicken, then they’re NOT vegan.

  4. annon says:

    i work at wendys and there is in fact a designated fryer for chicken and fish. fries are not cooked in those fryers.

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