Fast foods: Then and now

Believe it or not, McDonald’s has a food philosophy around how wholesome their offerings are. It has recently turned to fresh beef, real white meat chicken, real eggs and fresh buttermilk. Uh! what were they serving before this?

Contrary to what you might think, a trip to McDonald’s in 1989 was actually healthier than it’s today. The Sun says it examined a leaflet from 1989 and compared it to the amounts of sugar, salt and calories in McDonald’s food today. What it found was that sugar levels were 221 percent higher in, for example, Big Macs than they were 30 years ago.

Regular French Fries, says the paper, now contain 43 percent more calories, 17 percent more fat and 24 percent more salt.

And a Quarter Pounder with Cheese enjoys a giddy 285 percent more sugar.

Here is McDonald’s reaction to the report, “For more than 30 years we have provided clear nutritional information, at point of sale and on tray liners, to help our customers make informed choices, and our menu has evolved over the years so it provides more choice than ever from salads, to wraps, to coffee, to fruit bags. We have worked hard to improve our recipes and to reduce fat, salt and sugar across our entire menu, without compromising on the taste that our customers love.”

The key part of the statement is in the end, “taste that at our customers love”

I don’t think people walk into McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. believing that they are eating healthy. Do these people know or care what the calorific content of, say, their Big Macs is? Are they belonging to the same class of people who deny obvious facts, say, global warming? Very likely.

Fast food industry is just giving these people what they want. “Hey, you like sugar, salt and fat, sure, we will give you that and you can super size it. We don’t hear you complaining. We watch you coming into our establishment salivating for it”.

It’s another thing however to be a responsible corporate citizen and make politically correct statements like: “Since 2005, we’ve reduced the salt content across our entire menu by nearly 35 per cent, the trans-fat content of our cooking oil by 94 per cent and saturated fat by 83 per cent, and almost 90 per cent of our standard food and drink items now contain fewer than 500 calories.”. Whatever!

Looks at the result of the fast food nation, since 1989 obesity rate in the United States has quadrupled. Data suggests that almost 40 percent of adults in some states are obese.

In the defense of the fast food companies though, can we blame Anheuser Busch for alcohol toxicity and DUI? Can we blame Philip Morris for bronchitis? No, because consumers have to be aware of what they put into their body.

Well, shouldn’t the same thing apply to fast food too?

This entry was posted in General.