Friday, August 22, 2014

Kudos (maybe someday) to McDonald’s

Companies keeping up with the latest fads, fashions, and trends make the most money. That is not, as the saying goes, rocket science. McDonald’s is one of the best in the business at being, if not ahead of the curve, catching and successfully riding the latest food-related wave; or in some instances, creating and shaping the wave.

One of the strongest waves now shaking up the food industry is the emphasis on fresh foods and healthier products.

McDonald’s has jumped on this bandwagon with its latest food-related initiative. The company recently sponsored a party for reporters and bloggers (not this blogger; I was not invited. No hard feelings, McDonald’s. Maybe next time.), offering dishes prepared with McDonald’s ingredients and created by renowned chefs.

McDonald’s campaign strives to change the perception the world holds of its products. The New York City gourmet gala was one undertaking in this endeavor. The company wants people to abandon the vision of McDonald’s as purveyor of cheap junk food, a.k.a. fast food, and embrace the idea that the company is all about ‘good food served fast’.

Good food served fast in my kitchen are fresh fruits…a bagel laden with cream cheese, red onion and a thick slice of an in-season tomato…leftovers warmed in the microwave, an undertaking of maybe three minutes…and, always in reserve in case no other food is around and a shopping trip appears imminent, a bowl of cold cereal (not sugary ones)…but I digress…

My blood pressure rises and body swells thinking about the event and the lost opportunity to observe what the company considers ‘good food served fast’, not because I am upset about not being invited (I am not. Upset. At all.), but because of all the salt and fat my body would absorb tasting the various dishes. Yet, on behalf of my readers and others who might one day read my words of wisdom providing a detailed account of the event, the venue, who attended, and my description and humble opinion of food served, I would sample every item, not thinking about the medical issues which might occur as a result of my gluttony.

It is not easy finding and preparing cheap healthy foods – the term is almost a contradiction. And like most people I appreciate low-priced almost everything (especially taxes, but that is fodder for a future post), but also understand the truth to the saying, “you get what you pay for”.

However if anyone can find a way to sell low-cost, healthy fare (I state anyone purposely, after all, Citizens United and other Supreme Court cases set the precedent that McDonald’s is a person), McDonald’s can.

Even without nutritious food items, McDonald’s does a wonderful service for the people of our nation and I categorically do not advocate the demise of McDonald’s. That would prove a hardship to long-distance travelers. McDonald’s outlets strategically positioned along America’s highways are sometimes the only place weary and bladder-filled road warriors can find clean rest rooms (as long as they do not venture into stores in major cities, where facilities may be less than pristine; the restaurants cannot always keep up with heavy foot traffic).

While McDonald’s attempts to improve menu offerings, it maintains their food is real food.

Really? Remember the book and movie Super Size Me? The guy ate McDonald’s for a month. The result was a host of medical issues. He conducted several experiments, and in one test placed McDonald’s sandwiches and French fries in sealed containers, observing them for weeks. The sandwiches turned to moldy, ugly, smelly messes, but after two months the French fries looked like they just came out of the deep fryer.

Real food?

Maybe someday.