The omnipresent McDonald’s corporation just posted its fourth straight quarter of falling U.S. same-store sales, and now the fast food chain, which has been staring down the grim effects of a public backlash against unhealthy food, may be considering a highly unlikely route to win back customers.
“You’ll see us in some categories looking to different products, possibly organics,” Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson said on a conference call according to Bloomberg.
Already, McDonald’s uses organic ingredients in some foods overseas, but the news of Thompson’s quote has caught many in the holistic health world off guard considering McDonald’s track record.
The McDonald’s of Today is Anything But Organic
Everyone knows McDonald’s food in America is anything but organic, but the number of ingredients (and genetically modified ingredients especially) in each food item is what has caused most health conscious consumers to abandon them.
The following ingredients list for one such item is a perfect example:
Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar, Yeast, Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil, Contains 2% or Less: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of: Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Monoglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzymes, Guar Gum, Calcium Peroxide), Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Calcium Propionate and/or Sodium Propionate (Preservatives), Soy Lecithin
Everyone knows McDonald’s food in America is anything but organic, but the number of ingredients (and genetically modified ingredients) in each food item is what has caused most health conscious consumers to abandon them.
Organics in American McDonald’s: Too Good to Be True?
Considering that even Wal-Mart and other major retailers are jumping on board the organic train, it’s not as big of a surprise as many may have first though that McDonald’s could begin experimenting with organic ingredients.
In the UK, they already use organic semi-skimmed milk in McCafe coffees, porridge and Happy Meals, and organic milk is sold in Germany along with organic fruit juice in France.
The real question now is whether or not McDonald’s will ever begin removing some of their more controversial ingredients including genetically engineered ones.
Considering that McDonald’s has strong ties to the infamous Monsanto corporation, it may be hard for consumers to trust them going forward, however.
One particular tie to note: McDonald’s former President Janice L. Fields has been a member of the Monsanto Board of Directors since April 2008. She left McDonald’s in 2012 and remained on the Monsanto board, where her term expires in 2015. And she’s not the only Monsanto board member who has worked with McDonald’s recently as this article notes.
Thompson’s comments have caught many off guard, and now the wait is on to see just how much McDonald’s plans to get involved. Considering that demand for organic is rising dramatically, it remains to be seen where all of the new organic foods coming onto the market will come from.
For now, it’s hard to predict whether one of America’s biggest companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart investing organics would be a net positive, but one thing’s for sure: health conscious people would do well to exercise caution before supporting them in light of their histories.
What do you think about McDonald’s serving organic products, and do you trust them? Let us know by posting in the comments section below.