By chance, I was born and raised in Des Plaines, Illinois, which is the home of the first McDonalds. I would have been the grill man at the first McDonalds, but at 15 my mother wouldn’t let me stay out till midnight, so I became a drugstore clerk and was home by 10. (Last year I bought their stock because it pays a decent dividend – 3.2 percent – and the stock value has increased 23 percent in the last 12 months.)
Last week, I went to their annual meeting at their Oakbrook, Illinois, campus headquarters. Greeted by security personnel and colorful clown characters, I learned that McDonald’s serves 60 million customers daily around the world, the great majority who enjoyed the food fare they offer.
But not everyone agreed.
Proposed amendments were voted that would change McDonald business practices. Some are concerned that the fast-food company is not sensitive to the crude methods used to slaughter chickens cooked for their customers.
Others believe that McDonald’s is responsible for the obesity problem in this country. They feel that they can stop obesity by targeting the largest fast-food purveyor in the world and forcing it to change. In my opinion, they are targeting the wrong business; McDonald’s is delivering what the customer perceives as good food at a reasonable price. In fact, McDonald’s started out with a 15-cent hamburger that 55 years later sells for 89 cents. That’s 11 cents today without inflation. McDonald’s follows the accepted food practices in the United States, and to change these practices, federal food regulations, as well as the food production practices of the global food conglomerates such as ConAgra, Cargill, and Monsanto, would have to be revised.
“Ronald, You’re Fired!”
A couple of proposed amendments actually demanded that Ronald retire; he encourages children to eat unhealthy food, or so they say. Each time these proposals were made, there was a spontaneous roar from the audience saying “Nooooooo!” In fact, Ronald McDonald is doing good, considering that each night 6,400 parents of children under medical treatment are invited to stay at a Ronald McDonald house somewhere in the world.
When I order a hamburger at a fast-food restaurant, I usually order water with my meal. I would order a root beer, but when Coke bought Barq’s Root Beer, the first thing they did was add caffeine to the drink. I wonder how many mothers over the last ten years were aware of the change. I also wonder if caffeine contributes to hyperactivity in children.
Artificial sweeteners, caffeine, liquid corn syrup, coal-tar dyes, and a myriad of other chemicals are widespread in thousands of food products consumed on a regular basis by the American public. What is not being addressed is what the cumulative effect of these chemicals and sugars are on the obesity problem and overall health of our children in the US. This, in my opinion, is not McDonald’s problem, but the government’s to solve.
Ronald McDonald could be an educational spokesperson to help our children make healthier choices. Don’t retire him, but make him the centerpiece of healthier eating practices for our kids.
As I left the McDonald Campus, I was greeted by adults in yellow chicken costumes holding signs shouting, “Boycott McDonalds!”
They got it wrong. Instead, we should shun the foods that are laced with chemicals we don’t need or want in our food supply. Then, maybe, we will eliminate some of the health and obesity problems in the US. Don’t you wonder if Big Agra is trying to keep the spotlight off their role in this dilemma through these McDonald boycotters?
T. Braun, Pharmacist, Buyer, Marketing Executive for a Major Drug Chain. Active for over 45 years in Pharmacy.
Legal Stuff: Disclaimer – This document is informational in nature. Medical advice should be secured through your physician.
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