Golden Halo Over the Golden Arches
McDonald’s Canada’s latest advertising campaign is called: “Our Food, Your Questions.”
You may have seen the television commercials or floor-to-ceiling advertisements in SkyTrain stations. The company is basically claiming to be 100 per cent honest, transparent and willing to publicly answer any question posed by the public.
Many questions are answered on a new website:
Some examples of answers: McDonald’s food has no MSG, the company uses 100% Canadian Beef, their food does in fact rot, additives used in their food are deemed safe by the World Health Organization, etc.
So if McDonald’s food is indeed so virtuous, is there still a reason the health-conscious should not eat there?
I posed the question to Pura Vida Nutrition’s Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Gabrielle Eagles.
“It’s great they are making an effort with this campaign,” Eagles says, but she points out that most of the questions actually haven’t been answered. The website seems to answer the same kinds of questions, like “What is the beef made from?” several times, but many other questions are unanswered.
“ I have a hard time trusting what they say, as it took a significant amount of public outcry for them to make these small changes,” Eagles says. “They are a company that tries to ‘get away’ with things and only makes changes when they are caught, so why would I trust them now?”
So why would one still consider not eating at the massive fast-food chain? Eagles explains:
- The actual food quality. Even if the quality of the food increases, it’s still up to the consumer to make informed choices for their own health. For instance, even if McDonald’s had a truly healthy burger, if the consumer ate one per day, the quantity of red meat in their diet could be detrimental.
- Not organic. There is substantial research regarding the damages of pesticides and herbicides.
- Added sugar, which can lead to:
- damaged arteries, which can leave a person more prone to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart attack or stroke;
- increase in insulin, eventual insulin resistance, more prone to diabetes, and;
- energy/mood fluctuations throughout the day. As a person’s blood sugar escalates and then crashes, there is the potential for a poor mood, less exercise, and decreased productivity.
- White buns have very few nutrients, so they mostly turn to sucrose. “The whole point of eating is to get quality protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals,” Eagles explains. “With processed food, the vitamins and minerals are significantly diminished, and the quality of those macronutrients is very low.” Plus the buns are simply higher in carbohydrate than required by the body.
- Fats: “I don’t see any high-quality fats, which should make up 30 per cent of calories consumed,” Eagles says. “Good fats come from foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, cold water fish, and olive oil.”
- Vegetables. “It’s great they have salad now, but it needs to contain rich greens,” Eagles says.
“Ultimately, it’s the consumer’s choice to not eat at a poor-quality food place like McD’s,” Eagles concludes. “No matter how much they try to clean up, they still aren’t serving primarily vegetables from gardens full of vitamins and minerals, which is what people really need.”