How fast things change. It just goes to show you the power of the Internet. I would have never guessed in a million years that my Happy Birthday to My Happy Meal blog would create an international stir. (Pictured is my Happy Meal on its first birthday.)
In the past week, I’ve been interviewed for print and radio media in China, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the U.S. Various television stations called to set up interviews.
Yesterday, a reporter first told me that McDonald’s responded to my Happy Meal blog. This is McDonald’s statement: “The posting on this site about our hamburgers is completely unsubstantiated and is in the realm of urban legends. McDonald’s hamburger patties in the United States are made with 100% USDA-inspected ground beef. Our hamburgers are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else — no preservatives, no fillers. Our hamburger buns are baked locally, are made from North American-grown wheat flour and include common government–approved ingredients designed to assure food quality and safety. These are the same foods that consumers buy every day in their local grocery stores — bread, meat and potatoes.
According to Dr. Michael Doyle, Director, Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, ‘From a scientific perspective, I can safely say that the way McDonald’s hamburgers are freshly processed, no hamburger would look like this after one year unless it was tampered with or held frozen’.”
Whoa…I’m an “urban legend”? Now, I‘m laughing. (I really laughed when the reporter read me the statement.)
Only problem is that I did put the Happy Meal on my shelf, not in a refrigerator or freezer. I’ve had it out and about as a prop for my talks. I wouldn’t even know how to begin to “tamper” with it in order to make it last a year.
Just because “These are the same foods that consumers buy every day in their local grocery stores,” doesn’t make them healthful. That’s the reason I blog, to help parents understand what’s in the food they are purchasing. Their jingle would be more truthful if it said, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese and onions on an azodicarbonamide sesame-seed bun!”
Funny, McDonald’s didn’t mention in their statement the ridiculous amount of chemicals (hydrogenated anything is a trans fat) in their French fries. This is the ingredient list for fries from the McDonald’s site:
“French Fries: Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent. CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).”
Scary, when you think toddlers’ first finger food is a French fry and preschoolers eat fast food several times a week!
It appears people have strong feelings about their junk food. The global interest crashed my site several times. Each new server went in with larger capacity only to crash in a few hours. Finally, I got the mother of all dedicated servers. It’s as good as it gets! Only to have the motherboard crash…Murphy’s Law at work. Obviously, I’m up and running now.