Tag Archives: McDonald’s

McDonalds doesn’t want kids to see Ronald McDonald eating a Big Mac

RonFood marketing to kids is a very controversial subject. There have been many different studies done that do show that all the characters and computer games and TV commercials influence kids to beg their parents for foods we’d probably rather they not eat. And there have been many “agreements” between food companies that have them pledging to change their marketing strategies when it comes to bad food and kids. Most of those pledges aren’t technically broken, as food companies find different ways to get their messages across to the youngest among us. Fast food companies make attempts at making their children’s meals healthier, but somehow or another those fries seem to sneak back into that Happy Meal. Are the food companies intentionally sidestepping responsibility? And what about that Happy Meal anyway?

When Ronald McDonald was first introduced to America in the 1960s, he wore a magic belt that dispensed an endless supply of hamburgers.

But today, according to both food advocates and McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, America’s most recognizable clown won’t go near a Big Mac.

“You don’t see Ronald McDonald in schools. You don’t see him eating food,” Thompson said Thursday at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, according to multiple reports.

This, health activists say, is so McDonald’s can deflect criticism that it willfully markets the unhealthy food to children.

“They think that by not having him consume the food, it’s not encouraging kids to patronize the brand,” said Jesse Bragg of Corporate Accountability International, a food advocacy group that has been pushing for Ronald’s retirement for years.

In the past, said Bragg, McDonald’s has been criticized for having Ronald visit schools to teach phys ed and appear in connection with charities that work on behalf of sick children.

The company has kept Ronald at arm’s length from its food for years now, nutrition advocates say.

“At least since they joined the Better Business Bureau program in 2006, they’ve been saying they wouldn’t use Ronald McDonald to sell food,” said Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that says it helped persuade McDonald’s to join an inititative run by the BBB that sets nutrition standards for advertising food to children under 12.

And Ronald’s abstemious habits may go back much further than that. Geoffrey Giuliano, who portrayed Ronald in public appearances in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is today an outspoken critic of the company, once said in an interview that he “was never allowed to eat the food” while in character because it would have been “unseemly.”

In 2007, Jim Skinner, then CEO of McDonald’s, told Reuters that “Ronald McDonald has never sold food to kids in the history of his existence.”
When asked if it was official policy to keep Ronald McDonald away from the food he was created to promote, McDonald’s spokeswoman Becca Hary said only that “when Ronald McDonald appears in public, he is focused on spreading joy and smiles.” Hary declined to comment on how long this has been the case.

Marketing experts say it doesn’t really matter whether Ronald is ever actually seen eating in public: Kids will still associate him with Big Macs and Happy Meals.

“Kids are hardwired to think that he equals McDonald’s,” said branding strategist Adam Hanft, founder of the marketing firm Hanft Projects.
“There’s a test in marketing where they put people under a full magnetic resonance imaging machine, like a brain scan essentially, and they show people images, and different parts of the brain light up,” Hanft said. “If you showed kids Ronald McDonald, all the reward centers of the brain would go crazy like July 4th. Because he equals the hamburger.”

Ronald McDonald doesn’t sell food? His sole purpose is to spread joy and smiles? FoodFacts.com doesn’t remember Toucan Sam eating Froot Loops. Snap, Crackle and Pop never ate Rice Krispies. They still sold products. Ronald McDonald isn’t an ambassador of goodwill — he’s the mascot for McDonald’s hamburgers. That’s not a smiley face embroidered on his pocket — he wears the golden arches on his jumpsuit.

Come on McDonald’s, we may be gullible, but we are smart enough to understand why the big guy exists. And even if the kids don’t realize it, when they see him they ask their moms for a hamburger.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/ronald-mcdonald-is-never_n_5380825.html

See that frozen white slab coming out of that box???? That unappetizing icy block is the McDonald’s McRib!

Maybe we should coin a new phrase … Mc-Icky!

This year, McDonald’s has decided that it won’t be doing its usual national roll-out of the “beloved” McRib sandwich. It’s currently leaving it up to individual franchise owners to decide whether or not to include it on their menu.

We hear year after year after year how many millions of consumers are die-hard devotees of this strange and unusual “rib” sandwich. We must admit we don’t know any of these consumers personally. And we do have difficulty imagining the existence of a large army of people clamoring for this “rib that isn’t a real rib” sandwich. It is our guess that we’ll have a better read on how many devoted fans the McRib really has after the numbers of franchisees offering the sandwich at the end of 2013 is counted up. But we are guessing that the release of this photo picturing the raw, frozen McRib may have something to do with an unexpected downturn in that number.

Do you want to eat that?

We sure don’t! O.k. FoodFacts.com didn’t want to eat it before we saw that photo. That’s because we’re pretty well-versed in its contents. The ingredient list here is far from pretty:

Ingredients (78):
McRib Pork Patty (Pork, Water, Salt, Dextrose, BHA, BHT, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid) , McRib Bun (Flour Enriched [Wheat Flour Bleached, Barley Malted Flour, Niacin, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB)] , Water, Yeast, Corn Syrup High Fructose Contains 2% or less of the Following: (, Salt, Corn Meal, Wheat Gluten, Soybean(s) Oil, Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated and/or, Ammonium Sulfate, Calcium Propionate, Calcium Sulphate (Sulfate), Cottonseed Oil, Dextrose, Dough Conditioner(s) [Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Datem, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Mono-And Diglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzyme(s), Guar Gum, Calcium Peroxide] , Barley Malted Flour, Soy Flour, Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Wheat Flour Cultured) , McRib Sauce (Water, Corn Syrup High Fructose, Tomato(es) Paste, Vinegar Distilled, Molasses, Flavor(s) Natural Smoke, Food Starch Modified, Salt, Sugar, Beet(s) Powder, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Onion(s) Powder, Sodium Benzoate, Soybean(s) Oil, Spice(s), Xanthan Gum, Pepper(s) Chili) , Pickle Slices (Cucumber(s), Water, Vinegar Distilled, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Alum, Potassium Sorbate, Flavor(s) Natural, Polysorbate 80, Turmeric Extractives) , Onion(s) Slivered

But now we have this pre-cooked visual to accompany this very disturbing ingredient list.

The image of this indistinguishable frozen white slab JUST HAS to turn at least some consumers off to the concept of consuming one sandwich that contains well over 70 ingredients (a whole host of them being REALLY bad), 26 grams of fat (including 50% of your RDI of saturated fat) and 980 mg of sodium.

Let’s face it, the McRib really never had anything going for it in terms of healthy eating. After the release of this image, honestly, it has even less.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/frozen-mcrib_n_4260461.html
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/11/mcdonalds-frozen-mcrib-photo-stirs-web-not-appetites/

9-year old calls out McDonald’s CEO, tells him his company is tricking kids

FoodFacts.com loves hearing stories about consumers making a real difference in the issues surrounding our food supply. We applaud nutritionally-conscious consumers who speak their mind and make their voices heard. And we especially applaud situations where those voices are coming to us loud and clear from the youngest generations. FoodFacts.com salutes those young people with the strength and courage to make their opinions count at early ages.

Recently, McDonalds CEO Don Thompson had the pleasure of being put on the spot by just such a nutrition-conscious consumer – 9 year-old Hannah Robertson from Oakbrook, Illinois. Hannah’s mom, Kia is a kid’s nutritional activist. She created an interactive children’s nutrition game called “Today I Ate a Rainbow”. Hannah’s apple didn’t fall far from Kia’s tree – Hannah stood up in front of the CEO of one of the wolrd’s biggest brands and gave him a piece of her mind at the McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting.
“There are things in life that aren’t fair — like when your pet dies,” said Hannah, who spoke with great confidence. “I don’t think it’s fair when big companies try to trick kids into eating food. It isn’t fair that so many kids my age are getting sick,” she said — blaming McDonald’s for unfairly targeting kids with advertisements for food that isn’t good for them.

Hannah ended her time-limited comments, made during the meeting’s question-and-answer session, by pointedly but politely asking: “Mr. Thompson, don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and healthy life?”

Mr. Thompson responded to Hannah, telling her that McDonald’s doesn’t sell junk food and that his own kids eat McDonald’s.

He explained that he, too, watches what his kids eat. “We cook lots of fruits and veggies at home,” he said. He also noted that McDonald’s sells fruits (apple slices in kids meals) and veggies (including side salads on the Dollar Menu). He also said that McDonald’s recently began to sell fat-free chocolate milk. Mr. Thompson thanked Hannah for her comments and told her he thought it was great that she wants to eat more fruits and veggies.

His response to this brave and well spoken young girl was basically a non-response. But sadly for Mr. Thompson the issue of improving childhood nutrition and fighting childhood obesity isn’t going anywhere. And while FoodFacts.com understands that McDonald’s has tried to make changes to improve its menu … well, let’s just say that we’re not quite as concerned about the calorie count of their menu items as we are about what’s lurking in the ingredient lists of said menu items.

So, Mr. Thompson, we think you should listen to Hannah and avoid telling her that your company isn’t selling junk food. We actually think you might want to review the ingredient lists for some of your “healthier” menu items like the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken or the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. Then you should take a look at your company’s most popular children’s offering, Chicken McNuggets. Hannah has a point, Mr. Thompson. We think you should start listening.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2013/05/23/mcdonalds-ceo-don-thompson-childhood-nutrition/2355129/

Are calories the only thing we should be worrying about?

Today, Food Facts heard about the roll-out of McDonald’s “Favorites Under 400 calories promotion. As of today, you’ll be able to walk into your local McDonald’s and view signage listing the products on the McDonald’s menu that are under 400 calories each. The promotion has been timed around the Summer Olympics in London that begin with opening ceremonies this coming Friday, July 27th, 2012.

It’s no secret that McDonald’s came under fire for sponsoring the games. With obesity rates on the rise worldwide, folks in the medical profession as well as health advocates everywhere were questioning whether or not this particular company should be one of the “faces” of this ancient event that promotes athleticism and sportsmanship. So … it appears as though this was McDonald’s answer to its naysayers.

In the first place, it’s important to note that there aren’t really that many menu items on the “Favorites Under 400 Calories” list. And the products featured are single items – not meals. You won’t find a burger with fries and a coke on it. Instead, you’ll find a burger – a regular, small burger. We all know that’s not the burger most folks are ordering from their menu and that it’s fairly rare that anyone is going to order any burger without some sort of meal accompaniment.

But more importantly, Food Facts feels compelled to ask – just how are we defining healthy these days??? If an item is under 400 calories, does that actually make it desirable to eat? We don’t think so. And we wanted to take the time to point out some of the less-than-desirable ingredients you’ll find in a few of the products on the new McDonald’s list.

Filet O Fish sandwich: A few of the controversial ingredients you’ll find in this item are: Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Barley Malted Flour, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Azodicarbonamide and Polydorbate 80. But it does come in at 380 calories.

 

Sausage McMuffin: The controversial ingredients for this product include: Barley Malted Flour, High-Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG, BHA, BHT, Caramel Color, Propyl Gallate, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, and Sodium Benzoate. But it’s on the list at 370 calories.

 

Grilled Chicken Ranch Snack Wrap: A few of the ingredients you may not want to consume include: Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Hyrolyzed Protein, Polysorbate 80, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil and Sodium Benzoate. This weighs in at 270 calories.

There are more products to examine and we’d like to encourage our blog followers to go into our database and search them out. You can find an image of the “Favorites Under 400 Calories” signage here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/mcdonalds-favorites-under-400-calories_n_1695885.html   Take a look inside these products that are being heralded as “better to eat” than the Big Mac and make some educated choices. And, more importantly, educate others about your own educated choices.

For some people, calories are a big concern. But Food Facts likes to think that if people understood the ingredient list, calories wouldn’t be the ONLY concern.

Read more about the McDonald’s “Favorites Under 400 Calories” promotion: http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/07/23/low-cal-menu-mcdonalds-new-ploy-woo-its-critics
http://jezebel.com/5928496/mcdonalds-swears-its-a-perfectly-healthy-olympic-sponsor

Fast Food finds a way around the law

FoodFacts.com knows that many in our community have strong opinions regarding the fast food industry and how it affects our children’s health. We knew the following information would be valuable as you continue to make healthy food choices for yourselves and your families.

Beginning today, McDonald’s and other fast food chains in San Francisco will, by law, have to stop giving  toys away with their children’s meals. The city of San Francisco begins today to enforce the ordinance that prohibits including toys in any children’s meal that contains more than 600 calories, doesn’t include a fruit and vegetable or does include a sugary drink. We’re read a lot of conflicting opinions about these new requirements on fast food restaurants like McDonald’s — everything from fast food chains shouldn’t be patronized by adults, let alone children, ever … not even as a treat, to it’s the responsibility of parents and not the government to determine what their children consume and there should be no laws or requirements that restrict the habits of the public.

But, what if McDonald’s and other chains like it actually found a way to comply with the new law and basically give away the toys anyway? Are they doing something wrong? Are they being a smart business organization? Are they morally bankrupt? Or are they upholding the rights of people to decide for their children’s diet themselves, without government interference?

These are interesting questions, and we’ll all have to form opinions, because that’s exactly what the 19 McDonald’s restaurants in San Francisco have done. That’s right, they’re complying with the law, and anyone ordering a happy meal who wants a toy will now have to pay for it.

You might think that’s a deterrent to a child getting the happy meal to begin with.

Think again. The toy will only cost .10. And, in addition, that .10 will go directly to the Ronald McDonald House. Do you think that might be specifically designed to make the parents spending those ten pennies feel better about their kids eating all those greasy, fried, and sometimes strange ingredients?

But McDonald’s is not breaking the law. So now, by law, McDonald’s doesn’t need to make sure its kids’ meals contain less than 600 calories, include fruits and vegetables and don’t include any sugary drinks. That’s because, in reality, the consumer is paying for the toy … even if it costs a dime and that dime is being donated to the Ronald McDonald House charity.

So, for McDonalds anyway, all’s right with the world (or at least with San Francisco) … they comply with the law, they don’t have to change the ingredients in their children’s menu, Ronald McDonald House charities makes some money and the kids get the toys they wanted in the first place. Legislators heads may very well be spinning right now, because this is not the way things were supposed to unfold.

But, is everything alright for our children?

FoodFacts.com would like to get our community’s opinions on this very important subject. Do you think it’s o.k. for the fast food industry to market to children with toys (even if you have to pay .10 for them)? Or do you think that perhaps children’s meals don’t belong at McDonalds or Burger King or any other fast food establishment. After all, maybe if they weren’t there at all,  future generations of adults would be far better off in the long run.

Worst Fast Food Stories

Foodfacts.com believes that many consumers may turn to fast foods for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s a financial issue, an addiction to greasy goodness, or just a matter of convenience, millions of people still turn to McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and other famous franchises for a quick meal. What we aim to point out is that these foods are made within a matter of seconds, and not always in the most sanitary way. Here are some gross stories that have been reported at fast-food restaurants!
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The “Skin Sandwich”
In 2004, a man was enjoying a chicken sandwich from Arby’s when all of a sudden he pulled out about an inch long piece of skin, which appeared to be from a thumb. After impulsively getting sick, he filed a lawsuit for $50,000 dollars against the restaurant operator of the Arby’s. When health investigators approached the scene shortly thereafter, they interviewed the restaurant manager whom had a bandaged thumb. He claimed that he was slicing lettuce when he accidentally sliced his finger. Although he immediately cleaned the area and disposed of scraps around the slicer, he never threw away the pile of lettuce, which then went on the man’s sandwich. He thought he had taken the appropriate measures to sanitize the area.
chicken-nuggets
“Mousey Chicken”
A Baltimore Popeye’s had been dealing with a rodent infestation in their restaurant for a few weeks. This may not be surprising considering the Baltimore City Health Inspector had shut the restaurant down twice before for pest infestation and unsanitary conditions. What is surprising, the restaurant remained open. A man sat down to enjoy his chicken nuggets, when on his third nugget he also bit into a mouse that had been fried inside the meat. We’re hoping he still hasn’t gone back to this Popeye’s.
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“Nasty Clam Chowder”
A lawsuit had been settled in 2004 which had been filed by a woman who had found a condom in her McCormick & Schmick’s clam chowder. She claims she suffered severe emotional distress after consuming what appeared to be a rolled-up condom. She believes the kitchen staff had deliberately planted the item in her soup after they treated her rudely because she requested to have her soup reheated. The amount that was settled has not been revealed.
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“Jack in the Box Surprise”
As many already know, there are occasionally younger people working at fast-food restaurants just trying to earn some spending cash. They may not all be into fun and games, but a few at an Oregon Jack in the Box decided one day to have some fun at customer’s expense. To “amuse” themselves, they planted things such as hair, spit, phlegm, staples, acid and other foreign materials to people’s orders. Watch out where you eat!

“McChicken Head”mcchick
In 2000, a woman stopped on her way home from work to pick up a box of chicken wings for her family at McDonald’s. When she got home she proceeded to open the box and serve the wings when she picked up what appeared to be an unusual looking chicken wing. She then took a closer look and realized it had a beak and eyes. She jumped to the phone to call the restaurant manager, who calmly said “just bring it back and we’ll send it to corporate. We can then either refund you, or give you a new box.” Needless to say, she took the refund. She proclaimed after the incident she now only cooks her meals from home.
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“Bandaged Quarter Pounder”
In 1994, a man from Virginia Beach was sitting down to enjoy his quarter pounder when he noticed a texture unlike beef. He spit out the hamburger meat to find two used band-aids that had been cooked into his burger. It’s been said he may have had an allergy to the latex in the bandage, but whether or not that’s true, we’re not quite sure.
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“Brain-eating Food”
Now, this may be a myth, but we’ll share it anyway. It is believed that around 2007 a 50 yr old man was eating at a fast-food restaurant that wasn’t exactly following the best sanitary codes. In fact, it was so unsanitary that the man had consumed tapeworm eggs that nearly killed him. We’re not sure of the restaurant, or the meal, but it’s reported that after he was unconscious for eight days after the meal, a doctor found tapeworms in the man’s brain. He could have died from a disease called cysticercosis.

McDonald’s Fatal Soda Fountain CO2 Leak

mcdonalds
Foodfacts.com is saddened to hear the recent news of a woman losing her life after an accident involving a carbon dioxide leak at her local McDonald’s. Soda machines at fast-food restaurants often have carbon dioxide lines running to the fountains to incorporate carbonation. Unfortunately, one of the lines at a McDonald’s in Savannah, Georgia had leaked between the walls and into the women’s bathroom, where the women was asphyxiated. Read below for more details of this sad story.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Carbon dioxide piped through gas lines to a soda fountain leaked in a McDonald’s in Georgia and sickened 10 people, including a woman who later died after being found unconscious in a restroom, police said Wednesday.

Investigators determined a leaky gas line between the walls caused the gas, used to pump carbonation into sodas, to build up a week ago to the point where people inside were unable to breathe.

“It caused what is normally a harmless gas to be pumped into the wall cavity and leak into the women’s restroom,” said Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew. “At a high level of concentration, it displaces oxygen.”

Firefighters were called Sept. 7 to the restaurant in Pooler, about 10 miles west of Savannah, and two women were found unconscious in a restroom. They were later admitted to a Savannah hospital, where eight others from the restaurant were treated and released. Eighty-year-old Anne Felton of Ponte Vedra, Fla., died the next day.

Investigators initially suspected customers fell ill to noxious fumes from cleaning chemicals. An autopsy found no trace of chemicals in Felton, Revenew said, but it indicated she succumbed to asphyxiation.

The restaurant’s franchisees, John and Monique Palmaccio, said in a statement they “are committed to running safe, welcoming restaurants.”

“We worked closely with the authorities to determine the cause of this incident and we’ve taken action to correct the situation,” the statement said.

The police chief said the owners had replaced the soda fountain’s gas lines and valves and were allowed to reopen the restaurant.

“At this point we don’t anticipate criminal charges,” Revenew said. “It just appears to be a mistake.”

The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration is also investigating. OSHA investigators were conducting interviews last week, looking into possible workplace safety violations.

(Huffington Post)

What exactly is in the McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast?

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Foodfacts.com realizes that millions of people start out their mornings reading from the breakfast menu at a local McDonald’s. Their daily options range from oatmeal to english muffins, to sausage and egg McMuffins, to pancakes, and more. However, some may have difficulties choosing exactly which item they want, and these may be the consumers that opt for the “deluxe” breakfast; a little bit of it all.
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Scrambled Eggs: They’re yellow, fluffy, warm, and even appealing to some. However, McDonald’s scrambled eggs may be the most disturbing item found on their large menu. Filled with controversial ingredients which includes sodium benzoate, artificial colors, and partially hydrogenated oils, these scrambled eggs are far from ideal to start off the day. Although eggs have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease), these eggs are loaded with trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils which promote the bad LDL cholesterol.
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Sausage Patties: McDonald’s loves to include their famous breakfast sausage into many of their entrees. The good news, it actually contains pork; the bad news, it includes about 12 other things that could be harmful to your health. BHA and BHT are harmful additives, and The Department of Health and Human Services says BHA is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Even though BHT has been found to be less harmful, some animal studies have shown it has been linked to cancers. Yet the FDA deems it as generally safe for consumption. These patties also contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), caramel color (which also has been linked to cancer), and corn syrup solids. Many would refer to these sausage patties as “cancer patties.”
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Biscuit: Many normally prepare biscuits at home using a handful of ingredients. At McDonald’s biscuits are made with about 50 ingredients to preserve their freshness while sitting around in the restaurant during breakfast hours. Some of these ingredients include sodium aluminum phosphate, modified cellulose, partially hydrogenated oils, liquid margarine, sodium benzoate, and natural flavors. It’s a good sign that a food may not be a real food when you can’t pronounce or understand 99% of the ingredients.
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Hash browns: You can’t have a “deluxe” breakfast without some hash browns. In this case, it’s a thin potato patty which often leaves your fingers feeling slick with grease. They come in thin paper sleeves and don’t exactly taste like potatoes, but it says they are, so I guess it is then? While they do obviously contain potato, they’re also filled with preservatives, sodium, and fat which you can feel lining your arteries as you continue to digest. And lest we forget, these potato patties include TBHQ. Although deemed safe by the FDA, certain studies have shown that high doses of TBHQ are not only carcinogenic, but may also cause damage to DNA and promote growth of tumors.
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Hot Cakes: Or what we may commonly refer to as “pancakes,” McDonald’s hot cakes are the centerpiece of their deluxe meal. However, they’re not made by pan. In fact, they’re often microwaved at these restaurants after they receive large frozen shipments of these hot cakes from manufacturing centers. How they’re made, we’re not quite sure, but we do know what’s in them. High fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, TBHQ, and a load of preservatives grace the ingredients list, among other things. Of course we can’t forget, the fountain of syrup that comes along the side.

The damage of the deluxe meal:
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August 26th, Fast-Food Friday

Silhouette of cheese burger and summer garden vegetables

Foodfacts.com can’t ignore the relationship between fast-food sales now back on a steady incline; and reports of the obesity epidemic worsening. Therefore, we would like to deem this day as “Fast-food Friday,” or a day when we try to post the worst of the worst in hopes of steering consumers further away from drive-up windows. Also, we’ll throw in some healthier menu items throughout the day for those who may not have the time or resources to prepare their own meals (we’re not going to judge.)

We know that many of our Foodfacts.com followers are well aware of the health effects fast foods impose on our bodies, however, there are clearly still some people out there who may choose to ignore the facts, or maybe just out of the loop. Share this information and HELP US OUT in hopes of educating others.

Oatmeal now available at BK as a “healthier” option

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Foodfacts.com has reported on the trend of “healthier” options becoming marketed at major fast-food chains. McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Denny’s have all opted to add oatmeal to their menus in hopes of reaching a newer demographic of consumers. Burger King is now including oatmeal on their menu for just $1.99 in hopes of boosting revenue for the remainder of the year. Check out the article below to find out more on this new menu item!

Huffington PostOatmeal is the new burger.

Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, added oatmeal to its breakfast menu this week, joining a slew of other chains that have brought the hot cereal out of the cupboard and into restaurants and drive-thrus.
Click logo for Burger King products at blog.foodfacts.com!
Burger King says it is trying to offer customers a healthier breakfast option beyond its sausage croissant sandwiches and French toast dipping sticks. It’s also an attempt by the struggling chain to catch up to competitors and boost sagging sales by appealing to customers beyond its base of burger-and-fries fans.

“We are definitely looking to broaden our target and our audience,” said Leo Leon, vice president of global innovation for Burger King Corp.

Breakfast is becoming the most important meal of the day for restaurants – accounting for nearly 60 percent of traffic growth between 2005 and 2010. And oatmeal is the latest battleground. It’s low-cost, easily prepared and doesn’t spoil quickly. It also appeals to people who want quick, affordable food they perceive as healthier than the typical fast-food breakfast fare.
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Starbucks Corp., the world’s biggest coffee chain, said its $2.49 oatmeal has become its most popular breakfast item since it launched in 2008. Last year, McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest burger chain, added $2.99 oatmeal to its menu. Fast food chain Chick-fil-A and Denny’s casual dining restaurants also offer oatmeal, for $2.49 to 2.85 and 3.49 to 4.49, respectively. Burger King’s oatmeal, at $1.99, is the cheapest of the group.

Restaurants are trying to capitalize on oatmeal’s good-for-you reputation. But some industry experts say it’s not a good fit for fast-food chains.

McDonald’s has faced scrutiny for its oatmeal’s 4.5 grams of fat and 260 to 290 calories. That’s roughly equal to the number of calories in its own hamburger or cheeseburger. By comparison, Burger King’s oatmeal, which was created by Quaker Oats Co., has 110 to 270 calories and 1 to 4 grams of fat.

Still, Steve West, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, said: “People don’t go to Burger King or McDonald’s for their oatmeal … they go for an Egg McMuffin.”

For Burger King, oatmeal is part of a larger strategy. It’s critical for the chain to find a convenient new breakfast option. Burger King said 10 percent to 15 percent of its customers visit during breakfast. And the fast-food chain sells the majority of its food to go or at the drive-thru.

The company also is eager to replicate the success of McDonald’s, which has reinvented itself as a more hip and healthy place to eat, remodeling stores, offering wireless Internet service and introducing new salads, smoothies and coffee drinks. That’s brought in higher-income customers than the young males fast-food chains typically depend on – a demographic hit particularly hard by unemployment in the weak economy.

Burger King, based in Miami, has a lot of catching up to do. McDonald’s brought in more than $32 billion in U.S. sales last year, nearly four times Burger King’s $8.7 billion, according to research firm Technomic. That was a 4.4 percent increase for McDonald’s and a 2.5 percent decline for Burger King.

In the second quarter, Burger King’s profit fell 13 percent and its revenue fell 4 percent to $596.2 million, compared with a year earlier, due in large part to weakness in its North American operations. McDonald’s profit rose 15 percent and revenue grew 16 percent to $6.9 billion during its comparable period.

It’s going to take more than a hot meal to turn around Burger King’s business. Industry experts say the company has let its product lineup grow stale, and the quality of its stores has deteriorated.

“You can sell all the oatmeal and lattes and smoothies you want,” said West, the analyst. “But they’ve got to remodel the stores – for the most part Burger King stores are very old and rundown.”

Burger King, which has been reevaluating its business since it was acquired by investment firm 3G Capital last year, recently made other changes. The chain said Friday that it was retiring its mascot “The King” and launching a new campaign focused more on food. The company also added new salads and “Apple Fries” – apple slices cut to look like fries for its kids’ meals.