ELEVEN: Be Careful What You Wish For

Ok, I am back at it again…I can’t help it.  I am going to beat this to death, because it’s so freaking appalling!  Yes, I am talking about McDonald’s again but adding some new contenders to the list.  You know, I can get mad at those morons that create this crap, but they do it for the millions of stupid people that buy into this crap! Again, I am definitely guilty of some consumer marketing gimmicks, but there are limits.  I have indulged in a Dorito taco or 2 and even jumped on that Sonic bandwagon when they entered Chicagoland.  So understand I’m not shunning you for eating fast food, we’ve all done it, I am just baffled by the things that we as consumers that end inspiring these fast food kitchens to create so much crap.  So without further ado….

Remember when I brought up how they screwed up fried cheese?  I mean it still blows my mind because even Sonic got that one right!  I am a huge fried cheese junkie, I eat it when I can and in every form, it’s just my weakness, along with fries.  These stupid fried cheese sticks are being served with NO CHEESE in them….huh?  Yeah, choke on that for a few minutes, oh wait, you can’t, there’s nothing there.  The cheese is literally disintegrating during the cooking process!  Epic fail guys…. really good work there.  Mc Donald’s 2E823A1F00000578-3322114-image-a-1_1447769694322responded saying that the cheese is indeed disappearing during the baking process and are trying to rectify this cheese stick crisis.  But here’s what I don’t get, now if the cheese were disintegrating in the fryer, I’d understand not seeing it fall to the bottom of the fryer during that process.  But, since they bake them on site, wouldn’t you notice that there is cheese coming out of the cheese stick stuck to the baking sheet?  I mean, that’s obvious right?? How many times have you oven baked something cheesy and sometimes it oozes out and sticks to the baking sheet?  And then you spend hours soaking and scouring it off!!  So what I don’t get is, why this wasn’t an obvious issue to the employees there and then why they even served it to customers knowing that there’s a big pile of white cheese caked on to the baking sheet!  I swear it’s the stupid leading the stupid over there.  I’m not even sure who is to blame at this point.  Yeah, I get that it’s a paycheck for some and they could care less, but this isn’t limited to one store, it’s been a nationwide issue!  I know I am making a hoopla about a place who shouldn’t really even have cheese sticks on their menu considering it may not even be cheese, but they also created this dish for a consumer demand, apparently.  I say, let it go Micky D’s, stick to your slime and sauce…………………………………SAUCE….hmm, so nice segway into my next consumer based issue, special sauce.  Recently, I read an article about McDonald’s mcdonalds-big-mac-sace.0.0bottling their “special sauce” in Australia and having the 1st of 200 bottles up for auction on EBay currently going for…. ready for it??? $18,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, crikey!! That better be some ridiculous thousand island dressing!!  Now granted the auction is for charity, but for some mayo and relish, I don’t even know how you justify that.  Again, consumer driven…they have to make this sauce regardless for their Big Macs, but they pull at consumer heart strings and bottle it and dangle it in front of us for $18,000, and we eat it up…. literally.  They also are making 25ml tubs to sell for 39 cents in various locations around Australia.  That’s a heck of a price difference, ay mate??!!  At the end of the day, it’s a bottle of salad dressing, I mean, really, it is.  I am even posting below a 2012 You Tube video of their executive chef demonstrating how to make this sauce which came out of a consumer driven question.

 

Am I completely convinced that’s what’s really in the sauce on their Big Macs?  No, but at least this version is less than 10 ingredients that can be easily obtained and are cheap, satisfies the curiosity, and at the end of the day you might just have your own base to a good salad dressing………..SALAD……oh here we go…. 090a1d8e0e058736545c5a6447a90bf4
Salads at fast food places are definitely a consumer demand that needed to be met, no doubt.  This hamburger giant had to put some rabbit food on the menu, PRONTO!  For years I’ve seen Mc Donald’s come out with different versions of their Chef and Garden Salad (which started in 1985) to their McShakers in 2003 (remember those
Frappuccino cups filled with lettuce, lunch meat and cheddar cheese flavored shreds?enhanced-buzz-22990-1366319975-21 I actually thought this was a good idea!) to now their premium line of salads where you can add grilled chicken or crispy chicken. Just for the record, the original thought in 1985 (yeah, 40 years after opening) was to reach out to the health conscious, except for one problem, the salads weren’t healthy.  As a matter of fact, they had more calories and sodium counts than fries and a burger, depending on the dressing and any other additional ingredients.  Even in 2016, they catered to the “superfood” crowd and have a new kale salad called, “Keep Calm and Caesar On”… I really thought this whole “Keep Calm” ship had sailed already.  Anyhow, this salad consists of baby kale, nutrient enriched lettuce (so, you sprinkled your lettuce with what??), “real parmesan” cheese petals (umm, yeah, just a stupid description) …so far, not the worst salad, but then it’s topped with Asiago Cheese Dressing and Crispy Chicken, and here we have #healthyfail.  Capture
It measures in with a whopping 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,400 milligrams of sodium!  The sodium alone kills me, it’s like going into your kitchen and measuring out a teaspoon and a pinch more of table salt and just eating it like that.  No one does that, nor should they, so why are we allowing ourselves to be fooled into eating it in a SALAD??  I’m not just saying this because I am a gym rat and live a healthy lifestyle, this is an every person problem.  It really pisses me off.  Yeah, I know that you can opt for a balsamic dressing and grilled chicken, but at that point are you even eating the salad that was meant to be consumed, no….then why eat it at all?   Food for thought, why doesn’t Mc Donald’s just give up the healthy route and put more R&D into what they are known for and make that a better product? Like a french fry that doesn’t have a shelf life of 3 weeks or a happy meal that doesn’t look fresh after a year…just sayin’.

I understand that fast food has its place in our culture and will continuously do so.  As consumers, we can constantly put the blame on fast food giants for coming out with atrocious toppings on burgers, crap salads and even worse desserts.  But, let’s start looking at ourselves for a minute and how we influence these companies and not the other way around.  They are going to do what they have to do to entice us and make their millions.  That is their prerogative and their mission.  We have more power than we give ourselves credit for, as our demands fuel their marketing departments.  We wanted fast, they give us a burger that cooks in 30 seconds.  We asked for healthy, they give us magical nutrient greens topped with liquid fat.  We longed for variety, they give us breadcrumb sticks.   It’s all relative, if you think about it, but the bottom line is that WE asked for it.  Remember what Momma always said…be careful what you wish for.

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