McDonald’s is one of the world’s most popular fast food chain restaurants. The famous recognizable golden arches have 36,000 locations in more than 100 countries! From their popular Big Macs to their world-famous crispy and salty fries, connoisseurs may think they know everything there is to know. But this corporation has their own dirty little secrets and there are some things you might want to know before you go pick up your next McMeal.
10. If you want to get your food faster you’re better off going through the drive-thru.
McDonald’s gives priority to those in the drive-thru lane. They will almost always have the dine-in guests wait to get their food over those driving thru in their cars. So, if you were to walk into a McDonald’s and place an order at the same time as the car that just pulled up you can bet they will get their meals first. They do this with good reason, to avoid car pile-ups and to prevent roads from getting blocked. As you can imagine the car lineups can get pretty hectic especially during morning, lunch and dinner rushes. If you’re thinking you can beat this system by walking or biking through the drive-thru to get the same service, that won’t work! McDonald’s will refuse to serve anyone that is not in a vehicle and will ask you to come inside instead. The drive-thru is focused on speed, to serve as many customers as they can and avoid complaints. Drive-thru is the higher volume side of the business and drives 60-70% of their revenue. A customer is more likely to complain if made to wait in the drive-thru than someone making a dine-in order who will sit down and have more time to eat.
9. The McRib isn’t really ribs…
Are you tempted by the McRib? You might think you know what’s really going on between the buns, saucy rack of ribs, pickles and onions. What you should know is that there are actually no ribs in this sandwich! False advertising? We’d say! The fake ribs are a pork mixture that is pressed into the rib-like shaped mold. The pork patty is made with 45 ingredients including a mixture of pork tripe, heart, stomach, water, loads of salt and dextrose (a form of sugar). The sauce is made with 3 types of sugar including high fructose corn syrup with a total of 18 ingredients and the bun is made with 17 ingredients. It takes 80 ingredients to create this sweet, salty and very fattening sandwich. The McRib is also one of the saltiest items on the menu and this is because of the process to form the false ribs. They use a lot of salt, as mentioned earlier, to help extract proteins that are then used to bind the meat trimmings into the rib-like shape. Needless to say, it takes a lot of salt to pull that off and one of these sandwiches will provide you with 36% of your daily salt intake. Guess Mickey D’s doesn’t agree with less is more.
8. Your drink may contain fecal matter
Surely getting an ice cold beverage with your meal seems harmless. I mean other than the fact that we know sodas are high in sugar, there’s no secret there… or is there? In 2017 the BBC consumer show watchdog performed a series of random tests on 3 fast food chains all over the UK for fecal coliform. What they found wasn’t exactly what you want to hear. 3 out of 10 McDonald’s drinks tested positive for fecal contamination in their ice! This would mean about 30% of the ice in your drink from McDonald’s could have elements of feces in it. Oh, and feces is just a fancy word for poop. What’s worse is Burger King and KFC tested positive with even higher traces of fecal contamination found in their drinks! They found 6 of their samples from BK and 7 samples from KFC had fecal contamination. The samples from these two fast food joints showed significantly higher levels than the McDonald’s samples, yikes! Fecal coliform is found in human and animal feces and can cause a number of diseases. You sure you still want to supersize your drink?
7. Staff are underpaid and being replaced with new technology
McD’s employs over 1.8 million people! That’s the second highest amount of people employed by a private employer after Walmart. Let’s be honest the staff are not loving it, they are overworked and underpaid, barely able to make a living wage. Meaning that their wages can barely allow them to pay for rent, food and have something left over. We know that most fast food chains pay workers minimum wage but the staff at McDonald’s are constantly fighting for their wages to be increased because the pay is notoriously low. An employee would have to work about 7-10 months to make what the CEO makes in one hour! Not only that but with the rise in technology their jobs are starting to be replaced with touchscreens. You may have noticed these touch screens already if you’ve been inside a Mickey D’s to order. Why? Well because they work for free! Before you know it the number of McDonald’s employees may drop drastically and you just might have a computerized machine asking you if you would like fries with that. McDonald’s CEO commented that the plan is to “make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally and to give people the ability to customize their orders”, but will this make it easier on the economy? Next time you place your order on a touch screen make sure to wash your hands before your foods ready. Even though these screens are said to be cleaned often throughout the day, studies have found a number of different bacterias present on these screens but most of them are harmless. At least we know there will be a position available as a touchscreen cleaner.
6. McDonald’s produces a lot of food waste
Each day thousands of burgers are thrown out before and after productions. About every 10 minutes hundreds of burgers are thrown out. Also french fries have been flagged as a problematic item due to excessive waste as well. McDonald’s French fries have a 7 minute limit for how long they can sit before they get tossed and new ones are made. Even though this is good news for customers knowing they get fresh fries, it is bad news when it comes to concerns regarding world hunger. If they sell about 9 million pounds of fries a day globally, you can only imagine how much gets wasted. Everything in the kitchen has a timer and when the timer goes off that means the shelf life has expired and the food is thrown away. McDonald’s feeds about 1% of the world’s population on a daily basis but approximately 12% of the world’s population is suffering from hunger at the same time. How many more people would they be able to feed if there wasn’t so much food waste?
5. The main ingredients are not so tasty
Who loves a side order of chemicals? McD’s food is fully loaded with chemicals and additives. Thinking about getting scrambled eggs for breakfast? Think again, they contain monosodium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, citric acid and nisin preparation. You sure you want to break your fast with that? The salads are dusted with propylene glycol to keep them crisp and fresh, this is also used in their sauces, glazes and hotcakes. Propylene glycol is a less toxic version of ethylene glycol which is dangerous in antifreeze, sounds appetizing? A common additive used in their food is calcium silicate, which is a white powder primarily used to prevent cement and roof tiles from caking. And what about the chicken nuggets? They have hardly any chicken in them but lots of other ingredients we can barely pronounce. Less than half a chicken nugget is actually (hopefully) chicken and the rest is a combination of preservatives like TBHQ. This is a chemical they use in the nuggets to unnaturally preserve them and make them taste fresh. Imagine Gordon Ramsey making these discoveries in a Mickey D’s kitchen? It would be entertaining to watch but we can only imagine the boiling point of his rage. TBHQ has been proven to be unsafe for consumption with side effects like loss of vision and liver failure so try not to eat too many of them. Let’s look at one more, azodicarbonamide, an odourless synthetic chemical used in McDonald’s buns as a flour bleaching agent. Not only is it hard to pronounce but it is usually used in the production of foamed plastics. Now we want to ask you, would you like fries with that?!
4. The food does not decompose
If it doesn’t decompose is it even real food? With the use of many chemicals, high levels of preservatives and fats your meal is likely to look the same for years to come, that is if you chose to save it. Many tests have been conducted with McDonald’s meals to see if they decompose or grow mold. The tests proved that the food from the golden arches restaurants does not rot at all. Everyone is asking why?! Well, for starters the food is very McFatty and high fat means low moisture so with little to no moisture mold cannot grow. In order for decomposition to occur you need environmental conditions for the food like moisture. So when the chicken nuggets, burgers or fries are left out they completely dry out, although it has been a mystery as to why the buns do not rot. This is a little bit concerning when we think about putting this food in our bodies.
3. The “healthy” menu isn’t really healthy
Looking for a healthy option? You are better off making yourself a salad at home! Want to watch your calories, sugar and salt intake when eating at McDonald’s? Then take it from us and go for the burger. The burgers have less fat and calories than the salads! And when we talk fats at McDonald’s we don’t mean good fats like avocados and nuts, we mean the bad fats like saturated and trans fats. These bad fats are linked to increasing bad cholesterol, high blood pressure and more. The bacon ranch salad with crispy chicken has almost 500 calories and 28 grams of fat with 51% of calories being from fat. Compare that to a double cheeseburger that has 430 calories and 21 grams of fat. Why are the salads so McFatty? It comes down to the salad dressings, the croutons and crispy high fat meats. But let’s not forget that the veggies are coated in chemicals too, does that sound healthy to you? Fast food and healthy food are two different categories. McDonald’s does not make their food healthy because it would cost them a lot more and they would make less so the return would be low. Over the years we have become more health conscious as a society and McDonald’s has tried to adapt by offering these healthy-but-actually-not-so-healthy options. What about the yogurt parfait? That’s sounds like it’s got to be healthy, but it’s the opposite. If you want to drive your system thru a sugar rush then this item on the menu will do it. It has 22 grams of sugar and is basically a calcium filled sugar mine.
2. A McCafe shake is a questionable sugar bomb
Are you still loving it? We’ve got more. The jokes about the milkshake and ice cream machines always being out of service isn’t far off. McDonald’s employees have confirmed that the reliability of these machines is questionable. Not only do they break down all the time but the repairs put the machine out of commission sometimes for a day or two. We wonder if this has something to do with how infrequently the machines are cleaned. Employees also have admitted that the machines are only cleaned about once a week! Let us also mention that a Mickey D’s shake is a blend of vanilla ice cream and shake syrup (the main ingredient being high fructose corn syrup) then topped with whipped cream and a sugary maraschino cherry. A small 12oz vanilla McCafe shake has, drumroll please, 59 grams of sugars! And if you were to grab a large 22oz you’re looking at 99 GRAMS OF SUGAR. But wait, if you like the strawberry flavoured shake a large has even more sugar than the vanilla with 115 grams! The strawberry milkshake contains something like 50 chemicals that are used to imitate the flavours of strawberries. With all this information we think you should shake this one off!
1. McDonald’s is the LARGEST toy distributor in the world
When you think about the toy distributors do you automatically think Lego, Walmart or Toys R Us? Most people do but the largest toy distributor in the world is none other than McDonald’s! All the little toys included in happy meals add up. On average about 20% of McDonald’s sales are happy meals which feature some kind of toy. With 68 million meals sold on a daily basis, that’s a lot of toys, to be exact about 13.6 million toys a day. No other toy distributor even comes close to that! Did you know that this is a powerful tool McDonald’s uses to market the fast food chain to children? And McDonald’s has been serving happy meals since 1979! They have surely got a lot of children hooked over that many years. Most children under 8 years old do not have the cognitive skills and developmental maturity to understand the persuasive intent of marketing and advertising of these happy meals. Researchers say fast food chains do this to develop reliance and trust at an early age and toys are a way of advertising directly to children. There have been several lawsuits in the United States and Canada against them for advertising to children especially because they tie them to popular kids movies. By creating an emotional bond with children they find the key to keep them coming back and associating happy meals with good memories from their childhood. Smart and evil if you think about it considering how unhealthy and filled with additives a happy meal is. The only thing happy about it is the toy and researchers have found that children who eat certain additives are more likely to be overactive, impulsive and unable to concentrate. This gives parents a good reason to be concerned. Researchers also worry that they are “health washing” the next generation by rebranding themselves as healthy when in reality they have only made small changes to make them less unhealthy.