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McDonald's Guessing Game: Where's the Trans Fat?

The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived: McDonald's has started cooking with trans-fat-free oil.

The only catch is, it won't say where.

Are you lovin' it?

Okay, so maybe we haven't all been waiting for this day, but McDonald's announcement certainly marked an anticlimatic end to the five-year saga surrounding its promise to reduce trans fat.

A brief summary: The chain first said it would cut back on trans fat in 2002. Then two years passed and trans fat was still in the fryer so anti-trans fat crusader Stephen Joseph sued the Golden Arches, and about a year ago McDonald's settled and pledged to give $7 million to the American Heart Association for public education about trans fat. (All the trans fat talk, by the way, is part of McDonald's effort to appear more healthy, including sending Ronald out to schools to teach kids about fitness.)

Last year, McDonald's again said it would reduce trans fat after New York City moved to ban trans fat. The NYC rule is slated to take effect in July 2008, and McDonald's said it would comply, not just in NYC, but nationwide. (Los Angeles officials are talking about a voluntary effort to get rid of trans fat in restaurants.)

That brings us to this week, when McDonald's said it had finally found an alternate cooking oil it can live with, a mysterious canola-based oil. (All fast food chains are very tight-lipped about their cooking oil.) In fact, McDonald's has already begun serving food cooked in the new oil at 1,200 of their 13,700 restaurants. It's up to us to guess where.

It's an odd stance to take. After all, the company is supposedly doing this in the name of public health. How can consumers make an informed choice if they don't even know if their local Mickey D's is serving the trans-fat-free oil or not? Or is the whole point that eating at McDonald's is never healthy anyway, so what's the point of telling anyone where they can get trans-fat-free fries?

That's what Fast Food Facts blogger Ken Kuhl thinks:

For McDonald's it's always about mitigating potential liability (with healthy food offerings that no one eats and by promoting a 'healthy lifestyle' that everyone ignores...people don't eat at McDonald's for their health) and putting a healthy PR spin on their operations (by hiring 'professionals' like personal trainer Bob Greene and Dr. Dean Ornish to legitimize their 'healthy image'). Their refusal to reveal where the new trans-fat-free oil is already being used is part of this mindset. They get the positive PR of eliminating trans-fat from (some of) their fries without having to offer full disclosure and risk groups and/or individuals complaining that a given McDonald's doesn't offer the healthier fries.

Do you want to know where you can eat trans-fat-free McDonald's fries?

By Annys Shin |  January 31, 2007; 8:00 AM ET Consumer News
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

All the more reason to avoid McD's even more...

Posted by: anon | January 31, 2007 8:43 AM

Yes, I want to know! Why on earth would they not tell us? Do they think of trans fat content as some kind of Happy Meal surprise or contest? If so, they should randomly cook with it and write it on the inside of the wrapper so we can find out AFTER we eat! *Sorry, you are not a winner this time, your meal contained trans-fat. Please try again.*

Posted by: Chris | January 31, 2007 8:45 AM

I think McD is doing a double-blind study to measure whether their customers really are accepting the oils. If they tell people and they get bad press about the food at one of those restaurants they are going to have a problem. I use the term "food" loosely here...

Posted by: Marie | January 31, 2007 8:49 AM

Why even eat at McDonald's? Fries are bad for fired in oil or not. It's all bad for you. If you eat it, you take the risk.

Posted by: Radioactive Sushi | January 31, 2007 9:31 AM

It's got to be about the taste. After all, if they actually revealed the locations, you just KNOW some reporter is going to go there, interview customers, and the story the next day will be "new fries taste different", whether or not they do.

This way, McDonald's can play 'gotcha'. If people don't notice a difference without knowing that they are eating it, then they won't have any excuse to claim one once they do find out.

(and McDonald's food is crap, anyway, so who really cares?)

Posted by: Castor | January 31, 2007 9:33 AM

Rather than knowing which McD's serve trans-fat, I would want to know why people pay money to go to a chemical factory to have dinner.

Posted by: rudy | January 31, 2007 9:35 AM

And now I must coin the phrase: RoflMcDonald!

Posted by: Chris | January 31, 2007 9:38 AM

Can't somebody test the fries for trans fat, and then do the taste test comparison with the fries that have it?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 9:41 AM

McDonald's food is just as bad as smoking, but it will kill you quicker.

You don't see many healthy people in the line or in the drive-thru. There is a reason for that. Healthy people don't eat at McDonald's. Only fat, unhealthy people eat there. McDonald's should get into the body bag business. They have put enough people in them in the past

Posted by: John | January 31, 2007 9:47 AM

Unfortunately, most restaurants and a large proportion of supermarket foods are not far behind. It is easy to come out of the grocery with a huge cart of nothing...but trouble.

Posted by: rudy | January 31, 2007 9:52 AM

Why even test the difference. Who care who they taste? Fat people? Let them go to 30 different restaurants. They are bound to find one that uses this new heart attack oil. But I doubt they will notice much of a difference. On the off chance they do, they can avoid that particular McDonald's.

Posted by: Frank | January 31, 2007 9:54 AM

For uncensored news please bookmark:

Rigging the presidential race with "rock stars" and "front-runners"

By Jack Balkwill

Those who run the country are hard at work selecting the next president. No, I don't mean the Bush regime -- higher up. No, not Exxon-Mobil or General Dynamics -- higher up than that. That's right, the big transnational investors who rent our elections with their euphemistic "campaign financing" bribes, often through their corporations, then get the money back for campaign ads on the TV networks they control. They are currently working on a three-option plan to decide who our next president will be.

Option One

Option One is always "get a Republican if you can," to hold the White House on behalf of corporate greed at any cost to the public interest. Problem is, the current scam is unraveling -- notably the illegal invasion and botched occupation of Iraq. So a little time may have to pass before working the scam again using Republicans.

John McCain is their man to sustain the scam if it is possible. He's not only behind the war, but for a troop increase. The owners like this because the war has put hundreds of billions more into their "defense" mafia piggy bank from which they make liberal withdrawals. A big takeover of Iraqi oil is also in the works, and there are all those rebuilding projects for more billions, so McCain is Option One.

The downside of Option One is that the peasants have been turned off by the war -- polls show 70 percent oppose McCain's troop surge. They just voted congressional Republicans out of their majority, and Republicans currently rank lower than whale poop in the polls, so it is not extremely likely that another Republican president can be palmed off on the public without fixing more voting machines in the Land of the Free than even last time. This scam can only go so far.

Option Two

Hence, Option Two, the backup plan, otherwise known as Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hillary has shown the big transnational investors she kisses powerful butt well by her Senate votes, and is willing to tell any lie to win the White House.

For example, on the January 18 PBS NewsHour January she told Gwen Ifil, "You know, for more than a year and a half, I've been in favor of phased redeployment of our troops, bringing them home as quickly as possible."

Finger to the wind, Hillary knows what the people want to hear these days, having seen what just happened to the Republicans for "staying the course" -- clearly her position before this whopper got laid on us unwashed masses.

If she has been in favor of bringing the troops home "as quickly as possible," why have the women of Code Pink been following her around the country and protesting wherever she appears for not endorsing any withdrawal from Iraq, including a protest at the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) meeting in Colorado last July 23?

Hillary was there because she is in the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, the DLC's leadership. That's why corporate media push her so hard -- she is the primary backup to the Republicans, sharing pretty much their philosophy of corporate greed at any cost to the public interest, though with the softer "I feel your pain" whine of husband Bill, which works so well with many liberal voters.

In August, Hillary's refusal to endorse Congressman Murtha's troop withdrawal plan had him saying, "I'm disappointed." Strange comment about someone who now says she has been for getting the troops out as soon as possible for a year and a half.

After the November election Hillary was asked if she supported Senator McCain's suggestion of a 20,000-troop increase in Iraq and replied, "It depends on what is the mission of those troops. I am not in favor of doing that unless it's part of a larger plan." So Hillary was not, just a few months ago, against a troop "surge" -- an escalation the war.

Hillary will pretty much say whatever it takes for a shot at hubby's old job of pushing the agenda of Transnationals, Inc., so those who run the planet like a private plantation want Hillary to run Corporate Cops on Call if they can't get McCain.

Corporate media call Hillary the front-runner, which works well to influence the electorate as they give her endless free publicity to insure she stays that way. My Google of "Hillary front-runner" without the quotes got over a million hits, so corporate media have worked this well.

The downside of Option Two is that few Democrats with their hat in the ring have a record as hawkish as Hillary, voting for the war and every financial appropriation with which to sustain it. Can such a person be crammed down the throats of voters in their antiwar mood? Hillary thinks so. She just announced she's running to win, and she set records as recently as last year for raising Senate campaign funding.

Option Three

But what if the owners can't get the masses to hold their noses and vote Republican or Hillary to keep their war going? This is where Barack Obama, or Option Three, comes in.

Obama is being packaged as a peace candidate, even though he has voted for every increase in spending for the Iraq War.

The owners and their corporate media are aware that the public has had enough of war and the scams necessary to perpetuate it. The public has begun to wonder if one "supports the troops," the favorite corporate media mantra, by sending them to a desert to be shot at and bombed daily. Bin Laden can't be found in Baghdad, those weapons of mass destruction are mass-gone, and Satan is not shooting stem cells in Sadr City. All that's left are nebulous terms like "the enemy," without suggesting the obvious, "are you talking about the Iraqi people, George?"

Obama had the good fortune to arrive in the Senate after the war had already been authorized by his colleagues, so he likes to say he did not vote for it. He wants you to believe he is not enamored of the war and wants out (though not today, nor Tuesday, nor . . . ).

Obama is called a "rock star" in corporate media and hyped as much as anyone after Hillary. I Googled "Obama rock star" without the quotes, and got over 800,000 hits. The only thing he allows us to know about his plan for the future is that he is for a "new kind of politics." Well, we all want that, don't we?

The Owner's Last Option, 2004

Corporate media badly want McCain, front-runner Hillary, or rock star Obama. To show how the scam works, in the last presidential race, a year before the primaries, it was John Kerry whom the corporate media were pushing as the front-runner at this point, echoing around the clock. Like Hillary and Obama, they knew Kerry would sell out the masses on their behalf, because, like them, he had a record. Let's review it.

Kerry not only voted for the USAPATRIOT Act, but wrote part of it to show his willingness to trash the Constitution and civil rights. The owners like that kind of loyalty to their interests.

Kerry, like his fellow Skull and Bones alumnus Bush, opposed the Kyoto Treaty, which would begin to address global warming. The owners really liked that one.

Unlike Bush, Kerry voted for NAFTA and GATT, locking unfairness for labor and the environment into the future, giving transnational corporations the means with which to overrule democracy around the globe. The owners were delirious about this.

Kerry was not only for staying the course in Iraq, like Bush, but he was for a troop surge in 2004, before the euphemism "surge" became a daily mass media mantra. The owners like that kind of enthusiasm for war.

Millions of us progressives were trampled by herds of those supporting the Kerry disaster. Kerry seemed more interested in raising money from those he served, a $328,479,245 record amount for Democrats, than in having a principle upon which to stand. You only get that kind of money from the owners if you are willing to sell out the public interest on their behalf.

So why all the constant screams of "frontrunner Hillary" and "rock star Obama?" Well, corporate media's masters of deception have

For the rest please go to:

Posted by: che | January 31, 2007 10:00 AM

It's like Marie said, they're conducting a study to see if their new oil is a fair substitute. They don't want to "contaminate" the study by giving the consumer the ability to choose to go to a store that has the new oil, or not buy fried food at a store that does not.

Posted by: WH | January 31, 2007 10:00 AM


People who read the labels and care about their health won't come out of a supermarket with a cart load of trouble. The same goes for food establishments.

What do people want? The manufacture to come to your house and tell you what is bad for you? They provide labels on products and many menus. Is that not enough? At some point consumers have to take responsibility for what they consume.

With that said, McDonald's is a bad place to eat not matter what oil they use.

Posted by: Radioactive Sushi | January 31, 2007 10:03 AM

I'm in the mood for a Big Mac and large fries. MMMMMMMM Good!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 10:07 AM

To John and Frank
Why I think this whole issue with McDonalds is stupid to say that only fat people eat there is slightly off and someone is going to jump all over you for that. Just a heads up, you might want to man your battle stations and all that jazz. I sometimes eat at McDonalds (not often because I am a Burger King girl) and I am not fat. (5'7" 120, if anything I'm underweight.) The trick is not to eat there all the time every single meal of the day, then yes, you will become a chunky monkey.

Posted by: Melissa | January 31, 2007 10:08 AM


Posted by: h3 | January 31, 2007 10:09 AM

I do go to McDonalds. I happen to like the fries. And no, I'm not fat even. (wow) First, everyone said that hydrogenated oils were healther, now they're killing us. They key is moderation. I don't have fries everyday, and that's fine.

Posted by: Cleetus8 | January 31, 2007 10:09 AM

Another reason to avoid McDonald's fries (even though they do taste pretty good): they use BEEF FLAVORING in them (go to the website and look at nutrition information). For vegetarians or just those of us who avoid beef, it means we can't even have the fries! Burger King is ok however....

Posted by: WR | January 31, 2007 10:13 AM

"You don't see many healthy people in the line or in the drive-thru. There is a reason for that. Healthy people don't eat at McDonald's. Only fat, unhealthy people eat there."

Funny, I'll have to mention that to the 500 Marines who will be lining up at the McDonald's in this facility in half an hour. All those fat, unhealthy Marines.

Posted by: LJT | January 31, 2007 10:29 AM

McDonalds can't win this one. They will always be the poster child for what is bad about america's eating/lack of exercise habits.

They'd be better off remodeling their resturants with mirrors on the walls - maybe if people could actually see themselves as they order they (the customers) might make more informed decisions.

Posted by: Mall Employee | January 31, 2007 10:58 AM

I occasionally enjoy a cheesburger and fries from McDonalds. There is just something comforting about the warm spongey chemical goodness of their burgers, and their hot fries are second only to Checkers...mmmm.... BTW, I am not fat. I actually watch what I eat, and exercise- though admitedly less than I used to. I am 5'10.5" and about 175 which is the perfectly normal weight I have maintained through much of High School, and a few years in the Air Force. The real issue is the discipline of an individual, not so much what they are eating. The problem for most is that they ignore dietary guidance- eat healthy a majority of the time, and exercise.

Posted by: Chris | January 31, 2007 10:58 AM

Customers unite!! This is a market economy. If you don't see a transfat-free sign in the McDonald's window, go elsewhere. It will take them all of a week to get the message.

Posted by: Steve | January 31, 2007 10:59 AM

The only people who care about trans fat-free fries are people who likely do not frequent McDonald's in the first place.

Posted by: Tirade | January 31, 2007 11:07 AM

Yes and when you all are popping cholesterol and blood pressure pills (see yesterday's article) don't going blaming the doctor's and pharms for taking your money. You asked for it.

Posted by: John | January 31, 2007 11:09 AM

I care! I would feel almost un-American if I did not eat at McDonalds every now and then. ROFLMcDonald! This whole bit reminded me of the ancient McDonalds commercial I saw on Ebaums. Ronald looks like a scary bum. It's soooo funny!

Posted by: Chris | January 31, 2007 11:17 AM

I have a serious problem with the entire trans fat ban issue. I certainly agree with nutritional information including the amount of trans fat. But, with the NY restaurant ban and McDonalds advertising that they are going to have no trans fat, I think people are going to be fooled into thinking that their food is now healthy. Most trans fats will just be replaced with other saturated fats, which are only slightly less likely to kill you. No trans fat does not equal healthy!!! McDonalds food will still be plenty bad for you.

Posted by: JN | January 31, 2007 11:28 AM

Actually, "beef flavouring" is just that - flavouring. It is not an animal product. It's a bunch of chemicals thrown in the oil to mimic the scent of beef fat. McD's has done this ever since they had to stop frying in beef fat.

So technically, the fries are vegan because they contain no animal products. However, they're even scarier than you're implying.

(and I say yum yum - roughly twice a year)

Posted by: MB | January 31, 2007 11:46 AM

MB, actually you are wrong. McDonald's "beef flavoring" in it's fries is made from real beef. It IS an animal product. Check it out:

Cathy Gilbert, coordinator of McDonald's Customer Satisfaction Department in the company's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., confirmed that natural beef flavoring is used in the french fries. "We use something similar to beef broth, just to enhance the flavor," she told India-West.

Here is the full article:

Posted by: WR | January 31, 2007 12:09 PM

LOL- Where's the beef? It's in the fries! OMG, wait till I ruin some vegan's day with this tasty morsel!

Posted by: Chris | January 31, 2007 12:18 PM

Chris, every vegan and vegetarian I know already knows about the beef in fries. They'll give you a big ole "duh" response.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 12:34 PM

Chicken Selects® Premium Breast Strip:
Chicken breast strips, water, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, carrageenan gum, chicken broth, natural flavor (plant and animal source), maltodextrin, spice, autolyzed yeast extract, chicken fat, polysorbate 80], modified potato starch, and sodium phosphates. Breaded with: wheat flour, water, food starch-modified, salt, spices, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), garlic powder, onion powder, dextrose, spice extractives and extractives of paprika. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). CONTAINS: WHEAT

Posted by: the snack wrap | January 31, 2007 12:47 PM

I think this is all ridiculous. Fast food will always be unhealthy, that's why it tastes so good. The sodium levels in McDonalds food (and Burger King, and Wendy's, etc) is extremely high, so where is the crusade against that? High doses of sodium over a lifetime has been known to cause heart disease.

As a country we need to take ownership over ourselves, and this transcends just what we eat, but that is for another blog. I eat fast food every now and then, I love it while I am eating it, hate it for the next hour or so. I eat it sparingly because I know it's bad for me, and when I do eat it, I am completely aware of what I am putting into my body.

You eat this food three times a week and it doesn't matter that the fries are cooked with no trans fat, you are still in for a host of health problems. Don't blame the company, blame yourself.

Posted by: Matt | January 31, 2007 1:10 PM

I don't like New York City dictating what I can eat. I cook with trans fat at home. That's how you fry things. I wish you could still get things fried in lard. Concern about whether using regular vegetable oil or partially hydrogenated is more "healthy" is like being concerned that someone mugging you with a knife versus using a gun is "more safe." They can kill you either way. And telling people that trans fat is bad, just encourages companies to go out and say "Now 0 trans fat". Haven't you seen that on every package now? Like it is really healthy now. Some of them had 0 trans fat to begin with. But don't blame McDonald's for your waistline. Take responsibility for your own actions. I like McDonald's. I eat there a couple of times a week. At 32 years old, my BMI is 23, my cholesterol and BP are not elevated. It's all about moderation. One thing I learned from Super Size Me is that Morgan Spurlock is an idiot. Why would you eat there every meal every day? And then do a documentary blaming McDonald's? Hey Morgan, look in the mirror, baby. That's the problem. And thanks for forcing McDonald's to take away the super size me option. I was perfectly capable of deciding if I wanted supersized fries or not, and now I no longer have that freedom. I want my Freedom Fries! Thanks for making my choices for me, Morgan. Like most Americans, apparently I am a total moron, slave like to every Mcdonald's advertising campaign, unable to think for myself. McDonald's is banging on my office door right now trying to force Big Macs and quarter pounders on my desk. Must fight urge -- must be strong -- can't resist -- can't fend off overpowering suggestion to eat McDonald's. It drives me crazy that people like to blame obesity on corporate america. Corporate America is not the reason your ass is fat or why you are having a massive coronary. You can eat at home, fry all your foods, eat high fat foods, and be just as unhealthy as going to McDonald's everyday. Make peace with your own choices.

I'm going to McDonald's right now. I'm going to get a quarter pounder, fries, and a coke. Anyone want to join me?

Posted by: Cliff | January 31, 2007 1:10 PM

Potatoes are a leading cause of high blood pressure. Not from how they are grown or harvested, but how they are prepared (salt, butter, oils).

Why on earth would anyone do this to themselves?

People complain about smokers raising the cost of health care, but what about people who put other bad things into themselves too?

As long as people keep going back to McDonald's, it creates a demand. This demand for harmful food is also harming the people who choose not to eat it because health care costs are affected. It's the same arguement the anti-smoking campaigns has used for years. Why does it not apply to other harmful things?
I will tell you why.

People tend to push problems under the rug if the demand is greater than the resistance. We need to apply the same hard line stand against these harmful foods as we did against smoking. Then you will know what is in your food. Until then keep the pharmaceutical companies in the money.

Posted by: Frank | January 31, 2007 1:16 PM

Hey Cliff, calm down. It's not about blaming anybody. But alot of people aren't as educated as you and yes, eat fast food more often than they should. So, the idea is to make fast food as "healthy" as it can be. We, as a nation, try to make lots of dangerous or risky activities less dangerous or less risky: requiring seatbelts in cars just for one example. Think about it.

Posted by: WR | January 31, 2007 1:24 PM

I think it is so sad society as a whole has no self-control and cannot simply say no to McDonald's. It is not the franchises resposnibility to make the food healthier it is society's responsibility to say no.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 1:34 PM


Comparing food additives to seat belts is a bad example. This is about self control and personal health, not safety. Personal health is the responsibility of the consumer. Safety is the responsibility of the industry.

Posted by: John | January 31, 2007 1:50 PM

John, I disagree. Health & safety are closely related. Safety ensures health right? That's why we have--and require the use of--seatbelts: to ensure our physical well-being (health).

Posted by: WR | January 31, 2007 2:02 PM


Your heart is in the right place, but the example is, to say the least, very bad.

Not to go into a seatbelt debate here, but that is a safety issue that could involve immediate death or serious injury.

Eating McDonald's is not going to kill you in a day (or a second). This is where the consumer has to make a choice. A personal health choice, very much unlike a seat belt.

Posted by: John | January 31, 2007 2:09 PM

John, I side with WR in that using a seatbelt may or not may or may not kill you- much as the same in the secondhand smoke article. It may or may not contribute to your demise, but there is no sense in needless exposure. Logic dictates it is a personal choice, but when your job is to service the public there must be a responsibility of ensuring public safety- hence the recalls of drugs with bits of metal. This is why lead paint is not allowed. Why not make it a personal choice whether or not a person paints their house with something that contains lead? It is not the paint that is the deadly problem, rather the ingredient. The burger is not the deadly problem, just the ingredient. Paint is still harmful, but extremely less so now that lead is no longer in it. People should eat healthy, but when they do choose to indulge the health risks should be mitigated where it is no big deal to do so.

Posted by: Chris | January 31, 2007 2:33 PM

Not only are the fries deep-fried in fat, the cherry and apple pies are deep-fried in that stuff, too. They are kept frozen and deep fried quickly in the same fat they use for the fries, then kept warm somewhere (God only knows where).

Whatever happened to people eating at home? When people ate their meals at home, back in the olden days, we didn't worry about such things as trans-fats, type 2 diabetes, obesity. We worked off our meals by working outside, farming, building houses. Has anybody ever seen an obese Amish person?

Posted by: Just Lurkin' Today | January 31, 2007 2:38 PM

Trans fat free or not. ANY fast food joint is a unhealthy way to eat.

Posted by: Fitness Guru | January 31, 2007 2:45 PM

But see Chris, you infringe on personal choice which is why you will NEVER see a law that tells us what we can eat but you do see one on "public" roads that say you HAVE to wear seat belts. Personal choice, be it choosing to eat healthy or choosing not to, is not a public safety issue. It's a personal health issue not regulateable by the government.

And don't sight the NYC ban on transfat, because the consumer can still choose to go outside of the city to eat and that was a local government, not a federal one.

Posted by: John | January 31, 2007 2:45 PM

Hi all. Just found this handy dandy guide to which chains offer nutritional info and which don't.

From one of my favorite blogs, the Consumerist:

Posted by: Annys | January 31, 2007 3:00 PM

Good stuff Annys. Thanks

Posted by: Radioactive Sushi | January 31, 2007 3:02 PM

I'd rather not pay taxes to take care of people dying from heart disease due to the trans fats destroying their good cholesterol which would have depleted their levels of bad cholesterol. I also think it's reprehensible that the FDA has allowed .49 grams of fat to equal 0 grams of fat when the smallest amount is unhealthy, and 2 grams a day are deadly.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 3:56 PM

Some people can't avoid fast food because it can be the only source of food for a mile or more.

And while I do dislike taking liberties away from people, if I'm going to have to pay for their poor choices either in my own health, life or money, then I would certainly consider banning those practices in favor of risking my welfare.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 31, 2007 4:01 PM

You call McDonalds food?, give me a break.

Posted by: Jimbo | January 31, 2007 4:23 PM

"I'm going to McDonald's right now. I'm going to get a quarter pounder, fries, and a coke. Anyone want to join me?"

Nobody is as idiot as you pal. Who cares about what you want or not?, if you want attention for your tantrums go somewhere else.

Posted by: Jimbo | January 31, 2007 4:29 PM

I have a feeling there are a few people here would would love it if those deemed "obese" or "unhealthy" wore yellow stars and just froth at the mouth over social conditioning. Isn't facist socialism great!

Posted by: Chris | January 31, 2007 5:15 PM

John, you're still wrong. What do you mean, "you will NEVER see a law telling us what we can eat" because it's personal choice"? We already are seeing it--and for good reason. For example, the City of Chicago has banned the serving & purchasing of fois gras in its restaurants, interfering with the "personal choice" both of consumers and restaurant owners. Contrary to what you might think, local law is just as valid as state or federal law. Personal choice is abrogated all the time in this country--by local, state and federal law. By the way, my seat belt example was valid because seat belt laws require the WEARING of a seat belt while in a car--interfering with personal choice as you would say.

Posted by: WR | January 31, 2007 6:28 PM

You can't deny that McKey D's tastes great. It is food designed to make you salivate; especially those salty fries with tart ketchup. How could the taste not be enjoyable? Granted it may feel like you have just consumed a brick the way it settles in your stomach, but it tastes great going down.
That being said, I do love McDonald's and am a healthy person; I have been anticipating McDonald's getting rid of trans fat poison, and have actually gone to Wendy's a few times instead because of their trans-fat free policy.

Posted by: Homer | January 31, 2007 7:00 PM

What's funny is that I have a love-hate relationship with McDonald's. One of my biggest problems is that restaurants like these have blended the American landscape together. Many commercial strips look very similar now because of places like McDonald's, as well as Applebees, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Holiday Inn Express, Cold Stone Creamery, Staples, Giant, etc. But, I don't know how to react to this, as I patronize these businesses myself. Anyway, as far as the food goes, its not the best. McDonald's meat doesn't taste that great. I'm sure there's lots of filler in it. If you get ground beef from the grocery store it's never like McDonald's beef. Either way, McD's isn't my favorite place, but I go there every once in a while. McD's food won't make you any fatter than other fast food, or even if you made the stuff by yourself at home. Personally, my favorite fast food place is probably Wendy's. Their Triple Cheeseburger (over 1000 calories) is very tasty. Chipotle, Jimmy John's, and Quiznos are pretty good as well.

I love fast food in general, but yes I wish we had a more family based society and that more families sat down at the dinner table, etc.

And regarding physical fitness, I can tell you that just because you have fast food even a couple times a week, it will not determine what shape you are in. I guarantee I'm in better shape than 99.9 percent of anyone who bashes fast-food on account of unhealthiness. I'm an athlete and have 6 percent body fat. The thing is I work out every day and monitor what I put into myself, making sure I get enough protein, fiber, fluid, etc. But when I feel like it I'll have a triple cheeseburger and a coke, and some soft looking person drinking a bottle of propel-fitness water thinks they are healthier than me, lol.

Posted by: starrunner | January 31, 2007 7:03 PM

Just Lurking, you never worked at McDonald's, have you? Its nice to see someone who has no idea what they're talking about spout "facts". McDonalds apple pies are NOT deep least not at the restaurant. They are baked in the same oven that bakes the biscuits for your egg mcmuffin in the morning. Yes they are ready made and pre-frozen but they are not prepared by deep frying them in the same oil as fries! Now how many people will stop eating apple pies cuz they read your misinformation? Sighs. Folks post only what you know to be true. That's responsible blogging.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | January 31, 2007 8:41 PM


Show me the "law" that bans personal choice. It's not a law in Chicago. It's a policy or a mandate, not a law.

Posted by: John | February 1, 2007 8:21 AM

The City of Philadelphia is poised to become the first city in the country to ban transfat in city restaurants and eatieries through legislation. The bill was passed out committee without opposition and will be voted by the entire Council on Feb 8th. The bill's sponsor is Councilman Juan F. Ramos

Posted by: Josh Cohen | February 1, 2007 10:18 AM

Cyansquirrel: Yes, I did work at McD's one summer 20+ years ago. We did deep fry the apple pies as well as the fish sandwiches. People might think they're cutting down on fat when they order the fish sandwiches. They're deep fried, then slathered with fat-filled tartar sauce.
After witnessing the condition of the cooking area, I wouldn't eat at a McD's now if you held a gun to my head.

Posted by: Just Lurkin' Today | February 1, 2007 10:22 AM

20 plus years ago? geez. Well practices change. I worked there within the last 5 years, and they do not deep fry them. The fish sandwiches and chicken products, however, are still fried in the same oil as fries.

And I missstated about the's the biscuits for your BEC biscuit, not your mcmuffins, which are toasted like the buns to the sandwiches.

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | February 1, 2007 12:46 PM

Lurking: I second your comment about not eating there after seeing how the food is cooked! LOL! Aside from the rare rare craving for something McDonald-sy, I avoid the place as much as possible. That goes for BK and Wendys and all the other chains as well, although taco Bell is my soft point. It's to the point that my housemates ask aloud if the world has come to an end or if I've acquired a terminal illness any time I suggest going out for a burger run at McD's :-)

Posted by: CyanSquirrel | February 1, 2007 12:50 PM

"Whatever happened to people eating at home? When people ate their meals at home, back in the olden days, we didn't worry about such things as trans-fats, type 2 diabetes, obesity. We worked off our meals by working outside, farming, building houses."

You mean back in the good ole' days when men had lifespans of about 49 years instead of the near 80 of today? Or do you mean when the ability for the average middle-class Joe to travel anywhere, see anything, and live a life only dreamed of by our middle class grandparents? Yes, life today despite the pleasure Nazis dire warnings imminent planetary doom and systemic inequality is actually better than it has EVER been in history...even for the lower classes. You know, the poor downtrodden folks who will be watching this Superbowl on their Plasma TV with chicken wings and 40 ounce in their hand.

Today's food Nazis are the perfect example of the difference between the conservative/liberal polarization of the American psyche. On opposite poles of the individual responsibility debate, yet so close in spirit without really noticing it.

The only difference between the two is this: Liberals want to use the Government to control what individuals do with their own money-the liberal moral hotspot-(taxes, regulations, what foods you can buy, etc.) ........Meanwhile, Far-right Conservatives want to use the Government to control what you do with your body- the conservative moral hotspot-(Sexual practices, recreational drug use, adult pornography, etc.) They both want to legislate their own morality onto others and limit other's individual freedom...they differ ONLY in what THEY consider moral.

Both are guided by their religious convictions. (i.e. belief systems).

Conservatives: The Judeo-Christian ethic;

Liberals: Humanism

I value free choice above all. (Yes, even the choice to kill myself early with a bad/dangerous lifestyle- Even though personally, I am an ultra-healthy personal trainer). My choices are my own. And I am responsible for only my actions, and those of my minor offspring.

Others can mix up a bathtub full of PCP and blow their brains out for all I care. Or have sex with a Bathhouse full of men, and get HIV. Or, refuse medical treatment and die because God, through their minister, told them too. All these extremes are personal choices, and are nature's way of eliminating the least fit among us... mentally, physically, and genetically; and hopefully before they breed another generation like them... And yes, I put myself in that gene pool as well. I skydive and race off-road motorcycles. But, after educating myself, I assume all the risk.

You see, through government and the legal system, you threaten your fellow citizens by penalty of law or seizure of their property to comply to YOUR moral standards, even though their actions in NO WAY affect your daily life directly. Once you set up this system, even if your political persuasion happens to be in power now, eventually the other guys will get hold of the power and use it to outlaw or eliminate the things YOU want.

The TRUE freedom loving person recognizes the right of other people to live the life they want, even if it doesn't fit into OUR idea of what is right, safe, moral, healthy, etc. So long as it doesn't DIRECTLY impinge on your freedoms or safety, you have no right to dictate the actions of others.

"But those people run up the cost of health care for us! So it DOES affect us!"

Um, you CHOSE to give everybody universal health care, so YOU, collectively, are responsible for the outrageous costs that come from paying for everybody regardless of their lifestyle or productivity to society. It's the best example of the utter failure of it's very nature, it MUST limit individual freedom to conform to the most economical advantage of the State, not to the advantage of the individual.

So for those of you out there who whine and complain about how "the man" is trying to oppress you... THOU ART THE MAN!

Wetboy for President 2008!!

Posted by: Wetboy | February 3, 2007 1:46 PM

To CyanSquirrel :

You are wrong in virtually every statement you made. I worked for Mc'Ds last summer going through school as Maintenance...I fixed their machines in numerous stores, so I know how EVERTHING is made today:

Pies and filets ARE fried, as are all chicken products except grilled Chicken. In separate vats though, so as not to have your pies tasting like fish. They all use the same patially hydrogenated- read Transfat- type oil. Mainly soybean, corn, and canola oils. The oils are filtered nightly, and changed every 3 or 4 days depending on store volume.

The biscuts come pre-made & pre-frozen now, as is virtually everything else including hotcakes, Mcgriddles, etc. They are warmed up in a Turbo-convection oven for a few minutes before going to the holding trays. Mcmuffins are toasted in the same toaster as the buns. Except as noted otherwise on the menu, everything that isn't fried is grilled...usually fatty (staurated fat as well. By my menu calculations, just about everything fried picks up between 8 and 16 grams of fat above how the product comes frozen.

As a personal trainer now, I have outstanding health in virtaully every measuarable category- Bodyfat, cholesterol, Lung capacity (VO2 max), AND I do competitive physique shows...all while enjoying fast food at least once a week- except just before a show or photo shoot. It all comes down moderation, and most importantly...getting off your fat butt and moving vigourously on a regular basis! That will counteract virtually any occasional fast food treat.

And if REALLY get into fitness, you'll find you don't even crave the "bad food". Your body is an adaptive organism, so it will quickly crave the 'good stuff". As any fitnesss buff! You just have no craving for the junk like you used to.

Food is a fuel. But lets, face it...if your body is more like a Volkswagen Bettle than a Porche Carerra, even the "cheap gas" won't have much affect on you. But a high performance machine will just naturally require the best fuel. So it is with the human body.

So relax America!. If you are happy looking like a Volkswagen, don't let the food Nazis talk you out of your Triple Cheeseburger with extra-large fries! The more unhealthy you eat and live, the faster you die and the less Social Security taxes I gotta pay.

On the other hand, if you want to look and feel fabulous, then come train with me!

Posted by: Wetboy | February 3, 2007 2:20 PM

The more often you eat truly healthy foods (minimal/no processing, low salt, no sugar, etc) the less you will crave the junk that McDonald's sells. It is too salty and too bland.

I know how popular McDonald's is, and that is unlikely to change. But is sad to see people slowing killing themselves by eating so much junk food. Try slowing down enough to make salads, brown rice, and baked fish or whatever at home.

When I'm in a hurry, I go to places like Panara. Not as healthy as home cooking, but a heck of a lot better than McDonald's.

Haven't eaten at MickyD's in more than ten years, and I truly do not miss it.

Posted by: Outspoken | February 8, 2007 9:56 AM

Well I work at McDonalds and people know the way they make the food there so if they dont like it then why do they go there. If you dont want to eat there then you shouldnt. some people like fatty foods so they can eat there if they want.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 10, 2007 3:58 PM

mcdonald's is playing a mouse and cat game with its consumers. obviously they think that all the transfat has made them dumb. new tests have shown that instead of lowering the transfat content in its products, mcdonalds is actually increasing it! check

Posted by: yozgatci | February 12, 2007 10:36 AM

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