There are many things I like about Canada, the great northerly neighbor of my home country. Beautiful country, friendly people, maple syrup, waterproof and stylish winter boots (they know how to do winter up there). But that doesn't mean I like everything coming out of Canada, particularly when McDonalds is involved.
What am I going on about here? Let me get to the point. With little fanfare or attention that I could see, apart from an article on the Huffington Post, McDonald's Canada has launched a video driven question-and-answer website for their customers.
The first video I watched was on how McDonald's makes their french fries. Give it a watch. I found it very interesting.
Its pretty much as you would expect. McDonald's people telling us that their fries are made from real potatoes, etc, etc.
If you weren't paying attention you might have missed that split second at 2'20" where they say they add dextrose (aka. sugar) and an unidentified 'ingredient' to their fries to make them brown more easily and prevent greying. And if you missed that you'd assume that McDonald's fries are made just like you might make them at home.
But that split second where they skim over the added ingredients to their fries is the most important information.
More and more, food companies are positioning their products to look and sound like they are made the same way you might make them at home. And usually they're pretty close apart from a few key differences, most notable being added ingredients that you're unlikely to find in nature or in the home cook's kitchen.
So the question you have to ask yourself when you see pieces of publicity, like this video from McDonalds, is what are they not telling you? What is the part of the story that is being skipped over or not fully disclosed?
The food industry gets away with telling half truths all the time. A prime example, the beverage industry is bragging in ads that they've taken sodas out of schools. What they don't tell you in the very compelling ad is that they've replaced them with equally sugary sports drinks.
I'm not bashing the food industry. They're doing their job of selling their products. What I'm angry about is the amount of misleading claims and information they are putting out there. They claim that consumers can make their own choices, but its no longer a consumer's choice if they've been convinced by a very sexy and half-truthful advertisement.
So, thank you, McDonald's Canada, for enlightening us about your fries. Next time, I'd appreciate if you didn't skip over the 'fine print.'