I’m lovin’ it: Healthier changes to fast food
posted by: Amber Johnson
Some of my earliest memories are of my parents treating us to Saturday morning Hot Cakes at McDonald’s and if we were lucky, we’d have a visit from the man, the myth, the legend, Ronald McDonald!
A lot has changed since those days in the fast-food industry and, in my opinion, they are great changes as our society becomes more health-conscious.
McDonald’s USA recently announced a number of moves across its menu as the company continues to evolve.
“Our customers have asked for it and we’re listening. Now more than ever, our customers care about how their food is prepared, where it comes from and what goes into making it,” said local McDonald’s owner/operator, Jay McAvoy. “We’re committed at McDonald’s to continuing our food journey and making changes to our food that we’re proud of and our customers will love. We look forward to the continued work and progress we are making as a company who puts our customers first.”
When it comes to the food we love, simpler is better. And that’s why over the past 18 months, McDonald’s has accelerated their efforts. As part of that journey, McDonald’s is taking steps to better inform customers of the strides they’re taking. Here are examples of the changes they have already made and those changes coming soon:
- McDonald’s has removed artificial preservatives from several items, which also don’t have artificial colors or flavors, including its iconic Chicken McNuggets. Across its breakfast menu, the pork sausage patties and omelet-style eggs served on McGriddles, Bagel and Biscuit breakfast sandwiches, along with the scrambled eggs on its breakfast platters, also now have no artificial preservatives.
- They’ve rolled out new buns that no longer contain high fructose corn syrup, including the buns used on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sandwiches. The Artisan roll introduced in 2015 never contained high fructose corn syrup.
- McDonald’s has made a major commitment to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics nearly a year ahead of schedule. In total, these changes touch ingredients in nearly half of the food on McDonald’s menu. They are going to source 100% cage-free eggs by 2025 in the U.S and Canada. According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than 100 companies have since announced their commitments to do the same, showing positive impact across the industry.
- They have refreshed their premium salad blend by replacing iceberg lettuce with fresh romaine, baby spinach and baby kale, and made further enhancements just this last summer with the addition of Tuscan red leaf lettuce and ribbon-cut carrot curls. The freshly prepared Premium Salads offer at least 2.5 cups of vegetables.
- McDonald’s has revitalized its classic Egg McMuffin, moving from margarine to 100% real butter, and continuing to serve a fresh cracked Grade A egg at the center of it all. They also source milk in its low fat milk jugs and Go-GURT® low fat yogurt from cows not treated with rbST*, an artificial growth hormone.
- They introduced Buttermilk Crispy Chicken a year ago,, made with 100% chicken breast filet, real buttermilk and a blend of spices including black pepper, garlic and onion powder. This followed the introduction of Artisan Grilled Chickenin March 2015.
These menu changes for the BETTER are impressive and I look forward to hearing about even more positive food updates in the near future.
On a fun note, there are 205 McDonald’s locations in Colorado and the economic footprint is substantial. Supplier purchases from Colorado equaled a staggering $149 million dollars including 79 million pounds of beef, 19 million pounds of flour and 48,000 pounds of honey–that’s a lot of bees and a LOT of support for our local economy!
And a lot of love going into McDonald’s effort to helping its customers make wholesome choices.
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