If you're anything like me you grew up on McDonald's food. Nothing made me happier than opening a Happy Meal box to find a six piece box of Chicken McNuggets and crispy, golden fries waiting for me inside. Of course, this was the 80's, prior to nutrition labels on everything we eat and before we became incessantly curious about how are food is grown, sourced and prepared. These are all fair questions and I'm glad that McDonald's has taken note of the fact that consumers are more savvy when it comes to the food we eat. I spent my Friday afternoon at Blogher 16 in Los Angeles learning a pretty good deal about their existing and newer practices.
We were joined by Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Marion Gross, and Director of Culinary Innovation, Chef Jessica Foust, RD. Something I always wondered was why can't fast food companies just use whole foods and prepare them fresh every day? It's something they touched on and essentially it comes down to the availability of products, cost to keep prices relatively low, and whether consumers will actually buy the products. Look, fast food is fast food and it will never be nearly as good for you as fresh, whole foods prepared at home. The general sense I got is that they're striving to meet consumers half way by making a concerted effort to improve practices for the benefit of their consumers.
About those Chicken McNuggets? This month McDonald's announced that new Chicken McNuggets will be free of artificial preservatives and continue to be made without artificial colors or flavors. We got to sample the rebooted nuggets and they are every bit as delicious as they were before and way more dipping sauces than I remember there every being as a kid (but I'm loyal to my BBQ and Sweet and Sour).
I'm always telling my kids not to play with their food but that's exactly what I did in the McDonald's Instagram Studio!
McDonald's has removed high fructose corn syrup from their buns across the menu which is really great news! I didn't realize that was even an ingredient used in buns. They've also changed the process in how their beef patties are seared on the grill to help make burgers juicier.
Some of the other changes they're making to their menu is the addition of red leaf lettuce and ribbon-cut carrot curls to their salad blends which is awesome because I love color and variety in my salads. There's nothing I hate more than ordering a salad and getting a mouthful of iceberg lettuce. You may remember that last year they added crispy romaine, baby kale, and baby spinach. Learn more about the strides McDonald's is taking to improve their menu at McDonalds.com.