DAILY DIARY – DEBUNK THE JUNK, APRIL 8, 2004
Day 8: Despite the claims of certain food nannies that McDonalds has a uniform menu throughout the country, I have found that this is quite far from the truth. It has caused, however, some problems in my calorie-counting efforts—especially during my recent trip to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Florida. Although the McDonalds web site offers a wonderful tool to help people count calories and learn about the nutritional content of the standard food items, it only provides information on standard items, including McGriddle Sandwiches, fries, Big Macs, Yogurt Parfaits and shakes. However, McDonalds has many new offerings, some of which are found only in certain regions—very problematic.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
The new items, such as the Chicken Flat Bread sandwiches and Key Lime Pie, are not represented on the web site, and I’m having problems finding calorie counts for these new menu items. A bit of research on the Internet turned up very little about the new fare except the observation that they were generally considered “healthier” than the standard menu offerings. Personally, I like variety, and that I cannot locate calorie counts does not mean I have to forego one of these tasty new offerings. I just have to think logically and choose wisely.
As I think on it more, we are still far better off than our ancestors, who faced great threats from food- borne pathogens and parasites, risking death literally every time they put food in their mouths. Our food is safer today than it has ever been in the past. I don’t feel compelled at family dinners to demand an ingredients list of the food that’s placed in front of me and don’t feel the need to demand this information from every restaurant I eat at either. The food is basically from the same food sources which my readers can purchase at their local supermarkets for their own home, the only difference being that McDonalds orders a lot more of it than you would need for a week.
So dear readers, despite this hiccup in my calorie counting efforts I will continue to order some of the new items from the McDonalds menu and just have to rely on my common sense and knowledge to make an intelligent decision about what I place in my mouth. Oh by the way, a sidebar to McDonalds……could you please offer the Key Lime Pie in the New England area? It’s one of my favorite desserts.