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McDonald’s Rings In 2012 with Farmwashing

Remember last year’s Washington state-based “from here” campaign, which added a “locavore” twist to McDonald’s highly processed offerings?

Well, the fast food giant will take farmwashing to a national scale starting next month with a truly groan-worthy advertising campaign (here is one of the upcoming ads).

This is all part of the company’s desire to tell the “farm to fork” story behind their food. It certainly comes at an interesting time; just last month, McDonald’s dumped egg supplier Sparboe Farms amid reports of animal cruelty and unsanitary conditions.

But, back to the fries — they are far from a “farm to fork”, or “farm to finger”, story. Once harvested, the potatoes go to one of McDonald’s french fry suppliers (i.e.: McCain Foods, J.R. Simplot, Lamb Weston), where they are washed, peeled, cut, blanched, deep fried, and dipped in sugar.

The ingredient list for McDonald’s fries paints more of a farm-to-lab picture than anything else:

Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

Now that the french fry ad has been debunked as fraudulent PR spin, let’s see what other ads this campaign brings. A “CAFO to fork” story about their beef that attempts to pass off genetically modified corn feed for cows as “natural”? Stay tuned.



  1. Johanna B said on December 15th, 2011

    I love the “CAFO to fork” comment. Unfortunately, it’s so true.

  2. Dreena Tischler said on December 17th, 2011

    Sadly, when a corporation gets this big, there is really no stopping them.

  3. Alysa said on December 19th, 2011

    This definitely seems to be the trend as companies try to convince us that all of their processed food comes straight off the farm. Glad you are calling them out on it. Keep up the good work, Andy.

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