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The Very Unappetizing Truth About McDonald's Chicken Meals

June 05, 2010 | 147,415 views
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mc donals chicken mealTens of thousands are crushed together, each confined to a tiny space. They will live for just 40 days before hitting the genetically-engineered slaughter weight -- if they don’t die before then.

McDonald's has tried to relaunch itself as a chain that cares about the provenance of its food and its relationship with farmers. But the majority of their chickens come frozen from Brazil or Thailand.

The Daily Mail reports:

“... having assumed the moral high ground, [McDonald's] customers will no doubt be all the more surprised to learn that when it comes to its ever-growing range of chicken products there has been no such transformation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is something McDonald's largely glosses over.”

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

McDonalds’ restaurants in the UK, where they serve free-range eggs and organic milk, are already leaps and bounds ahead of those in the United States, not that that is saying much. In the UK, the company has undergone a green-washing campaign where they boast of their wholesome suppliers and ethically sourced foods.

This has happened to some extent in the United States as well, with their Web site talking of animal welfare, sustainability and, of all things, “nutrition & well-being.” But in Britain people are being led to believe that the fast-food chain has really cleaned up their act, and they experienced a double-digit increase in sales in 2009 as a result.

And then, the truth comes out.

McDonalds’ Chicken is Not Good for You or the Planet

The chicken used at UK McDonalds’ is not raised with concern for animal welfare or sustainability, and it is certainly not good for anyone’s nutrition and well-being.

Instead, as the Mail Online exposed, it is imported frozen, largely from Brazil, where the chickens were raised in cramped, deplorable conditions. They write:

“One of tens of thousands, each bird is allowed the floor space equivalent to a sheet of A4 paper and will live for just 40 days before it hits its genetically-engineered slaughter weight. That's if it doesn't perish along the way.

Five per cent or so will be unable to cope with the conditions and die even before then.

Those that survive will be plucked and butchered in an industrial process the likes of which this planet has never before seen.”

There is no way that this qualifies McDonald’s to boast of any type of regard for animal welfare, no more than they could boast that their food is actually good for your health.

How Many Ingredients are in a Chicken McNugget?

While we’re on the topic of McDonald’s chicken, these food conglomerations are out of the realm of any food that naturally occurs on Earth, and the Chicken McNugget really takes the cake.

In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan pointed out that McNuggets contained 38 ingredients, among them tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a petroleum-derived chemical sprayed onto the "food" or inside the box to preserve freshness.

In high doses, TBHQ has caused precursors to stomach tumors and DNA damage in lab animals. A number of studies have also shown that TBHQ can be carcinogenic with prolonged exposure.

Other McNuggets’ ingredients include sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate, hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats), modified food starch (often a name for MSG, and listed as the third ingredient!), and dimethylpolysiloxane.

Sound appetizing?

I can honestly say I have never tasted a Chicken McNugget, but when you realize that what you are eating is a synthetic mix of chemicals along with a bit of poorly treated, fried chicken, it’s hardly appealing.

What Happens When You Eat Too Much McDonald’s Food?

Morgan Spurlock wanted to find out, and did just that in his 2004 documentary Super Size Me.

This movie should be required viewing for all children and their parents.

Prior to his experiment, Spurlock was a highly fit and athletic individual weighing in around 185 pounds. He went on a month-long binge eating only McDonald's food and in that time gained 25 pounds and began suffering from health complaints like fatigue, headaches and indigestion.

His cholesterol levels also became high and he even suffered from a mild chemical hepatitis. It is truly amazing what massive amounts of “fake food” will do to you in only a month, but unfortunately many Americans are experiencing this in their own lives.

I’m not intending to single out only McDonald’s … all fast food restaurants are equally damaging to your health. Eating fast food:

  • Exponentially increases your risk of obesity and diabetes
  • Is loaded with dangerous additives like trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and MSG
  • Contains genetically modified ingredients
  • Lacks the nutrients your body needs to thrive, let alone maintain itself

It takes very little effort to pull up to a drive through and get a meal for your family (albeit a disastrous one) from a fast-food chain, but please don’t exchange this convenience for a bed in the ICU or an early ticket out of this life.

Your health -- your energy levels, your appearance, your mood and so many other factors -- will improve when you eat the foods your body was designed for. Returning to a diet of locally grown, fresh whole foods is really the only way to reach optimal health -- and no matter what their advertisements may say, you won’t find this at McDonald’s.


[+] Sources and References

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Food Democracy Now
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