If you asked most people what symbols first come to mind that represent the United States, what do you think they would say? I’ve even sat down and thought about this myself. What symbols and pictures come to mind if I close my eyes about America? I’ve traveled to a fairly decent amount of places through the United States in my lifetime and this is what came to my mind: The Statue of Liberty, Disney World, Mount Rushmore, the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge and McDonalds. Yes, I said it…McDonald’s.
There’s something about those golden arches that never leave your mind. Think about how many road trips you’ve taken, and if you see those arches from a distance somehow a smile appears on your face. Don’t deny it, it’s true for most of us who were alive after 1952. I know it sounds silly, but who can deny the French fry aroma as you pass by with a rumble in your tummy. It’s almost like the fries speak to us through the wind. Well, they do to me. It’s quite disturbing and takes a lot of willpower to deny these tasty little fellows!
The history of the McDonald’s Corporation is quite an amazing one. It’s the American dream story, for sure. Started by a couple from New Hampshire who moved out to California in the 1920’s, they first had a hot dog and burger stand in 1937. They eventually moved up to selling burgers, shakes and fries after seeing how well those items did in 1948. After 1952, McDonalds took off, became a franchise and showed up on virtually every corner in America.
Their catchy, bright yellow arches and smart target marketing to families who didn’t have time to cook really caught on – and got in the minds of generations of people. McDonald’s now has revenue of over $28.1057 billion dollars. Wow, that’s a lot of burger and fry seducing going on! Not only are they on every corner, we see them in sports arenas, airports, malls and off most major interstates across America … even all across the world.
It’s amazing how far one small man took a basic hot dog and burger stand and turned it into a billion dollar company. There are many success stories like this in the United States through history. Like a lot of companies over the years, changes happen within the company related to size, goals, quality and production. Companies must change related to competition, demand and of course PROFIT. Yes, I said profit.
When McDonald’s first started, their burgers were a lot smaller and the beef was even healthier. Their menus were smaller and very easy to choose from, and they had no competition with other fast food chains at that time. The meat they used was actual real beef, free from GMOs and free from some of the harmful antibiotics used today. The buns didn’t have all the chemicals as well.
Now, McDonald’s has many competitors like Five Guys, Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Do you think they’re going to spend time worrying about what’s going to give you more energy or prevent cancer? Do you think they’re worried about what will make you fat, or give your kids digestion issues? Does McDonald’s love you? I hate to tell you this, but No McDonald’s doesn’t love you, they love your dollar!
McDonald’s food facts
Some of you have kids and some of you are single and don’t cook. When you’re running short on time and your stomach is craving anything, a lot of you will pull into McDonald’s and think a quick chicken nugget and French fry is no big deal. What harm can a hamburger do? I wish it were that innocent, but it’s not.
McDonald’s, like a lot of food corporations, wants to cut corners to save money. But, by saving money they are risking your health. They add preservatives, chemicals and many different flavor enhancers to most of their foods. If you have a child that’s hyper, autistic, has allergies or suffers from depression, feeding them these toxic substances will contribute to worsening symptoms. And, if you’re an adult, the prognosis isn’t any better.
I had my mother call the McDonald’s headquarters recently. She asked them some very simple nutritional questions about their foods and their plans to change using genetically modified corn, soy and wheat, as well many different chemicals. She said she knew of many people who had autistic children and most of their ingredients are very toxic to kids with allergies. She asked them why they would continue to serve toxic substances to children? The man on the phone was very rude and the only explanation he had was to direct her to the McDonald’s ingredients page online. So, I took a moment to go back and read word for word what they display on their site. I listed some important facts that I felt all of you should know, so you can be informed and decide if it’s worth the risk.
Fact 1: McDonald’s admits to using GMOs in their ingredients. They make it sound like a Christmas gift to you, stating “food safety” is their number one priority. Please make a mental note that GMO crops are sprayed with the toxic herbicide called glyphosate. Many scientists have proven that it’s considered a carcinogen and will cause many harmful side effects.
Fact 2: McDonald’s acknowledges that they use dimethylopolysiloxane in their chicken nuggets, world famous fries and crispy chicken. Do you know what this harmful chemical is also used in? De-foaming agents, polishes, cosmetics, adhesives, damping fluids and hair conditioners to name a few. What’s their excuse? The FDA allows this and they feel it’s safe to eat. They also mentioned they don’t want their oil to splatter and that’s why they use it.
Fact 3: They pride themselves on using beef that contains antibiotics. Their excuse, “Well, most ranches use it in the United States.” Gosh, the next time someone gets sick and you need to take penicillin, or any other antibiotic, guess what? It’s not going to help. Who wants added hormones?
Fact 4: They openly let you know that there is high fructose corn syrup used as a sweetener in some of their products. Their justification is, “Well, you can find it in your grocery store, too.”
Making McDonald’s at Home
Here are some ways you can have your own golden arches meal at home for you and your kids – with better taste and none of the risks mentioned above.
- Buy organic frozen Yukon potatoes and heat them in your oven –
they take only 15 minutes to cook. Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over the top.
- Buy organic Maverick Beef, or any organic beef at Whole Foods or your local supermarket. This is free of added hormones and the cows aren’t eating GMO corn. I like to use my George Foreman grill to cut down on any fat, plus it’s really quick to cook. One patty will take less than five minutes to cook on the grill in your own kitchen.
- Don’t forget your organic toppings! Use ripe tomatoes, romaine lettuce and onion. I usually skip the ketchup because the tomato is enough. But, if you have to use ketchup, please make it organic since it’s free of corn syrup and has less sugar. Plus, it tastes so much better. If you like to use mayo, try to buy organic as well.
- Grab some gluten-free buns, since it’s hard to find organic and gluten-free buns in most grocery stores. If I use a bun (I enjoy it without mot of the time), I like to use millet buns, or millet bagels. Stay clear of anything that isn’t organic, if possible.
- While I don’t eat dairy, I only eat raw organic goat cheese every once in a while. But, for those who like to eat cheese with their burger, pick up any organic cheddar cheese. If you’re in a Whole Foods, they have a wonderful selection.
That’s it! In less than 15 minutes, you can have a healthier (and lower fat) version than the drive-thru. If you went to McDonald’s, you would spent that amount of time during the dinner rush just sitting in line. Your body, and your family’s, will thank you!
I hope all of you will use this simple suggestion. God Bless.