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McFatty Day?

By CynicalRealist 9 November 2008 131

McHappy Day  

The McHappy Day “Fundraiser of the Year”?

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to support seriously crook kids and their families. And this Saturday (15 November), Maccas are again doing McHappy Day to raise funds for their Ronald McDonald houses.It works is like this.  You shove a 25.5 grams of fat Big Mac down your cakehole, and they’ll donate $1 to their charities.

But don’t think you can get off more lightly.  It can’t be an 8.1 grams of fat Lean Beef Burger, or a 0.2 grams of fat Garden Salad, it’s gotta be the Big Mac.

Aren’t we in the middle of an “obesity epidemic”?  Aren’t the pollies spending massive amounts of our money on the “Measure Up” TV ads and giving out measuring tapes so we can size up our beerguts?  And aren’t bans on junk food ads during kids’ viewing times being considered? 

I think it’s time Maccas did a re-think of what might soon become “McFatty Day”, and it’s very telling that the event isn’t promoted on Canberra radio anymore these days.

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GB 7:09 pm 12 Nov 08

Danman said :

I would say the naturally occurring concentrations would be poles apart from the concentration when used as an additive.

Well, many say that, but that doesn’t make it true. Although it depends on your definitions.

Firstly, msg does not exist once it has dissolved – it becomes free glutamates (and sodium). The free glutamates cannot apparently be distinguished from those which are naturally present in food. If you freeze-dry salty, glutamate-heavy food, part of what you get is crystalline msg — regardless where the glutamates came from.

Secondly, do we regard these as “natural”: naturally brewed miso, naturally fermented soy sauce, slow-cooked beef stew, naturally fermented fish sauce; roquefort cheese, parmesan cheese? If we do, its easy to find 0.5%-1% glutamates in them, which is as high as the most msg- laden foods (unless you count the flavour sachets from 2-minute noodles – without the noodles).

It is true afaik that there are no foods which contain 1% glutamates when they are raw, not fermented, not brewed, not concentrated, not dried, not treated with moulds.

And it is true that “naturally occuring concentrations” in most foods are quite low.

But many cooking styles and processes find a way to enhance the naturally occurring glutamates.

Slow-cooked lamb! Miso soup! Ham! Tom yum goong! Dried tomatoes!

Yum.

tylersmayhem 10:15 am 12 Nov 08

Who, Alexander Downer?

Haha LOL. I actually thought it was Kyle Sandilands.

GB 9:21 am 12 Nov 08

MSG comes in for a lot of flack, but seems to be less dangerous (and less unknown) than some other ingredients.

tylersmayhem said :

I notice it all the time. I.e. “all natural flavor”. This can mean the actual flavor you taste is created by natural ingredients, but the MSG “enhances” this natural flavor.

Manipulation of labelling systems is rife. But glutamates occur naturally – eg parmesan is about 1%! And MSG is produced industrially by a fermentation process which is no less “natural” than beer-making.

I don’t think the “naturalness” or otherwise tells us much. Tracking down the provenance of the ingredients might.

That said, I prefer to make dashi from kombu, not by adding msg to water, even though the free glutamates it produces are probably the same.

GB 9:58 pm 11 Nov 08

I don’t believe Mcdonalds is part of a conspiracy to make us sick or fat.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Just curious, what about their business practices do you take exception with?

Like most for-profit free enterprise, it tends to be amoral — a well-run enterprise will always be so, unless its market demands otherwise. And an amoral enterprise will almost inevitable do immoral things, as there is no reason not to. As a very large enterprise which has a daily interaction with large numbers of people, the results of its immoral actions have very wide scale effects. So, if they (for example) use predatory marketing, strategic lawsuits against public participation, manipulation of parents through their young children etc, this has far-reaching impacts on our world. Whereas, a single smaller player doing the same, or even a bunch of them, is far easier to counteract.

The actual nutritional quality of their food versus its competitors is not the main issue for me. Their goal (which they are highly successful in achieving) is partly to increase their market share among fastfood outlets, but more importantly to increase the amount of eating which is done from fast food outlets. They do not mind if this happens through people cooking less at home, eating less at restaurants, or less at friends’ barbecues; or if it happens by people just eating more food overall. And of course to maximise profitability, they seek to drive down input prices – which they are uniquely positioned to do. So it becomes difficult for suppliers to behave ethically, as that costs money. And they seek to maximise the proportion of purchases which include high-margin items like chips.

It is not conspiracy that drives this, but disregard – reckless disregard of you consider it in a moral framework. And Mcdonalds is by no means alone in this. As the largest player though, if we can change them, others will or can change.

It is a glorious triumph of marketing that we accept their designation of a “big” mac for a burger smaller than any known traditional chipshop burger. And yet that due to their compelling market practices, we eat more junk in that form than we ever did as beetroot-and-pineapple Paragon Cafe burgers. The human brain is a remarkable thing.

farout 8:32 pm 11 Nov 08

I’ll bet the guy whose photo is featured in the OP is wishing this thread would just die.

Who, Alexander Downer?

Granny 6:34 pm 11 Nov 08

I don’t think it was right for the OP to even use the photo.

imhotep 6:31 pm 11 Nov 08

I’ll bet the guy whose photo is featured in the OP is wishing this thread would just die.

.

Granny 5:41 pm 11 Nov 08

Can I think about chocolate coated coffee beans too?

Granny 5:40 pm 11 Nov 08

Mmmmmmmm … chocolate!

Danman 4:44 pm 11 Nov 08

I would say the naturally occurring concentrations would be poles apart from the concentration when used as an additive.

Think cocoa beans and chocolate…..

FC 4:34 pm 11 Nov 08

That’s strange about MSG being in peas and tomatoes, becuase I love my tomatoes and peas and I am always fine when I eat them, however when I have eaten products with MSG in them I get a roaring headache. I am pretty sure that that was the only ingredient that was questionable in the product I ate last time I had this reaction (it was actually a flavoured nut type thing from the health food store).
But I guess there are so many variables in life my headaches could have been related to something else…
has got me thinking though.

NoAddedMSG 3:22 pm 11 Nov 08

Oh noes, someone on the internets has opted for insulting me as a means of avoiding dealing with my comments in a logical fashion! What ever should I do…..?

Oh wait, FC has defended me. Whew. Thanks FC! In answer to your question about MSG, it is found naturally in a lot of foods, including vegies such as peas and tomatoes, as well as being present in very high levels in fermented foods like soy sauce and cheese. So if something can be found in raw, unprocessed vegetables, it is not that much of a stretch to add it to other foods and still claim the “all natural” label. For years, on the instructions of my mum, I studiously checked food labels for E621, and then I realised that all those made-from-scratch tomato-based pasta dishes I cook and then add cheese to are pretty high in MSG anyway, so I gave up on caring about it.

Jim Jones 3:09 pm 11 Nov 08

peterh said :

Jim Jones said :

peterh said :

tylersmayhem said :

disney mags sit next to who. aimed at kids, and we inevitably find one deposited on the conveyor by my 3yo.

So the conspiracy is now about Disney magazines?

tylersmayhem 2:57 pm 11 Nov 08

Hey I just found some dried prawns in the cupboard that are 8 years old and haven’t gone off! Presumably they too are packed full of chemicals, salt, sugar and other preservatives…

Ahh, yes…because they are “dried” perhaps?!

he purchased a packet of chips from Superbarn that said something to the effect of “All natural – not artificial colours or preservatives”
Anyway these were something like twisties so as we looked through the ingredients of the packet as we were wondering what made it so flavoursome we noticed it listed E621.
I had with me my handy little “The chemical maze” book and turns out E621 is MSG!

But did they quote “no artificial flavors”? I suspect not. they seem to have so many tactics to flock a couple of good points, but it what they don’t quote that speaks volumes. I notice it all the time. I.e. “all natural flavor”. This can mean the actual flavor you taste is created by natural ingredients, but the MSG “enhances” this natural flavor.

justin heywood 2:47 pm 11 Nov 08
peterh 2:43 pm 11 Nov 08

Jim Jones said :

peterh said :

tylersmayhem said :

why are the confectionery aisles geared with the bulk bags at a littlie’s height?

Um … the confectionary aisle has chocolate and sweets at ALL levels. I think it’s probably best to just skip that aisle.

The ‘small child height’ strikes me as being a bit silly. They put impulse stuff at all levels – from memory the chocolate and crap are a lot harder to reach for children than magazines. Are you suggesting that there is a nefarious scheme to get children hooked on Who magazine?

disney mags sit next to who. aimed at kids, and we inevitably find one deposited on the conveyor by my 3yo.

Jim Jones 2:37 pm 11 Nov 08

peterh said :

tylersmayhem said :

why are the confectionery aisles geared with the bulk bags at a littlie’s height?

Um … the confectionary aisle has chocolate and sweets at ALL levels. I think it’s probably best to just skip that aisle.

The ‘small child height’ strikes me as being a bit silly. They put impulse stuff at all levels – from memory the chocolate and crap are a lot harder to reach for children than magazines. Are you suggesting that there is a nefarious scheme to get children hooked on Who magazine?

peterh 2:32 pm 11 Nov 08

tylersmayhem said :

Why don’t you have a winge about Woollies for selling Tim Tams? Or the coffee shops in Manuka for selling delicious cream cakes?

Because Woolies isn’t using strategic marketing to hook children, to then establish them as life long “users” of the food. I suggest reading a book like Fast Food Nation (skip the movie by the same name). Quite an eye opener when you look at the techniques, food content and company policies of McS**t’s. I’d avoid Woolies too if they practiced the same techniques.

oh, but they do. why are the confectionery aisles geared with the bulk bags at a littlie’s height? so that they can grab them and throw them in the trolley. Try going through a checkout with candy and chocolate at small child height. they are able to put things on the conveyor that you think you must have picked up. impulse purchases from the checkouts will get you for softdrink, sweets, chocolate toys, kids mags, etc, etc. very carefully worked out system – and an effective marketing ploy.

Danman 2:25 pm 11 Nov 08

In order for me to put a real term to the amount of exercise I am doing, I took the initiative about 8 weeks ago to see how much calories were present in a big mac.

As it turns out – a Big Mac has about 480 calories. That in real terms is about 30 minutes cardio for me (According to my polar F3 HRM)

I ride approx 2 hrs a day 3 days a week = 6 hours total (Yes, yes, I am a mathemetician)

So this in real terms is approximately 12 big macs burnt off a week. Thats not a big mac meal an actual big mac.

Obviously a big mac meal would equal more calories and fat.

Heres the thing though…. I can eat up to 12 big macs a week and remain at the same weight.

Thing is I do not want to – maybe ill go 3 weeks withut maccas, maybe one week ill have a big mac meal. The whole thing is moderation, not eradication.

It ios possible to eat crap (albeit occasionally) and still have no negative effects.

My one big mac meal a week (if that) and my exercise still = calories lost.

It is valuable to note that I do eat quite healthily otherwise as well.

Oh and someone who said you can not get fat from beer – true… but my rantings on that in another thread can be searched for….

Jim Jones 2:25 pm 11 Nov 08

Thumper said :

Eating mcDonalds now and then is not going to kill you. Especially if you exercise regularly.

Yeah, but even then, isn’t a real hamburger infinitely better? You know, something made by a burly Greek dude at your local shops, with actual meat and salad (and beetroot is an absolute necessity). It tastes better, it’s no doubt significantly better for you, and the profit made from your meal will never support that vapid bastard Kyle F%^ing Sandilands.

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