Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where Did You Put That Beef?

When you think of Hash Browns what comes to mind? Does your mouth start to drool a little when you think of those crispy brown patties that accompany your favorite egg-based (or flavored) breakfast treat? Do those thoughts consume you until you can lay your hands (or fork) into their hot, peppery goodness? One more question for you, when you hear that sizzle of the potatoes hitting the fryer do you think of the perfect breakfast side dish or the juice of a cow’s ass?

No, that is not a typo. I said it and I meant it. Oh you don’t believe me? Go read the ingredients list over at McDonald's and see the items that go in to their ever-popular hash browns. I’ll wait...go ahead, follow the link and scroll down..

Did you notice what went in to their vegetable oil? Was that “natural beef flavor”? Wha, wha, what? Why would you put beef flavor (even if it is natural) into vegetable oil and then use that oil to fry potatoes? NOTE: This same oil is also used in Mickey-D’s French Fries.

I would have thought that the natural beef flavor would have been saved and rationed to cover the taste of the horse meat used for their burgers and other “beef-related” products. And if that wasn’t enough to harden your arteries, try this. Follow the rising cholesterol rates over to the law firm of Stoel Rives, LLP and their Food Liability Law Blog” where they discuss a recent law suit involving the Golden Arches. The articles’ author, Ken Odza mentions that McDonald's in their court filings said that until 2006 they hadn’t realized that their potato farmers were using this additive during processing the spuds before they hit the store’s freezer. But wait....what has the clown been doing since then? Oh yeah...nothing. Evidently they consider it OK to “cut” vegetable oil with more “flavor”. What ever happened to harvest potatoes, peel potatoes, shred potatoes, fry potatoes? It’s really not that hard.

In fact if you go over to McDonald’s UK site, you find that the vegetable oil contains no beef what-so-ever (full list: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed), Salt, Dextrose. Prepared in the restaurants using a non-hydrogenated vegetable oil.) So the Brits get it but the country that started the damn-franchise can’t handle this simple compound?

I have long ago sworn off most McDonald's food with exceptions for their coffee and ice cream cones (contains no beef, but I had to check to make sure) long ago but this only further goes to solidify my beliefs. A while back they actually ran this ad that focuses on the quality of their ingredients and how everything is 100% natural. Quite a contrast to what actually goes on. And on a side note it looks like these kids might be held against their will and forced to work on this farm/nursery/cornfield. Perhaps we might have rethought that approach.

Long story short: I still like hash browns but much like my Dairy Milk, I think they will become a UK import.

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