Is Fast Food Really Slowing Down?

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McDonald’s and Costco’s commitment to ridding their poultry supply chains of unnecessary antibiotics is a good sign. On the heels of these announcements, amidst consumer demand for safer food and healthier food options, more positive developments abound. 

Based on McDonald’s size and market share, many pundits expect to see the trend in eschewing antibiotics to continue. However, this may not be true for all fast food groups. Lisa Baertlein and P.J. Huffstutter of Reuters suggest that consumer and advocate pressure may need to continue on Yum Brand’s owned chicken icon KFC to get them to move in reducing their antibiotics.

McDonald's told Reuters it worked with a wide range of stakeholders, including environmental group Friends of the Earth, to develop its U.S. chicken guidelines. Yum and its brands have ignored requests for information regarding its antibiotic policy, said Kari Hamerschlag, senior program manager for Friends of the Earth's food and technology program."

The battle continues. Meanwhile, back in January, Wendy’s announced that it would drop soda from its kids menus in the U.S. and Canada—a welcome move toward health. The Center for Science in the Public Interest played a role in orchestrating consumer pressure to this end. Burger King is now jumping on this band wagon as well. Bruce Horowitz of USA Today reported the Fast Food giant to have stealthily made this move with no announcement, though when pressed over email they gave a response:

Burger King made the change, "as part of our ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs," said Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, in an e-mailed statement to USA TODAY. Instead of soft drinks, the BK menu for kids will offer fat-free milk, 100% apple juice and low-fat chocolate milk."

We are by no means suggesting that we should canonize the Fast Food industry. We are suggesting that we can celebrate the actions of people and organizations who are fighting for a healthier America. Our voices are being heard -- let’s keep up the fight!

Sources:

Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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