28th July 2011
Every Happy Meal shall henceforth contain apple slices, according to a decree from McDonald’s HQ today, which boasts that the change is part of “a comprehensive plan [that] aims to help customers—especially families and children—make nutrition-minded choices whether visiting McDonald’s or eating elsewhere.”
Well, (a) it doesn’t help customers, it forces customers; apple slices were always an option; and (b) the definition of ‘nutrition-minded’ is that of external advocacy groups, not the company or the purchasers.
And while USA Today reports that the company is claiming the apple incursion is “absolutely not” a response to growing regulatory threats from local, state, and federal governments, the Associated Press is reporting that First Lady Michelle Obama is pleased.
In other words, they caved to outside pressure, and lied to save face. Practicing to be a government agency, you might say.
And always the threat of binding legal requirements lurk in the background.
Sort of a metaphor for life.
McDonald’s changes are voluntary, but they happened because McDonald’s exists in a world where trans fat bans are a reality, and junk food taxes are fodder for The New York Times op-ed page. Regulating food intended for kids is an easier sell, but the state is really just taking away parents’ choices. And once adults are no longer free to choose for their kids, why let them go on choosing for themselves?
Why, indeed? Freedom of choice isn’t a ‘progressive’ value unless it comes to killing your unborn child.