Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week 10: Why We Eat What We Do... part 1

If You Thought Oatmeal Couldn't Be Bad For You, Guess Again

By Meredith Melnick Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The first clue you might be eating something unhealthy is that you're eating it at McDonald's. That applies even to some of Mickey D's most nutritious-sounding menu items, such as the recently debuted breakfast offering: Fruit & Maple Oatmeal (FMO).

In an enlightening and entertaining opinion piece, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman points out all the ways in which the McDonald's version of the most wholesome of foods ("Real oatmeal contains no ingredients; rather, it is an ingredient.") is nothing more than a bowlful of expensive junk food. Remarkably, McDonald's oatmeal contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than an Egg McMuffin.

Bittman writes:
[I]n typical McDonald's fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. (Not only that, they've made it more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New York.) "Cream" (which contains seven ingredients, two of them actual dairy) is automatically added; brown sugar is ostensibly optional, but it's also added routinely unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. There are also diced apples, dried cranberries and raisins, the least processed of the ingredients (even the oatmeal contains seven ingredients, including "natural flavor").
A more accurate description than "100% natural whole-grain oats," "plump raisins," "sweet cranberries" and "crisp fresh apples" would be "oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen."
Some might argue that buying McDonald's oatmeal is a lot more convenient than making it at home. Surely, those people have never actually made oatmeal at home. Read the full Times column for Bittman's advice on how to cook oats correctly and quickly, and for McDonald's justification of FMO.

© 2011 Time Inc. All rights reserved

So, your question is this: How do you feel about McDonald's approach to oatmeal? 

Some points to consider:
  • Is McD's doing the public an injustice by treating a usually healthy item in an unhealthy manner? 
  • Is it the public's responsibility to educate themselves? 
  • Do you think people are eating this particular menu item under the belief that it is healthy? 
After reading the article above and thinking about the question, click here to reply in a WELL CONSTRUCTED response*

* A Well Constructed response is defined as: Clearly stating your position; defending that position (based on fact and/or opinion); presenting an understandable argument; using as many words as necessary to make your point; not using so few words that your position is not understood; composing a response that is not completely full of grammatical errors and misstatements. 


  1. I believe McDonalds is not doing an injustice to society. The public is opened to resources that describe the nutrition in the foods that they eat. McDonalds is just trying to make money which is understandable. You cannot be too picky when McDonalds already provides fast and cheap food. People most likely are eating their oatmeal expecting a healthy snack, but they need to understand where they are getting it from. Considering most fast food places are very unhealthy it is unreasonable to expect their food to be good for you. If people took the time to make their own food they would be much more healthy. Society can’t complain about health at fast food restaurants while also demanding low prices and good tasting food.

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