Thursday, December 9, 2010
San Narciso Reaches Compromise with McDonald’s on Banning Toys from Happy Meals
Mayor Manny DiPresso told The Bennington Vale Evening Transcript, “We’re not heartless monsters; far from it. We’re a business friendly community, but we also value the health of our children. The fact is, Chicken McNuggets are not just fatty, they contain chemicals that nutritionists are getting very worried about.”
DiPresso is referring to the recent discovery that McNuggets contain the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, which is a petroleum-based product used as an anti-foaming agent. The same chemical is also used in the manufacturing of Silly Putty.
Recent studies comparing McNuggets made in the United Kingdom to those processed in the United States find that the British variants contain no trace of tBHQ. Elsa Comb, McDonald’s global media relations spokesperson, says the difference comes down to a matter of taste.
“We understand that McNuggets are prepared differently across the globe. But the people of England also have genetically repressed taste buds, the result of living on broiled meats and bland roots and starchy, unsalted dough. Americans have a more complex pallet. And what the researchers aren’t telling you about the British version is that each piece of pre-formed chicken is wrapped in bacon, soaked in pork drippings and then coated with batter made out of chip fat and something called ‘Rumbledethumps.’ Even worse, these McNuggets are handled by British workers. You’ve seen their teeth. Hygiene is suspect in that country, as far as I’m concerned.”
Comb also reiterates that McNuggets are now smaller than their predecessors and contain all white meat. This change came after a 2003 ruling in which a federal judge called the food “a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook.” Critics still cite McDonald’s refusal to divulge what animals the “all white meat” originates from as an unresolved source of concern.
The decision to ban the inclusion of toys with Happy Meals, proponents say, is to ensure that the toys alone aren’t incentive for children to eat chicken made out of Silly Putty. But San Narciso’s City Council wants to strike a deal with McDonald’s.
Mayor DiPresso said, “We think you can have the best of both worlds. Clearly, McDonald’s is going to be allowed to continue making McNuggets the same way. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. So our solution is to have McDonald’s offer McNuggets that function as both a food product and a toy. McNuggets at our local McDonald’s will be served inside a plastic egg-shaped container. Children may either eat the McNuggets or play with them. Working closely with Crayola, the maker of Silly Putty, we’ve also reached an agreement where each Happy Meal will include a set of instructions that illustrate all the fun things kids can do with their leftovers. As one example, your child can mold a McNugget into a figurine or a humorous object. My favorite thing to do is press the McNugget down on my Ziggy comics and then see how the image transfers onto the McNugget. There’s literally hundreds of possibilities. And everybody wins.”