Live Real. Eat Real.

A McLoad of McCrap

*stands on soapbox*

This post is probably NOT going to be popular.

There.  I said it.

I was going to write about whether or not you should eat CAFO liver in response to a question I received in the comments of last week’s Fight Back Friday post (the short answer?  “Yes.”  I’ll give you details soon, Jason, I promise).  However, something came up that made me decide to delay my planned FBF post.

Briefly, it was McDonald’s.

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing Facebook, as I am wont to do 437 times a day occasionally, when I came across a link to an article proclaiming, “McNuggets Branded ‘Healthy!’  Weight Watchers Makes Deal With McDonald’s!”

“Oh, for crying out loud,” I thought. (Actually, it was something slightly more obscene edgy, but we’ll go with the G-rated version for now.)  I clicked the link and was taken to an article informing us that McDonald’s has made a deal with Weight Watchers to market some of their meals, complete with the Weight Watchers logo and points value on the menu.

This news did not surprise me; from 1978 to 1999, Weight Watchers was owned by the H.J. Heinz Company (yes, the ketchup and pickle people), and while they were purchased in a leveraged buyout and have been a publicly held company since 2001, Heinz still manufactures all the processed “foods” marketed under the Weight Watchers brand.

If you Google “Weight Watchers Makes Deal with McDonalds” you get a slew of articles with headlines like “Shock as Weight Watchers OKs McDonald’s Food” (Fox News), “McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets branded ‘healthy’ by Weight Watchers” (The Telegraph), “Weight Watchers Teams Up With McDonald’s, Angering Nutritionists” (Huffington Post), “Anger over Weight Watchers’ endorsement of McDonald’s” (The Guardian) and “[McDonald’s] sees a fat profit in dieting” (Sydney Morning Herald).

So far Weight Watchers has approved three meals – the Chicken McNugget meal, the Filet-O-Fish meal, and the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap meal.

Wait – you’ve never heard of the Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap meal?  Neither have I – that’s because McDonald’s appears to only sell this particular item in Australia and New Zealand (and Tasmania, perhaps?  I don’t know; I can’t find anything online).  Every article will tell you that this partnership between Weight Watchers and McDonald’s is only in New Zealand, with plans to expand into Australia “within the next few months.”

That doesn’t matter – lots and lots of people here in the States and Canada have just got their knickers in one helluva twist over this.  They’re carrying on about it all over Facebook and Twitter and writing angry, scathing blog posts about it.  I find all of this really amusing, because each and every article I mentioned above was written in early March 2010.

This news is two years old.  And no matter how much I search, I can find nothing – NOTHING – else about it.  I even asked Australian/New Zealand readers of my FB page (and I do have some) to tell me if this is still an issue there, and I’ve been met with a great big load of…silence.  The whole matter seems to have died peacefully in its sleep.

But even if it didn’t, and tomorrow you could walk into any McDonald’s in North America – hell, any McDonald’s in the world – and see the Weight Watchers points for each item on the menu, so what?  You still don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to.  And I’ve got news for you:  you can find out the Weight Watchers points for ANY dish at ANY restaurant.  The Blooming Onion appetizer at Outback Steakhouse?  56 points – without the dip.  The Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken at Cheesecake Factory is 29 points.  The Sweet Potato Casserole at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is 15 points.

Just like with Paula Deen’s diabetes diagnosis, everyone is getting all bent out of shape over nothing.  I don’t think there’s a single person on the planet who truly thinks McDonalds food is healthy, and if some person on Weight Watchers wants to eat there once in awhile and still stay within their “points” – or every meal, every day – who cares?  It’s their choice, just like it’s my choice never to step foot in the place again.

But if you really, really must make an issue out of this, at least make sure you’re getting all riled up over something that’s actually current.  ‘Mkay?

*puts away soapbox*

Have a lovely weekend, y’all.

Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

Oh, and what the heck – the Spin Cycle again, too.





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