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Canadians Get Veggie Options, Americans Are Stuck with Greasy Wings
September 6, 2013

The laws of supply and demand are simple—if there is demand for something, corporations will attempt to supply it to increase profits.

McDonald’s recently released veggie wraps in Canada, in response to the 71 percent of customers who were requesting meatless options. While not an exactly comparable statistic, a recent study found that 36 percent of American consumers use meat alternatives in their meals. The 36 percent seemed like a promising number, at least until the Canadian statistic was released and McDonald’s sat up and took notice. While one in three Americans is obese, only one in four Canadians struggles with obesity. Both numbers are still much too high, but the difference is significant.

So while Canada asked for (and received) a veggie option, what new product is being launched at McDonald’s restaurants in the United States? Mighty Wings. Sales at American McDonald’s have been slow lately, and the corporation feels that launching chicken wings might be just the ticket to boost their profits. Adding more chicken to the menu will also boost the rates of obesity and heart disease. The Mighty Wings are breaded, which adds an extra layer of fat and sodium to meat that is already high in cholesterol, low in fiber, and loaded with chemicals and hormones. McDonald’s hasn’t made the nutrition information for their Mighty Wings available yet, but it’s not hard to guess that this will be yet another unhealthful item tacked on to an already artery-clogging menu.

Earlier this year—after McDonald’s nixed salads from their American menu—Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D, our director of nutrition education, wrote to McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson asking him to add new veggie options to combat the company’s unhealthful image. Maybe she should have specified adding them in all of North America. At this rate, when Chipotle’s vegan Sofrita goes nationwide, it won’t have any competition from the other major fast food chains. Perhaps when the Sofrita’s sales skyrocket, McDonald’s will realize there is a demand for veggie options in America after all.


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