Open Farms with MacDonalds

Somehow, somewhere in some politicians brain it was thought a good idea to allow MacDonalds to sponsor the London Olympics, and, incidentally youth football in Scotland. It’s maybe not the first global company you’d think of when thinking of health eating for children or athletes, is it? See here for some details.

MacDonalds new propaganda campaign ‘Open Farms’ declares: “As part of our role as food supplier to the London 2012 Olympic Games, we’re throwing open the gates to some of the 17,500 British and Irish farms that provide us with top-quality ingredients.” Great! Only – as the Sunday Heralds Rob Edwards explains, the company are being just a teeny bit ‘economical with the truth':

“The cattle crowded into the barn near Bishopton stared intently at the group of visiting dignitaries, blissfully unaware of their fate. “These animals are very close to being burgers,” said the farmer, John Ritchie, with a smile. He was helping the world’s most famous fast food chain, McDonald’s, do its public relations. Surrounded by the US company’s irrepressible executives, he carefully spelled out how his beef cattle were reared locally on local food, before they were killed to make Big Macs.

It’s the patriotic pitch at the heart of McDonald’s new, high-profile marketing campaign, which jetted in and out of Scotland on Friday. The company’s beef, pork, eggs, milk and potatoes were virtually all British: that was the message, repeated ad nauseam.

“Our customers care about where their food comes from,” insisted Nick Hindle, the company’s vice president for communications from London. “People want to eat British food. They think it is supporting the British economy and they trust the quality.”

But there’s one McDonald’s staple that is not mentioned in any of the blurbs, that fails to feature in any of the media spin, and that makes a mockery of the whole PR exercise: chicken. That’s because 99% of it comes from abroad.

Some 60% of the chicken breast meat used in sandwiches, wraps, burgers, salads and the copyrighted Chicken McNuggets is imported from Brazil. About 30% is sourced from elsewhere in Europe, including Holland and France, and nine per cent is from Thailand.

“We don’t advertise the provenance of chicken,” Mr Hindle told the Sunday Herald.” Read Rob’s full article here.

See also Robs report on Factory Meat here and the Animal Aid videos here (warning this footage is extremely disturbing).