Business

Published on December 27th, 2011 | by Priti Ambani

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McDonald's Serves Up Some Greenwash With Its Fries

The local food movement has caught on amongst concerned citizens wanting to know where their food really comes from. Obviously McDonald’s has been watching and wants a piece of the “eat farm fresh” ideology.

On Jan. 2, the world’s largest restaurant chain by sales will launch a campaign featuring four of its U.S. beef and produce suppliers. McDonald’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Neil Golden told Ad Age,

“We thought putting a face on the quality of the food story would be a unique way to approach this. We acknowledge that there are questions about where our food comes from. I believe we’ve got an opportunity to accentuate that part of our story.”

It seems like McDonald’s is getting a little far-fetched with its story telling. The ad features a potato grower, Frank Martinez who while sitting on a huge mound of potatoes, peels and bites into one before proclaiming that “They’re good now, just wait till they’re McDonald’s fries.” Go figure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cXgKCFqACkw

So What is McDonald’s is Trying to Convey through this Greenwashing Ad?

If they are trying to say potato fries taste better than raw potatoes, that is a true statement. But it seems like that is where the story telling also begins. Just because potatoes, that go into making millions of pounds of fries every day, are grown on a farm that does not qualify McDonald’s as a slow food proponent. In fact McDonald’s does not have any personal connection with these farmers at all. They source their produce through middlemen or suppliers like Cargill, Lopez Foods, Golden State Foods, Simplot who contract with thousands of farmers like Martinez. Truly speaking, it would be difficult for even McDonald’s to pinpoint their produce and meat sources, just to give you an idea of the scale they operate on. So why is McDonald’s trying to be something they are obviously not.

The only positive action that has come across through this greenwashing ad campaign is the fact that McDonald’s has taken notice. Taken notice of the fact that people want to connect with their food . But we are not looking for a disinterested photo-op with a potato farmer. Customers want to know how their food is grown, what goes into it and above all they want transparency and honesty. Can we get all this with our fries, please?

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About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+



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