In, The trouble with Fries, an article written by Malcolm Gladwell, talks about how fast food is killing us. Reading through this article, Malcolm tries to show the audience through facts on how simple, delicious items like french fries are unhealthy and the health risks you can have on eating fast food. He also explains alternative ways how fast food chains can reduce these health risk and provide healthier options on their menu.
Malcolm states that an average person in the U.S. eats about thirty pounds of french fries a year. In the late 1900s, there was a serious health risk in the way french fries were made. McDonald’s and other fast-food chain’s use vegetable oil to fry french fries. But to make “…vegetable oil suitable for deep frying, it is subjected to a chemical process called hydrogenation, which creates a new substance called trans unsaturated fat.” (Gladwell, 2001). Malcolm mentioned that every two percent a woman consumes trans fats, it increased the risk of getting heart-disease by ninety-three percent. Malcolm did some research to find an alternative oil that can reduce health risk and found Olestra. Olestra is said to be a type of oil that has fats that cannot be absorbed by our bodies. Frito-Lay’s chips are fried with Olestra oil, and they claim it has no fat. No oil is good; even Olestra has some minor drawbacks. But, it’s way healthier than any other frying oils out there with fewer health risks.
Another finding Malcolm found was a research done by Auburn scientists. They wanted to make a healthier burger patty. They produced AU Lean. It consisted of seaweed, protein, water, five percent fat, and a specific type of flavoring for taste. The scientists did a blind test with their AU Lean patty up against a kind of patty McDonald’s would use with a test subject of 100 families. They found that AU Lean patty won hands down. The Auburn scientist suggested McDonald’s to make a burger out of their AU Lean patty. So, McDonald’s came out with McLean Deluxe sandwich apart of their healthy choice options. This was finally a choice to make people eat something healthier. Sadly, it was shortly removed because no one was buying this sandwich and the way it was marketed it didn’t take off. Also, when people think of healthy food, it doesn’t taste as well, especially with kids.
What I agree with Malcolm in this article is that the way the McLean Deluxe sandwich is marketed. The name of it was unappealing to the public. A name he suggested was “Burger Supreme” or “Monster Burger”. If I walked into McDonald’s and saw the McLean Deluxe sandwich on the menu, I would not have gotten it. McDonald’s should’ve also come out with an advertisement like Burger King did about their new plant-based burger and the customer reactions. What I disagree with Malcolm in this article is that he’s trying to make fast food places healthier. That’s never going to happen. The world we live in is all about making money. Fast food chains don’t care about if you’re healthy or not. You can choose if you want to eat healthy or not. It’s that simple!