As the much-repeated joke goes, going to MacDonald’s for a salad is like going to a brothel for a hug. If it’s a salad you fancy, you’re better off going somewhere else – it’ll taste nicer, it’ll be better value for money, and you won’t have to watch everyone else eating chips. Because let’s be honest with each other here: chips are awesome. Sometimes, you don’t want parsnip crisps fried in 50% less sunflower oil, and you don’t want a chicken caesar salad with fat-free croutons and dressing on the side, you want chips and a burger. Or some chicken nuggets. Or a fillet-o-fish – no, wait, nobody ever wants one of those.
In their latest adverts, Maccy D’s are peddling their newest healthy offering, a fizzy fruit drink which is apparently one of your children’s five-a-day. The tagline claims that this is “what makes Macdonald’s”.
No. Fruity drinks, tiny punnets of limp salad, and packets of slowly browning apple slices are not what makes MacDonald’s. If King Ronald decreed that Maccy D’s would henceforth be taking Big Macs off the menu, his golden-arched palace would collapse overnight.
Now that Maccy D’s have at least made some effort to ensure that their chicken products contain actual chicken, I think they should (for the most part) stop tampering with their extravagantly salted, gloriously greasy recipe for success. As long as their food contains decent ingredients and they’re fairly honest about how unhealthy it is, I don’t think the burden of stopping the nation getting wide and wobbly should be on them.
Come on – we all know that we shouldn’t eat MacDonald’s every week, don’t we? It’s a treat, for rainy days when you need a bit of indulgence. If you’re really in there so often that it falls to King Ronald to remind you to eat your five-a-day, then you probably aren’t bothered about staying healthy anyway, so you’re unlikely to offset your mountain of nuggets and bucket of Coke with a miniature salad.
On the other hand, even if you’re a healthy eater, chances are you’ll occasionally get a craving for some crispy golden fries… and if you don’t, you’re a weirdo and we can’t be friends. So MacDonald’s lukewarm efforts to get healthy are as pointless as a Weightwatcher’s celery surprise.
At the risk of stating what seems blindingly obvious, there’s nothing wrong with partying with Ronald every now and then, as long as it’s not a staple of your diet. As somebody quite boring possibly once said, ‘Balance in all things’. And if they didn’t, I just did.