44 1 min 15 yrs

HamburgerDM2802_468x498.jpgDid you read that "eco-expert" Prince Charles has  launched an attack on the fast-food industry, going as far as to suggestthat McDonald’s should be banned? What rubbish.

For starters, the company’s signature "Big Mac" contains fewer calories, fats and salt than some products in his own organic Duchy Originals food range. His Cornish pasty contains 264 calories per 100g compared to the burger’s 229 calories, and 5.5g of saturated fat as opposed to the Big Mac’s 4.14g.

But it’s about more than that. It’s about CHOICE! People should be allowed to eat what they want. where they want – and IF McDonald’s can attract people with well-priced tasty food, I say good on them. Prince Charles view on fast food is snobbish and removed from reality. There’s nothing wrong with McDonalds food. Maybe we should ban Prince Charles from talking through his backside.

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  1. Agreed David.Prince Charles has no business telling people what we can and cannot eat. Nowadays we don`t have absolute Monarchs any more. Personally I avoid fast junk food but it`s none of my business what others eat.But I would advise anybody to avoid making a habit of eating this food.

  2. However there is an unacceptable face of capitalism. Telling those who take things to excess to clean up their act is a defence of free enterprise, not an attack.

    I boycott McDonalds (but not Burger King), Starbucks, and Nike, and Gap has just come off my list. Even if you put a strong filter on the lefty tosh, the books Fast Food Nation and No Logo prove that the way these guys operate is not justifiable on moral or business grounds. Tesco are just start to test the margins of my tolerance.

    They blot the copybook for everyone else and give the lefties and the BBC the traction they need to get their hooks in to a lot of very fine businesses.

    The oil and pharmaceutical companies do an essential job for all of us and generally do it well. They are the targets for unfair and fashionable attack because the loony lefty mouth pieces can recruit impressionable teenagers appalled at McDonalds callous destruction of rain forest, Starbucks bullying and anti-competitive tactics and Nikes use of sweatshops.

  3. Well said NRG. Completely agree with that take. Prince Charles is absolutely right to want to ban it and has good reason but wrong to advocate it. I ban Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, Nike, Gap, most fast food junk outlets b/c of a) the chemicals they shove in the food and b) their ethos. You could argue this applies to the issues weve already discussed – sexualisation of pre teens for example – when you consider what is marketed to kids and how much harder it becomes to protect them.

    There is an acceptable face of capitalism and then there are companies which operate unscruplously not just in what they offer as ‘food’ and products but in what they market to our kids. We are a consumer society driven by these people and we need to collectively think about their influence b/c they certainly are not.

    Otherwise we leave it as NRG says to others to point out the flaws and then randomly apply their anti capitalist agenda across the board. If you cant step back and say no ‘hey thats wrong’ and affect their sales then someone else will and they will do so more stringently.

    The Princes foods are marketed on their organic qualities. All food has fats and salt at the end of the day. A cornish pasty obviously has more fat and salt in it when it is encrusted in pastry! But thats besides the point – the Prince is trying to get us to go back to the ethos of providing our foods for our kids, rather than lazily leaving it some revolting fast food outlet.

    It may have been a remark taken out of context since the Daily Mail delights in its anti monarchy agenda.

  4. NRG/Alison,

    McDonalds provides millions of well priced foods which many people prefer to buy. If people don’t want to eat them, fine. But it is a matter of choice. You both exercise the choice to NOT eat them, which is your call. Where Prince Charles gets it wrong is denying us the choice. And that’s why I criticise him.

    As an aside, I think McDonalds, Starbucks etc have a great ethos – and their global success proves many others share this. Check out their sales.

  5. Obesity is a bigger problem than smoking. I’ll bet that 14 stone kid has had more than his share of Junk food. Way to go Charles!

  6. David, I agree about the choice and I would not want to ban them entirely, but neither should business get an absolutely free run. Good regualtion works for both good businesses and consumers.

    However if your take the principle that people should be free to do what they want up to the point that they start to inflict harm on others. If you understand the business model of Starbuck, which is to flood an area with Starbucks cafes, until there are so many no one can make a profit, then wait until the locally owned cafes go bust and then close the now unnecessary Starbucks outlets leaving a local monopoly then the line has been crossed.

    This reduces choice and undermines enterprise.

    A slightly more difficult question? I think we both feel on the side of the line against the legalisation of drugs, I somewhat more reluctantly than you. If we have to accept it is correct for the state to intervene to protect people from drugs why should tobacco or fat and salt burgers not be similarly regulated. Where do we draw the line before sliding into a nanny state morass.

  7. Personally I never eat in McDonald’s – if I want a burger I get a kebab shop burger which can’t be beat IMO, and I really don’t want to know what goes into it!

  8. McDonalds is no longer the success story it was and it has been heavily influenced by people critcizing it which is a good thing.

    The ubiquitous Starbucks is dreadful but largely thanks to superior competition ive noticed people drink less of that milky dilge and choose other brands instead. The craziness is where Starbucks are allowed to buy up every building in town which DISTORTS choice. Like Tesco.

    Question is where do we say its ok for the state to intervene on some issues and regulate to SOME degree?

    Yeah every once in a while i do the same Richard – taste rules in those instances

  9. In ten years’ time, when your kids and the neighbours’ kids are dying of heart disease and the NHS can’t cope, remember the position you took on junk food in 2007.

  10. Dawkins,

    what nonsense! I don’t have kids, but if I did I’d consider it my responsibility to stop them gorging on junk food – at least to the extent suggested by you that they would die of heart disease aged 10.

    If we are going to regulate for the few that exercise no self-control and push themselves to self-destruction rather than the many, there will be no end to it. I understand a balance is needed – I don’t want methamphetamine sold legally for instance under any circumstances, but your comment lacks all sense of proportion.

  11. In ten years’ time, when your kids and the neighbours’ kids are dying of heart disease and the NHS can’t cope, remember the position you took on junk food in 2007.

    Look at the position we take now. We moan about the dumbing down of society, its crass, aimless, ‘religion-less’ youth. But really what did we replace religion morals and manners with if it wasnt MTV, Maxim, Britney and Microsoft. It all plays a part.

  12. One of the newspapers ran a comparison of a Big Mac with one of Prince Charles’s Duchy Originals pasties. Can you guess which one had the most fat and the most calories?

  13. I think NRG raises a really interesting question about drawing the line before sliding into a nanny state morass.

    Why is it completely unacceptable to advocate a ban on McDonalds and ok to advocate a ban on burqas when arguing from the premise of advocating choice.

  14. What about fish & chip shops? They don’t even tell the customer any fat/salt etc content info but judging from the aftertaste there’s one heck of a lot of fat!

  15. Richard

    I’m not advocating banning anything. Simply asking peeps to think about what they feed their kids, or allow their kids to gobble. I fear that too few parents know or care that McDs sell not only non-food but potentially lethal crap.

  16. Richard

    Forgot. I meant your kids of NOW in ten years’ time, when they’ll be, say, 18+. That’s years and stones :0)

  17. I cant remember the last time when i was a kid i begged my parents to take me to a fish and chip shop. I can remember dying to go to McDonalds in CROYDON. Oh happy days! There is a Democrat Dad in our office who is constantly on the phone to his nanny (of course) saying ‘say no to McDonalds please’. I dont want them eating Mcnuggets. I know they’ll hound you about it’. Again i cant imagine his kids raving on about Charles cornish pasties or the local chippie?

  18. I am fed up with people telling me what I should or should not eat. In western society more people are living into old age and living longer than ever before in the history of mankind (a few early biblical characters excepted).

    I, personally, do not like MacDonalds but I would never want to see it banned by the food police.

  19. Peter T

    "In western society more people are living into old age and living longer than ever before"

    Of course they are. It’s called improved medicine. Now do reflect on the percentage of the health care budget that goes towards treating the clinically obese. When I see pix from Darfur I can’t help but consider the gluttons here and how unjust the world really is. But that’s sentimental ol’ me.

  20. Peter – you miss a rather important point – this generation of Old people grew up in the austerity years of WW2 and the 50s. The generation before that in the depression. I suspect that’s a huge part of why they are living so long. They were not by and large porkers as kids.

    Another thing – the criticism of the pastie – is the pastie being aggressively marketed at children ? is it sold with popular toys from Children’s favourite films?

    We stop ciggies being advertised and prevent their sale to children – and allow adults the choice.
    Same sort of thing should apply with Junk food.

  21. Whoa there!

    The remark was made in the context of schoolchildren’s lunches. Prince Charles was clearly referring to schools, not the whole world. The days of burgers and chips in school canteens are passing, and a good thing too.

  22. Sorry Peter – That post was for Peter T and his ‘People are living longer than ever, so we must be doing it right’ argument

  23. I demand this post be renamed Royale with Cheese.

    Look Charlie’s got a point about nutrition and fats. It would be nice if he’d come over here and it would take with some of our larger than life citizens. That being said, I am going across the street for a McDonald’s hash brown.

  24. Totally agree with all the anti comments. Yes we know all about choice etc., but when McD’s and others can afford to get the best spots in town for the sale of their products, it is depressing. It is like the big supermarket chains, the more money they get the more they can force the ‘little people’ out of business.

    Funny though, how people do like them, but when there is a disturbance in a foreign country who takes the most flak?

  25. My point is still valid – more and more people are living into old age and living longer. This is a fact and life expectancy is still increasing – but not as fast.

    Why this should be so is argumentative. No doubt modern medicine plays a part but does it play as much a part as we think when considered against improved housing, hygene, sanitation and water supply?

    As for things like obesity – let’s return to the days when schools had a full hour and a half for lunch, where half an hour was taken up with eating and an hour taken up running around the playground playing cricket, football with a tennis ball and lots of other things now banned as dangerous.

    I was brought up in my initial years in a Fish and Chip Shop – chips with everything and fish cooked in beef dripping. Beef dripping on bread for tea and all sorts of other ‘unhealthy’ things. This was the austerity of the war and post war years. I know, I was there.

    As for junk food? – who determines what is or is’nt junk food? Do you remember when milk and butter were bad for you and I dare not even mention cheese? As it is, Prince Charles’s Cornish Pasty has more fat, more calories than a Big Mac so who is going to tell Prince Charles his Cornish Pasty is junk food?

  26. <Q>As it is, Prince Charles’s Cornish Pasty has more fat, more calories than a Big Mac so who is going to tell Prince Charles his Cornish Pasty is junk food?</Q>

    Is it aggressively marketed at children ?

  27. <Q>Prince Charles’s Cornish Pasty has more fat, more calories than a Big Mac</Q>

    Does it ?

    I had a closer look – the figures given are not absolute – each Cornish Pasty does not contain 264 Calories – it contains 264 per 100 gm.

    How does the average Big Mac meal compare with the average Duchy Original cornish pastie ?

  28. Maggie – i reckon there is a case for regulation. The whole thing about cornish pasties is a nonsense, as is fish and chips etc. They arent mass marketed and sitting in prime locations! And I agree Mad – your cornish pasty isnt sold to you with bucket loads of coke and ‘Liberty’ Fries.

  29. Alison: Cheers. My replacement of useful knowledge with pop culture references has finally paid off.

  30. I can’t see anything morally wrong with either buying or selling hamburgers, so I’m at a loss to understand why anyone should wish to ban them. If Macdonalds cease to sell a product people want, then they’ll go out of business. The majority should not have their freedom restricted because a minority of people stuff themselves with hamburgers.

  31. While we are in a ‘banning’ mood, I propose that Prince Charles be banned from exploiting his Royal lineage to promote a commercial enterprise.

    Definitely a case of unfair comptition!….:-)

  32. I hate to admit it but the last time I was in Paris, I was so jet lagged, I just wanted a quick bite to eat. And there it was, Mcdo’s!

    "Je voudrais un Big Mac, un grande frites, et un grande Coca Cola (sans sucre)!

  33. <Q>If Macdonalds cease to sell a product people want, then they’ll go out of business. </Q>

    Same argument could be used for cigarettes ( illegal to sell to children), booze (illegal to sell to children) and drugs.

  34. Noone should eat at McDonalds every day, but its silly trendiness to speak of banning these restaurants. If you don’t like them, stay the hell out and quit your sniveling.

    And I don’t at all understand any of the criticism of Starbucks. I have two complaints about them–the silly lingo they like customers to use when ordering, and the fact that they charge a lot.

    But that having been said the emergence of Starbucks has radically increased the quality of (Arabica) coffee available to Americans in many places, and presumably those in other countries. They have not had much of an bad impact against local independent coffee shops–they have pushed them to increase their own quality and have increased customer interest in quality coffee.

    I don’t buy much coffee at their shops because I am too impatient to wait in the lines you see in Manhattan locations. But I do buy their beans for coffee that I brew at home. They’re top rate and good value.

    If some of the complaints are due to foreign trade issues, I see no reason why Starbucks must be held to a higher standard than other importers. And they do sell "Fair Trade" and "Rainforest friendly" coffee.

    I may be missing something, but–I see nothing wrong with Starbucks, and see no reason why one needs to restrict customer choice at the other places mentioned.

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