Wednesday, July 28, 2010

King 5 on 'Local' McDonald's Ads

Ready for some hard-hitting investigative journalism? Here's the link.

Evidently McDonald's uses quite a bit of produce grown in the Northwest:

95% of their potatoes, 95% of their fish, and 88% of their apples come from this region.

Pretty good numbers, admittedly, but I'd like to point out that this is merely 'fetishizing' a few statistics -- how many ingredients are in any one McDonald's meal? -- and that they don't arise out of any concern for the environment. The King 5 piece remarks that McDonald's realized they were already doing this as a good business practice (read: to maximize profit) and decided to use it as advertising.

By presenting this fact with such nonchalance, Gary Chittim, the environmental journalist for King 5, missed his chance to comment on what might constitute a real commitment to local food. For example, as much as I abhor the 'urban gated community' that is Olive 8, I understand that their restaurant, Urbane, operates on a farm-to-table concept that brings a wide variety of local food to the menu. The very fact that this is part of their 'business' plan -- an ideology if you will -- distinguishes their intentional commitment to local food from McDonald's coincidental relationship to food produced in the Northwest.

If the producers at King 5 were better connected to what people are doing with local food, they would have followed this story with a piece on McGinn's year of urban agriculture and, of course, the great work that alleycat acres is doing.


  1. Amen to that.

    King 5 actually made it out to our farm once. Did you ever see the story that came out of it?

  2. No, I hadn't seen it but, man, that sucks. Not even a passing mention of why the mayor is standing on Beacon Hill and what's going on there.

  3. It's disappointing that nobody in the media is asking McD's where their processing plants are. I wonder whether Pasco potatoes go out of state to be manufactured into fries before getting to Seattle.