Saturday, August 24, 2002

I so love the Guardian

McDonald's has been accused of extreme insensitivity after releasing a new sandwich called the "McAfrika" in Norway, one of the world's richest countries, at a time when 12 million people are facing starvation in southern Africa.

The launch of the new hamburger has infuriated the Norwegian equivalent of Christian Aid and the Norwegian Red Cross and generated a storm of bad publicity for the American fast-food giant.

The concoction of beef, cheese, tomatoes and salad in a pitta-style sandwich is said to be based upon an authentic African recipe and is being sold to Norwegian consumers for about £2.80.

This is one of the most absurd and patronising things I have heard recently. Does this mean that I should be outraged at any attempt to combine "African" and "food"? What on earth is wrong with using the word "Africa" to describe food cooked using something based on an African recipe? The only thing McDonald's are doing here are suggesting that African food might be good. There is a place called the "Kilamanjaro African Restaurant" just up the road from where I used to live in Sydney. Should I be morally outraged by this?

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