Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Getting annoyed with the protectionist anti-modernity anti-globalisation anti-science anti-American left, part one

Yesterday, I walked into a McDonald's at lunchtime, as I occasionally do. McDonald's are having certain problems with their business at the moment. These are the fairly standard problems that any business encounters when it saturates its market. There are no new places to expand into without cannibalising additional business. Plus, there is more competition, and this competition has a big advantage over McDonald's itself, specifically that its food is better. McDonald's over the years has focused on providing fast service take away food at low prices, but has had difficultly expanding the menu. Recently, though, it has become clear that many people are willing to pay five or six pounds for lunch instead of three or four if this means higher quality food. A new market segment called fast casual has arisen to cater for this market. This attempts to provide equally fast service, but better quality food, perhaps a more pleasant environment to eat in, and perhaps even crockery and metal cutlery for people who eat in.

To counter this, McDonald's has been expanding its menu to provide food that is hopefully more appetising and appealing to customers. This is all good. I approve of this. McDonald's haven't traditionally sold very good food, and I am all in favour of improving choice and quality.

However, when I sat down with my food yesterday, I read the following.

Old McDonald's had a farm. New McDonald's replaced it with an organic one

I recoiled in horror. McDonald's selling organic food? Surely it couldn't be. But it was. McDonald's have been infiltrated by the idiotic and offensive organic food movement. I am in favour of free trade, globalisation, technology, the green revolution, artificial nitrogen based fertilizers, intensive agriculture, mass production, genetically modified crops, feeding the world while using the minimum amount of farmland, that kind of thing. When I go into McDonald's I want to feel reassured that the organisation I am patronising is on my side, and is the sworn enemy of the Jose Boves of this world. I don't want to see them sucking up to pseudoscientists in order to appease the squishy left. And I certainly don't want to find myself botcotting their food because they are on the side of the anti-green revolution barbarians. But that is where we seem to be. All my illusions are shattered.

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