It is no surprise that fast food is extremely unhealthy. On one level, the processed junk food lacks essential vitamins and nutrients, while they are also concocted with numerous health-hazardous substances and chemicals which should not be found in food — let alone be eaten. Knowing this information, it is no wonder why you should avoid fast food at all costs. It is safe to say that no healthy individuals would or should be consuming fast food, and certainly no sick individuals who are depleted of nutrients (as a result of avoiding real food) should be consuming it either. So what in the world are fast food chains like McDonald’s doing in places like hospital cafeterias?
One common pun states that if you want to get sick you should go to a hospital, but the fact that fast food resides in these ‘health’ institutions lends even more truth to the humorous statement. It turns out that some hospitals, such as a hospital in Des Moines, think nothing of the fast food placement. Since 1988, the Des Moines hospital has been blessed by a McDonald’s fast food restaurant, and management seems to want no change.
As expected, the hospital has undergone much scrutiny for its decision to host a McDonald’s in its institution, with some of the disapproval coming from nation-wide junk food critic Corporate Accountability International. Asking the hospital to shut down the restaurant, the group said:
“Your hospital is being used as part of McDonald’s comprehensive marketing strategy, a strategy that is clearly inconsistent with your goals as a health institution”.
In response, hospital management said:
“[McDonald’s is] an alternative to visitors and family members to dine in a familiar environment that can be a comfort, particularly for children, during stressful times. McDonald’s offers a variety of choices, including healthy foods such as salads, and provides nutrition information for its patrons”.
McDonald’s salads, often pushed as a healthier alternative as portrayed above, contain two ingredients known as cilantro lime glaze and orange glaze. Within the glaze lies propylene glycol — a chemical that is not legal to use in cat food because its safety has not yet been proven to be safe. In addition, propylene glycol is also used ”as the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles.” The salads also contain two ingredients that divulge the presence of MSG: disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate.