I am forever interested in the claims of large corporations and how those claims measure up with the reality that we see in their corporate behavior.
McDonald’s and Burger King (Number 1 and number 2 respectively… which makes the king the queen I think…) have grabbed my attention with their website’s claims of ‘concern for the environment’ and the ‘carbon footprint of their fast food locations’.
No doubt, these giants are painfully aware of the increasing numbers of environmentally conscious consumers who will happily take their money elsewhere if a more eco-friendly alternative is available to them. (A huge opportunity to out do McDonald’s if Burger King played their cards right)
Prior to 1990, McDonald’s was the world’s largest consumer of Styrofoam. For those of us old enough to remember, McDonald’s burgers and sandwiches were all served in Styrofoam clam-shell boxes.
McDonald’s was called out on the fact that the packages were not bio degradable and further that the very production of them was pumping toxins into nature. McDonald’s was essentially forced to change… though, McDonalds spins it in retrospect as though they were the eco-hero of the day.
At any rate, Voila! Cardboard Mcburger boxes! Of course, the other chains followed suit with cardboard boxes and paper wrappers etc.
There are many other questions that are regularly raised about the real impact of the fast food industry.
The volume of beef and chicken required to satisfy consumer demand is an issue that quickly branches into more issues ranging from methane output to the inhumane treatment of animals and the effect that stress may or may not have on the meat. Not to mention the overfishing of the fishies that fill the fillets-o-fish! The once believed “sustainable” fish stock is now becoming depleted and another cause for concern.
There are so many issues involved when it comes to the fast food industry, that one can’t help but wonder if it is possible for the fast food industry to be green in any meaningful way.
We are certainly happy though to see them trying.