J500 Media and the Environment

Greening the Big Mac by Sarah
March 25, 2008, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Business + Politics, Food + Health | Tags: , , , , ,

I think One Week’s Worth of Food Around Our Planet just reaffirms that we are on the right track when it comes to starting to eat in a “greener” way. Did you notice that in every picture of these families that the ones who have the majority of natural foods also have the lowest costs per week? I think it would also be safe to assume that they are also the ones that spend the least on transportation of these foods and save the most energy.

Now as far as the United States versus the other countries in consumption level, I’m not sure these pictures tell us anything we don’t already know. We consume too much unhealthy food, we use way too much packaging, we don’t recycle enough and we spend the most money. Go figure. But on a more positive note, America is changing. Maybe it’s not noticeable to some yet, but slowly but surely, America is changing the way we eat. Organic food is one of the most rapidly growing trends in America today, and this is for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is the health and wellness benefits associated with natural grown food, they are healthier, safer, better tasting, and more sustainable.

Photo: lindvall, Flickr

In America, we are known for our high consumption of fast food. But now companies are taking their own steps to make their food healthier and more environmentally friendly. Panera Bread now offers a large selection of natural and organic foods, McDonalds sells organic milk at their locations, Starbucks now offers Fair Trade coffee beans as well as organic milk, and Chipotle has pork-free carnitas!

Photo: -clb-, Flickr

Many environmentalists will argue that this is simply not enough. I agree. If McDonalds wants to be considered environmentally friendly it needs to come up with it’s own organic Big Mac that tastes exactly like the real one and find some way to make all their wrappers biodegradable. But until that day comes, I will commend them for making the effort and hopping on the bandwagon to becoming eco-friendly. Soon many will follow!

-Sarah Nelson


5 Comments so far
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I think that since “going green” has become the new fad, restaurants and fast food chains are starting to incorporate ‘organic’ products into their menus. Society is realizing the importance of organics for the body, and therefore are making the attempts to eat ‘organic’. Not only are businesses benefiting because their products may be on their way to being good for the heart, but they are making more of a profit now because everybody is so hyped up about “going green.”


Comment by denah

Great assessment, Sarah. I agree with Dena, the business case for “going green” is growing. McDonald’s has some pretty forward-thinking initiatives in place and is even listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. And they own Chipotle.
As much as I wish businesses would be more sustainable because it’s the “right” thing to do, they are beholden to shareholders (at least in the case of public companies) so these decisions have to make sound business sense, as well. Now more than ever, they are.

Comment by j500

I know what you mean when you say that you wish the businesses would make a change because they want to and feel they should..not because of profits. But I feel like we can’t win them all, and if they are starting to make the change in anyway..then we should be happy 🙂 and encourage them to do more.

-Sarah Nelson

Comment by snelson33

Will this eco trend be a sustainable trend? I can’t help but wonder if I need to hold on tight to this idea that companies actually want to incorporate organics and such to their menus for US. Or, is it just going to go away once one bad article comes out on organics, or something better comes along (like the replicators in star trek!).


Comment by julianat

Subway is really trying to head up the green fast food world as well. I am very happy about that and will pick a healthy sub (would anyway) over some alternatives. Too, to Juliana’s comment… to keep Green from being only a trend…the younger generations need to make it a way of life. we almost need to “shun” those that do not follow. the more we ask at stores and expect behaviors to follow in the right direction, the more it will start to happen. My children, though new to the world, will only know the way of life of recycling. could be too much too late…lets really work on the generations 50+ !

Comment by Jill Tran

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