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Mark Bittman on How McDonald's Turned Oatmeal into "Expensive Junk Food"
Food | February 24, 2011

Mark Bittman on How McDonald's Turned Oatmeal into "Expensive Junk Food"

“In typical McDonald’s fashion,” Mark Bittman writes, “the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice.” Bittman’s article on McDonald’s decision to sell oatmeal — or, as he puts it, a combination of “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen” — is currently the #1 most-read at the New York Times website. And it’s a perfect distillation of Bittman’s style: razor sharp, deeply informed, humorous, and unafraid to provoke.

From Mark Bittman’s “How to Make Oatmeal…Wrong”:
Others will argue that the McDonald’s version is more “convenient.” This is nonsense; in the time it takes to go into a McDonald’s, stand in line, order, wait, pay and leave, you could make oatmeal for four while taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth and half-unloading the dishwasher…

The bottom-line question is, “Why?” Why would McDonald’s, which appears every now and then to try to persuade us that it is adding “healthier” foods to its menu, take a venerable ingredient like oatmeal and turn it into expensive junk food? Why create a hideous concoction of 21 ingredients, many of them chemical and/or unnecessary? Why not try, for once, to keep it honest?
Photo of Mark Bittman by Sally Stein
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