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Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography Education!

McDonald’s® Packaging

McDonald’s® Packaging | Georgraphy World News |

Via Seth Dixon
Courtney Burns's insight:

I have eaten McDonalds fries and bunch of times and never thought about what 'golden standard" actually meant. McDonalds like it says in the article is one of the top potoate buyers in the world. I'm sure most other fast food places aren' too far behind. However since McDonalds is one of the top buyers of potatoes farmers much make sure they produce enough of the potatoes that McDonalds sells. However it doesn't stop there. Not only do farmers have to produce enough potatoes, but they have to produce quality potatoes. All of McDonalds fries look exactly the same. You never really get a french fry that looks extremely different. That is done on purpose. McDonalds only purchases potatoes that meet their "golden standard". This makes you think how much goes to watste. Farmers are probably discarding "bad" potatoes all the time that don't meet the "golden standard". Does it really matter what the fries look like, if they taste the same? There are people in the world who are hungry, yet we waste food like this all the time. I really don't think it is that big of a deal if not every french fry looks exactly the same. We should make an attempt at trying to limit our food waste. 

Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 10:34 AM

It is sad that so much foods gets wasted all the time because it doesn't look appealing to buyers. Just because some potaoe is shaped funny or is a little darker or lighter than what is considered "normal", it is thrown away. To me, that is ridiculous when so many people are starving around the world. Or that these imperfect foods are given to animals for consumption. Why is it acceptable to animals to eat bad food when we are going to eat those animals? Somewhere down the line of history, the way we view food has been changed and not for the better. If we want to be able to sustain ourselves and this world for many more centuries, we need to revalute how we look at food. 

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 5:42 PM

Fries are the essential food that everyone enjoys in the world. But it is a good thing because if a potato has a growth defect probably that would affect someone and that is a law suit waiting to happen. In the United States people love suing for anything that they could probably win and receive money. The fries are delicious but they are so fattening that could really effect people if they have any issues with there health. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:59 PM

The packaging on the McDonald's fry box states, "Why are our fries the gold standard? Because only a select number of potato varieties make the cut. I'm lovin' it®"  This is a message is primarily aimed at millions of individual consumers.  As geographers who analyze systems, we can look at this message for meaning beyond taste and quality control in how it affect both urban and rural places.  Given that McDonald's is the United States' largest purchaser of potatoes, what are the economic and agricultural implications for their fry selection on the market(s)?  How does this impact farmers, consumers, competitors and other groups?   

Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography Education!

"Pink Slime" - Mechanically Separated Meat

"Pink Slime" - Mechanically Separated Meat | Georgraphy World News |

McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell all agreed last week to promise to stop using ammonia-treated meat as more and more people learn that this "pink slime" is an earlier version of their finished product.  This meat has been treated with Ammonium Hydroxide, is no longer good enough for our fast food restaurants—but it IS still good enough for our schools (they don't need a PR slogan to sell).

Via Seth Dixon
Courtney Burns's insight:

I have heard many things about the "pink slime" , but everytime it was talked about it had to do with fast food resturants. I never thought this would be an issue within our school systems. There is so much talk about schools banning candy, soda, ice cream, and other junk foods because kids schould be eating healthier. We want our kids to eat healthy yet we are given them lunches with foods that contain this "pink slim" substance. That is almost more health threatening than the sugar we consume. Why is it ok to put such a substance in school lunches when the big name fast food resturants such as McDonalds has to ban it. Why are school systems going this route? My guess would be that it is a cheaper option. That's why fast food went that route. If we banned it from fast food we should allow our school systems to use such products. Some kids have to eat school lunch and it is not an option for them. At least before you made the choice to eat fast food with such substances, but sometimes kids can't make that choice. It is unfair and unhealthy to have kids consume this substance in their lunches. It should be banned worldwide. 

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 12:56 PM

Even though this article was published last year, It is still a serious issue with the meat supply in North America. As discussed in class, only 2% of the work force is involved with agriculture. One of the primary reasons for migrating on the East coast, and Middle of the country, was because of its climate and soil, perfect for growing crops. Over the years our country has taken a serious turn with our food. We are trying to produce more food per worker and square foot of land and its only hurting us. This pink slime, ammonia-treated meat is treated in the first place so it kills any trace of ecoli. Which comes from cattle eating too much corn, which is what the cows in the country are fed, when their bodies are designed to eat grass, not corn. However, the US has lots of corn and so here raises a question, do we take care of our animals, give them enough grass to eat and sell Americans healthy beef? The answer is no, our food supply is a corporation burgers have to be sold and therefore the issue contines... 

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 2014 12:31 PM

I feel, generally speaking, that this is a result of our over-consumption of meat. If there wasn't such a high demand for meat these companies might not be looking into these sorts of alternative uses for these meat-like byproducts. The secondary reason for this is the negligence of personal accountability by officials and high paid USDA administrators that lack empathy and understanding of nutrition.

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:41 AM

Oh boy I remember when I learned about this. "Pink Slime" is a huge problem. Schools use it because it is cheap but it lacks nutritional value which is extremely unhealthy for kids whom buy lunch from school.

Rescooped by Courtney Burns from Geography Education!

Can Milk Sweetened With Aspartame Still Be Called Milk?

Can Milk Sweetened With Aspartame Still Be Called Milk? | Georgraphy World News |
By adding artificial sweeteners to flavored milk, the dairy industry hopes to boost flagging consumption in schools.

Via Seth Dixon
Courtney Burns's insight:

In my opinion I believe that the milk companies are trying to add sweeteners to their products in order to increase sales. So many drinks now are containing such things as aspertame. However I don't agree with putting it in a childs milk unless it is made known. I understand the milk company's argument that no one else has to put it on the front of the label, but I think that is because those products were not known to be made without aspartame so most people consuming the product would check. However in order for milk to keep up with competitors it has to take a step in the direction of adding sweeteners to their products. However I think they should have to state artificial sweeteners on the front of the product if it is still called milk. However if they change the name to something other than milk then I would say it would be fair to put artificial sweeteners on the back. Kids comsume drinks all the time with artificial sweeteners, so I still think milk would have sales if people knew there were artificia sweeteners in the milk. But trying to hide it is unfair. People should be made known what they are consuming in their milk, especially since it has been around for so long and is considered a healthy choice for kids. Lastly I think if such a product is put in schools that kids should have the choice between regular old fashion milk and the artificially sweetened milk. 

Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 7, 2013 1:47 PM

The very definitions of food are being rewritten as modern industries reformulate the products on our shelves and what we put into our bodies.  What cultural and economic forces are driving these changes? 

Tags: Food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture.

Kev Richards's curator insight, March 8, 2013 2:57 PM

Good example of how a real food turns into an artificial variation of a real food. Shame that kids don't even like milk! That's the parents fault. All kids like milk from birth (of course) so what turns them off?

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:14 AM

Foods we eat in our society today are rarely freshly grown without using some type of chemical. Everything we eat and drink has been processed to taste a certain way and last longer. By sweetening milks children will want it more because it tastes better but it technically is not real milk if it has added sugars.