How the McDouble cheeseburger is a superfood
This McDonald's dollar meal provides a whopping dose of protein and calcium as veggies and fruit become 'luxury goods.'
Sure, Americans are fatter than ever, but the reason might boil down to economics rather than lack of self-control.
Witness McDonald's (MCD) McDouble cheeseburger. For just $1, consumers receive half their daily serving of protein, 20% of daily calcium and 7% of their daily fiber, the New York Post's Kyle Smith writes. He calls the McDouble "one of the unsung wonders of modern life."
With the McDouble offering a wallop of nutrition on McDonald's dollar menu, Americans have a clear incentive to buy calorie-laden food that nutritionists would never categorize as healthful, given that along with the protein, the McDouble delivers 19 grams of fat.
While Americans can fill up on burgers without emptying their bank accounts, it's not exactly cheap or time-efficient to subsist on a diet of organic fruits and veggies.
Junk food costs just $1.76 per 1,000 calories, compared with $18.16 per 1,000 calories for nutritious food, a 2007 study from University of Washington researchers found.
"Healthy foods are becoming more and more expensive. Vegetables and fruits are rapidly becoming luxury goods," Adam Drewnowski, the study's lead author, told The New York Times.
That's obvious to anyone who has shopped at a farmers market. While the food is undeniably gorgeous and healthful, buying a pint of organic blueberries for $4.18 isn't economically feasible for many Americans. For the one out of seven Americans receiving food stamps -- which have an average monthly benefit of just $133 -- to supplement their grocery budgets, the nutrition and cost balanced in a McDouble likely appear even more attractive.
Of course, it's possible to eat healthily on a budget. Economics radio show Freakonomics pointed out earlier this month that a serving of brown rice and lentils would cost just 75 cents (although you'd need to set aside at least half an hour to prepare it).
Instead, Americans on a budget are using a simple calculation: How can their dollars most effectively fill them up? Unfortunately for our nation's waistline, the McDouble fits the bill.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
McDonalds should be given an award for humanitarianism. Say what you must but they are everywhere and cheap. Give an out of luck chap a couple of bucks and McDonalds will take good care of him.
In addition, your kids can likely work there if they don't already.
Feeding the poor.
Employing anyone who needs a job.
For those who are locked and loaded ready to bash my statements, hold on. Imagine no $3 hot food in every city.
It's a false dichotomy to compare price per 1000 calories. Most of us are getting plenty of calories, but are lacking in actual nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein, and yes, fat). If you just eat 2000 calories of carbs, you will still be hungry at the end of the day because you didn't do anything useful for your body with those carbs and you caused blood sugar spikes and crashes along the way, whereas if you eat 2000 calories of actual food (or less), you won't feel hungry, because you got what you needed and you didn't experience blood sugar crashes.
If you consider every calorie that you put in your body an investment, you soon realize you're paying too much when you eat junk food, whereas you get a huge bang for your buck for lean fish or beets. The question is not cost per calorie, but cost for the nutrients you need. I've eaten both ways and I coupon. There are fewer coupons for healthy, fresh foods, but because you need less it's pretty comparable in price.
One problem lower-income people _do_ have is that often there aren't stores carrying healthy alternatives near where they live.
hmmm, All I can say is that I eat a McDouble about 3-4 times a week. Since I have started that due to economic issues, I have actually lost weight, feel better, and sleep better. Blood work shows no ill effects, and my triglycerides actually went down. Of course this might all be due to the 2 mile walk to McD's in the hot and humid FL weather.
Vegetables and Fruits becoming luxury foods and a McDouble (without being altered) being called a superfood is a sad day indeed America. We have got to change something and do it now. We need less McD's and more of the fruits and vegetables that many of us don't get now. Remember how we looked on the movie Wall-E? Yes we are going to be living that future unless we make a change.
I think its time
A Pay Day candy bar is better for you:
Calories from Fat 108
Total Fat 12.0g 18%
Saturated Fat 2.0g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Carbohydrates 27.0g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2.0g 8%
Over HALF the calories from saturated fat
850 g Sodium (HALF the daily allotment)
23 g protein (doesn't even come close to providing any nutritional value)
The cheese, pickle and other condiments have enough MSG to affect anyone who has an MSG sensitivity.
Add fries and a Coke, wait for a stroke.
The unfortunate truth is that American's eat for pleasure, not necessity. Pleasure of the senses (taste and endorphins) and ease (like fast food and TV dinners). You could spend 1 dollar on a single McDouble (aprox. 3.2 oz. of "beef" and a cheap bun with some fiber) and call it a meal, or buy 1 lbs. of fresh beef and a bag of wheat buns from your nearest grocery store for around $5-6 and make 5 fresh burgers... The truth is you aren't saving money, just time and energy; but at what costs?
If we ate what was healthy and necessary (not just tasty and easy), this nation wouldn't be in the "shape" that it is in now and wouldn't be a dime poorer. Doubt me? I lived my entire first year after finishing school off of 6k while building my business. My diet consisted of peanut butter and jam on wheat (not jelly or white sugar bread), canned sardines (actually considered a super food and is only $1 a can on avg.) canned and fresh/frozen vegies, beans, cheap meat, and only water (never sugared down sodas). I never got sick, my weight never fluctuated, I was happy AND able to stay out of debt. Granted, it wasn't always "fun," but since when does eating always have to be fun?
America's health is what it is because of bad habits and unhealthy life styles. In other words, irresponsibility, not financial struggles, is the leading cause of American sickness.
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