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Thursday, February 16, 2012

McDonald's I am Actually Lovin' It...Keep It Up, You Still Have a Long Way to Go! McDonald's Teams with Humane Society to End Gestational Stall Use



This past Monday, McDonald's took yet another step toward greening their menu as they finally took action to end gestational stall use.  This follows last week's announcement that McDonald's will no longer use what is referred to in the industry as "pink slime" in their burgers.  You can even meet their farmers (who I assume are still feeding their cows GMO corn instead of grass?) and find out about their commitment to high (shall we say higher?) quality food on their website.  Although you have a long way to go Ronald McDonald (think artificial colors, flavors and TBHQ to name a few), I like this side of you and consumers obviously do too.

McDonald's sales rose by 15% last quarter on a 4% sales increase.  Healthy breakfast offerings, like oatmeal, are driving sales.  In fact, breakfast has turned out to be the most important meal of the day for Mickey D's, accounting for just 1/4 of sales but a whopping 40% of McDonald's profits.  Now all that pork breakfast sausage will be greener and more sustainable.

In a move that is supported by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), McDonald’s will now require its U.S. pork suppliers to outline their plans to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls. 

“McDonald’s believes gestation stalls are not a sustainable production system for the future.
There are alternatives that we think are better for the welfare of sows,” said Dan Gorsky, senior vice president of McDonald’s North America Supply Chain Management. “McDonald’s wants to see the end of sow confinement in gestation stalls in our supply chain. We are beginning an assessment with our U.S. suppliers to determine how to build on the work already underway to reach that goal. In May, after receiving our suppliers’ plans, we’ll share results from the assessment and our next steps.”
Well wait a minute, I may not be loving all of Mickey D's but I certainly am encouraged by their progress toward healthier options.  I love the effort and am waiting to see what they fix next on their menu.

McDonald's, you have come a long way and you still have so far to go, but I think consumers can safely say that you are working on your flaws like the rest of us.

“The HSUS has been a long-time advocate for ending the use of gestation crates, and
McDonald’s announcement is important and promising,” said Wayne Pacelle, The HSUS’
president and CEO. “All animals deserve humane treatment, including farm animals, and it’s just wrong to immobilize animals for their whole lives in crates barely larger than their bodies.”

The announcement comes after years of dialogue between The HSUS and McDonald’s, and just two months after the largest pork producer in the world, Smithfield Foods, recommitted to its plan to phase out crates in its company-owned operations by 2017, and just a week after Hormel announced it would do the same.

Can you say progress?  I knew you could.




P.S.- Have you heard about The Green PolkaDot Box! Recently launched with over 12,000 members and backed by the Organic Consumer's Association, you can easily buy NonGMO organics at wholesale pricing online.  It's like a Sam's club but focused on products for green, healthy living!!  You can even shop by dietary restrictions like gluten free, vegan or diabetic.

Sources: A Humane Nation, USHS, McDonald's, CNN Money
Photo: Humane Society of the US
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