links for 2008-04-17


7 Responses to “links for 2008-04-17”

  1. Becci

    Didn’t we already know they had milk and wheat ingredients because people with serious allergies were having problems?

  2. Jon

    So I’m confused it says, “natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)”. Does that mean that the flavoring is derived from beef, or from milk? If it turns out that these things are /actually/ vegetarian, I’d be amazed.

    It doesn’t matter, really, since I’m vegan and wouldn’t eat it regardless – plus I’d probably starve before I gave McDonalds any money, but I am curious.

  3. vegoftheweek

    One of the many ways people find to put unnecessary ingredients derived from animals in food that would taste fine without it. Like chicken broth in rice dishes.

  4. gladcow

    “natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)” means the flavor is natural (meaning the flavor was not made only in a lab) and that it was made with wheat and milk as well. it could also mean that it is made with beef or not. they don’t clarify further.

    however, their older data from 2001 says “natural flavor (beef source)”. it’s possible they have changed to a vegetarian beef flavoring, but the only way to know for sure is to call the company and ask.

  5. Jesse

    Well, it’s official–I will never step foot into a McDonald’s again (unless I really need to pee)

  6. kaiso

    The distinction between “natural” and “artificial” flavoring is determined by the methods used to manufacture a flavor, rather than what it contains. The FDA mandates that natural flavors be solely derived from natural sources, such as fruits, meat, vegetables, and so on. If the exact same chemical flavor compound is created using non-natural sources, the flavor is considered artificial. For example, according to Eric Schlosser, author of “Fast Food Nation”:

    “Amyl acetate… provides the dominant note of banana flavor. When it is distilled from bananas with a solvent, amyl acetate is a natural flavor. When it is produced by mixing vinegar with amyl alcohol and adding sulfuric acid as a catalyst, amyl acetate is an artificial flavor. Either way it smells and tastes the same. ‘Natural flavor’ is now listed among the ingredients of everything from Health Valley Blueberry Granola Bars to Taco Bell Hot Taco Sauce.

    A natural flavor is not necessarily more healthful or purer than an artificial one. When almond flavor — benzaldehyde — is derived from natural sources, such as peach and apricot pits, it contains traces of hydrogen cyanide, a deadly poison. Benzaldehyde derived by mixing oil of clove and amyl acetate does not contain any cyanide. Nevertheless, it is legally considered an artificial flavor and sells at a much lower price.”

    An excerpt from “Fast Food Nation” discussing MacDonald’s fries and the flavoring industry can be found at

  7. bazu

    I read somewhere (was it Supersize Me?) that McDonald’s wouldn’t guarantee a single one of their menu items to be animal ingredient-free. Including soda. I have taken that to heart and am proud to say that it’s been 5-6 years since I’ve eaten anything from them.

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