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July 6th, 2008

In Defense of Fast Food Apples

On this weekend of Freedom Fries, let’s talk something else that’s American: apples. Minus the pie.

McDonald’s rolled out its Apple Dippers – just sliced apples with a caramel dipping sauce – a year or better ago, in response to people complaining that their food was causing everyone to be fat and stupid and everything else wrong with America. They rolled out salads, too, and soon articles were pointing out that the salad dressing had a lot of fat and calories (amazing!) And then the Fruit and Walnut Salad came out and I’m sure someone complained about something related to it.

Now Burger King’s getting in on the action with Apple Fries. That is, apples cut to resemble french fries. Not a big deal. But if you read the post at Consumerist it’s like the worst thing they could ever do and is being written off as a joke.

You know what? People complaining about this bug the crap out of me because more choice is actually a good thing. There may be times I don’t want fries with a sandwich, and it’s darned nice to have the option of a salad, apple, or what-have-you instead. I don’t choose that other option because I think fries are “bad;” I choose that because that’s what I want. And let’s face it, these places are convenient for a lot of people including me.

Could I bring an apple from home? Of course, if I’ve already bought one and know in advance that’s what I want. But if it isn’t, there aren’t any grocery stores in a short walking distance from my office… so if I want an apple really badly, I’m going to buy it at McDonald’s. Same goes for a Fruit and Walnut Salad.

Marketing this all to kids is a whole other ball of wax, one that I’m not gonna touch right now. The bottom line is this: people who bitch about these places selling apples should be glad that they’re selling them at all. Not just because it’s “good” or “healthy”, but because it’s convenient to have more choice.

Sometimes convenience wins, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

Greg July 9, 2008, 9:09 pm

How about common sense tips on the products.

Fries: Eating these everyday is not good for you.
44 oz. soft drink: Drinking all of this will make you use the restroom shortly.
Apples: These are good for you but alone won’t make you skinny.
Big Mac/Whopper: It’s tasty so don’t complain about the nutritional value.
Coffee: Spilling this on your lap won’t feel good.
Apple pie: This is not health food

I’m with you Paul. It’s nice that there’s an option. I like getting the fruit and nut parfait at McDonalds instead of the fries. But I can still get fries if I want from time to time. Ah choices!

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