Celebrating Eco-Progress: McDonald’s

Ok, so, I admit, this one’s a big stretch.

Refresher: The Celebrating Eco-Progress series is my attempt to recognize efforts by big businesses to implement more sustainable practices.

But McDonald’s? Really!?

The timing on this one is funny, because I was just grossed out a few days ago by a YouTube clip a friend shared that showed the Super Size Me guy, Morgan Spurlock, doing an experiment, setting in individual glass containers some McD’s burgers and fries and some burgers and fries from some “regular restaurant” that are, presumably, less junky. The McDonald’s food takes considerably more time to develop mold in general, and after an incredible 10 weeks, when all of the other food was practically unrecognizable from the mold and decay, the McD’s fries did not look any different.

It’s frightening to think what the preservatives they use do to the human body.

And yet, even so, the fast food giant is making new commitments to sustainabilty:

Via GreenBiz.com:

McDonald’s has laid out a plans to move to more sustainable meat, coffee and packaging.

The company’s Sustainable Land Management Commitment will require suppliers to gradually source food and materials from sustainably-managed land, though there are no specific timelines for now, and it is initially focusing just on beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil and packaging.

Those five were chosen, with the help of analysis from the World Wildlife Fund, since they have the most potential to be changed to have lower impacts. Beef, especially, has some of the biggest impacts among McDonald’s foods.

Baby steps for sure, but I still contend there’s something good happening here. Just the mere fact that McDonald’s seems to have sustainability in their consciousness and game plan, when for so many years they’ve been the poster child for junk food and environmental degradation, is indeed something to celebrate.

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