McDonald’s Going Vegetarian

Pretty exciting/interesting news on the fast-food front:

“A Big Mac may be the international sign for McDonald’s, but not in India. The fast-food giant will open its very first all-vegetarian location in the South-Asian country next year, as part of a move to break through to a market that is 20 to 42% meat-free. With McAloo Tikki potato burgers leading the pack, McDonald’s is in for a real transition as it tries to appeal to both a Hindu population, which considers cows sacred, and the Muslim community that doesn’t eat pork. The first location, in true McDonald’s fashion, will be next door to a bustling tourist site – the Golden Temple in Amritsar, northern India.” Courtesy Inhabitat and their article, McDonalds to Open All-Vegetarian Location in India.

Now, full-disclosure: I am a fast food junkie. Fast food is one of my favorite things, ever, hand-down. And I’m not saying this the way that average girls do the whole oh-I’m-so-fat aggrandizement to get attention. It’s an actual, serious problem for me that I struggle with daily. I love french fries more than any ordinary human being should.

But hearing news of vegetarian options for fast food, though it’s not really all that awesome (after having watching Food Matters I pretty much feel guilt about anything I eat these days), is an encouraging sign for the industry. And that’s on top of the places I already love, like Evos, which is a “healthy and environmentally sound fast food chain featuring soy, veggie, turkey and salmon burgers, baked fries and fruit smoothies.” This is also on the heels of Mike Roberts and Lyfe Kitchen, an upcoming chain of restaurants to help move our nation in the direction of sustainable foods.

I can do meatless Monday’s (spurred on by my awesome friend Cat and her blog, The Verdant Life), though I don’t really ever want to cut meat out of my diet entirely. My personal solution right now is to go one meal a day without meat as America’s consumption of meat is one of the biggest underlying contributors to climate change in general. And it saves me money, to boot.

But I prefer to eat for health, not for weight, as epitomized by this recent article in the New York Times. And as someone with a strong love of  food (though I am definitely not a foodie), it’s going to be interesting to see how these changes affect other fast food chains and how other efforts, like slow food movements, will impact the industry as a whole.

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