Mile High on the Cheap (MHOTC) blogs about free stuff and deals happening in the Denver area. They are a good resource for people on a budget. However, this recent post nearly gave me a heart attack. McDonald’s is having a “Back-to-School Sale” tomorrow. You could pay for the cost of one burger and feed the rest of your beloved family members for one literal penny each. I guess that’s how little someone’s well-being is worth.
In addition to being angry at McDonald’s (nothing new there), I’m also ticked off at the way MHOTC is talking about this event: “McDonald’s is starting the school year off right for us, budget minded families…There’s no limit, so grab your change jar and live it up.”
Okay, here’s my government-subsidized beef with this promo:
1. The true cost of a burger is over $200, not 1¢, and that’s a conservative estimate excluding costs of human health and animal welfare. Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals, does a great job explaining the externalities here, and advocating for a vegetarian diet as a cheap and healthy alternative.
2. This is really framed as a back-to-school sale? You are advocating “food” for children that has 563 calories per serving, at a time when over one-third of kids are overweight or obese. And let’s not forget about the hearty dose of fat (esp. saturated and trans), cholesterol, and sodium thrown in. Or the fact that kids who are obese are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other health problems.
3. McDonald’s, great job targeting low and middle-income families! Typical. Since I can’t imagine making a profit off a one-cent burger, I guess the point of this promo is to get more people addicted to your shitty “food.”
Well played, McDonald’s, well played.