Oatmeal: The Right Thing all Wrong…

You may have it permanently embedded in your brain that oatmeal is “the right thing to do.” That’s what Wilford Brimley told us, right? McDonald’s would like you to think so too with its “bowl full of wholesome.” But Mark Bittman of The New York Times begs to differ.

In his post “How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong,” he talks extensively about how McDonald’s can do almost nothing wrong from a marketing perspective and “almost nothing right, as the oatmeal fiasco demonstrates.” Mr. Bittman is taking issue with the ingredients in that fine bowl.

A more accurate description than 100% natural whole-grain oats, plump raisins, sweet cranberries and crisp fresh apples would be oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.

His point is that McDonald’s took something straightforward like oatmeal and turned it into junk food.

He makes some good points in his rant. The bottom-line question is: Why?

Why would McDonald’s, which appears every now and then to try to persuade us that it is adding healthier foods to its menu, take a venerable ingredient like oatmeal and turn it into expensive junk food? Why create a hideous concoction of 21 ingredients, many of them chemical and/or unnecessary? Why not try, for once, to keep it honest?

He did reach out to them and via email, this was the response:

Customers can order FMO (Fruit, Maple Oatmeal) with or without the light cream, brown sugar and the fruit. Our menu is entirely customizable by request with our “Made for You” platform that has been in place since the late 90s.

Needless to say, that didn’t sit well with Mr. Bittman.

For consumers, as always, it is buyer beware.


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