But in India, where people have been eating mostly plant-based foods for a very long time. Up until now, I always thought of “vegetarian McDonalds” as an oxymoron, so this is welcome news. As reported earlier this week (9-4-12) by the BBC:
McDonald’s, the world’s second biggest food outlet after Subway, increasingly adapts its range to local demand. Both India’s Hindu majority and Muslims can eat the same meat-free dishes. Religiously observant Hindus see cows as sacred and avoid beef, while Muslims view pigs as unclean and avoid pork.
According to the AFP news agency, McDonald’s will open the outlet in the middle of next year, near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in northern India. Religious authorities forbid consumption of meat at the shrine.
A spokesman for McDonald’s in northern India, Rajesh Kumar Maini, told the news agency: “There is a big opportunity for vegetarian restaurants as many Indians are vegetarian. “At the moment, India is still a very small market – we just have 271 restaurants in India, and across the world, we have nearly 33,000.”
Money Talks. The moral of this story is that our clever food marketers will learn now to make money—no matter what the dietary preference of the customer. And if we gradually move toward a plant-based diet in the United States, the fast food and the slow food chains will be right there to take care of our dining needs. More from the BBC story:
McDonald’s has moved to provide more salads and other healthier foods with less sugar, salt and fat in them, in response to public concerns about diet. In India, its menu is typically 50% vegetarian. Its signature dish in the country is the McAloo Tikki burger, which uses a spiced potato-based filling. It accounts for 25% of total sales.
The Bottom Line. When Americans start demanding healthy food, our food producers will start delivering it. But they’re not going to be the ones to lead the revolution. They’ve learned to profit quite nicely with the status quo—and are in no hurry to change it.
In the meantime, it’s really not that difficult to find a healthy meal almost anywhere. Not only that, your meal will usually cost about half of all the other entrees. Take a look at a few of my earlier blogs on this topic:
- Source article. BBC News – McDonald’s opens first vegetarian only restaurant
- An earlier blog. Eating 4Leaf in the real world (with a little wiggle room)
- Earlier blog. Eating a near optimal “4-Leaf” diet…in a toxic world
- Earlier blog. Celebration! not deprivation…the complete joy of eating
- Earlier blog. “Vibrant health” via the simplicity of 4Leaf
- Earlier blog. Keeping it simple with 4Leaf
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over KnivesDVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation