When things are investigated, knowledge is extended. When knowledge is extended, the will becomes sincere. When the will is sincere, the mind is correct. When the mind is correct, the self is cultivated. -- Confucius
Politically correct ideals are garbage: true wisdom comes from decades of deep thought and neutral observation. Only a so-called sociopath could ascertain wisdom from this crazy world in a neutral way. Cool thoughts- uncorrupted by modern politics, social norms, or societal ideals- are required for wisdom. Questioning everything, and going against the grain on all universally accepted norms is the path to true intelligence. The Gods notice this.

7/4/09

McDonald's: discrimination and unsafe food

Oh, McDonald's- that iconic poster child of junk food, cruelty, and corporate shenanigans...

They are quite well known for selling food that is extremely unhealthy. Of course their webpages declare how healthy it all is, but hey- cholesterol is cholesterol and animal proteins are still animal proteins- no matter how they try to spin it. A few years ago they started selling bottled water, orange juice, and advertised their salads more. They wanted to portray health-conscious joggers stopping in for a fast, nutritious meal. I don't think it went over too well: I rarely see joggers trotting in there.

Then in the late '90s, there was a lawsuit dubbed "McLibel". McDonald's actually sued two independent activists who were handing out flyers on the streets of London. The activists were very active indeed: they fought the lawsuit at their expense with no attorneys, and in the end they won. McDonald's was pretty embarrassed to be sure....See this link for more details. Watch documentary about it here.

In 2001 a Hindu discovered that McDonald's had been deceptive about putting beef in their french fries. A lawsuit was born. Read all the sordid details here. In the end, McDonald's had to pay out $11,000,000. in damages. See this story also.

Then in 2004 a dude decided to make a documentary. It was about what would happen if he ate only McDonald's food for a month straight. The film is gross and shocking, with regular interludes of his doctor telling him how it is destroying his liver, etc. It also revealed how they put sugar in all their foods, including salads. Watch it here for free.

I worked at McDonald's two times. Even though the application says all this stuff about how you can't work there if you are a felon, this manager at one of them always talked about "when I was in prison...". Whatever though- I just needed a job is all. It was their business. But the food safety practices were so bad there, it was kind of disturbing.

The burger and chicken patties are cooked on 'clamshell' hotplates, which cook both sides at once for a certain amount of time, then it raises and you put the patties into a holding cabinet, which keeps them warm until they are used in sandwiches. The holding cabinets have timers, which you start when you put the trays of patties into it. After 20 minutes, they are supposed to be discarded.

The training videos clearly say that if a patty doesn't appear 'kosher', or well cooked, you must cook it again or discard it. They never do actually, and always look raw, pink, and bloody when the clamshell opens. This can be fixed by closing it again and cooking it for a little longer, but this takes up time and the mangers go nuts when you cook them twice. There was one employee there that argued incessantly with the bosses about this, saying he did not want to be sued for food poisoning. Other than this brave kid, no one else cooked them twice and into the cabinet they went- pink and bloody, ready to put into a sandwich. The justification was that 'they cook in the cabinet' the rest of the way. Yes, after a half hour or more they are browned up. But if used soon, such as lunchtime... well, I hope the customer likes it rare. How do they end up in the cabinet for half an hour or more if they are supposed to be discarded after 20 minutes? When the timer goes off, the button is pushed and the countdown starts over, that's how. Even managers reset them all the time. The worst thing I found out there was about the fry vat oil. You know how in your home deep fryer the oil gets all icky after awhile and then you change it? Imagine using it 24 hours a day seven days a week. How often would it need to be changed? When I worked at two different Burger Kings, they both changed the oil daily. So did my (now-ex)wife when she managed two different Dairy Queens. So I asked one day while working at McDonald's: "how often do we change this vat oil?" The reply: "We don't. Maintenance does it. They come in every two weeks or so". I verified this with other employees.

Now let me tell you why I do not work there anymore. I called in sick one day, as I have diabetes and my glucose level was over 300 (it should be 90). I felt tired and wanted to take medicine and rest. The boss (the ex-con mgr.) said "okay, but don't come back without a doctor's note". I returned with a doctor's note, which explained that I had diabetes and had high levels recently which prevented me from working when I called in. I was promptly written off the schedule. My calls to the head manager over the next few days were all avoided.

I was finally told I would not be put back onto the schedule, because I called in. This was the first/only time I had ever called in by the way. I filed a federal discrimination complaint because diabetes is legally considered to be a disability. The feds eventually decided they couldn't prove that I had called in, so I had to pursue it at my own expense.

I am glad though. The clamshell cookers are very dangerous, and I am not the only one who got burned on them frequently. A few were pretty bad burns, blistering and leaving scars on my hands and arms. Most if not all of the cooks at McDonald's have scars on their forearms from this.

I can't stress enough, that I hate that company, their practices, their contribution to animal cruelty, and the treatment of their employees.

Like their chicken nuggets?



(c) james platt