Russia’s consumer watchdog has shut down four McDonald’s restaurants in central Moscow – including the first-ever outlet in the country – over “administrative violations.” More of the company 430 Russian franchises are under investigation.
“Multiple violations of sanitary norms were detected in the sourcing of food and waste disposal in McDonald’s restaurants during inspections carried out between the 18th and 20th of August,” said an official statement from the watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor. Continue reading »
There is endless propaganda… and then there are McDonalds sales.
It is the latter that is by far the best indicator of how the US economy is progressing when stripped of all the bullshit seasonal adjustments, rhetoric and lies from the administration which focus on what is a glowing recovery, for the 1%. As for everyone else, they can’t even afford a dollar meal.
The proof? McDonalds same store sales for the last month, July, cratered by 2.5%, far worse than the 1.1% expected driven by a 7.3% collapse in Asian sales, but the number we focus on, US comp store sales, was a devastating 3.2%, on par with the worst decline in history, and the 9th consecutive month in which McDonalds has not posted an increase in US same store sales.
McDonald’s is quietly testing an order-ahead and mobile payment app at a tiny handful of its more than 14,000 U.S. locations.
The pilot is limited to 22 locations in the Columbus, Georgia area. Called “McD Ordering,” the app links to a credit or debit card, which is automatically charged when a customer arrives and scans a QR code displayed at the restaurant.
The phone then displays the customer’s order number. Once everything’s ready, the customer picks up food and drinks — without waiting in a line or interacting with a cashier.
Back in April when McDonalds reported its fifth consecutive decline in US comp store sales, the longest in decades, maybe ever, the excuses came fast and furious: ‘The U.S. has been difficult for them,” Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in St. Louis, said in an interview. “The weather has played a role, and I think the competition is a little bit sharper. We’ve seen better results out of Burger King and Wendy’s.” “Harsh winter weather and “challenging industry dynamics” weighed on U.S. results, McDonald’s added. So only MCD was impacted by weather, not the comps? Mmmk. But more importantly, there was hope so one could just ignore the present and past:“The month of April is going to be slightly improved so there are some positives out there” according to Russo. Continue reading »
Mack, who is 40, has been working in the fast food business for 18 years. For the past six, she’s been at a McDonald’s in South Carolina, working 40 hours a week and making $7.60 an hour. “I love what I do, but I don’t want to work for nothing. I want to work for something,” she says.
Hamburger chef Jamie Oliver has won his long-fought battle against one of the largest fast food chains in the world – McDonalds. After Oliver showed how McDonald’s hamburgers are made, the franchise finally announced that it will change its recipe, and yet there was barely a peep about this in the mainstream, corporate media.
Mercy for Animals Canada says hidden camera captured abusive treatment, cruel conditions for birds at Ku-Ku Farms and Creekside Grove Farms, which supplies chicks that lay eggs for McDonald’s Egg McMuffins. McDonald’s has not commented on the specific allegations but a spokeswomanhas said, “Abuse is never tolerated in our supply chain and McDonald’s has strict policies in place concerning the treatment of animals that our suppliers must adhere to at all times. We also work with our suppliers and outside experts to continuously improve our standards and practices, both within McDonald’s and across the industry”
“They’re so crammed inside those cages they can’t spread their wings, they can’t walk, they can’t turn around, they can’t engage in any of their natural behaviour,” said Stephane Perrais, director of operations with Mercy For Animals Canada.
“They spend one year of their miserable life in there, basically producing eggs and after that time period, they’re considered spent by the industry because their productivity is declined, and then they’re slaughtered.”
The group says the footage was taken by an undercover investigator who was hired as a farm worker by Ku-Ku Farms and Creekside Grove Farms for 10 weeks in May.
The video also shows dead hens rotting in the cages, and chicks being covered in feces.
The Health Ranger’s forensic food investigation of Chicken McNuggets two months ago is making new waves across the industry. A new study published in the American Journal of Medicine appears to have been inspired by the Natural News publishing of photos revealing “strange fibers” in Chicken McNuggets, and it is now exploding across the mainstream media.
“Chicken Nuggets Contain Skin, Tissue, Blood Vessels and More,” blares one headline.
Another headline from The Atlantic says, “The Three Grossest Sentences You’ll Read About Chicken Nuggets Today.”
Whether you like it or not, America, the number of calories packed into fast-food eats are getting harder to ignore. McDonald’s, Subway and Panera Bread – and as of this week, Starbucks – have already begun voluntarily posting calorie counts on their menus, ahead of an anticipated federal mandate requiring all restaurants with more than 20 locations to do so. In the interest of openness and transparency, and as Marketwatch notes, assuming for a moment that you’re less worried about your waistline than about getting the most calories for the least amount of money, here are the highest-calorie menu items at 10 of the nation’s top fast-food restaurants offers the most bang for your buck.
* Steak and white cheddar on a French baguette, 980 calories
* $1 buys 112 calories
Panera has a lot of light, healthy-sounding items on its menus but the full steak and white cheddar on a French baguette isn’t among them, tallying 980 calories and 103 grams of carbs. That accounts for nearly half the USDA’s recommended daily intake of carbs. At $8.79, you’re getting a little more than one calorie per penny. Continue reading »
Confirming that while Central Banks may have halted economic logic and reason indefinitely, supply and demand still have some relevance in the real world was today’s earlier news that in the aftermath of McDonalds’ 20% price hike of basic burgers in Japan three weeks ago, that the company’s Japanese same store sales tumbled by a whopping 3.7% in April, a major contributor for the miss in the expected global same store sales for April which came at -0.6%, below Wall Street expectations. One can only guess what the SSS drop would have been had MCD implemented the price hike at the start of the month. One can also guess if the increase in average price offset the drop in sales volume – we will know soon, but just to make doubly sure if what MCD loses in volume it makes up for in price, McDonalds announced that one month after the 20% price hike in Japan, its Indian franchise operator said it too would proceed with a price hike – the second one this year – amounting to 5-6%.
An Indian franchise operator of McDonalds Corp may increase prices for the second time this year, responding to rising inflation which, along with an economic slowdown, it expects to temper demand growth for at least the next 7 months.
The company, Hardcastle Restaurants, said on Tuesday it could raise prices by 5-6 percent. That follows a 5 percent hike after the government increased the service tax rate in February.
“There is pressure and it’s a tough environment, no doubt. But inflation is at 8-10 percent so we have to hike our prices,” said Amit Jatia, vice-chairman of Hardcastle Restaurants, which owns the McDonalds franchise for west and south India.
Pop quiz: does consumption increase when prices rise? For the S&P500, yes. In India, apparently not.
Consumer spending in India has taken a hit in the past three quarters as rising food prices, meager salary increases and the slowest Indian economic growth in a decade hurt buying appetites for clothes, cars and eating out.
With its 1.2 billion people and growing middle class, India is a large market for global chains, though for now most Indians cannot afford to eat regularly in western-style restaurants.
The burger chain said its same-store sales remained under pressure and although they would grow, the increase would not be at the 22 percent achieved in the fiscal year ended March 2012.
The burger chain plans capital spending of 5 billion-10 billion rupees ($92 million-$184 million) in India over the next 3-5 years, mostly for store expansion, Jatia said, adding India’s long-term consumption growth story remained intact.
McDonalds has 309 stores in the country.
In other news, with inflation rampant in the world’s second most populous country, the local citizens just can’t get enough of selling synthetic gold via synthetic CDOs such as the GLD ETF, if it means being able to buy actual physical gold at cheaper prices. Because remember: deflation is just inflation on the sidelines, and the Chairsatan can kill the sidelines in 15 minutes.
I’ve heard rumors about this before, but figured it was just an urban legend. Apparently not! So Utah resident, David Whipple, originally decided he wanted to save a McDonald’s burger for a couple of months to see what would happen. It didn’t decompose at all. Then he forgot about it in a coat pocket for a year or so until his wife accidentally found it. Still no change. So he decided to save it even longer. Now, 14 years later, he has informed the world that amazingly it still looks the same.
From the Daily Mail:
A Utah man has unearthed a McDonald’s hamburger he bought in 1999 – and the sandwich looks exactly the same as the day it was first flipped.
David Whipple kept the fast food meal for a month to show friends how the preservative-packed hamburger would keep its composure.
‘My wife didn’t discover it until at least a year or two after that,’ he said. ‘And we pulled it out and said “oh my gosh. I can’t believe it looks the same way.”‘
However, even he was shocked to see that the hamburger still looks the same a whopping 14 years later.
The burger had no signs of mold, fungus or even a strange odor, the show’s hosts said. The only thing that had changed over the years was that the pickle had disintegrated.
Whipple, who still has the original receipt for the burger, said he now shows the sandwich to his grandchildren to encourage them to eat healthily.
Who needs canned beans, spam and freeze dried food when apparently all you need are Happy Meals?
Anishi Spencer is seeking at least $50,000 in damages from the chain
She claims her toddler son found the condom on the floor of play area
He later coughed up a piece of rubber, and needed medical treatment
A mother is suing McDonald’s after she claimed her two-year-old son ate a used condom he found in the chain’s play area.
Anishi Spencer filed the suit – which seeks at least $50,000 in damages – on Wednesday.
She claims in the suit she visited the Chicago restaurant with sons Jonathan, then three, and Jacquel, two, on February 4, 2012, when they allegedly found the used condom on the play area floor of the outlet at Kezie Avenue.
She said son Jacquel then later coughed up a piece of the condom and both of her young children had to receive medical treatment.
Earlier today, fast food juggernaut McDonalds reported same store sales for the month October. At -1.8%, this number was well below expectations of -1.1%, and a drop from September’s 1.9%. It was driven by a 2%+ drop in comp store sales across all locations: US, Europea and APMEA, with the US performing just as bad as Europe. Most importantly, this was the first monthly drop in MCD comp sales since March 2003! So our question is: at what point does the perpetually self-deluded US population finally admit to itself that when even 99 cent meals are no longer affordable, that this country has a problem?
Charting the last 4 years of McD sales, and eagerly looking forward to 4 more years.
In a symbolic rejection of US capitalism, Bolivia announced it will expel the Coca-Cola Company from the country at the end of the Mayan calendar. This will mark the end of capitalism and usher in a new era of equality, the Bolivian govt says.
“December 21 of 2012 will be the end of egoism and division. December 21 should be the end of Coca-Cola,” Bolivian foreign minister David Choquehuanca decreed, with bombast worthy of a viral marketing campaign.
The coming ‘end’ of the Mayan lunar calendar on December 21 of this year has sparked widespread doomsaying of an impending apocalypse. But Choquehuanca argued differently, claiming it will be the end of days for capitalism, not the planet.
“The planets will align for the first time in 26,000 years and this is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism,” said Choquehuanca as quoted by Venezuelan newspaper El Periodiquito.
PROBLEM: Though previous studies have predictably shown that food advertisements make people think of eating, little research has been done to understand how the brain responds to such visual cues and what feelings they elicit.
METHODOLOGY: University of Southern California researchers led by Kathleen Page used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the neurological responses of 13 obese, Hispanic women ages 15 to 25 and see if food reminders trigger hunger and cravings. They chose women for their known responsiveness to food cues and Hispanics because of the high risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in their community.
RESULTS: Viewing images of high-fat food items stimulated the appetite and reward centers in the respondents’ brains. Interestingly, taking in glucose and fructose through sweetened drinks while inspecting the pictures also led to a desire for savory foods. Continue reading »
“Will vaccinate my baby for food!” That seems to be the goal of a program launched last year by the UnitedHealthcare health insurance company of Michigan. It has resorted to enticing parents with junk food to convince them to inject their infants with potentially deadly vaccines containing brain-damaging chemicals. This has been revealed in a letter acquired by NaturalNews and signed by Stephanie Esters, a vaccine-pushing RN who works for UnitedHealthcare.
The letter declares “Get a FREE $20 McDonalds, Rite Aid, Target or Meijer Gift Card when your child gets recommended shots before their second birthday.” It even goes on to offer a “FREE ride to the doctor” for those who are so poor that they don’t own cars.
Childhood vaccines, of course, are loaded with extremely toxic chemical adjuvants — chemicals designed to cause neurological inflammation in order to invoke an immunological reaction. Vaccines also contain both mercury and aluminum, both of which are highly toxic brain poisons. This is why many children who are injected with such vaccines become autistic virtually overnight (their brains are poisoned beyond their biological threshold).
It’s the country that turned its back on McDonald’s.
The fast food giant added the traditional llajwa sauce to its classic patties, but still Bolivians weren’t conviced.
So after five years, McDonald’s closed its eight branches and left the country in 2002.
Now a new documentary, “¿Por qué quebró McDonald’s en Bolivia?”, explores why McDonald’s failed. Filmmaker Fernando Martinez focuses on social and cultural aspects to explain the company’s lack of success. “Culture beat a transnational, globalized world,” he said.
Watch the trailer above.
And for comparison’s sake, here are numbers from the film on McDonald’s reach throughout South America, courtesy of the BBC.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has kept files on activists who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms and recommended prosecuting them as terrorists, according to a new document uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act.
This new information comes as the Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a lawsuit challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as unconstitutional because its vague wording has had a chilling effect on political activism. This document adds to the evidence demonstrating that the AETA goes far beyond property destruction, as its supporters claim.
The 2003 FBI file details the work of several animal rights activists who used undercover investigation to document repeated animal welfare violations. The FBI special agent who authored the report said they “illegally entered buildings owned by [redacted] Farm… and videotaped conditions of animals.”
The animal activists caused “economic loss” to businesses, the FBI says. And they also openly rescued several animals from the abusive conditions. This was not done covertly in the style of underground groups like the Animal Liberation Front — it was an act of non-violent civil disobedience and, as the FBI agent notes, the activists distributed press releases and conducted media interviews taking responsibility for their actions.
Based on these acts — trespassing in order to photograph and videotape abuses on factory farms — the agent concludes there “is a reasonable indication” that the activists “have violated the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, 18 USC Section 43 (a).”
The file was uncovered through a FOIA request by Ryan Shapiro, who is one of the activists mentioned. The file is available for download here. [Please note that this document has additional redactions in order to protect the identities of the other activists, at their request.] Shapiro is now a doctoral candidate at MIT.
Click here to view the FBI document.
“It is deeply sobering to see one’s name in an FBI file proposing terrorism charges,” he said in an email. “It is even more sobering to realize the supposedly terroristic activities in question are merely exposing the horrific cruelty of factory farms, educating the public about what goes on behind those closed doors, and openly rescuing a few animals from one of those farms as an act of civil disobedience.”
Chief among those concerns is the use of cellulose (read: wood pulp), an extender whose use in a roster of food products, from crackers and ice creams to puddings and baked goods, is now being exposed. What you’re actually paying for — and consuming — may be surprising.
Cellulose is virgin wood pulp that has been processed and manufactured to different lengths for functionality, though use of it and its variant forms (cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, etc.) is deemed safe for human consumption, according to the FDA, which regulates most food industry products. The government agency sets no limit on the amount of cellulose that can be used in food products meant for human consumption. The USDA, which regulates meats, has set a limit of 3.5% on the use of cellulose, since fiber in meat products cannot be recognized nutritionally.
“As commodity prices continue to rally and the cost of imported materials impacts earnings, we expect to see increasing use of surrogate products within food items. Cellulose is certainly in higher demand and we expect this to continue,” Michael A. Yoshikami, chief investment strategist at YCMNet Advisors, told TheStreet.
U.S. food-price inflation may top the government’s forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies including Nestle SA, McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) to boost prices.
Retail-food prices will jump more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimate of 3 percent to 4 percent this year, said Chad E. Hart, an economist at Iowa State University in Ames. Companies will pass along more of their higher costs through year-end, said Bill Lapp, a former ConAgra Foods Inc. chief economist.
Groceries and restaurant meals rose 2.4 percent in the four months through April, the most to start a year since 1990, government data show. During the period, rice, wheat and milk futures touched the highest levels since 2008, and retail beef reached a record. Yesterday, J.M. Smucker Co. announced an 11 percent price increase for Folgers coffee, the best-selling U.S. brand, after the cost of beans almost doubled in a year.
“It’s going to be a tough year” for U.S. shoppers, said Lapp, who is president of Advanced Economic Solutions, an agriculture consultant in Omaha, Nebraska. “You’re looking at an economy where a lot of consumers are under some serious pressure from food and fuel costs.”