'The world has changed. Our customers have changed. We have to change too.'
The above is a quote from the chairman of a company which feeds 46 million people every day. They have just announced they have made a loss for the first time. If only he had read this:
'More and more human beings are striving towards the sane mind in the healthy body, realising that mind and body must enjoy good health together to get the best results for the individual and for the race.
If we give children inferior food it is not only the stomach that is affected. Brain, glands, even emotions and character are influenced for good or ill by vitamins and minerals, by over-feeding or ill-nutrition.'
Er, yes. Quite.
The fact is that the above paragraph was written at least 20 years before the largest fast-food chain ever came into existence.The Home of Today could perhaps be a useful tool for the 'Mc Donald's Advisory Council', which is about to be created as part of a bid to boost flagging sales.
I decided to try and find out a little about the history of the burger. The general consensus of opinion seems to be it evolved like this:
- Stone Age Man (or maybe Woman? No one ever seems to mention her!) happened to drop a piece of raw mammoth into the latest invention, fire; shouted 'Yabba dabba doo!' and set about the task of creating the perfect burger bun. (this is, I believe, still at the R & D stage.)
- Mongolian Tartar warriors discovered that slipping a piece of meat under their saddles meant a warm, tasty treat after the spoils of battle. The steak, however, had become somewhat hairy, but hacking it into tiny pieces soon solved that problem; thus was Steak Tartare created.
- As always seems to happen, the next-door neighbours got to hear about it and in no time at all were claiming the recipe as their own. Possibly fearing the wrath of Geghis Khan and his hordes, the good folks of Hamburg decide to emigrate to:
- America. The rest, as they usually say, is history.
Incidentally, I can find no mention on The McDonalds Site of whatever happened to Dick and Mac Mc Donald, the original creators of the hamburger stand, it seems they sold out to the man with the milkshake mixer!
The above site does claim it has 'a history of providing nutritional information' on its 'interactive websites'; so please do go and have a look!
Meanwhile, I'm going to stick to my tried and trusted friend, The Home of Today.
'Scientists, doctors and food specialists in every civilised country are unanimous in the stress they lay upon the importance of right food combinations for the maintenance of health and fitness.
A well balanced diet and well-planned menus are absolutely essential as a foundation for efficiency and well-being. As a rule, the average person eats far more than the required quantity of protein... meat should be used in moderation only, substituting a supply of vegetable protein'
Hmm. yes, I'm inclined to agree! However, as far as I'm aware, this dietary advice doesn't apply to:
'The best diet for a cat consists of fish, liver, rabbit or cat's meat, with boiled rice and a little green vegetable if it will eat it. Some cats are extremely fond of raw peas, cucumber and asparagus - and may be given small quantities occasionally. They require plenty of fresh water every day as well as milk.'
I have been especially requested (ordered?) to add the following by Yoda and her friend Imari:
'This 'royal' cat is very distinctive in character. It is more delicately formed than the British variety and shorter. When young, the Siamese is a beautiful cream colour, but this darkens to fawn as the cat grows older, and becomes chocolate in its old age'
Mmm, ! Oh, goody goody! I always knew she'd come in handy one day!
I shall leave you with a milkshake recipe from our good friend The Honourable WMT (Cocktail) Boothby; Premier Mixologist. You don't need a milkshake mixer for this; but while the Tartars were busy inventing the burger, their mates, the Bashkirs were:
'renowned for their skill in making Koumiss or fermented mare's milk, which is now extensively used by consumptives and persons afflicted by wasting and dyspeptic diseases. So easy is it of digestion, that invalids drink ten and fifteen champagne bottles full every day; while a Bashkir is able to overcome a couple of gallons at a sitting, and in an hour or two to be ready for more'
Er... yes. Any Bashkirs out there???
(If so, I bet they're not called Ronald!)
Happy Meals, folks!