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WOW!!!! McDonald’s is Launching its First Organic Hamburger

WOW!!!! McDonald's is Launching its First Organic Hamburger

Is the tide really starting to turn in the food world? Or, is it that McDonald’s is just tired of closing new stores and reporting horrible numbers – quarter after quarter – to Wall Street? Frankly, I could not care less about its motivation for doing so, but the fact that McDonald’s has just unveiled […]

(Courtesy: McDonald's Germany)

(Photo: McDonald’s Germany)

Is the tide really starting to turn in the food world?

Or, is it that McDonald’s is just tired of closing new stores and reporting horrible numbers – quarter after quarter – to Wall Street?

Frankly, I could not care less about its motivation for doing so, but the fact that McDonald’s has just unveiled its first organic hamburger is a seriously significant event.

Next week in Germany, the fast food chain will be launching the McB, which will contain a hamburger patty made from antibiotic-free, humanely-raised, organic beef.

There will be two different versions of its organic hamburger (varying types of cheese, buns, and lettuce) and customers can vote on which one they like the best.

It should be noted, however, that the company did announce last year that it might be selling more organic, and it is not entirely new to this space.

In the past, it had served organic coffee in many of its New England stores. Currently in Europe, the fast food chain uses organic semi-skimmed milk in some restaurants in the U.K and organic milk in its outlets in Germany. Additionally, organic fruit juice is available in Germany and France.

Yet, McDonald’s has become what it is today for one reason – its hamburger.

And if McDonald’s makes the only logical and intelligent decision to switch all of its hamburgers to organic throughout the entire world, not only will it reverse the fortune of this company but it will dramatically impact the global food system in a way that we have yet to see before, i.e., less pesticide use, decreased need for GMOs, fewer CAFOs, and superbugs become less of a problem.

Needless to say, this is a monumental announcement, and you can guarantee that everyone involved in the food industry will be watching this incredibly closely.

While McDonald’s has A LOT of work to do to continue to improve its menu in all countries around the globe, I give the company huge props for taking this very important step.

The time has come.

(McDonald’s released a video about this announcement in German. So, for my German-speaking readers out there, you’ll have to tell the rest of us what is exactly being said.)

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  • I agree with you Max, these baby steps could be the beginning of broader awareness.

    Our food system has so far to go, the change has to happen slowly. Currently the proportion of the total US crop that is certified organic is between .2 to .6% for grains and up to 6% for fruits and vegetables. Clearly we are not able to handle big shifts consumption. These little steps are the signals that should give us confidence to invest more in organic production. While the demand is manageable and we can grow our production incrementally to suit.

    100% organic is the only future for food on our planet and with global companies such as McDonalds, making shifts like this it should give us all confidence that the world is waking up.

    And don’t worry right now that our wonderful organic resources are producing such a nutritionally imbalanced meal – that is just another shift that will also happen as awareness of health and nutrition grows.

  • Gregory G. says:

    it would be even better to see them finally making a “McVeggie burger” option!!!

  • Steve Whiting says:

    The Devil is in the details. The meat is organic. What about the lettuce, tomato slice and condiments? Is that bun is free of GMOs? How much is the upcharge?

    • Megan says:

      I totally agree with the mention of the details Steve – that was my first thought! What about the buns? Full of wheat and probably corn and soy; aka, the top 3 GMO products produced.

      Now, I will admit that moving to using organic meat is definitely a good step for the company; however, I AM very skeptical at this point. After all, this is a company that is a frontrunner for the deterioration of health in America and other parts of the world. Why would they have a sudden change of heart after all these years if it weren’t simply profit-related? And if a company is only driven by profit, it’s only a matter of time before said company starts taking shortcuts and using (even larger amounts of) deceptive labeling to try to convince the public that they’re making these changes “for the people.”

      In other words, “Look at our ethically-produced, organic, lovely burger! Isn’t it so lovely and nice. We’re so lovely and nice …”

      *Off-mic*: “Support our ‘feed the world’ efforts by topping your organic burger with our standard GMO buns and condiments, complete with a side of potatoes containing roughly 116 chemical additives and ingredients (to support our local and international chemical companies).”

    • Sean says:

      Absolutely right, and the other thing to be addressed would be the meat production process after the farm as this usually includes a lot of stress for the animals and would impact on the quality of the main ingredient and render it as for the other ingredients, non-organic.

  • Colleen says:

    What crosses my mind about this is the cost to every McD store to bring in new equipment in order to cook these organic burgers. If cooked on same equipment as regular burger, that just killed the organics. As well as staff integrity. Will that kid making minimum wage care if he fries that burger on the conventional grill? Now being in the organic biz I do know that there is a growing number of young people in Canada becoming much more aware. Having said that, with organic farming so much ahead in Germany, perhaps the staff will flip those burgers on the correct grill that I really hope McDs gave thought about installing

  • Delyte says:

    I’m curious if you wrote this article on your own accord? Was it an AD- or a PR release? McDonalds making a PR move to cash in on the what many artisans, cooks, chefs and farmers have been breaking their backs to achieve within the – “good, clean and ethical” food movement – is exactly that, cashing in. How is it that a company that has spent decades pawning off foods that have made generations sick and fat are now doing a good thing? ONE step in the organic direction doesn’t make this company ethical and sustainable within their food practices. Nor does it mean the burger is healthy and good for you. I agree, it’s important to have CLEAN food on the menu for all people, fantastic. But here lies the problem- we are faced with eroding soil; average age of the American farmer- 57; limited water supply; escalating sickness (diabetics-cancer- obesity-learning disorders) and an over-all disparaging pay scale for most American workers. So McDonalds is going to put out an organic burger with many accompanying ingredients that are not organic and not healthy! Plus- They are now going to bulk purchase organic beef, driving the prices down- which means small ranchers won’t be able to compete and could go out of business? Manufacturing of beef is the #1 asult on our water supply. On average it takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. Do we not see the paradigm here?? Taking an organic beef burger, mixing it with the other unhealthy items does not produce a meal that is good for the body. Jacking the prices and creating more and more demand on the beef market- is not sustainable for the farmer/rancher. It simply takes more then a single organic beef patty for a company of this size, to weigh in on truly healthy eats- or to be patted on the back with accolades to boot!
    You will have a large % of people eating this, and convinced that they are now eating healthy simply because the ONE item in the sandwich is organic. This is what many restaurants do- they put the word organic right in front of the ONE product in the dish that is organic, then they fill the rest in with cheap ingredients. All to make money off the consumers health. Tell me, how is this going to help make a positive cultural shift within our food culture?

    • Max Goldberg says:


      I did not receive one cent to write this post about McDonald’s. You must think that I am for sale and that all of my organic food advocacy and activism is one big charade.

      My views are my own and they are not for sale.

      Live well,

  • Pema says:

    The problem with “making this successful” is that it just puts more money in their pockets and we need to continue to vote with our dollars. And how could McDonald’s possibly responsibly source their beef with that much volume? I’m gonna have to call bullshit on this and on Suja too.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Pema,

      Clearly, supplying organic hamburgers to the entire world will be a challenge right now. However, they are starting with Germany, which they obviously believe they can handle. Let’s see how it develops.

      All the best,

  • Caroline says:

    I think we should give them credit for taking the first step instead of just knocking them. Make this successful and they will see its the way to go….

  • Zoe says:

    Not much of a beef eater, but perhaps will be one of the first in line to get mine, just because
    I think we need to support the availability of more organic produce and meats in the fast food arena – it sounds like a good trend to me!

  • Kerry says:

    I think it’s a PR move. You might get a handful of people that go and order this burger but what about EVERYTHING ELSE on the menu? The fries with 18+ ingredients, the ketchup with HFCS, the buns with enriched garbage. And they will still (I’m sure) be pouring money into ensuring food labels aren’t accurate. Crap is still crap, even with a facelift.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Kerry,

      There is no question that McDonald’s has A LOT of work to do, as I mentioned in the piece above. However, I want to acknowledge them for taking this very positive step.

      Live well,

  • Esther says:

    Wow, yes, this is great news.

    Yes, organic matters and is better. Look at the fatness, posture and energy levels of 100 bodies coming out of health food stores and compare them to 100 folks coming out of regular supermarkets. It might be not because of organic but because the health foodists are buying carrots and the mainstream is buying cookies, but effort pays off.

    DO be sure to buy this when it comes to the US–whether it’s perfect or not. What other people do affects YOUR health, because 80 000 chemicals are all over everyone’s environment. Thus, you need to support major moves like this, even if there’s a ways to go.

    Your election vote doesn’t count for much even without votescam. But your consumer vote–that matters!

  • Now we need to press McDonald’s for a complementary ORGANIC VEGGIE BURGER!

  • Marla says:

    Great news. I hope they start selling and changing their menu in the US soon. McDonalds can certainly can make a big impact on the whole food industry. Good article.

  • John says:

    Interesting article, What is the pricing difference comparing organic and non-organic, and when will we see the option in the USA?

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi John,

      I don’t have answers to the pricing differences and when we’ll see it in the U.S. My guess is that they are figuring all of this out right now.

      Live well,

  • lyn says:

    The bottom line is to eat less beef. Being vehemently opposed to CAFO beef, the environmental impact from fast food is horrendous. Ranching and mining interests are decimating the wild animal populations; horses and wolves in particular.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Lyn,

      There is no question that eating less beef will be much better for the environment, particularly if it comes from CAFOs.

      Live well,

  • John says:

    Nice article but, its NOT an organic hamburger but, an organic patty! So, the meat is ok but the rest?
    This is ridiculous. You really think that I’m going there to eat just the organic beef patty? Really?
    When they decide to go organic, I’ll reconsider. Not in half measures.

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