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McDonald’s Tries to Lure Back Customers With Organic Burgers

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on September 26, 2015 - 4:33pm

By: Liz Dwyer

Will organic burgers get consumers to head back under the Golden Arches—and will a trial offering of beef patties from cows raised without antibiotics or GMO feed mean big changes for McDonald’s restaurants worldwide?

Thanks to a couple of new menu items that will soon be offered at 1,500 of the fast-food giant’s restaurants in Germany, it seems we’re about to find out. Two new burgers, the McB and the Long McB, that are made with 100 percent organic ground beef will make their debut in the European nation in October.

The beef for both burgers will be sourced from organic farms in Germany and Austria and will be produced from fertilizer-free, pasture-raised cows that will be fed organically grown, GMO-free feed and won’t be given antibiotics, according to a release from McDonald’s Germany. 

The McB, which will be available starting Oct. 1, will feature the organic ground beef patty along with fixings such as lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onion slices, Edam cheese—nope, not American cheese, because it’s Germany—and a bun made from a dark bread, likely pumpernickel or rye.

Meanwhile, along with the organic meat, as well as tomatoes, red onions, and some sort of spicy sauce, the Long McB will get extra fancy: The burger will also be garnished with arugula and a sunflower seed—not sesame seed—bun. The Long McB will be available Oct. 26. 

It’s unclear whether the vegetables or buns for either burger will come from organic sources, but Germans will get to vote on which sandwich they prefer until Nov. 18, when both items will be pulled from menus.

The two burgers seem geared to modern consumers who want healthier options than the traditional processed fast-food meal. People are increasingly choosing to eat at fast-casual chains such as Chipotle—which, despite the lawsuit over its GMO-free claims, is known for offering items made with meat from animals raised without hormones or antibiotics. As a result, sales under the Golden Arches have plummeted over the past two years, leading McDonald’s to shutter hundreds of restaurants around the globe. In May it stopped releasing its monthly sales figures.

To some folks, these burgers might seem like one-off stunts, a sort of temporary burnishing of the McDonald’s brand in the vein of Cafe M, the pop-up fancy restaurant—complete with fabric tablecloths and a fine dining–style menu—the chain had for one day in Japan in the summer. 

But they might also be a sign that organic Big Macs and Quarter Pounders could be coming to the United States. After all, last fall the company announced plans to begin selling more organic items—its milk in Germany is already organic—to boost sales worldwide.

Originally Published: TakePart

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