McDonald’s is the poster child for fast food – there can be no argument about that. With around 34,500 outlets in 116 countries, the Golden Arches are just about as close to an international fast food emblem as it is possible to get.
In fact, there are only 10 countries in the world where you will not be within easy reach of those famous burgers – and of course the great fries that are an essential part of the McDonald’s experience.
You’ll be without your fast food fix if you are in Zimbabwe or Syria (amongst others) and you will not be able to get your fries in Vatican City or North Korea (no surprise there) – or in the island paradise of Seychelles. But aside from these sorts of exceptions, you should never be that far away from a McDonald’s menu.
Apart from regional menu variations, the allure of McDonald’s is the fact that the fast-food chain delivers on that classic McDonald’s taste and promise with amazing regularity. The comfort of knowing what you are going to get – no matter where in the world you find yourself is one of the reasons that the chain is so successful.
However, there is a downside to the global footprint of the fast food giant. It has been implicated (along with many other fast food chains) in the growing epidemic of obesity and heart disease. The combination of fast food and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle is affecting the health of people (and in particular children) across the globe.
This is not great news – and for those who have an intolerance for Gluten, the news gets even worse – in particular when it comes to those delicious fries.
One would think that fries would be an innocent choice – but a step back and some research indicates that McDonald’s fries may not be that Gluten friendly option that many people take for granted.
However – the answer to the question of Gluten friendly fries from McDonald’s is perhaps not as clear as one might think.
In most countries of the world, McDonald’s uses both milk and wheat in the preparation of their fries. This is not great news for those who suffer from Celiac related health issues.
As with most things health-related some simple research is all that is required to learn more about the fries that you will be getting from Mickey D’s. Visit their website, and you will find a breakdown of the ingredients that are used in the preparation of their world-famous menu items.
The truth of the matter is that those fries are certainly not ‘Happy Meals’ for those people who are trying to live a Gluten-free lifestyle.
However, it does depend on which country you are in. That standard McDonald’s experience is a great way for consumers to feel more comfortable about their dining choice when away from home – but there are regional variations – and these are important when it comes to the experience of those people who have either health or personal preference issues when it comes time to order from the house of Ronald.
For instance – McDonald’s restaurants in Canada serve up fries that are fine (apparently) for those who want to avoid Gluten. The key to enjoying a fast food experience is – as mentioned doing that little bit of research prior to parting with your cash at the counter.
If you have a sensitivity to Gluten – or have simply made a lifestyle choice, then you owe it to yourself to do that research. And kudos to McDonald’s – they are rolling out a Gluten free menu in many of their stores. Whether or not this will include those famous fries – only time will tell. In the meantime, possibly stick to home cooking. At least then you know what goes into the preparation of your favorite treats.