McDonald is considered as the cheapest and most nutritious food

McDonald considered as the trademark of American food dream and then later on renounced for its dangerous health risk has now reclaimed its status according to some as the cheapest, the most nutritious and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history. Ralph Thomas made this claim to Freakonomics authors and radio broadcasters who are well known for showing the ‘hidden side’ of everything by fitting economics to popular culture. Stephen Dubner who had co-author of the Freakonomics blog along with fellow economist Steven Levitt recently posed the question on the wNYC podcast, Freaknomics radio.

The question was what food did one reader Ralph Thomas calls the cheapest, most nutritious and beautiful food that has ever existed in human history? The food that was voted for is none other than McDonald’s McDouble that has 390 calories, 23 grams of protein and 7% of recommended dietary fiber. This was in contrary to radio host Kai Ryssdal’s best guess of “tofu”, “soy”. The McDonald’s McDouble certainly has the Freaknomics authors thinking and therefore they put up for discussion as part of their “A Burger a Day” radio podcast.

However, the responses of nutritionists have been largely divided ever since they are queuing up to have their say. Senior nutritionist Alosya Hourigan opined that a serious flaw in the claim is the fat and salt content of the burger. She informed that even though the burger may supply some nutrients, the consumers must need to remember that it includes a high amount of saturated fat and salt or sodium as most of the takeaway fast foods are. Therefore, food that is high in saturated fat and salt is not very healthy. It is also observed that consumers of burgers usually consume ‘fries’ and ‘soft drinks’ which further raises the saturated fat, kilojoules, sodium and adds in unhealthy amounts of added sugars as well.

Commenting in the New York Times Kyle Smith says that those opposing the idea of the McDouble’s nutritional worthiness are ignoring that fact that it has greater value for money for customers. A 2007 survey carried on by Washington University found that while junk food costs as little as $1.76 per 1,000 calories, fresh vegetables and healthier foods can cost more than ten times. Some farmers even suggested that McDonald’s burger deserves more credit for feeding the poor with cheap food.

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