McDonald’s Just Came Out with a “Healthy” Kale Salad, But there’s just one Problem

February 3, 2016   |   Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler
February 3, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Though McDonald’s remains a powerful force in the global fast food marketplace, its recent PR disasters, from its ‘19 ingredients in the french fries’ fiasco to its use of abused poultry, have motivated the company to rebrand itself. McDonald’s has made not only an appeal to increasingly bizarre snacks, such as the chocolate-laced fries it recently debuted in Japan — it has also begun to offer “healthy” options.

One of McDonald’s recent responses to slumping sales was the launch of a line of salads in Canada, which they announced last year. The new caesar salad, called the “Keep Calm and Caesar On,” offersa nutrient-rich lettuce blend with baby kale.” The only problem? The caloric and sodium content in this new ‘healthy’ option exceed those of a Big Mac. And a Double Big Mac.

Though the salad’s packaging invites the consumer to “get [their] greens on with eight different kinds of lettuce,” the meal also includes parmesan cheese, bacon, croutons, chicken, and a Kraft-made dressing. McDonald’s Canadian website informs consumers that even with the “crispy chicken” option, the salad has 530 calories — but this figure excludes the dressing. As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) noted, once it’s added, “the salad tops up at 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,400 milligrams of salt.

Health-wise, I think it’s fat and sodium overload,” Toronto registered dietitian, Shauna Lindzon, told CBC. The maximum recommended sodium intake in Canada is 2300 mg per day, though Health Canada, the government’s health department, says 1500 mg is ideal. This means eating a “healthy” caesar salad fills up the vast majority of the “healthy” sodium limit. Lindzon says that “By eating that salad, you’re getting your sodium for the day,” while CBC points out that “average adult women would also be getting about one third their recommended daily calories.

By comparison, the classic Big Mac has 530 calories and 950 milligrams of sodium. Even the Double Big Mac has ‘only’ 680 calories and contains ‘just’ 1340 milligrams of sodium. McDonald’s new, ‘healthier’ option also surpasses the calorie content of not just the Big Mac and variations thereof, but the regular cheeseburger, the double cheeseburger, the Filet-o-Fish, the Double Filet-o-Fish, the Bacon McDouble Sandwich, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and the Quarter Pounder B.L.T. — to name a few.

The caesar salad’s drawbacks, however, are not limited to its caloric and sodium content. A cursory glance at the ingredients reveals questionable contents. Though McDonald’s hinted it might offer organic options back in 2014, it has not made any widespread changes to that effect. The caesar salad is not listed as organic, which likely means the lettuce and kale have been sprayed with pesticides, which are linked to a variety of health problems. The bacon includes sodium nitrite, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has deemed “probably carcinogenic” — to say nothing of the conditions factory farm animals are subject to.

While other salads on the menu, including the “I’m Greek-ing Out” option, have fewer calories, they are still not necessarily healthy. As Lindzon said of the salad, “Combined with the Greek Feta Dressing, the ‘I’m Greek-ing Out salad with grilled chicken amounts to: 420 calories, 26 grams of fat, and 1,080 milligrams of sodium. That’s almost the same calorie, fat and salt content as a Double Cheeseburger.”

These so-called healthier options were largely developed in response to McDonald’s shrinking sales worldwide, though the company initially fought the change. As the Associated Press noted last year when the company announced its new line of salads in Canada, “The embrace of kale may seem odd to some, considering McDonald’s recently ran an ad that celebrated the Big Mac and mocked trendy ingredients like soy, quinoa, Greek yogurt — and kale.”

However, facing decreasing profits and growing apprehension towards its products, CEO Steve Easterbrook announced last year his intention to turn the company into a “modern, progressive burger company.”

If by modern and progressive Easterbrook means riddled with obscene levels of sodium and calories, then by all means, he is on the right track.


This article (McDonald’s Just Came Out with a “Healthy” Kale Salad, But there’s just one Problem) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Carey Wedler and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: JeepersMedia. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. Her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised.

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28 Comments

  1. Maybe (and I'm just thinking out loud here) if you want to eat healthy, you should stay away from fast food period… Duh

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  2. Can I ask what is the problem if people just dont stuff their mouths full of other shit? If that salad is 1/3 of your daily caloric intake what makes it so hard to not eat more than the remaining 2/3? Jesus christ…

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  3. If you are going to McDonald's for a healthy meal, you are too stupid to know the definition of healthy and you deserve all of the bad ingredients #naturalselection.

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  4. It's been proven that natural fat is good for you, in moderation of course! However, sugar is not mentioned in this article, when that is what makes people fat. Myself, I would never eat fast food as I respect my body – calories? That is sooo old school and quite meaningless………

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  5. Not defending McDicks, but this just looks like another media outlet taking shots at the fast food joint.

    CMON PEOPLE. It's NOT just McDonalds salad… this applies TO EVERY CAESAR SALAD!!!

    You gotta chill on that creamy-ass dressing, bacon toppings and shit.

    I was expecting this shit to say something like "McDonald's grinds up chickens to make lettuce".

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  6. Want to eat healthy?…then avoid ALL fast food joints….now if you eat this salad without all the added crap..you will be ok…..

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  7. Just don't add the dressing. It's not rocket science. Ronald McDonald is not hiding around the corner ready to leap out and squirt dressing on your salad. What happens to your salad at home?

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  8. You cant put "healthy" on fast food packaging, that is the point. It is not healthy… Its box of pesticides, salt and fat

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  9. guess its up to each of us to choose more carefully what we value more..time spent cooking.or our families health

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  10. Calories aren't old school? It pretty much decides if you gain or lose weight, either being in a caloric surplus or deficit. As for sugar, unless you're eating plain sugar by itself or overloading on sugar in one day, then that doesn't affect weight control as much. But yeah, calories are king, macronutrients come second.

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  11. Monika Poot Of course, but again, my point is that McDonalds doesn't really have much to do with the problem stated in this article.

    Pesticides and fatty dressings can be found in nearly every salad… restaurants, grocery stores, etc… "McDonald's" is just being used here as click-bait.

    It's up to the consumer to make the smart choice and not drown their salad in the unhealthy junk.

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  12. ᴍʏ Fʀɪᴇɴᴅ's ᴍᴏᴍ ᴍᴀᴋᴇs $73 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ . Sʜᴇ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏғ ᴀ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ 7 ᴍᴏɴᴛʜs ʙᴜᴛ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ᴡᴀs $20864 ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ғᴏʀ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ʜᴏᴜʀs.
    ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ᴍʏ sᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ:———>>

    https://www.facebook.com/USA-Work-514589588666221/?ref=s&sk=app_190322544333196

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  13. You may say Duhhh…but just look around you…the mesagge is NOT getting out….people are just either plain stupid or they just do not care!..they are just addicted to the rubbish…

    Post a Reply
  14. Bilal Bilalkhan Come on and prove it then. Show us a dodgy photoshopped image of you standing near somebody else's Lambo so we can all jump onboard your shitty nonsense train. Will. You. Scammers. Fuck. Right. Off.

    Post a Reply

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