Fast food restaurants are far from healthy. Today, more than 60% of millennials (born between 1981 and 1999) avoid these places or visit them less than once a week. In addition, a third of this public associates health with organic food, which is difficult to find in hamburgers and soft drinks.
Because of this, fast-food chains are having to adapt to respond to public demand. Burger King began its move in February 2020, when it announced that Whopper, its most famous sandwich, would have an artificial preservative-free recipe in the U.S. and some European countries.
Last Thursday (17), the change also reached Brazil. Advertisers adapted the american version of advertising to show the accumulation of mold in the snack over 34 days. Check out:
In the video, the snack is called “real food”, and the fungi follow the slogan “The beauty of not having preservatives of artificial origin”. Whopper without additives can already be found in some restaurants in São Paulo, and should reach other states in the country in 2021.
According to Burger King, 70% of its products do not have artificial ingredients. The goal is to reach 100% by the end of next year. THE Twitter indicates that, with the changes, the company should remove 277 tons of artificial preservatives from the market, enough to fill 18 trucks.
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McDonald’s was not left behind and, on the same day, announced the removal of artificial colors and flavorings from its products. In 2018, the chain had already started to change its recipes, removing additives from all American restaurants. In Brazil, this first cut will be made in the Vanilla Mix, Big Mac Sauce, Ranch Sauce, Mustard, Cheddar Cheese (in slice) and Barbecue Sauce. The change in the composition of the ingredients mainly affects Big Mac, Cheeseburger and Quarteirão snacks, which also do not contain preservatives in their breads.
In 2019, a McDonald’s burger and fries combo went viral on the internet after being stored for more than ten years without mockery. This story started in 2009, when the chain’s last restaurant was about to close in Iceland. One resident had the idea to buy a snack (and never eat).
After that, the combo was exposed in several places, even having a live broadcast dedicated to it, but which is now offline. At the time, the McDonald’s denied rumors that their products would have excess preservatives and explained that the hamburger did not deteriorate due to the lack of moisture in the food and the environment, which prevented the proliferation of fungi and bacteria.
Although there is a limit on food additives considered safe by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), no Brazilian fast-food chain has ever been accused of irregular use of such ingredients. Perhaps you are thinking that these changes should have been made long ago, but it is not so simple to find suppliers that deal with fresh products. In addition to needing to change the packaging, so that there is no risk of contamination, the products must also last less on the shelves, making it necessary to change the purchase lots. Burger King, meanwhile, guaranteed that fresh food will no longer cost the clientele’s pocket.
Although companies are becoming aware of healthy eating, there are those who do not understand the adaptations. On the same day as Whopper’s announcement, the Ministry of Agriculture sent a note to the Ministry of Health asking for a review of the “Food Guide for the Brazilian Population”. In the text, a change was requested in the NOVA classification, which describes the foods according to the processing levels.
The categorization was defined by the Ministry as “Confused, incoherent, which prevents expanding the autonomy of food choices”, and a complete review of the guide is requested by experts in food science. In other words: ask for the end of the classification that discourages the minimum consumption of ultra-processed products.
The Guide, developed in 2014, is internationally praised, and was classified as one of the four most complete in the world by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), considering both health and environmental aspects.
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