McDonald's recently unveiled a new venture it says will result in more veggies and fruit and less soda for customers. It's a joke, writes Mark Bittman in the New York Times, and he sums it up thusly: "In seven years most McDonald’s customers a) won’t have soda forced upon them and b) will, upon request, be able to not have fries with that." Pardon Bittman for his lack of enthusiasm. The company talks big, he argues, but it is shirking its obligation to lead the way in fast-food reform, especially in regard to kids.
If McDonald's wants his applause, he suggests it make this announcement: “Starting tomorrow, we’re not offering soda with Happy Meals except by specific request. And starting Jan. 1, at every McDonald’s, we’ll be offering a small burger with a big salad for the price of a burger and fries to anyone who asks for it." Those are small steps that might lead to tangible changes in the industry. Don't hold your breath, though. Click for Bittman's full column. (Read more McDonald's stories.)