Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Italian Critics Trash McDonald’s Nationalist Food Bid

In an attempt to improve their image in Italy and foster better relations with that country’s government—and also, perhaps, placate the vocal Slow Food movement—fast-food restauarant chain McDonald’s is adding an item to their menu there: a burger with a nationalist twist.

The imaginatively-named </sarcasm> McItaly gives natives and tourists exactly what I assume corporate executives think they want in home-grown Italian cuisine: a meal sporting the colors of the Italian flag—red, white, and green. Not surprisingly, the multinational corporation is getting some push-back from Italy’s Slow Food movement—most notably from Carlo Petrini, author of the upcoming Terra Madre: Forging a New Global Network of Sustainable Food Communities.

From Reuters:

ROME (Reuters) – Fast food chain McDonald’s has teamed up with the Italian government to cook up a hamburger with a national twist, but the unusual initiative is giving some food lovers cultural indigestion.

The “McItaly,” hawked with the slogan “McDonald’s speaks Italian,” is made entirely of Italian DOP products (Protected Designation of Origin) and the meal’s ingredients make up the colours of the Italian flag — red, white and green.

“We’re out to defend our identity and the ‘Made in Italy’ trademark,” Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia said in a statement, adding that the venture was designed to “promote the taste of Italy,” particularly to young people.

“We want to give an imprint of Italian flavours to our youngsters,” he said.

But the flag-flying burger, which comes with a choice of artichoke spread and Asiago cheese or onion, lettuce and smoked pancetta, has come under heavy criticism by food critics both in Italy and abroad.

Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement that promotes quality food, genuine ingredients and local produce, accused the government of undermining Italian cuisine.

“Globalising a taste does not promote it but rather standardises and homogenises it,” he said in an open letter in an Italian newspaper.

“This isn’t about supporting Italian farmers and products, it’s about making money by working with a multinational that actively takes power away from local producers,” Petrini, who in 1985 failed to stop McDonald’s from opening its first restaurant in Italy, told Reuters.

But Zaia, the agriculture minister, defended McItaly as a healthy option which would use 1,000 tonnes of Italian agricultural products a month, giving a “huge boost to farmers.”

Read the whole article here.

Fruit Explorers, Guerrilla Grafters, and Other Useful People

The editors here at Chelsea Green are constantly seeking out what’s new and important in the world of sustainable living. As part of an occasional blog series, our editors are sharing what they’ve been reading, researching, or just plain pondering. Below Senior Editor Ben Watson talks about “guerrilla grafters” and why the world could use a lot more of […] Read More..

A Thanksgiving Hit: Apple Pie with Cider Jelly

The Thanksgiving season means a barrage of holiday recipes that overflow your inbox and social media feeds. Some of these are new and innovative, meant to impress guests and sure to fade away from the culinary canon. However, there’s a reason that certain other recipes stand the test of time: they just work. We’ve had […] Read More..

Release Your Inner Viking With New Book on Mead

Unlock the mead brewing secrets of the ancient Norse with homesteader and fermentation enthusiast Jereme Zimmerman’s new book Make Mead Like a Viking. Whether you’re new to homebrewing or looking to expand your current brewing and fermentation practices, Zimmerman’s welcoming style and spirit will usher you into an exciting new territory of wildcrafted experimentations, including more than 20 recipes to try.The fermentation […] Read More..

For a Very Viking Thanksgiving, Try Homemade Mead

The people who lived the Viking lifestyle a thousand years ago enjoyed myriad foods and beverages and throwing feasts that lasted several days to show off what they had stockpiled throughout the harvest season. Bring the Viking spirit of celebration to your Thanksgiving table this year with a traditional batch of spiced orange mead. Brew up the following recipe […] Read More..

Brew Outside the Box: Making Mushroom-Infused Beer

When thinking about drinking a nice cold beer, the flavor of mushrooms doesn’t exactly spring to mind. But for the adventurous brewer – and drinker – infusing mushrooms into brews is a great way to combine the medicinal benefits of fungi with one of the world’s most consumed beverages.The best part? You can grow mushrooms […] Read More..
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By