Food Bank: The McDonald’s Mentality Pt. I

18 08 2008

Photo courtesy of Goombay*

*Photo was taken in New Orleans after Katrina…

As you can see from my post history, I’ve been coming back to the relationship between food and money lately. Each time I feel I’ve exhausted the point, I discover a new facet to examine.
So with that in mind, I’m turing my focus to the largest chain of fast food restaurants, McDonald’s. Before I get into it, consider this: McDonald’s serves 47 MILLION custermers daily. Let that sink in for a moment.
Now, Surely you’re aware of the health risks of eating too much fast food. But if you look past the food, and really consider the mindset behind McDonald’s hold on pop culture you’ll learn some startling things about the concepts of debt, credit, predatory lending/marketing and consumer loyalty. With these things in mind I just ask that you consider McDonald’s to be our ‘Metaphor’ for all things instant gratification, quick-n-easy, and of little value.
In order to set the stage properly for this series though, I must invite you to open your bible – YES your bible – to see the first example of McDonald’s business model…
Jacob & Esau
The story is found in Genesis 25:29-34 (KJV)
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
Did you miss it? What does this have to do with McDonalds? Well they say a picture is worth a 1000 words so check this out:

(Click to enlarge)
Are you seeing a connection yet? The ad says get a FREE biscuit or sandwich…. but then it says in fine print “With the purchase of ANY medium or large beverage.”…. BUT in order to get the ‘free’ coupon… you have to put in your email address, name, and Date of Birth?!? If my counting is correct that is 2 steps completely removed from FREE.
I hate to tell you but you just pulled an Esau if you signed up for this mess. Why don’t you just email them your social security number and drivers license too! Are you THAT hungry? At least Esau had part of an excuse, dude was faint “at the point to die” lol.
See – and I want you to listen to me VERY carefully – THIS IS WHERE IT STARTS. This is exaclty how we get into debt. Early, often and easily. This isnt targeted at you or me, well not really. It’s just a fish hook. Dangling in the water for whatever fish will bite the line. Most likely someone younger than us either in age or financial responsibility will see this as a “deal”. (As if McDonald’s is doing them a favor by extending such an offer.)
Everything of ‘value’ cant always be quantified in dollars and cents.
You just exchanged permanent personal information, for a nasty chicken sandwich, and didnt even bat an eye while doing so… It’s all… become… so simple.
Ba da ba ba baa… It’s loving YOU. Because if they can get you to give up your personal information for the ‘cost’ of a chicken sandwich (and the mandatory drink you purchased, of course) then they KNOW you’ll be giving up a few dollars soon. They’ve got a bite.
Hook, line, and sinker…
It’s not identity theft if you sign up willingly. Just like Jacob never ‘stole’ the birthright from his brother, he sold it to him for chicken noodle soup. Shady? Yes. Manipulative? Yes. Against the law? No.
Stay tuned… this is just the prelude. The gloves are coming off.



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