Sunday, February 5, 2012

McDonald's Stops Using "pink slime" in its Products

Well, we Amercicans love fast food, but do we really know what goes into the food that we eat at these quick restaurants? I sure didn't.

After reading this article about McDonald's, I was mortified. The picture at the beginning was enough to make me cringe. If you are brave, watch the video of celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. It will give you a whole new perpective on fast food meat.

According to this article, McDonald's has stated that the restaurant will stop using ammonium hydroxide in its hamburger meat. Ammonium hydroxide is a chemical that is used to clean households and is also used as fertliziers. The article also states that if certain acids are added to ammonium hydroxide, it will turn into ammonium nitrate, which is used to make homeade bombs. I'm glad I'm eating that whenever I go to McDonald's...

I found this story newsworthy, because fast food is pretty much a staple in most people's lives. People eat fast food daily and if there are certain chemicals going into the food that they eat, it's a good idea to know about it.

I think this story did a good job following the inverted pyramid style, and the paragraph lengths were decent. There were also some pretty good quotes. What did you think of the story? If you were the writer, was there anything you would change or add? Do you still want to eat at McDonald's? Perhaps this article will make you think twice about ordering a hamburger there.


  1. I really liked this story as a piece of writing. I thought that the length was appropriate for the audience, it was full of multimedia, there were reputable quotes, and it even had a hint of celebrity with Jamie Oliver.

    This is also something that affects a huge population of this country, so it is newsworthy in that every single person that ingests McDonald's should know about it.

    As a reader, however, I want more details on what McDonald's is doing to make their meat better and healthier for consumers. It's already being soaked in grease, why do I want Salmonella? I think what is more interesting than the article, will be the human response to it. Will people stop eating McDonald's? I think a good way to rate articles are by the impact they issue so I think it would behoove the writer to present a follow up article.

  2. Gross and newsworthy, I found this story to be an excellent example of an inverted pyramid article. The essential information was right at the beginning sharing the goopey slime that incorporates Mcdonald's food. Honestly this makes me not want to eat fast food for awhile even though I already follow a pretty healthy regime. It makes me feel vastly uncomfortable knowing that the ingredients made for bombs are gurgling around in my stomach.

    If I were the writer, I probably would have added some other fast food places to really emphasize the awful ingredients that these meats and different meals are producing. Instead of just repeating the fact that Jamie Oliver's repetitive pressure on the fast food business being a poor health choice did not affect Mcdonald's decision with the production of the pink slime, I would have brought the audience's attention to other fast food places doing the same thing as Mcdonald's. Or, maybe even a healthy alternative that produces fresh meat and still is categorized as a fast food place, for example, Chik-fil-A.

  3. The article, as others have mentioned is a perfect example of an inverted pyramid. It focused on one particular aspect of the McDonald's "pink slime". One thing I liked about the piece was that the writer wasn't under the impression that everyone knew what he was writing about. He explained that this chemical is going into our fast food meals and gave examples of what the chemical is used for.

    I liked how we went with the piece as well. He focused on the celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver and provided a video of him with the article. It was easy to follow and you can tell he researched what he was writing about.

    One thing that bothered be about his writing were his hyphens. He overly used the hyphens and along with that, the description in between the hyphens were too long. It was difficult to follow the ending of the sentence after the explanations between the hyphens.

    I have seen the "pink slime" before reading this article. I have not been to a McDonald's since elementary school and rarely go to fast food restaurants (I'm not sure if you consider Chipotle a fast food, if so, I go once a week) and this justifies my reasons to never go again. I have never had a hamburger as well.

    The writer did a good job in presenting the topic and choosing a specific subject within the topic.

  4. I agree with everyone that the author did a good job sticking to the inverted pyramid. The important facts were first, then the filler information followed. The idea that McDonalds uses these tactics is terrifying. If something this disgusting is coming to light right now, what else are they doing that we don't know about?

    I enjoyed the author's descriptive terminology. "A blaring British tabloid, which trumpeted it as a victory for fellow Brit Oliver against the monolithic U.S. food industry." They could have simply listed the tabloid, but through the terms "blaring" and "trumpeted", they give us a good idea of the liberal nature of the tabloid.

  5. I thought that the combination of media in this story made it particularly effective. By being able to actually see the process that is being described in the article, it allows the reader to actually visualize what is in their food and why this issue is important, especially for such an established fast food chain like McDonald's.

    However, I thought that had the article not included the video, the writing standing on its own would have just made an average story, nothing amazing or creative. The author did a good job of using the inverted pyramid, which was especially appropriate for this piece since it was more hard news than an emotional story.

    This story also could have been improved by talking to more official sources on the other side of the issue, such as someone from the FDA or an executive from McDonald's, instead of solely relying on secondary sources. Overall I thought that the story got the point across and definitely brought this important issue to the attention of the public.

  6. Wow. If the headline and picture is not enough to draw a reader in, then I don't know what will. This story utilizes the inverted pyramid perfectly.

    This story is newsworthy because it affects many people. Who hasn't stopped for a McDonald's meal during a long car ride or for breakfast in the morning? This story scares me. What else don't we know about? The article said it is classified as "generally recognized as safe."

    This story could have been better if the reader would have gotten the facts from a nutritionist or some type of health care professional. Overall I thought the story was a good read and got the information across.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. well.... Quite frankly I expected more from this story. I thought it was a great inverted pyramid but I do not agree that that style was good for this story. And not to mention the first three paragraphs seem awfully repetitive. While this story did have a "breaking news" aspect to it with the announcement of McDonalds no longer using the chemical, the writer could have gotten really creative with the story.

    The story had great potential, but it is also a rather cliche story. I've heard and read for years how fast food meat is nothing more than glorified dog food.

    The picture and the video were great additions to the story. They added more depth that was missing from the written story. Over all I just wanted more information after I was done reading.

  9. I thought the article could have included something on Jamie Oliver's reaction to McDonald's removal of the pink goo. The piece really centered around Oliver's mission and the video really explained the issue better than what the author had written.

    It also would have helped to get quotes from other fast food chains to see what their response is to McDonald's change. There could be many different sides to be heard and it would have widened the issue even more.

  10. What are they going to put in the meat?

    I mean sure, it looks gross and is used in homemade explosives. But I would argue that it is better than harmful bacteria that could kill me. I have no clue what harmful properties are in ammonium hydroxide, but it is probably just as bad for you.

    One positive about this is that the meat will hopefully be fresher on my Big Mac.

    I thought the writing was well done. I liked how the writer put what ammonium hydroxide is also found in in the first paragraph, it is a really good attention grabber.

  11. This is a great article. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. I'm a huge healthy food eater and I hate McDonald's and this article backs me and many others up.

    They video gives the article even more credibility. I'm not sure what more I can say about it other than it's completely news worthy.

    It's well written it brings up an issue everyone who eats McDonald's need to know and I agree with others when they say it needs a few more quotes especially from McDonald's, but to be honest if I owned McDonald's I would stay hidden.

  12. I thought that this article was a well written inverted pyramid. It got the facts across to the reader and was a good length in general. I thought it gave good information about exactly what the pink slime is, because I had no idea.

    I agree with Katie in that a comment from Jamie Oliver would've added to the story. Also I felt that the story was very bias that the pink goo is bad. I agree that it is, but it didn't really give an opposite view for the use of the goo.

  13. Sorry this is late, I fell asleep and woke up past the deadline:

    I enjoyed this story, however, I wasn't a big fan of the inverted pyramid style. This is a story that can benefit from a more fictional-style approach. Because, honestly, the news of McDonald's cutting the "pink slime" is not entirely life changing. Yes, we eat at McD's all the time. But it's more of a general interest piece, something the average reader is going to look through just because the headline caught their eye. This is why I think the writer should've done something more with the background story. How did this pink slime get there? What was the process? Maybe starting out with Mr Oliver's initial concerns. Have his voice carry the opening, that was the average reader gets a good idea of what this entails. The interesting part of the story is how it came to be removed, not that it has been removed. Save that part for last. Because then, it's an underdog story. Jamie Oliver fights against the fast food titan for the health of all of us, all of our children, the entire nation. And Oliver comes out on the top. That's a good story, and I feel like the writer missed that opportunity.