After reading this article today in the Herald Sun, “Maccas hopes green beans are new short black“, I have come to a few conclusions which I have listed below;
- McDonald’s may have a green conscious after all,
- They are trying to bring green products to the mainstream market,
- They may be trying to capture a large percentage of the coffee drinking market from other companies,
- It maybe just marketing hype to suck people into their restaurants to impulse buy the other crap they sell. Super size me baby.
Coffee is one of the most energy intense crops to bring to the western market place, and is grown mostly in tropical areas which is far from the markets it is sold in. The food miles, and therefore the oil utilised, to bring a cup of coffee from where it is grown in South America, to where it gets drunk in Australia, is staggering. They could have picked an easier product to “go green” on, and get some eco kudos in the process. Even by changing to organic pickles or using wholemeal buns would have been easier. And don’t get me started on the disposable paper cups with the plastic lid! Not very sustainable at all, unless they are made from recycled materials.
Don’t get me wrong, I like coffee, and I think that the Fair Trade branding is a good thing for producers, but I believe that we waste a lot of resources by drinking a cup of “green coffee” from McDonalds imported from South America, when we could either buy coffee from East Timor or other Asian countries, or beans grown right here in Australia. A lot less resources would be used if we all adapted this methodology. Locally grown produce is always a better option than shipping or in some cases flying produce from the other side of the world to your plate.
With all things considered, it may not be such a bad thing that McDonalds are tying to do, because I have found from experience, that once a mainstream citizen buys one green product, they start to ask many more green type questions about themselves and the way they live. They then do a little more research and start to buy more green products, and it is a cascade effect from thereon in. Next thing you know, they will have solar PV on their roofs and be driving a hybrid! Seriously! Funnier things happen at sea, I know, I have been there.