McDonald's "oatmeal" has 11 weird ingredients, more sugar than a Snickers

Writing on the New York Times blog, Mark Bittman reviews McDonald's nightmarish attempt at making oatmeal (a foodstuff with one ingredient):
Yet in typical McDonald's fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. (Not only that, they've made it more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New York.) "Cream" (which contains seven ingredients, two of them actual dairy) is automatically added; brown sugar is ostensibly optional, but it's also added routinely unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. There are also diced apples, dried cranberries and raisins, the least processed of the ingredients (even the oatmeal contains seven ingredients, including "natural flavor").

A more accurate description than "100% natural whole-grain oats," "plump raisins," "sweet cranberries" and "crisp fresh apples" would be "oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen." ...Incredibly, the McDonald's product contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald's cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin. (Even without the brown sugar it has more calories than a McDonald's hamburger.)

How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong (via Super Punch)

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  1. To my knowledge, you can ask for the oatmeal without the sweeteners. Honestly, it doesn’t need it; the fresh apple and plump raisins that top it are more than enough to flavor and sweeten the oats.

    1. Fresh? did you watch them chop the apples? or watch them dip them in bleach water so they look fresh? just askin….

  2. The rare times I go to McDonalds, it’s never for anything with “meat”, but I once decided to get one of their ice coffees. The cashier filled my cup and started pumping into it from a big bottle labeled “Lquid Sugar”. They’re so certain most customers want multiple squirts of sugar added that it’s an automatic. You have to stop them in time to prevent it.

  3. I had high hopes for this item. I figured it was, you know, oatmeal, with inevitable inclusions of fruit.

    You can bet your butt that McDonalds focus-tested and taste-tested and test-market-tested this stuff for months or years, adding more and more crap until their target audience would eat it. Oatmeal is pretty subtle stuff compared to the salty, greasy shit normally served for breakfast at fast food joints.

    I really wish Bittman would list the “11 weird ingredients.” I don’t like it when food advocates try to scare us with talk of “XXX chemicals!” or “XXX ingredients!” without further explanation. Why not list them, and their function, and then let the audience wonder why something as naturally shelf-stable as oatmeal needs BHT, or cream needs whitener?

    1. I don’t like it when food advocates try to scare us with talk of “XXX chemicals!” or “XXX ingredients!”

      Really I just don’t like that “chemicals” is somehow a dirty word for food products.

      If we want to rid ourselves of chemicals then we’re going to have to work on transcending the need for physical bodies. If we didn’t know what they were, chemicals like “acetic acid”, “niacin”, and “high density lipoproteins” would make us feel scared, too. You wouldn’t be long for this earth if you avoided all food that had “too many chemicals”, it’s so silly.

  4. Say what you want, McDonalds probably delivers more calories for the price than any other single organization in the world. And at a profit. They also successfully and efficiently employ a huge many who would otherwise be unemployable.

    1. “McDonalds probably delivers more calories for the price than any other single organization in the world.”

      Oh, bullshit. Disingenuous bullshit.

      For one thing . . . calories? Are you shitting us? If your only metric is calories, you can do much better buying a 50 lb. sack of white rice for $23 at Costco. (If you miss the fat content of McD’s offerings. Costco can sell you a big tub of lard to mix in with the rice!)

      For another, the American public isn’t exactly dying for lack of calories, is it? It’s not like we’re in a Soylent Green situation where McD’s is a benevolent megacorp holding back mass starvation. Sheesh.

      “And at a profit.”

      OH! Well that makes it OK!

      “They also successfully and efficiently employ a huge many who would otherwise be unemployable.”

      Not particularly. I do go to McD’s now and then, and it’s not like the place is staffed to any substantial degree by folks with mental and physical limitations. Working in McD’s is actually really demanding.

      1. Samuel Johnson famously defined oats in his dictionary as “A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people”. What better authority do you need? Are you civilised, or are you a Pict?

        1. Okay, wow, F U dude. Frickin’ troll MF. What is this the day for bastard ass dipsh!t f#ckheads. Yeah, I fell for that. -Anti, feel free to disemvowel this, I wish I had the will power to do it myself.

          But before you do know that I also think the styrofoam mafia needs to be shut down. Regardless of whether they put it in the meat or not. McDonald’s is a scourge, a pox upon this planet. I’m too livid to make any more sense than that. Thank you and good eve.

          1. I agree with you on that. The problem I have with that trollish statement is that that so-and-so was denigrating a civilization that existed long before the usurpers and equating them with savages. In my opinion the English are the savages and his comment just supports that idea.

            On topic, I can’t see why a rational person would seriously contend that McDonald’s ‘food’ could ever approach being healthy. That is not why they are in the business. They are in the business of serving billions and billions the cheapest, most modified junk available to gain a profit. They really couldn’t give two rips about whether or not it is good for anybody to eat. I fully believe that they would sell larded and deep-fried sawdust pellets with ‘natural flavor’ if the FDA would let them.

          2. Wow, buddy, cool down. The original comment was just quoting one of Samuel Johnson’s well-known put-downs. It was being done humorously. No one actually believes that Jonathan Badger was really insulting the Scots.

            After all, how can you insult anyone who makes such good whisky? Even if they do spend all day chasing haggises around mountains.

            You need to learn not to take everything so literally when reading forum comments.

        1. I’m not sure which recurring BoingBoing theme I find more ridiculous: the “ZOMG CHEMICALZ we need to get our natural skin oils in balance and stop using soap!” or the “Paleo diet” which provides pseudo-scientific evolutionary-biological arguments against eating…grains?!

          If you want to hear from a guy who actually has smart and interesting things to say about food, check out Heribert Watzke:

          http://www.ted.com/speakers/heribert_watzke.html

  5. These are the ingredients in the oatmeal, in case anyone is wondering:

    Oatmeal
    Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.

    Diced Apples
    Apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).

    Cranberry Raisin Blend
    Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).

    Light Cream
    Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

    Excluding the light cream, the only ingredients that I don’t currently have in my kitchen are “natural flavor (plant source)”, which is their artificial maple syrup, caramel color, which I could make easily enough, and sulfur dioxide, which is put on most dried fruit you buy in the supermarket. The “scary stuff” in the light cream is the same stuff you’d find in any shelf-stable cream.

    Malt extract is a wonderful, and common, food additive. Calcium ascorbate is a mixture of things many people take in a daily multivitamin.

    Next we’re going to have some ranting article about how McDonald’s Oatmeal has an ingredient used in cement in it (calcium).

    1. But that said, this thing is still loaded with sugar.

      Even if you don’t ask for brown sugar, brown sugar is still one of the ingredients in the ingredient they’re calling “oatmeal,” along with natural flavor (syrup), barley malt extract and caramel color. And the “Cranberry Raisin Blend” has “sugar” as its first ingredient, along with sunflower oil

      So you’re getting all that even if you ask for it without the additional brown sugar and cream.

      All that said, who can blame them? If you’re going into McD’s for breakfast, then you already have a sugar-, salt-, and oil-addicted tooth, and if McD’s tried to sell actually-healthy oatmeal no one would buy it.

  6. From http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutrition1/itemDetailInfo.do?itemID=1500

    Oatmeal
    Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.

    Diced Apples
    Apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).

    Cranberry Raisin Blend
    Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).

    Light Cream
    Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.
    CONTAINS: MILK.

    1. “Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.”

      Translation: “Whole grain rolled oats, sugar, sugar, salt, fruit flavor, sugar, caramel color”

  7. I hate to defend McDonalds. I would agree, homemade oatmeal is much better. But food science is the same regardless of who’s selling it.

    So what are the 11 “weird” ingredients? Listed from the McD’s website are:

    Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color

    Apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).

    Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).

    Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

    The weirdest ingredients would be those listed in the cream. But these are common ingredients used in creamers used in coffee. As a bonus, there is actually milk and cream.

    As far as the others: they are from natural sources. Sure, you probably don’t have the natural flavor they use in your kitchen, but you probably do have vanilla extract which is a natural flavor. Natural flavors are just glorified extracts. Plenty of products at Whole Foods have natural flavors.

    I guess other things like calcium ascorbate sound evil, but its just a form of vitamin C.

    If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.

    1. Actually barley malt extract is a syrupy sweetener like maple syrup. I added a tbsp to my homemade organic oatmeal (both from Whole Foods) along with a scattering of organically grown walnut pieces for this morning’s breakfast. It’s easy to make good healthy oatmeal using a single person automatic rice maker that shuts off when the oatmeal has absorbed all the water. Takes about 15 minutes and according to my cardiologist is the healthiest fast food breakfast you can eat.

  8. I am kind of glad to see a reasonable response to this. @Zan is absolutely right, the “OMG chemicals” trope is a bit lame.

    As far as “more sugar than a Snickers” without saying how much is in a Snickers is a little cheap. A Snickers (regular size, not king, or fun) has 29g as opposed to 18g in the oatmeal w/out brown sugar and 32g in the oatmeal with brown sugar, not exactly horrifying.

    What is really telling is that the no brown sugar oatmeal is 260 calories and with sugar it is 290. OMG 30 calories!!! Sugar is about 4 calories per gram (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5591/2) so the horrendous 32g of sugar is roughly 128 calories or roughly 6% of your daily intake (assuming 2000 cal). The oatmeal overall would be 14.5% of your daily intake so you could have 6 of them and still have a snickers bar.

  9. I’m all for jumping on McDonalds. Their beef burgers are uniformly disgusting (to eat, ignoring the ingredient list) and their chicken isn’t much better.

    But I think a lot of people who would never consider eating at McDonalds (for health reasons) end up doing their bodies grave disservice at a “real” restaurant.

    It’s very easy to find a “Pad Thai with shrimp” that’s 2000 calories or “roast chicken salad” that’s almost as bad. And if you’re really not careful, it’s just about as easy to find a “Fettucini Alfredo” or “Stuffed Pasta” or something that’s 2500 or 3000 calories.

    For at least a large percentage of people, eating that many calories regularly is a much more serious, immediate health risk than eating some additives in your oatmeal – but nobody is telling people that their Pad Thai is killing them.

    1. But I can virtually guarantee that’s mostly about serving size.

      How many shitty McDonald’s burgers would you have to eat to add up in weight to a full-plate restaurant pasta entree?

  10. Why people gotta be hatin’ on Food Science? Sure, there are wrong things that you can do with it, but the same can be said about any science.

  11. The full ingredient list for the oatmeal, fruit, and cream is:

    Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color, Apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color), Dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative), Milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

    While most people don’t have modified food starch, natural flavors, barley malt extract, caramel color, calcium ascorbate, sulfur dioxide, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, or carrageenan on their shelves in their kitchen at home, they aren’t exactly uncommon in commercial food prep. Food starch is used commonly as a thickener and modified food starch is designed to work faster; natural flavors are common in many products; barley malt extract is a sweetener used (among other places) to make beer, caramel color is what gives colas their brown color; calcium ascorbate is an unusual salt of vitamin C used to prevent apples from browning; sulfur dioxide is a very common preservatives for dried fruit — the raisins the author has on his shelf probably have sulfur dioxide but he never checked; I suspect the “cream” comes as a powder, which would explain the anticaking agent sodium phosphate; datem is an emulsifier to help keep the cream from separating; so is sodium stearoyl lactylate; the sodium citrate is an antioxidant (we like antioxidants, right?) used to keep the cream from spoiling; and finally the carrageenan is a commonly used gelling agent made from seaweed.

    I don’t eat at McDonalds. I’m a life-long vegetarian. I read a lot of ingredients. When I come across an ingredient I don’t recognize, I look it up to see if it meets my dietary needs. I’ve seen most, if not all, of these “weird ingredients” in a lot of foods. The tone of “I don’t know what this ingredient is, so it must be bad for me” gets on my nerves.

    1. Just a little FYI. I have worked at McDonalds for 2 years, I am a college student not just expecting to live my life there. The cream is ACTUAL cream. It comes in a bag, from the walk in, and then put into a little refrigerator that holds it. I’m not saying I love McDonalds and defend it. McDonalds is actually a pretty shitty job but, don’t always look for the worst in things.

  12. Thanks for listing the ingredients, Zan. It’s hard to really form an opinion of the vague “11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

    I’ve been eating this stuff even though I have oatmeal at home. I start work driving at 5 or 6 AM and I’m not quite ready to eat at 4:00 AM when I get up.

    McDonalds is open 24 hours a day and there is one within a few minutes of where I end up if I have a few minutes free between calls. Their oatmeal is good with coffee, easy to eet in the cab without leaving a smell or crumbs, and easy to stash away to eat later if I suddenly get called to go and get someone. It contains sugar but, but I like some sugar and it’s better than Little Debbie crap or gas station donuts. I try having somewhat better breakfast and coffee at Barriques sometimes but they move at a glacially slow pace there and it’s a problem if I get a call before my food is done.

    McDonald’s isn’t my first choice, but there’s always one around if I need “good enough” food pronto, and they do employ a lot of minorities and immigrants.

  13. I ordered a large coffee at McD’s. I was asked “cream and sugar?” to which I replied “one of each”.

    They gave me one… *handful* of each in a bag.

  14. with the butter and brown sugar i use, my oatmeal is probably WORSE, even gram-for-gram. the difference is that it’s filling (butter is great for that) whereas if this is like any other McD’s item, you’ll be left slightly nauseous and unsatisfied 30 minutes later.

  15. According to my wife (who works at McDonald’s), this is just Quaker oatmeal, repackaged. So you can be mad at the Quaker folks as well, I guess.

  16. 260 calories? Pretty light for a breakfast. Meaningless comparisons and science-fear are Huffington or British tabloid traits… tsk!

    Has anyone actually tasted it? ;)

  17. I checked the “healthy” multigrain bread we get at Trader Joes. That oat meal (if you leave off the brown sugar) has the same amount of sugar as 3 slices of multigrain bread. Other than the cream everything in there is stuff you would find in health food. A serving of oatmeal with nothing is 180 calories. the McDonalds version with fruit and cream is 240 calories. This article is more about FUD than food.

  18. It’s not “datem”, a word I’d never heard, it’s
    DATEM, (Diacetyl Tartaric (Acid) Ester of Monoglyceride).
    To have oats for breakfast, put plain raw rolled oats in a bowl, add some water or juice or cold coffee, 1/2 banana sliced or some blueberries optional, maybe a shake of cinnamon.
    If you thought the oatmeal was bad, the “100% real fruit” smoothies are worse. They are made with pigskin, cow hooves, and other stuff McDonalds doesn’t list on the billboard. With wifi and passable espresso, I now sometimes go to McD when traveling, so I have to watch out for this stuff. I wish they had -something- I could eat.

    1. [McDonalds smoothies] are made with pigskin, cow hooves, and other stuff

      It’s kind of inflammatory to say this when more accurately you mean that the smoothies contain gelatin. It’s not as if they are tossing cracklings into the blender with the bananas.

  19. Breakfast items in general are pretty horrible. For example cereal targeted at kids often contain the exact same ingredient and quantity of sugar that are in cookies or other junk food. They just throw in an assortment of vitamins and play it off as healthy.

    Its a bit disheartnening to look at the back of one of those boxes and see sugar as the main ingredient while on the front theres a little “Healthy Choice” badge. If anything McDonald’s is doing the exactly that.

  20. I read the NYTimes article on my own a couple of days back. It had me pretty bummed, since I have these nice coupons for free oatmeal, and the item would be radically healthier than McD’s other breakfast offerings.

    So . . . thanks to those above who actually looked at the facts about the OMG INGREDIENTS! I’m not totally happy, but things could be far worse.

    The trick, then, is to tell the clerk to skip the cream and sugar. Then you’ve just purchased an overpiced bowl of oatmeal and sweetened fruit. If I were on the road, I’d be happy for that choice.

    * * *

    In the FYI department: I actually priced oatmeal offerings at the local discount grocery the other day. The bulk section sold steel cut (my favorite) for $.78 a pound. Old fashioned rolled oats, $.57 a pound. A 25 lb. sack of “old fashioned” was $13 and change.

    But you pretty much gotta figure in the price of raisins and other fruits. Plain oatmeal is pretty boring.

    You can cook the stuff in a slow cooker overnight, and microwave or re-boil unused portions.

  21. So the issue here really is that “oatmeal” is a vauge word that can mean very different things.

    As other mutants have allready pointed out, this is just your average crunchy oatmeal cereal, no better or worse than the stuff you can get in a box at your local supermarket. In Europe, we call the cereal mixes “Muesli”.

    Bittman, and Cory, obviously have it confused with oatmeal porridge, since there is all this nonsense talk about “a foodstuff with one ingredient”. But even if you just eat the oats, plain, it´s customary to at least add milk or water, wich instantly doubles the amount of ingredients.

    But really, would anyone ever order this at an McD an expect porridge? Next you’ll be telling me that you think the chicken nuggets contain actual chicken.

  22. Jaysus, will you people back off of mcD’s? This company feeds more poor people in this country than any government agency at prices they can afford. May not be the bark and twigs that you find acceptable, but they fill hungry bellies. If you don’t like the food, don’t buy it.

    1. May not be the bark and twigs that you find acceptable, but they fill hungry bellies.

      Styrofoam – 1; Humanity – 0

  23. Reading the comments here, I get:

    A) McDonalds are heroic providers for the feckless masses

    B) but we here are much too virtuous to actually eat their food

    C) Sodium phosphate, diacetyl tartaric acid esters of monoglyceride, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, monosodium glutamate and seaweed pulp are all perfectly normal ingredients to be totally expected in any bowl of oatmeal

    and

    D) Antinous hasn’t noticed they are phasing out styrofoam (presumably he thought they just moved it directly into the burgers).

    Did I miss anything?

  24. To borrow a phrase, it’s candy for adults. Anything you buy in a restaurant is sold to you specifically to taste good. If it didn’t people wouldn’t buy it and that restaurant would cease to exist (many already have).

    By the way, a few Cheerios sprinkled on top of a bowl of oatmeal is really good. Yeah, I like oats, a lot. And I don’t care what horses eat.

  25. Well love or hate McDonalds, and corporate responsibility politics aside, I’m going to ask a different question. I’m going to try and wrap my head around McD’s business plan.

    I know that McDonalds is always taking heat for an unhealthy menu, and they loose business because of it. Now mcdonalds says they are trying to break this by offering healthy choices on their menu. Ok, expand your customer base; great idea.

    Except that every time they do this, like offering salads with 1500 calorie dressings (that are all brown lettuce), or apple slices (with a side of sugar sauce), or fat and sugar laden oatmeal… they completely mess it up.

    Taking their efforts in earnest and the assumption that expending their customer base by offering healthier choices IS in fact their motive I can only conclude that they are completely incompetent in that all their healthy choices come out unhealthy.

    On the other hand maybe they *really do* consciously conspire to make their food addictive by pumping it full of fat and sugar regardless.

    All said and done I actually *like* McDonalds. Heck for a morning coffee I’ve taken to going there over Tim Hortons…. it’s almost as good and the line is about 10 minutes shorter. But the way I see it if you’re going to go to McDonald’s just drop and false pretences and have the Big Mac with large fries.

  26. My breakfast is invariably porridge (oat flakes cooked in milk) with a chunk or two of good quality dark chocolate. Oat flakes are, as far as I can tell, a “slow burn” carbohydrate and help reduced cholesterol levels. A 1Kg bag of oat flakes costs a quid, chunk by chunk a chocolate bar lasts a week.

    The processed food industry is motivated by profit and profit alone. The easiest way for it to make profit is to take a basic food stuff and “add value” to it. So we see the ridiculous bottled Thames water from Coke, a product which became the laughing stock of the year and was withdrawn from the market.

    Processed food typically contains high levels of sugar, salt and fat, the three things which in sustained quantity are notoriously bad for human health – calories rich, easily and quickly digested so you need to eat more sooner). They are also addictive. Jamie Oliver in a UK TV show demonstrated that a Pizzahut pizza contained 9 grams of salt in the tomato sauce – way too much to be consumed if dissolved in a glass of water. The saltiness is disguised by adding even more sugar.

    So it’s not just McDonalds that is shifting low quality food, but the entire processed food industry. These kind of foods may be cheap, but actually they are incredibly expensive and is one reason why American health insurance is expensive and is one reason why the UK’s national Health Service is creaking at the seams.

    Back to McDonalds’ Oatmeal product. McD’s realised several years ago that there would be pressure on them to diversify away from their core product of cheap burgers, due to health concerns. This is merely a continuation of that journey for them. Notice that they have repositioned away from primarily targeting (fat, sugar, salt) to kids – wifi and espresso? Where’s Ronald? Would they be able to profitably sell a straightforward porridge with no additives? These ingredients are there to increase shelf life and thereby keeping price points down – counter intuitive I suppose – add more ingredients and it costs less.

    There are plenty of low cost and high quality alternative foods to heavily processed “junk” food. But the addictiveness of the core ingredients of salt, sugar and fat, combined with the megabucks advertising campaigns, keep people hooked. And on path for a heart attack.

  27. In the UK McDonalds does serve porridge. It contains two principle ingredients: namely oats, which I will concede does contain (somewhat inexplicably and in my opinion unnecessarily) Soya Lecithin as a stabilizer, and Organic Semi-skimmed Milk. Just that. Nutritional Info here: http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/food/nutrition/our-ingredients.mcd?menu_item=135#dl

    This has far more to do with consumer expectation than anything nightmarish on the part of McDonalds. If this product is disagreeable, it is because of the people buying it – the culture and eating habits prevalent in the US. Not any malefaction on a corporations behalf. Just saying.

  28. It’s almost like they don’t want people to get thinner. Because if they did, they’d eat less McDonald’s food, thus McDonald’s making less money, and we can’t let that happen now can we, in a perfectly fine-and-dandy capitalist society?

  29. To raise this above the usual standard of internet comment threads about McDonald’s for a moment, I present BBC science series Jimmy’s Food Factory, in which the presenter looks at the how and why of all that pesky science in mass-produced food. Smart-kid friendly programming.

  30. Soylent Green flashes before my eyes. Remember theater “butter”? They were finally forced to change it to “butter flavored oil”. Now the same thing is happening with “cream”, those ingredients are nasty! Question: when is an ingredient not an ingredient? There seems to be this pervasive usage of primary and secondary ingredients. Oats, fruit, brown sugar, and cream are not the actual ingredients, are they? Are they not just descriptors?

  31. The stuff that might be bad to eat (in order of badness):

    1. Sugars
    brown sugar, barley malt extract, caramel colour (burnt sugar, can also contain carcinogens), sugar

    We all know that to much sugar can completely fuck up our bodies in a number of ways.

    2. Cream
    The fats may be more or less bad for you (it is “bad” fats), depending on your genetics, other food intake and physical activities. See also milk, but the fats actually neutralise some of the bad stuff in milk.

    3. Milk
    Depending on your genetics, more or less bad for you. We are neither bovines nor infants and milk is a very unnatural food, most people from parts of the world that has traditionally consumed a lot of milk, have inherited some resistance. There is a lot of good stuff in milk too, but most of the marketing is very exaggerated and you actually get a net loss of calcium by drinking milk (but it is easy to compensate by eating stuff that give you a net gain of calcium, like some vegetables and most nuts and grains). Most of the milk produced in USA is not allowed to import to countries in the developed world, because of the extreme concentrations of antibiotics and growth hormones (unlike milk from most other countries, it may also contain fish proteins from the fodder, may be deadly to those with fish allergy).

    4. Sulphur dioxide
    Ancient old preservative. You get this by burning sulphur (or sulphur rich fuel, like crud oil) under the drying fruit, or leading the gases into the drying room. Some people react really badly to sulphur dioxide for different reasons, but most just get a bit extra gassy. The sulphur that gets burned are often polluted with really bad stuff, though. The golden raisins would be darker without it.

    The unknown entity: natural flavour (plant source), many of those “natural” flavours are very allergenic.

    Some people may also react really badly by a variety of reasons, to some kinds of modified starch (just like some people react badly to some kinds of “normal” starch). As barley is a “safe” food for some people with specific starch-problems, it is a shame that they added extra starch. Some people may also react badly to the barley and the barley malt syrup (gluten and starch).

    The carrageenan add bulk in your stomach and may actually be good for you. The sodium compounds is used to treat a variety of illnesses and as far as I know, they don’t have any bad side effects.

  32. I’m shocked! Just by looking at the ads on TV, I thought that it looked like some sort of crappy collection of fruit bits sitting on top of something that I would never willingly eat. To find that it has more sugar than a Snickers just seems to be a McDonalds sort of thing to do.

  33. Not many people seem to be reading the original article. The problem with the fact that there are 11 extra strange ingredients is not that they are necessarily “bad” for your health but that if you would actually have cooked the oatmeal yourself at home these additives would not even be in there. The article also states that cooking the oatmeal yourself is even quicker than making a stop a McDonald’s. Also, yes McDonald’s does feed a lot of hungry stomachs but the original article again refutes this by highlighting the fact that homecooked oats cost far less per serving than the ridiculously expensive McDonald’s version.

    Why anyone would defend a corporation that gets rich by feeding people unhealthy food and in turn ends up costing taxpayers enormous amounts of money in offset healthcare costs is beyond me. If you enjoy the taste or are just too lazy to prepare your own meals then be honest and don’t pretend like these are a responsible decisions.

  34. why does McDonald’s name their oatmeal “Fruit & Maple Oatmeal” when there is NO maple in the oatmeal??????

  35. Thank you, mcdonalds, for making a highly processed version of somthing that takes less than 10 minutes to make at home.

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