We recently shared the exciting news that McDonald’s was testing “The McVegan,” a soy-based patty topped with vegan fixings and an egg-less McFeast sauce at a location in Tampere, Finland. Well, now we have great news to share about the test … it was a success!
Starting December 28th, The McVegan will begin rolling out not only in all Finland locations permanently but Finland’s neighboring country, Sweden will also get to enjoy the vegan burger. Woohoo!
McDonald’s teamed up with Anamma, a brand of Orkla Foods Sweden to create the burger to meet the rising demand for plant-based options. “We are very proud that McDonald’s chooses to build his new burger on Anoma roadmap. It gives more opportunity to discover how good and easy it is to eat vegan, while at the same time we reduce the climate pressure on our planet, ” Nina Sandström, Marketing Manager for Anamma, explained to My News Desk. Of course, if you’re avoiding all animal products, then you’ll want to skip the fries. Unfortunately, McDonald’s fries contain “natural beef flavors,” an ingredient that is made from wheat and milk derivatives. Don’t worry, though — you can pick up an order of vegan fries to-go at Wendy’s.
So Sweden Is Getting a Vegan McDonald’s Burger – Why Is This a Big Deal?
A majority of the meat served in fast food chains comes from industrial animal agriculture or factory farms. Now, this might seem like common knowledge, but what many don’t know is the destruction caused by these concentrated animal feeding operations.
Industrialized animal agriculture currently occupies around 50 percent of the world’s arable land and uses a majority of our freshwater stores. As demand for cheap meat and dairy expands across the world (which it is, at exponential rates), these finite resources are being pushed to the brink. In fact, if we hope to feed the world’s population when it reaches 9.8 billion in 2050, we will need to expand mass-scale deforestation to convert rainforests into fields for livestock – and their feed – leaving little behind but polluted air and water. Species extinction and climate change have also been attributed to our current livestock system, as it currently releases more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector and destroys natural habitats in favor of monocultures like soy and corn (again, animal feed). Despite all this damage done, nearly one billion people suffering from hunger across the globe. So clearly how we produce food and what we eat needs to change.
McDonald’s adding a vegan burger to their menu in Europe might not seem like a world-changing action, but considering this company has a presence in 160 countries and territories and serves 68 million customers every day (it’s estimated that McDonald’s sells 75 burgers every SECOND), this one new option has the potential to make a HUGE positive impact.
One more vegan option means one more chance for consumer demand to shift the tides away from industrialized meat production. According to the 2017 Protein Alternatives Report by global market research firm Mintel, Millennials are especially open to meat alternatives; 64 percent have tried meatless burgers. Meanwhile, only one in five Millennials has tried a Big Mac. Whether one is gravitating towards meatless options due to diet, environmental concerns, health, or animal welfare concerns, plant-based burgers are way more than just a tasty choice.
For all of us who are stateside, don’t worry, you can still get your meat-free burger fix at fast food establishments. The plant-based Beyond Burger will be coming to 500 T.G.I. Friday’s locations starting January 2018 and White Castle offers two different vegan burgers. Not to mention, the drool-worthy Impossible Burger is now available at all Bareburger restaurant locations!
While we might not support all of McDonald’s choices, the move to add more vegan options globally is commendable. Fingers crossed for the McVegan to make it’s way to the U.S. soon!
To learn more about trends and developments in the plant-based food space, check out our podcast #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias.
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