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McDonald’s Breaks From 2019’s Biggest Fast Food Trend With Veggie Dippers

The rice, sundried tomato, and red pepper product moves away from the growing clamour for vegan burgers

McDonald’s vegan meal is veggie dippers McDonald’s [Official Photo]

McDonald’s leaves burgers behind for first vegan meal

It’s been more prominent in America than the U.K., but as fast food companies realise that vegetarian and vegan options are going to make them more money than the billions that they already do, brands make choices about what they are going to serve.

McDonald’s has thrown down its U.K. gauntlet with ‘Veggie Dippers,’ which will be cooked in their own fryers and are, therefore, vegan. The fried rice, red pepper, split pea and sun-dried tomato croquettes don’t just break from the growing presence of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods — two producers of imitation meat that herald themselves not just as prodigious burger makers, but as ethical solutions to the climate crisis — but actively emulate the bean burger years of the 1990s and 2000s, before venture capital decided the money was in imitating cow.

Fast food companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC trialling and adopting products that purport to be better for the environment adds another bind to the already complex relationship between the way in which these companies exploit people, animals, resources, and laws, and the way in which the structural inequalities that permit that exploitation disenfranchise and marginalise communities that then turn to those companies for refuge. McDonald’s saying no — for now — to imitation meat is a striking choice, but it’s still part of a system that needs dramatic reform, and perhaps to realise that building food systems that can grow versatile vegetables to feed people is at least as viable a solution to eating less meat than letting two unicorns control supply with the help of fast food conglomerates.

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