If food is culture, then we in America are a country divided. Though overt talk of class politics has always been somewhat taboo, the food industry has long engaged in various forms of class baiting. In the early 1960s, food manufacturers marketed their convenient products by appealing to middle class women who might have more free time, implying that through using their products, housewives could lead lives of the leisured upper class, writes Harvey Levenstein in Paradox of Plenty. In 1969, the chairman of the board of Corn Products Company said, “We — the food industry — have given [the housewife] the gift of time, which she may reinvest in bridge, canasta, garden club, and other perhaps more soul-satisfying pursuits.”
Rather than alluding to transparency by making empty claims about its products, McDonald’s foods — among thousands of other industrial food products — deserve labels alerting consumers to exactly what the food contains and what known health risks certain ingredients pose. If McDonald’s really cares about the average American, as it purports to in its ads, how about some real transparency that makes it so “every-man” has more information about what he (or she) is eating?