Hear ye, hear ye! Burger King has started to jump on the socially conscious bandwagon with their recent announcement that they have decided to forego meat and animal products that grew up in a cage.
We’re excited, right? First it was pink slime, now it’s bye-bye animal cruelty from one of the biggest meat-buyers in the country. Animal lovers across the world are breathing a collective sigh of relief, and celebrating this next victory.
According to National Geographic, the health benefits of cage-free, pasture-fed animal products is pretty clear. Lower in cholesterol and higher in the good stuff like vitamins and omegas. And it’s easier on the environment, which I know I didn’t think about until I read it. But it makes sense. If you put too many animals in close quarters (humans included!), we are not talking healthy or sanitary conditions.
But what remains to be seen is the domino effect at the register. I mean, really, have you tried buying cage-free or free-range animal products? It isn’t exactly cheap.
I, myself, have recently made the switch over to buying cage-free eggs at the market. It’s kinder to the animals, and overall healthier for you with more Omega 3’s. It was a conscious decision I made to upgrade to a kinder, healthier animal product. But it’s also nearly twice the price of regular eggs. I don’t eat through enough eggs in a week for it to weigh on my pocket as much as it would families; never mind food industry businesses like bakeries, or restaurants like Burger King.
Fast food restaurants like Burger King and McDonald’s have been a monster success because of their fast, convenient, cheap food. But then again, have you checked their food prices lately? I remember just recently dropping in a McDonald’s to grab a salad (the only place in town I could grab one that was close by one day I’d forgotten my own lunch), and I think I was stunned by the prices. Course, last time I’d really patronized MickyD’s was probably high school (over 10 years ago). What was perhaps 3 or so dollars was now double the price for a burger and fries. Goodness gracious.
And that’s due to just normal inflation.
The healthy-minded, food conscious populace probably don’t make up the majority of these chains’ clientele, either, but have clamored for change. The majority who do eat there, do so because it is cheap to feed a family, and aren’t really concerned about where the food comes from. Or maybe they will like the idea that Burger King is taking an interest in animal welfare and health benefits of their food products.
But will they be smiling as brightly when those prices start to change?
With this new move in a new direction for Burger King, it will indeed be a ‘game-changer’ for the entire food industry, and how our food gets to our table. Burger King uses hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork annually, AP reporter Traci Cone writes in her recent article. So, yes, it’s wonderful that they’ve made the step to be more socially responsible, but are we ready to pay the price?