As expected, McDonald’s oatmeal is an oxymoron.

A bowl-full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Thanks to Mark Bittman’s new gig as food Opinion columnist, we now know a lot more specifically how bad ‘food’ can be in America. His recent piece dissects the science fiction of McDonald’s “oatmeal”:

  • “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.”
  • McDonald’s [oatmeal] 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.)

And about those weird ingredients… McDonald’s website actually lists out all the components of ‘oatmeal’ and ‘light cream’, which we would have thought entailed simply those words repeated.

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

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

Sigh. This confirms our intuition to stick with pancakes for breakfast.

[NY Times]

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