Close up of homemade mini burgers with stew beef, tomatoes and basil on wooden background, Modern delicious fast food, Low angle view. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The McDonald's Fries Scandal You May Not Be Aware Of
By Cynthia Anaya
McDonald’s French fries are a staple on the menu, but they have a not-so-great history — one that many have either forgotten about or never knew about. The scandal came in 1990 when the restaurant made the tough decision to remove an ingredient from their cooking oil and customers felt misinformed about the change.
McDonald's initially used 93% beef fat tallow for their French fries to save money, which remained the case until trouble arose. In 1985, The National Heart Savers Association spent millions campaigning against McDonald’s, causing the franchise to replace its beef tallow with vegetable oil five years later.
This change excited vegans and vegetarians, who had previously been unable to eat McDonald’s fries due to the use of beef tallow, but the brand continued to use natural beef flavors in their fries without publicly announcing it. This led to three individuals suing McDonald’s for misleading them, and the brand eventually settled with a $10 million donation to religious and vegetarian groups and an apology.