As a rule, most of us are willing to accept that fast food, though delicious, is inherently terrible for you. Something about the amount of chemicals, carcinogens and trans fats coursing through your system after a particularly ill-advised binge make it seem all the more alluring. Therefore, whenever a fast food giant attempts to persuade us that their new offering is actually healthy, the response is almost always a collective sigh of disappointment.
Sadly, fast food franchises don’t seem to have yet received the memo. Over the years, they’ve all tried their hand at the health food market, with varying degrees of success. From the annals of history, here are a few of the worst attempts ever to make fast food healthy.
Though debate has raged for decades over the various nutritional benefits of pasta, it’s always been generally accepted that it’s better for you than a burger. In an attempt to take advantage of this fact, McDonald’s released McSpaghetti. Unfortunately, it was terrible and quickly died a death in the US, though it can still be found in a few more eccentric foreign franchises.
2. Seafood Salad
Any salad from a fast food joint should be treated with healthy scepticism. The idea of one stuffed with seafood should be viewed with horror. Quite how the marketing team at Taco Bell felt that they were going to persuade America that they needed this monstrosity remains a mystery. Needless to say, the seafood salad was thankfully short lived.
3. McLean Deluxe
With a name that sounded more like a Scottish dance move than a burger, the McLean was always going to find life tough. Despite boasting a recipe that was “91% fat-free”, customers were innately suspicious of the ‘sounds too good be true’ sandwich, and with good reason. It turned out that the burger was pumped full of seaweed extract in an attempt to make it vaguely palatable. Shockingly, the concept proved unsuccessful.
4. McSalad Shakers
It really is a testament to the creative powerhouse at McDonald’s HQ that their ideas feature so prominently on this stupid list. Undeterred by their other terrible ideas, the golden arches decided that the world needed a way to combine salad and drinking into one ungodly mess. The result was the McSalad Shaker - a plastic cup filled with chicken ceasar. It’s quite frankly a miracle that these managed to last three years.
5. Tomato Surprise
One of the joys about eating fast food is the total lack of surprise present on the menu. You know exactly where you stand with a hamburger. Unfortunately for Wendy’s, they must have missed this particular lesson at fast food college. The result was the hideous tomato surprise - a hollowed out tomato stuffed with tuna and served with a side of pineapple and cottage cheese. Truly, this is scraping the barrel of bad food ideas.
As someone with a deep love of puns, it pains me to include this entry on the list. Unfortunately, Burger King’s satisfries satis-sucked. Conceived as a way to attract a new nutrition conscious crowd with a low fat alternative to normal food, satisfries contained 40% less saturated fat, 30% less calories and 100% less flavour than their traditional counterparts.
Innovation in fast food is always welcome. After all, where would we be if no one had decided to mince a chicken and turn it into a nugget? However, there is clearly an acceptable boundary for sensible ideas. As these shockers prove, fast food businesses need to be content with slowly poisoning the population. The results otherwise are just stupid.