McDonald’s Gets Grilled is a groundbreaking television documentary which targets one of the world’s most famous, but equally controversial companies.
But not only has McDonald’s Australia taken the unprecedented step of agreeing to participate, it has also allowed independent production company, WTFN, unfettered access to all areas.
Cameras followed six average Australians during an intensive seven days of amateur investigating. They were up at dawn seeing first-hand how lettuce, potatoes and tomatoes destined for McDonald’s are grown. Farmers faced probing questions about pesticides and food miles.
At the lettuce processing plant chlorine proved to be an issue, and at the dairy plant, sugar in the shakes. The teams inspected beef and poultry farms where hormones in stock feeds were the main concerns. They saw beef being made into burgers, and chicken meat into nuggets, and demanded to know about preservatives and phosphates.
At the McDonald’s stores the teams saw the finished products being assembled with the company’s trademark military precision. There they wanted to know about staff exploitation, cleanliness, food holding periods, and for the biggest skeptics among them, how the food tastes.
Ultimately as we all follow this intriguing journey it will be more than a program about fast food and McDonalds. It’s a social experiment that tests whether people, faced with overwhelming evidence challenging their long-held prejudices, can ever accept the truth.
Broadcast 2 April 2012.