McDonald’s executive chef Dan Coudreaut is sick and tired of critics blaming fast-food chains for the nationwide obesity epidemic.
If anything, he says, the responsibility falls squarely on each of our shoulders as consumers.
“I don’t see anything on the [McDonald’s] menu that’s unhealthy,” Coudreaut, 47, told the Akron Beacon Journal. “I’m sure I could eat a 2,000-calorie meal at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry.
“I feel that if we were to close our doors of all of the McDonald’s tomorrow, the obesity problem would not go away.”
While Coudreaut, a classically trained chef, oversees the menu for the fast-food giant, he insists it’s consumers who drive McDonald’s menu and not him. If people stop buying Big Macs or bought more of McDonald’s healthier options, the company would have no choice but to overhaul its menu. After all, as a multi-billion-dollar corporation, its goal is to make money, not dictate nutrition policy.
As long as McDonald’s and other fast-food joints like Burger King and White Castle continue to profit from Americans’ love of french fries and cheeseburgers, they will remain on the menu.
Coudreaut, who says he eats a Big Mac once a week, says parents, not the government or corporations, are responsible for controlling their children’s diets.
“I control what goes into their mouths,” says Coudreaut of his 11-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son.
Greasy junk food isn’t the problem, says Coudreaut. Americans are fatter than ever because they don’t practice moderation in their diets or exercise enough.
Besides, he points out that McDonald’s has rolled out healthier options over the years, including yogurt parfaits, salads, grilled chicken and low-fat milk.The menu change came in response to increased public demand for healthier menu options.
“Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Are we getting better? Every day,” says Coudreaut.