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I have to admit that I was excited when I saw that Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch was participating in the latest installment of McDonald’s Our food Your questions online video campaign. I have praised McDonald’s for its transparency in this campaign in a prior blog post, and I was really looking forward to viewing how McDonald’s presented egg production to the public.
Unfortunately, the question that was asked and answered, “Does McDonald’s use real eggs?,” wasn’t the question that I hoped would be addressed. The new video shows eggs in a Herbruck’s processing facility either being broken to make liquid egg for use by further processors to make some of McDonald’s menu items and eggs with the shell intact being cleaned, graded and packed for shipment to the chain’s restaurants for use in its Egg McMuffin sandwiches (which are absolutely delicious). There is certainly nothing wrong with the video, but I had hoped a different question would have been asked and answered.
The question that I would like to see addressed is, how are the hens that lay eggs for McDonald’s housed? I suppose McDonald’s might say that they had to establish that they do in fact use “real eggs” in their menu items before they explain where those eggs come from. OK, but now they need to address the elephant in the room. I don’t want anyone to misunderstand; I appreciate what McDonald’s is trying to do with this video series. I think the videos to date have been well done. Now I would like to see all that talent and professionalism used to give consumers a peek behind the curtain and into the hen house.
I hope McDonald’s and its suppliers are willing to extend transparency a bit farther back into the production process. Do we want the only images of layer houses that most consumers view to be those put on the Web by animal rights activists? I think the best way to defuse some of the hidden video releases would be for the farm or processor to invite a third party in to record and post a video which shows what the operation is really like. Any farm or plant that is afraid of having their operation viewed by parties without an ax to grind really better take a good hard look at what they are doing and change the things they are afraid of consumers seeing. Farmers and processors have reason to be proud of the work they do and should be willing to share it with consumers.