Olympic Grub: Local, And Not Particularly Healthy

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 106 months ago
Olympic Grub: Local, And Not Particularly Healthy

0812_mcdonalds.jpg
Photo / Matthew Gidley
Olympic officials have declared that, "wherever possible", food served during the 2012 Games will be British. That doesn't mean you can give your tastebuds the fortnight off and tuck in to a miserly meal of toad-in-the-hole or spotted dick; merely that strenuous efforts will be made to bring in grub that's both seasonal and local, and source imported stuff (bananas, coffee, sugar, and tea) that is Fairtrade-compliant.

How to square such an ecological sentiment, then, with the fact that 20% of all meals served will come from McDonalds? A major sponsor of the IOC, the hamburger hegemon has secured a plum deal for itself as the sole branded restauranteur in the Olympic Village; the only other branded goodies on sale will be Cadbury's chocolate, while Coca-Cola will be liberally available. Maybe we can gorge ourselves to fitness on junk food?

During the bidding process, much was made of the Games' ability to transform us from an increasingly rotund, health-shy nation of sofa-bound tubbies, into a country whose slender physiques would be the envy of the known world. Should we be concerned that 2012 has already been co-opted into a giant platform for dishing out quarter pounders and Dairy Milk? Or should we just accept that, as a spokesperson for the company puts it: "Without commercial sponsors like McDonald's the games simply wouldn't happen."

Last Updated 08 December 2009