Olympic Grub: Local, And Not Particularly Healthy

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 100 months ago
Olympic Grub: Local, And Not Particularly Healthy

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

John M

I can't be the only person thinking what an enormous shame this is. When festivals like Glastonbury, Latitude and Bestival manage to put on such a vast array of delicious food from independent caterers, why can't the Olympics do the same?

Ok, the scale for the Olympics is (much) bigger, but I bet there are thousands of vendors in London - and across the rest of the country - who'd love the chance to show off their food and drink at the world's biggest sporting event. So, sponsorship be damned, why don't we let them?


Wot no eels?

diamond geezer

McDonald's aren't London 2012's choice, they're the "Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games" as chosen by the International Olympic Committee. Win the Games, and you have no choice but to serve up McDonald's food and Coca Cola drinks.

If London 2012 do manage to cut McDonald's' contribution down to 20%, I for one will be delighted to have the other 80% to choose from.