McDonald’s, Socialist Style

In one phrase: win them over with arepas. This is the new campaign brain child of Venezuelan leader Chavez, as he attempts to gain votes for the upcoming election. By offering arepas to all Venezuelans at a discounted price, all the while pizzazzing them with T-shirt-wearing servers who tout the slogan “Chavez is a winner”, he hopes he can win their hearts through their stomachs. The irony of this entire operation, however, is that it is in no way socialist, but more of a venture that resembles a North American food joint. Just thinking about the discounted prices on arepas serves as a natural parallel to 99-cent Big Macs and “supersize” fries for the same price as a small order and begs the question: how cheap must the food have been to procure in order to elicit such a low cost? The answer to this rhetorical question is of course “economy of scale”: the more you buy, the cheaper the goods become (think of shopping in bulk at Costco). ¬†Unfortunately, in the case of food, bulk isn’t always the healthiest option. In order to mass produce, food quality is often compromised, and this comes as no surprise to anyone who goes to the average grocery store and sees the pitiful excuse for produce in raw bananas and green mangoes, all for the sake of meeting consumer demand. Drawing parallels to the ideology of socialism, all individuals should be entitled to equal access to all basic needs, but what is happening in the arepa situation is similar to that of consumer demand here in North America. To meet consumer demands of the most number of people, who could not afford many food products otherwise, food quality is compromised as a viable solution. The injustice of compromising food quality, just to prove the point that it expands food access is a disservice to every person, irrespective of income, who deserves the basic right to food. It is clear that the root of food insecurity is poverty, and that deserves governmental attention drastically, rather than band-aid solutions that are more of a popularity contest than concern for the well-being of a society.


About danirenouf

I have been a registered dietitian since 2003, and very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in industry, clinical nutrition, public health, and private practice. Currently, I am extremely excited about pursuing entrepreneurial ventures which start with my private consulting practice and branch out into the food and culinary industry. I am busy every day developing my own food products and recipes, adapting traditional cooking techniques and incorporating new and innovative ways to prepare nutritious, delicious food. I am passionate about everything food-related, and aspire to engage others in "getting to know their food" - not all of us are cooks, or need to be, but all of us need to eat.
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