I’m tired of hearing that sugar is the devil. I wish whoever first said that had been a little more nuanced, because really: sugar is the devil, if you overdo it on a regular basis. But why blame sugar? We could say the same thing about butter, or self-help books, or even hugs, if we were out to get them. Hugs are the devil.
I’m defensive because I love sugar so much. My morning coffee is really just an excuse to drink sucrose, and I’m much happier when we’re all bashing trans-fats. Also, and here is my point: Obviously I love Mark Bittman. But I recently read his piece about the new oatmeal at McDonald’s, and how it has too much sugar and weird ingredients. I was supposed to become disdain-y, but instead, I had these thoughts:
1) I just read 18 paragraphs about oatmeal. And I was riveted.
1b) Mark Bittman is like, an amazing, writer.
2) Oatmeal as junk food? REALLY?! When can I try it?
I understand Bittman’s point, but I thought we’d all given up on holding McDonalds to such high standards, like serving real food that fit remotely into dietary guidelines, a decade ago. Sorta like how we all know that wine in a box is wine product and no one gets uppity when it doesn’t taste quite like wine. McDonald’s serves chicken that defies the universal cliche of all meats tasting like chicken. Of course their oatmeal is going to break some rules.
Anyway, I was so curious to see how the chain could work its magic on oatmeal. Plus, it was a good excuse to go to Mickey D’s. I’d not been there in years, and I’m sure it says something lame about my life that “going to McDonald’s” now seems like a subversive, rebellious move.
I was surprised to see this fun fact on the cash register:
In case you can’t read it, the sign says “Average Server Time: 49 seconds.” Meaning, in less than a minute, they can turn around a meal. If you stop and think about it, that is really wild. But I did not because I was on a mission to get my “bowl full of wholesome”!
I got some oatmeal and a coffee. For about $3.50.
Turns out the store was out of the brown sugar mix. So without trying, I got a reduced sugar version of the order. I recommend ordering it that way—sans brown sugar.
What a nice surprise to open the lid and discover actual apple chunks, that looked and tasted like apple! And big raisins! And cranberries! Just like the marketers promised.
In conclusion: I liked McDonald’s oatmeal.