One may assume that the simple decision of whether or not to use vegetable oil or beef fat when frying fries could make no difference in the world. Wrong according to the Associated Press, Haris Bharti who filed a class action suit against fast food chain McDonald’s claiming they have “secretly” laced their fries with beef fat and beef flavoring.
Bharti does not eat meat due to his Hindu religion where they view the cow as a sacred animal. The lawsuit according to the article, was filed on behalf of more than a million Hindus residing in the United States as well as 15 million vegetarians. The suit began because since about 10 years ago McDonald’s has claimed it uses only vegetable oil when cooking their deep-fried food.
Now many people may argue and suggest if one is a vegetarian, or Hindu, why go to McDonald’s in the first place? It is not an official vegetarian-friendly restaurant. The main and most bought item is a hamburger. But the main principle behind this argument is not the beef fat, but if the restaurant is lying to customers who may, because of either religion, convictions or health problems, may not be able to eat a certain ingredient.
One does not have to be a vegetarian to encounter problems such as these. How fair is it for a restaurant or any place of business to deceive? If a company advertises that they use a certain ingredient and then change without telling anyone, the customers who spend their money should be able to sue if they feel they have been lied to. People may say “Hey, it’s just beef” to a Hindu or “Hey, it’s just pork” to a person of Jewish faith, but it is more than that.
In this country, we have the right to choose what ever faith we want and to those who believe in their religion so deeply- to go against one of their sacraments such as eating the meat of a cow or pig is probably the worst thing they could do.
Lying to the public could have major repercussions of such actions that may even result in death. Imagine a man who is deathly allergic to nuts. He walks into a restaurant, reads the menu and orders a simple item, such as a piece of cheesecake, but maybe the cook has added nut flavoring to the crust. The result could have the man in a hospital near death all because the menu read “typical New York Style cheesecake” and did not mention anything of the nut flavoring.
A large number of people are allergic to nuts, and that should be more of a reason to correctly advertise the truth and not mislead people into thinking that the food that is being served to them is exactly what they say it is without forgetting to tell them of any additional ingredients.
The same can go for everyday items one buys at a grocery store. Of course, the ingredients are listed on most packages of food, and one may assume that they are safe because it may be something that is not harmful to them.
However, there have been cases in the past when major companies have recalled items because a chemical in their product is harmful or an ingredient causes awful side effects that may lead to diseases such as cancer or may lead to birth defects.
Companies should not lie to the public for it is the money that the customers invest in everyday items and restaurants that keep them afloat. How many more companies are deceiving people by lying about what is exactly in their products? Who knows? But as long as the public fights to find the truth, it is one step closer to uncovering the harmful reality.