Italians involved in the “slow-food” movement are finding McDonald’s Corp.’s new all-Italian burger, boosted by Italy’s agriculture minister, hard to swallow, finds Grumpy Editor.
While not getting much news media attention in the U.S., the slow vs. fast food fight is rumbling through Italy.
In efforts to cater to local tastes, the multi-national fast food chain is introducing the McItaly burger that features Asiago cheese and artichoke spread for vegetarians or with smoked pancetta (similar to bacon) and onion for meat eaters.
Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia backs the new sandwich on McDonald’s menu, saying ingredients will pump almost $5 million a month into Italian farmers’ pockets.
Zaia’s endorsement includes an official seal of approval, which has appeared on McDonald’s billboard ads in Italy.
The Italian government is heralding the new sandwich as a way to promote the “Made in Italy” brand, Bloomberg notes, adding that decision has run afoul of Turin-based Slow Food, a group that promotes fresh foods sourced from local producers.
Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini wrote in la Repubblica that “an Italian ministry has become an official sponsor of a multinational.”
Petrini, seeking to preserve regional cuisine, started the Slow Food movement to counteract fast food, a favorite of Americans. The movement has since expanded to more than 100,000 members in 132 countries.