For over 20 years, if you found yourself at the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., with a big craving for a Big Mac, you would have been in luck. You could have gone right past the cafeteria, with its presumably medically approved food, and had yourself a ball stuffing your face with fat, carbs, and non-organic animal protein. Alas, this magical experience is no longer going to be available to you, because Truman Medical Center is getting rid of its McDonald’s. So are a lot of other hospitals. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago moved this year, but did not pack the McDonald’s. At Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky., the lease with McDonald’s ends in four years, and the hospital does not plan to renew.
There’s a great deal of evidence that McDonald’s food, eaten on a regular basis, is not exactly beneficial to health. So hospitals, being places where people generally go to get well, or at least to hope to pretend to get well, are currently looking at the fact that they have McDonald’s under their roofs and thinking: “Perhaps this is not a partnership for the ages. Perhaps the McDonald’s housed within the walls of our ideally healing-oriented institution should pack up its special sauce and Shamrock Shakes and leave us to the job of removing the plaque that these items have built up in people’s arteries over the years.”
It will be interesting to see what happens to McDonald’s in general as Americans become more aware of both the health and environmental implications of a diet high in fat and animal proteins. Will people eat there less and less? Or will they be like, “Screw it; if all this crazy shit is really going to go down with rising sea levels and temperatures and so on I’m going to comfort myself with a few quarter pounders”? So far, all evidence points to the conclusion that they will just go “MMM, MEATZ” and eat another McRib.