Student Voice: To McDonald’s or not to McDonald’s

When you see the red and yellow McDonald’s sign, what’s the idea that comes to your mind?

Delicious, cheap cuisine? Or do you rather think of greasy, unappetizing food?

With a movement in recent years to eat cleaner and greener, there’s been a deterioration in the reputation of fast-food restaurants. And as not all fast-food chains are equal, McDonald’s seems to be the primary victim of the movement.

Although there may not be a shortage in the restaurant’s customers, still you can find much opposition to fast-food dining whether it be in a conversation, a health-food blog or a meme.

And while the criticism may be due in part to a decline in product quality or to a rise in consumers’ standards, I don’t think McDonald’s (or any other fast-food chain) deserves all of the negativity it receives.

I’m not arguing that McDonald’s should be considered a five-star restaurant, and I definitely wouldn’t call it one of my favorites.

I also admit freely that McDonald’s doesn’t have the healthiest menu options. I wouldn’t recommend having a burger, fries and large soda from McDonald’s for every meal.

But this is exactly the point: while McDonald’s isn’t the best option for frequent meals, it has its worth in moderation. defines fast-food as “of, or relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly.”

A second definition from defines fast food as “designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little consideration given to quality or significance.”

According to these definitions, McDonald’s doesn’t deserve to be met with a turned-up nose and food-snob attitude. If you have the correct expectations for fast food, McDonald’s will be a viable option because it matches the purpose and description of a fast-food restaurant.

If you’ve ever only had a few minutes to eat while traveling, you can appreciate fast service even when the food purchased is of lower quality. Having something to eat, no matter the quality, is better than having nothing at all.

McDonald’s also can be a good option situationally because of its value. If you were starving and had only a few dollars, you would be thankful for the Dollar Menu, not grumbling over the quality of your fries.

And while one might say that eating at McDonald’s is unhealthy, it doesn’t have to be if you enjoy it in moderation.

I personally like to go to McDonald’s for just a snack once in a while. After a long day of work in the summer, it’s nice to splurge on an ice cream cone or an order of fries.

And besides as an occasional treat, eating at McDonald’s can be okay if you order healthy options off the menu, such as a salad or yogurt.

So although McDonald’s food might not compare in quality or taste to a fancy restaurant or a home-cooked meal, don’t rush to an extreme judgment, but respect McDonald’s worth as a  fast-food restaurant.