Mickey D’s and China: Profit first and always.


About a week or so ago I was reading the Sunday Honolulu Star Advertiser, which serves also as really good toilet paper. My only purpose of this paper is that they publish a daily Jumble puzzle and I love vocabulary scrambles.

Anyway, I get to the financial section, which is second best to the obituary page, and I see this article written by Charles Passy, who I assume writes for The Wall Street Journal. What got me was the title, 10 Things McDonalds Won’t tell You. How could I resist giving him credit and giving you a laugh?

Before listing the 10 points, he states that the food may be getting better, but the business is getting worse for Mickey D’s (my choice of the name). Now, for his 10 revelations:

1. We may have lost the recipe to our secret sauce.
Ah, McDonald’s, where we feast on Big Macs, Egg McMuffins and even the occasional sweet-chili chicken McWrap. In the U.S., the fast-food chain, founded in 1948, has sales almost three times as big as its nearest competitor. Worldwide, the company serves almost 70 million customers a day, in more than 100 countries. In 2014, such feasting equated to revenue of $27.4 billion.

But these days, things don’t seem golden under the Golden Arches. McDonald’s recently reported that its net income in the fourth quarter of 2014 dropped by 21 percent from a year earlier. And in January, the company changed management, with CEO Don Thompson retiring.

What’s behind the company’s woes? Some restaurant experts cite the Chipolte factor: Fast-casual chains- widely seen as healthier, and more popular with millenials – are grabbing market share. Others fault the proliferation of new items on the menu, which has been linked to slower service.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Becca Hary says that 2014 was a difficult year and performance fell short of our expectations, but that our management team is focused on regaining momentum.
2. We say opportunity; others say low-wage job.
About 1.9 million people worldwide work for McDonald’s. And, like other fast-food chains, McDonald’s has come under fire for paying low wages.

PayScale, a firm that tracks compensation data, puts McDonald’s median pay for restaurant workers at $7.74 an hour, slightly below that of such competitors as Burger King at $7.96 and Wendy’s at $7.87. The nationwide minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Ms. Hary says the company supports “fair wages” aligned with a competitive market-place, and adds that any increase in the minimum wage should be gradual, to minimize its impact on employers.

3. We may not be as charitable as we seem.
McDonald’s philanthropic efforts focus on its Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) organization, which maintains 300 residences that provide housing for families when a child is being treated at a nearby hospital.

But some critics have questioned how generous McDonald’s is. A 2013 report by public-health lawyer Michele Simon found that McDonald’s provided only one-fifth of the funding for RMHC in 2012. Simon also reported that McDonald’s gave 0.32 percent of its pretax profits to charity (based on a six-year average), while other corporations of similar size gave an average of 1.01 percent.

McDonald’s declined to comment on Ms. Simon’s report.

4. For every Big Mac success, we have plenty of Hula Burger flops.
The Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder and the McRib are some of McDonald’s iconic inventions. But the chain has also launched its share of duds. Among them: the Hula Burger (with a slice of grilled pineapple substituting for a beef patty), McSalad Shakers (a salad served in a cup), and even a McPizza.

Wall Street analysts say McDonald’s recent paucity of breakthrough items has some investors concerned.

5. We’ve faced plenty of challenges overseas.
McDonald’s has a strong presence in cities around the world, from Abu Dhabi to Zagreb. But over the past year, the chain has run into headline-grabbing issues abroad.

In China, its meat supplier was accused of selling goods beyond their shelf life (more about this at the end). And after McDonald’s closed restaurants in Crimea following Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian region, several of the chain’s restaurants in Moscow, Sochi and other cities, ostensibly because of sanitation issues.

In a conference call before his retirement was announced, Mr. Thompson said McDonald’s was in recovery mode in Russia and China with a focus on winning customers back.

6. We’re still blamed for the obesity epidemic.
After the 2004 release of the documentary Super-Size Me, in which filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate only McDonald’s food for 30 days and gained 24 pounds, McDonald’s became a symbol of fast food’s role in America’s obesity epidemic.

Since then, McDonald’s had added more menu items that nutritionists approve of, and eliminated the supersize option. But, nutritionists still fault much of its menu items as high in calories and saturated fat. Ms. Hary says the chain is providing information to enable our guests to make informed choices.

7. Pink-slime wasn’t our only controversial ingredient.
In 2011, McDonald’s was ahead of its competitors in removing a controversial ingredient from its hamburgers – a finely textured beef dubbed pink-slime by critics.

But food-safety advocates continue to express concern about McDonald’s beef, which isn’t hormone-free (some critics believe the hormones pose a health risk), and its breads, which contain azodicarbonamide, a chemical that makes breads fluffier but is also found in yoga mats.

McDonald’s says it is committed to being transparent about the ingredients it uses, and that it will begin purchasing verifiable sustainable beef in 2016 (until then, screw um).

8. Our franchisees aren’t always happy campers.
In the U.S., 90 percent of McDonald’s restaurants are independently owned and operated by franchisees. But there’s dissension in the franchise ranks: in a recent survey by Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski, some franchisees expressed frustration with the company for its marketing efforts and for making changes too slowly. Ms. Hary says the study captures the views of a small number of the chain’s 2,00-plus franchisees.

Franchisees have also complained about new menu items that result in slower service. Our kitchen comes to a halt when we get an order for a McWrap, one franchisee told The Wall Street Journal last year.

9. There could be more than one Ronald.
Ronald McDonald has been part of the company’s marketing for more than50 years. The red-haired clown makes appearances everywhere from McDonald’s restaurants to schools and libraries. He’s on Twitter, and even takes selfies.

But while Ronald’s schedule would seem to demand deployment of multiple clowns, McDonald’s doesn’t publicly acknowledge that it employs more than one Ronald.

10. We’ve got a secret menu.
Like Starbuck’s and other chains, McDonald’s has a secret menu – widely discussed online – of dishes that can be created by piercing together ingredients from established items.

The Poor Man’s Big Mac, for example, is a McDouble burger with extra lettuce and special sauce instead og ketchup and mustard. The Chicken McGriddle is a McChicken patty between two McGriddle cakes. And, the Land, Sea and Air Burger? It’s a gut-busting alalgam of a Big Mac, a Filet-O-Fish and a MCchicken sandwich.

And this is how a reporter that values his job writes about McDonald’s. For me, instead of Golden Arches, the logo should be a Toilet Bowl to emphasize the fact that McDonald’s craps on everyone and anyone with no prejudice to race, color, religion or sexual preference.

The fact that they will change to a “better” beef in a year means that first we use up what we’ve got and then we buy new stuff that resembles beef.

But they are loved. Imagine what the pharmaceutical industry would be like without “Crapola D’s” and how many customers (Oh, I mean patients) the medical profession would lose if the fast food restaurants closed.

Wanna have some fun with an experiment? Go buy a Big Mac, take it home and put it somewhere while it’s in its original, unopened package for at least a month. Then go find it and open it. Betcha it’s still like it was when you bought it. The horrors thrust upon us never end.

So much for the bad news. How about we get to really, really, bad news?

Recently, in China, health officials found that flesh foods that were imported illegally, were in some cases, 40 years old.

From rat meat masquerading as lamb to tainted milk to exploding watermelons, Chinese consumers have become exposed to stomach-aching food scandals.

In a New York Times article it was reveled that unscrupulous flesh traders in China had been peddling tons of beef, pork and chicken wings that in some cases had been frozen for 40 years

The Chinese news media announced that authorities had seized nearly a half-billion dollars worth of smuggled frozen flesh that dated back to the 1970s.

As a result, many Chinese consumers were forced to consider becoming strict vegetarians.

What was seized was worth roughly $483 million and the nationwide crackdown spanned 14 provinces and regions.

The procedure was that flesh foods were shipped from abroad to Hong Kong and then brought to Vietnam, where traders would smuggle it across the Chinese border without declaring it to customs officials or going through the required inspection and quarantine procedures.

From there, as if it couldn’t get any worse, the criminals would often transport the flesh in unrefrigerated trucks to save costs and then refreeze it several times again before it reached customers.

In Changsha, the capital of central Hunan province, officials seized 800 tons of frozen flesh and estimated that one-third of flesh products on sale at the largest wholesale market were illegally imported and to put it bluntly, rotted!

In the USA, the time from slaughter to consumption is usually a week to ten days. If the nature of a dead body is to rot, turn grey, and stink to high heaven, why is it rosy-red with no odor when you buy it? Think about it!


To learn more about Hesh, listen to and read hundreds of health related radio shows and articles, and learn about how to stay healthy and reverse degenerative diseases through the use of organic sulfur crystals and other amazing superfoods, please visit www.healthtalkhawaii.com, or email me at [email protected] or call me at (808) 258-1177. Since going on the radio in 1981 these are the only products I began to sell because they work.

Hesh Goldstein
When I was a kid, if I were told that I'd be writing a book about diet and nutrition when I was older, let alone having been doing a health related radio show for over 36 years, I would've thought that whoever told me that was out of their mind. Living in Newark, New Jersey, my parents and I consumed anything and everything that had a face or a mother except for dead, rotting, pig bodies, although we did eat bacon (as if all the other decomposing flesh bodies were somehow miraculously clean). Going through high school and college it was no different. In fact, my dietary change did not come until I was in my 30's.

Just to put things in perspective, after I graduated from Weequahic High School and before going to Seton Hall University, I had a part-time job working for a butcher. I was the delivery guy and occasionally had to go to the slaughterhouse to pick up products for the store. Needless to say, I had no consciousness nor awareness, as change never came then despite the horrors I witnessed on an almost daily basis.

After graduating with a degree in accounting from Seton Hall, I eventually got married and moved to a town called Livingston. Livingston was basically a yuppie community where everyone was judged by the neighborhood they lived in and their income. To say it was a "plastic" community would be an understatement.

Livingston and the shallowness finally got to me. I told my wife I was fed up and wanted to move. She made it clear she had to be near her friends and New York City. I finally got my act together and split for Colorado.

I was living with a lady in Aspen at the end of 1974, when one day she said, " let's become vegetarians". I have no idea what possessed me to say it, but I said, "okay"! At that point I went to the freezer and took out about $100 worth of frozen, dead body parts and gave them to a welfare mother who lived behind us. Well, everything was great for about a week or so, and then the chick split with another guy.

So here I was, a vegetarian for a couple weeks, not really knowing what to do, how to cook, or basically how to prepare anything. For about a month, I was getting by on carrot sticks, celery sticks, and yogurt. Fortunately, when I went vegan in 1990, it was a simple and natural progression. Anyway, as I walked around Aspen town, I noticed a little vegetarian restaurant called, "The Little Kitchen".

Let me back up just a little bit. It was April of 1975, the snow was melting and the runoff of Ajax Mountain filled the streets full of knee-deep mud. Now, Aspen was great to ski in, but was a bummer to walk in when the snow was melting.

I was ready to call it quits and I needed a warmer place. I'll elaborate on that in a minute.

But right now, back to "The Little Kitchen". Knowing that I was going to leave Aspen and basically a new vegetarian, I needed help. So, I cruised into the restaurant and told them my plight and asked them if they would teach me how to cook. I told them in return I would wash dishes and empty their trash. They then asked me what I did for a living and I told them I was an accountant.

The owner said to me, "Let's make a deal. You do our tax return and we'll feed you as well". So for the next couple of weeks I was doing their tax return, washing their dishes, emptying the trash, and learning as much as I could.

But, like I said, the mud was getting to me. So I picked up a travel book written by a guy named Foder. The name of the book was, "Hawaii". Looking through the book I noticed that in Lahaina, on Maui, there was a little vegetarian restaurant called," Mr. Natural's". I decided right then and there that I would go to Lahaina and work at "Mr. Natural's." To make a long story short, that's exactly what happened.

So, I'm working at "Mr. Natural's" and learning everything I can about my new dietary lifestyle - it was great. Every afternoon we would close for lunch at about 1 PM and go to the Sheraton Hotel in Ka'anapali and play volleyball, while somebody stayed behind to prepare dinner.

Since I was the new guy, and didn't really know how to cook, I never thought that I would be asked to stay behind to cook dinner. Well, one afternoon, that's exactly what happened; it was my turn. That posed a problem for me because I was at the point where I finally knew how to boil water.

I was desperate, clueless and basically up the creek without a paddle. Fortunately, there was a friend of mine sitting in the gazebo at the restaurant and I asked him if he knew how to cook. He said the only thing he knew how to cook was enchiladas. He said that his enchiladas were bean-less and dairy-less. I told him that I had no idea what an enchilada was or what he was talking about, but I needed him to show me because it was my turn to do the evening meal.

Well, the guys came back from playing volleyball and I'm asked what was for dinner. I told them enchiladas; the owner wasn't thrilled. I told him that mine were bean-less and dairy-less. When he tried the enchilada he said it was incredible. Being the humble guy that I was, I smiled and said, "You expected anything less"? It apparently was so good that it was the only item on the menu that we served twice a week. In fact, after about a week, we were selling five dozen every night we had them on the menu and people would walk around Lahaina broadcasting, 'enchilada's at "Natural's" tonight'. I never had to cook anything else.

A year later the restaurant closed, and somehow I gravitated to a little health food store in Wailuku. I never told anyone I was an accountant and basically relegated myself to being the truck driver. The guys who were running the health food store had friends in similar businesses and farms on many of the islands. I told them that if they could organize and form one company they could probably lock in the State. That's when they found out I was an accountant and "Down to Earth" was born. "Down to Earth" became the largest natural food store chain in the islands, and I was their Chief Financial Officer and co-manager of their biggest store for 13 years.

In 1981, I started to do a weekly radio show to try and expose people to a vegetarian diet and get them away from killing innocent creatures. I still do that show today. I pay for my own airtime and have no sponsors to not compromise my honesty. One bit of a hassle was the fact that I was forced to get a Masters Degree in Nutrition to shut up all the MD's that would call in asking for my credentials.

My doing this radio show enabled me, through endless research, to see the corruption that existed within the big food industries, the big pharmaceutical companies, the biotech industries and the government agencies. This information, unconscionable as it is, enabled me to realize how broken our health system is. This will be covered more in depth in the Introduction and throughout the book and when you finish the book you will see this clearly and it will hopefully inspire you to make changes.

I left Down to Earth in 1989, got nationally certified as a sports injury massage therapist and started traveling the world with a bunch of guys that were making a martial arts movie. After doing that for about four years I finally made it back to Honolulu and got a job as a massage therapist at the Honolulu Club, one of Hawaii's premier fitness clubs. It was there I met the love of my life who I have been with since 1998. She made me an offer I couldn't refuse. She said," If you want to be with me you've got to stop working on naked women". So, I went back into accounting and was the Chief Financial Officer of a large construction company for many years.

Going back to my Newark days when I was an infant, I had no idea what a "chicken" or "egg" or "fish" or "pig" or "cow" was. My dietary blueprint was thrust upon me by my parents as theirs was thrust upon them by their parents. It was by the grace of God that I was able to put things in their proper perspective and improve my health and elevate my consciousness.

The road that I started walking down in 1975 has finally led me to the point of writing my book, “A Sane Diet For An Insane World”. Hopefully, the information contained herein will be enlightening, motivating, and inspiring to encourage you to make different choices. Doing what we do out of conditioning is not always the best course to follow. I am hoping that by the grace of the many friends and personalities I have encountered along my path, you will have a better perspective of what road is the best road for you to travel on, not only for your health but your consciousness as well.

Last but not least: after being vaccinated as a kid I developed asthma, which plagued me all of my life. In 2007 I got exposed to the organic sulfur crystals, which got rid of my asthma in 3 days and has not come back in over 10 years. That, being the tip of the iceberg, has helped people reverse stage 4 cancers, autism, joint pain, blood pressure problems, migraine headaches, erectile dysfunction, gingivitis, and more. Also, because of the detoxification effects by the release of oxygen that permeates and heals all the cells in the body, it removes parasites, radiation, fluoride, free radicals, and all the other crap that is thrust upon us in the environment by Big Business.

For more, please view www.healthtalkhawaii.com and www.asanediet.com.