The food world can be both enlightening and terrifying. Series like Chef's Table introduce us to the positive aspects of crafting cuisine. Chopped allows you to watch brilliant culinary minds work with a random assortment of options. Documentaries like Food Inc., though, can often turn your stomach from entire realms of the food-based world.
One such film, The Founder, shows viewers a fictionalized view of the founding of McDonald's. A brief but shocking fact that many may have seen from the film was when McDonald's raised profits by nixing traditional dairy in favor of an artificial alternative. Don't be fooled, though; this isn't happening today nationally. McDonald's goes for real, happy cows in Florida, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
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Florida family farms are to thank for the milk you drink at McDonald's locations in the sunshine state. Most of the dairy in their vanilla soft serve comes from locally raised cows, too. They're not only local cows; they're downright pampered pets.
One dairy farm near Lake Okeechobee, called Milking R Dairy Farm, uses cow activity monitors. Similar to a wearable fitness watch you may have, the cows wear the tracker around their necks. The farm workers can then see if a cow has been stagnant or unusually active.
They test the cows' milk weekly, allowing them to adjust their feed if anything is off. Since each cow is treated so well, we'd be willing to bet the milk they produce is of higher quality than an abused animal. But that's just conjecture.
Sourcing from local farms that implement such humane procedures gives McDonald's a leg up above competition. In an era where buzzwords like "locally sourced" and "humanely raised" appear everywhere, it's nice to know that at least Floridian fast food customers can get something real. Whether or not there's any vats of pink slime hiding around is a topic for another article. For now, we'll just have one cold soft serve cone, please.