from the world's big
McDonald’s rolls out Beyond Meat burger, the ‘P.L.T.’
It will be available in select Canadian locations starting Sept. 30.
- McDonald's partnered with Beyond Meat to make the meatless sandwich, which costs slightly more than a Big Mac.
- McDonald's is conducting a 12-week test in 28 Canadian restaurants to collect feedback from customers and employees.
- Still, it's possible that the tests will show that it's not quite time for McDonald's to bring plant-based products to its U.S. restaurants.
McDonald's has spent the past couple of years sitting on the sidelines while other fast-food chains — among them, Carl's Jr., White Castle, and Burger King — have jumped into the plant-based burger game. But now, six months after Burger King released the massively successful Impossible Whopper, McDonald's is set to debut its own plant-based invention: the P.L.T, or Plant Lettuce Tomato burger. McDonald's plans to begin selling the meatless sandwich for $6.49 CAD in 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario on Sept. 30.
The limited release is part of a 12-week test designed to collect feedback from both customers and employees. Burger King conducted similar testing on the Impossible Whopper, which was initially offered only in St. Louis, Missouri, before the restaurant began offering it in other cities. The results showed that the Impossible Whopper was drawing in new customers, ones that typically shop at places like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Panera Bread, Burger King North America said in August.
McDonald's likely hopes its new meatless sandwich will do the same. "We've been working on our recipe and now we're ready to hear feedback from our customers," said Ann Wahlgren, McDonald's VP of global menu strategy.
It's also likely that McDonald's is eager to see how seamlessly it can integrate the P.L.T. into the workflow at its restaurants. As CNBC noted in June, McDonald's business model depends on quick service and cheap prices, and adding new items to the menu can slow down service and drive up prices, especially in this case, considering plant-based burgers are typically more expensive than meat. McDonald's past attempts to add higher-priced menu items haven't been successful.
McDonald's might also be concerned about supply. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, the two companies battling to dominate the alternative meat industry, have both faced supply shortages in the past year due to surging demand. That poses a potential problem for McDonald's, which has built its reputation on delivering a consistent experience to its 68 million daily customers.
On the service side, it's hard to know whether adding the P.L.T. to menus will slow down the workflow at McDonalds, increasing wait times for customers. (Of course, McDonald's might be able to speed things up with its new automated drive-thru system, which it's currently testing.) But it's possible that testing will reveal that, for McDonald's at least, it's not quite time to enter the plant-based burger game.
"While we are happy to see MCD consider an entry into the plant-based market, at this point we are not looking for a full blown alternative beef rollout in the U.S. in the near term, primarily for supply chain reasons," Stephens analyst Will Slabaugh wrote.
Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?
Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.
- Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
- One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
- "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.