Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WHAT I HATE TODAY: Your daily dose of negative energy

Today I hate this copy on a McDonald’s bag: “Every single egg we use throughout the year is individually inspected -- all 3 billion of them.”

McDonald’s, of course, wanted me to read this claim and imagine an eagle-eyed inspector in a sterile lab coat --I envision him wearing a monocle and speaking in a German accent -- exhaustively examining each egg and rejecting specimens that fail to meet McDonalds’s stringent standards. But how is anything like that possible? Even if an egg inspector can average 1 inspection per second (for 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, without going insane), McDonald’s would need more than 400 inspectors to meet the demand. My guess is that McDonald’s egg inspection process consists of bored employees trying not to fall asleep while crates of eggs on conveyor belts whoosh past.

And how do you inspect an egg, anyway? The part we eat is inside the shell, right? Maybe the inspectors look for broken eggs, and then inspect the contents. “Hey, this egg is perfect! Too bad we can’t use it, because the shell is broken.”


  1. Egg inspection may not be as nutty as you think. When I was living in Hong Kong, we used to purchase eggs from the egg stand in the market. There was always a low hanging light bulb so people could hold the egg up to the light to kinda see the inside. Not that I know what they would look for but all the housewives did a thorough check for every eggs they bought.

  2. In the supermarket, when I decide to purchase eggs, I always open the carton and inspect the eggs to make sure they are not cracked. I sometimes won't take the eggs if I see chicken shit (this seems to happen frequently with free range chicken eggs)... sometimes, I don't care. It depends on the day.