This isn’t simply a theoretical question: That’s exactly what this group of pranksters did in the Netherlands. Although the video isn’t in English, you can see from the tone (also, know that lecker is delicious) that the people thought that the McDonalds food was great, and under the cover of being “organic” it wowed every tester. They all said it was drastically better than McDonalds food, ironically.

Now, before anyone think I’m promoting McDonalds: I’m not. They are ecologically irresponsible, and on the consumer side they add a substantial amount of cellulose to keep down costs but retain the size of their burgers and other products. But the fact remains that they have invested a LOT of money into making sure their products appeal to the different receptors that get translated to us subjectively as taste. They, along with pretty much all fast food chains, exploit our general inclinations to make a profit.

So, if this food is literally designed to taste good, why is McDonalds (in the words of the Wall Street Journal) in its worst slump in over a decade? The reason is the same reason that those very same burgers were devoured with glee under the flag of organic: people are becoming more aware of ecological costs.

Although not everyone is aware that we are experiencing the worst and fastest mass extinction in millions of years with an extinction rate 1000x the background rate, they are aware that our way of life is not sustainable. Those who don’t know can feel it, at least on a basal level.

The problem with how people are dealing with this environmental crisis is that companies have jumped on the “opportunity” to sell us modern-day indulgences (which were “forgiveness” that the Catholic Church were offering at the time of the Lutheran schism). Instead of offering us a way to avoid Hell, these indulgences are offered to people so they can avoid feeling guilty for what is going on, and so they can feel they are making better health choices.

The fact of that matter is that people haven’t even paid attention to what organic is. They do not know, and appear to not care to know, where many conventional and organic seeds come from. Yet they are largely convinced (convenient for the biggest and strongest lobby: conventional) that GMOs are the enemy and that despite the pesticides allowed for use on organics that they are healthier and better for the environment. The problem is that the current organic agriculture we have created does not solve ecological problems, and paying 20% for your products isn’t reducing global ecocide. You can feel there are real problems, so why are you accepting fake answers?

The idea behind organics is a good one: food with fewer logistics (fewer chemicals that need to be produced in some factory and then shipped), fewer ecological impacts, and even fewer impacts on human health. The fact is that this is most achievable through a mixed approach which includes the use of GMOs.

A very recent example is potatoes which have been designed to selectively inhibit growth in certain insects who try to eat it. This turns away insects who would otherwise eat it, kills the few who continue trying to eat it over long periods, and impacts literally no non-target species. Why not aim for ecologically sound methods? Don’t get fooled by ideology into ignoring actual policy. People should be moving away from McDonalds and others, but do so for the right reasons and understand the facts about your alternatives.