Can the changes in McDonald's prices put them out of business? No. But here's what can.
The excellent Mark Bittman, who I read religiously, has a new piece up about McDonald's, and how the company may be forced to raise prices because of higher commodity costs. This isn't all bad, he says, but it isn't all good, either.
In a fair world, anything that discourages people from eating at McDonald’s could be seen as wonderful. Reflecting the true cost of a cheeseburger—one that includes the health care costs that appear down the road, or the environmental costs that few people seem concerned about—would be a good thing. By discouraging the consumption of cheeseburgers, higher prices would encourage better health and less environmental damage.
He goes on to argue that subsidies and tax breaks for healthy, sustainable food—while unrealistic for the time being—would make our current food systems more fair.
"Put all that together," he says, "and Mickey D's can price itself right out of business."
Photo (cc) by Mike Licht