If we’ve learnt one thing from the vast number of articles on this site, Japanese fast food chains like McDonald’s come up with some really good ideas to keep people coming to their restaurants. Regardless of whether they turn out delicious or disgusting, inventions such as the luxury burger line-up, avocado burger, and tofu nuggets are hard to ignore.

It’s gotten to the point that people in Japan may have grown too accustomed to the nice things served at fast food outlets. For example, McDonald’s recently announced their new autumn special – Mushroom Risotto Balls – and online reaction could largely be described as righteous indignation with comments like “only an idiot would eat that!”

The Mushroom Risotto Balls are a blend of four kinds of mushroom (maitake, bunashimeji, king oyster mushroom, and white mushrooms) cooked in a brown rice risotto with a rich sauce and fried up in a crispy batter. Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it?

“Hell no!” says online critics who seem to feel that McDonald’s latest seasonal offering may kill us all. Referring to a list the restaurant chain releases regularly, which outlines the origin of all its ingredients, the white mushrooms in the Mushroom Risotto Balls come from China.

Net users had this to say:

“I wonder if the secret flavor is mold?”
“They didn’t learn from past mistakes?”
“They really never learn.”
“Are they stupid?”
“Only an idiot would eat that.”
“There are enough tasty mushrooms in Japan, why do that?”
“They’re like little poison bombs.”

A lot of this clearly is residual negativity from the recent chicken scandal out of Chinese factories involving McDonald’s Japan mixed in with some general nationalistic fervor that is often found online. Actually only one fourth of the mushrooms (white mushrooms) used are from China along with some carrots and onions, scant amounts of which were used in making the risotto.

Granted depending on the nature of it, even a small amount of tainted food could present a problem, but referring to Mushroom Risotto Balls as “poison bombs” is kind of blowing things out of proportion. Besides, odds are most of those commenters had probably unknowingly devoured something packed with ingredients produced in China that same day and lived to tell the tale.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t be cautious and aware of where our food comes from and how it’s prepared, but it may be a good idea to not go off half-cocked and accuse McDonald’s of trying to kill us. If we do, they may just decide not to offer any more unusual sandwiches from now on, and I want my Sakura Teritama next year damn it!

Source: Hamusoku, McDonald’s 1, 2 (Japanese)