The Day Kale Died: McDonald’s New Breakfast Item Is Going Green

The Golden Arches just reversed its implicit ‘no kale ever’ policy, following in Starbucks’ recent footsteps.

(Photo: YouTube)

May 7, 2015· 1 MIN READ
Josh Scherer has written for Epicurious, Thrillist, and Los Angeles magazine. He is constantly covered in corn chip crumbs.

Three months ago, McDonald’s debuted a commercial that was titled “Unapologetic Big Mac.” It comprised a series of practically pornographic close-ups of its signature three-tiered burger, dripping in Mac sauce, with a deep-voiced narrator repeating anti-people-who-care-about-food slogans like “You can’t get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa” and “This is not Greek yogurt, nor will that ever be kale.”

Apparently McD’s isn’t familiar with the platitude “Never say never,” because the burger-slinging mega-chain just dropped four kale-filled menu items. Furthermore, the foodie-damning commercial mysteriously went from public to private on the official McDonald’s YouTube page.

In select Canadian locations, McDonald’s is testing three kale salad varieties: Greek, Caesar, and Harvest Garden. But the real kale heavy-hitter will be released in nine locations around the Los Angeles area: It’s an egg white–and–turkey sausage breakfast bowl topped with sautéed spinach and kale, and finally—if not inexplicably—garnished with bruschetta (which is just McDonald’s-speak for chopped tomatoes). The McKale breakfast is priced at $3.99 and marks McDonald’s first foray into the Chipotle-forged arena of quick-serve bowls.

It’s a desperate attempt to jump on the healthy, buzzword-heavy bandwagon that Starbucks got rolling with its kale smoothies, but the new breakfast bowls are also tapping into the breakfast market in a new way. Jack in the Box tried the breakfast bowl gimmick back in 2008, but the item was dropped from menus four years later. The McDonald’s bowl sets itself apart by being the first low-carb savory breakfast option for people who need to eat in their car before work.

Even if it is a healthier breakfast option than a McGriddle—though the nutrition facts are not yet available—this might be the end of kale’s coolness. It’s so mainstream now, man. It’s like when Gwen Stefani went solo with “Hollaback Girl” and suddenly all of her previous work with No Doubt seemed tainted.

But just as you couldn’t help getting down to Gwen’s solo work, who among us isn’t curious to see what McKale tastes like?