Why McDonald's changed its fries recipe

Sarah Carty

If you’ve been thinking for a while now that your beloved McDonald’s fries taste a bit different, then you’re right,

It’s now been revealed by Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell that the delicious fried goods haven’t been the same since the 90’s because McDonald’s actually changed the recipe.

Speaking on his Revisionist History podcast, Gladwell claimed McDonald’s “made the world's greatest French Fry. Then they threw it away”.

Here's why McDonald's changed its French fries recipe. Photo: Getty Images

He described the first “pillowy soft” slice of potato he ever had from McDonald’s and then claimed they “broke” that feeling by changing the recipe.

According to Gladwell, McDonald’s actually reinvented their hot chip recipe in 1990 and nobody even noticed – apart from him.

He’s been on a quest to uncover the truth about why they did it and he’s finally cracked it.

According to Gladwell, it all came about because a man, named Phil Sokolop, had a heart attack in 1966.

After that, he allegedly spent nearly $4 million on adverts in newspapers calling out McDonald’s and other fast food joints for serving what he deemed to be unhealthy food.

Gladwell reckons it was on July 23, 1990 when McDonald’s finally “folded” and went from frying their hot chips in beef tallow to using vegetable oil instead.

However, If McDonald’s thought they were going for a healthier option with the vegetable, Gladwell explains that they were very wrong.

Gladwell reckons the change came about in July 1990. Photo: Getty Images

"It turns out to be false that vegetable oil is healthier for you than beef tallow," he said.

"So not only did they destroy the French fry,” he said.

“They gave us something that was worse for us from a health perspective. So everything about it was a mistake.

"If they had any balls at all, they would turn around and say, 'We were wrong, and we're going back to fries the old way,'.”

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