Ya'll heard that the father of the big mac is dead...
The creator of the Big Mac, one of the most popular fast foods in the world, has died aged 98. Jim Delligatti was a McDonald’s franchisee who came up with the idea in 1967 because he said customers wanted a bigger sandwich.
His invention was almost rejected by McDonald’s, which was happy that its traditional meals – a hamburger, fries and a milkshake – were selling well. The firm relented, but while it says it has since sold billions of the sandwiches, it admits Delligatti never received a penny in royalties.
Don't forget about the father of the McNugget!
Robert C. Baker was a poultry savant. But his contribution to fast food has been erased from the history books.
Baker was a professor of poultry science, and a chicken
savant. He and his graduate students dreamed up the first versions of products we now take for granted: chicken
hot dogs, chicken
cold cuts, chicken
meatballs, and more than 50 other edible items made from eggs and chicken
but made to look like something else.
The foods they invented, which they detailed in widely distributed bulletins for anyone to copy and refine, launched what the industry now calls “further processed” poultry. Convenient and appealing, further-processed products transformed the market for chicken
, pushing consumption from 34 pounds per person in 1965 to 84 pounds last year. But pressure from that new demand transformed the industry as well, turning it from a loose confederation of many family farms into a small set of massive conglomerates with questionable labor and environmental records.
It’s a mixed legacy for a man who wanted only to increase the market power of upstate New York’s poultry farmers—men whose families have since left the business, because the changes wrought by nuggets made it unprofitable. “I think you have to understand him as a person of his time,” Baker’s oldest son Dale, now 66, told me. “He grew up in the Depression, not having enough food to eat. When he’d buy a dinner, he would want to get the most calories for the price. He wanted to be sure the farmers would get the best prices for their birds.”
Thank these great men of inventive renown for keeping us all filled with nutritious vittles.