Raymond Blanc: Organic food is 'elitist', says chef (who is surprisingly positive about McDonald's)

The French chef explains that organic food has become “elitist”

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The Independent Online

Raymond Blanc has suggested that organic food is often overrated – while praising the fast-food chain McDonald's which he previously described as ‘killing people by encouraging obesity’.

“Organic should be best, but the reality of the world may be different,” he said.

“I used to hate compromise – compromise was evil because it’s the start of devaluing what you’re doing – but sometimes it is the only way. You can compromise without selling out.”

The French chef – who runs both the Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxford and chain Brasserie Blanc – attacked organic food for being “elitist” and “expensive”.

“Freshness is more important,” he said. “It is a mistake to say organic always tastes better. It depends on parentage. Some organics are simply terrible.”

His praising view of the fast food chain is a U-turn from his prior beliefs when he felt that the company “killed people by encouraging obesity”.

However, Blanc – president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association – presented McDonald's UK with a Sustainability Hero award earlier this year.

“I was amazed. All their eggs are free-range; all their pork is free-range; all their beef is free-range,” he told The Telegraph.

“[They show that] the fast-food business could change for the better. They’re supporting thousands of British farms, and saving energy and waste by doing so.

“I was as excited as if you had told me there were 20 new three-star Michelin restaurants in London or Manchester.”

Blanc received an OBE from the Queen in 2007 for his own culinary contributions.