The Reason People Were So Upset About McDonald's McAfrika Burger

Everyone loves a good hamburger, and while they might not be the most gourmet option available out there, there's no denying that McDonald's is the king of this particular hill. The fast food juggernaut is seemingly everywhere, and their willingness to constantly experiment with menu items means that they're putting in the work to stay at the top. Sure, this means that there are tons of McDonald's menu items you'll never get to eat again, but then again, every once in a while they come up with something truly golden.

While this approach has given you gems like the McRib or McNuggets, it has also unleashed some truly unfortunate items unto the world. Take the McAfrika, an "authentic African recipe" of beef, cheese, and tomatoes inside pita bread. The creation was sold in McDonald's Norwegian locations in 2002, but it soon turned out to be a rather controversial culinary creation. Here's why people were so upset about McDonald's McAfrica burger.

McAfrika was launched in the middle of a famine in Africa

You know that a product is problematic when the cultural appropriation aspect isn't even the biggest issue. However, that was precisely the case with the McAfrika. Per the GuardianMcDonald's just so happened to launch their pita-themed product at a time when Africa itself was going through an extremely bad famine, to the point that an estimated 12 million people in South Africa were starving. What's more, the launch was in Norway, which is one of the world's wealthiest countries, so all in all, not a great look.

As such, the product was the immediate target of outrage, and Norwegian aid agencies and charity organizations promptly started protesting McDonald's, to the point of standing outside the chain's locations and dealing out "catastrophe crackers" – the protein biscuits that were a significant part of African food aid.

According to Business Insider, McDonald's took arguably the only course of action that it could – it apologized and pulled the sandwich. However, in 2008 they did attempt to reintroduce it as a limited-time Olympics promotion. To the surprise of few people, a similar outcry ensued.