French fries are not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about "natural" foods. But that isn't stopping Wendy's from testing out its so-called Natural Fries in select markets throughout Florida, North Carolina, and Louisiana. The fries are pretty bare bones—just skin-on strips of potato slathered in oils and sea salt. Regular Wendy's fries contain table salt, oil, and sodium acid pyrophosphate (to protect color).
So far, customer reviews have been positive. Wendy's executives are also excited about the new fries. Food blogger Rick Allen explains:
But at least one local Wendy’s manager is thrilled with the new fries, too. Larry Romanik, who runs the Wendy’s at 3001 E. Silver Springs Blvd., says in the three weeks they’ve been available, "They’ve been getting overwhelmingly rave reviews. I think we’ve had only one negative so far."
But while we can't yet speak to the tastiness of the Natural Fries, we do have to wonder if the "natural" moniker is a bit of a misnomer. There is nothing inherently healthier about sea salt compared to table salt—the difference is is in the taste, texture, and processing, according to the Mayo Clinic.
This isn't the first example we've seen of fast food chains trying to capitalize on the sustainable food craze. McDonald's has been touting its locally grown potatoes on billboards throughout Seattle. McDonald's actually does grow its potatoes locally, however—we're hard-pressed to see why Wendy's new fries are any more natural than its regular fries.