Burgers Against Obesity

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution started this season (April 2011) with a bang. Well, maybe a crash and bang. Sort of the type of loud and unpleasant racket associated with one’s crashing against a pretty solid wall of opposition and skepticism.

Not a good sound at all.

Americans (and increasingly the rest of the world) haven’t decided what they want when it comes to their food, no matter how healthy or unhealthy it is. Which makes them rather unwilling to give alternatives much of a place at the table – particularly not if the change requires someone we don’t know messing with our burgers and fries!

Hence our approach. We developed a true empowerment model for bringing about food change by way of confronting the issue from a different perspective. We don’t seek to do anything necessarily to the food. Instead, we seek to change the way in which we freely give our culinary businesses access to a more important ingredient – the nickels and dimes that we think little of when we readily walk through or literally drive by and pick up our diets to go.

See, our Nickel-a-Meal Campaign Against Obesity  (or as we refer to it, Burgers Against Obesity) seeks to use the money we willingly pay to buy us more than a few menu items. We want to use the currency and our willingness to literally give these companies drive-by access to our credit cards and ATMs to demand a voice in what we eat and how it gets served to us.

And we believe we can quite literally bring about this kind of change in the form of just one nickel at a time.


The strategy is really quite simple.It’s a branding campaign that values our sense of familiarity with the message we like and our willingness to accept something back in exchange for a guarantee that our choices will ultimately be better.

Imagine seeing a familiar logo (such as the graphic of the 5 cents on this page) every time you go to a local fast food outlet or, for that matter, any other restaurant or grocery store that wants to participate.

With this symbol alone you’ll have the effective sense of participatory control that Ronald McDonald has exercises for generations. You’ll know that no matter what you eat, a small portion of the price is added on to your cost and then instantaneously whisked away from the food business and directly into the bank account of someone entirely different – a local, community supported, credible nonprofit agency whose mission is to use the resources they are provided to help make all food purveyors to want to offer better, healthier options.

It’s that easy. As simple, one might say, as getting an extra slice of cheese or super-sizing your selection. It pretty much just happens automatically.


The other pages of the site detail how the project comes together. And more importantly, they begin to review what happens when it becomes clear that Burgers Against Obesity is not a small-change initiative.

Quite literally, based on availabe industry statistics, it is not impossible that if every food outlet in just this country participated, local healthy food empowerment projects would pocket some 125,000,000 nickels that they could use to purchase a place for us at the decision-making table.

Some 125,000,000 nickels could enable us to directly contribute to building the menu and selecting the ingredients that make up our meals. And, as more and more people became involved because we like the food we help bring about, more and more nickels get to help us change the nature of fast and convenient food services.

Oh, and did we note – that’s 125,000,000 nickels EACH AND EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK!


Sample logo with explanation text


The Nickel-a-Meal Campaign approach puts the burgers to work on our side of the scale. Food providers will begin to listen to their customers and the most innovative will showcase how more successful they can be because they play along – kind of like the way children want to go back for more because they are reward with the toys they like.

This is what empowerment is all about and why we think it is critical for consumers to have options if fast and convenient food stores are going to stay a part of our culture. There is no need for government involvement, and little that the outlets themselves have to do once we get the credit card or ATM system as the default.


At this time we’re looking for your advice, your connections and the kind of access to charitable or other public benefit dollars to bring the concept to life. We believe that with the funding to start a national youth campaign to design the logo and the involvement of a few food outlets and the money transfer industry, Burgers Against Obesity will become something everyone is talking about.

And that’s the kind of buzz that good money loves to create.

If you know or have access to people with a realistic interest in investing in a different kind of food future, we’d love to chat. You can reach us by leaving a comment on any of the parts of this page or by writing to us directly at



9 responses to “Burgers Against Obesity

  1. Arlo Kasper

    April 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Power and nickels to you! And please work hard against becoming another greedy enterprise. What is really meant by “investing” in it?

    • Allan Shore

      April 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks, Arlo. I’ve worked my career developing nonprofit and “double or triple” bottom line models that blend the best of for- and nonprofit models. The “investors” I’m looking for are someone to help get the model working in much the same way a foundation grant might work; except I believe there may be ways to return that investment in one way or another. There are interesting ways to develop new business models and that’s what I’m looking at. But IMPACT INVESTING has its place.

  2. ginger gee

    April 22, 2011 at 5:21 am

    allan, could you please explain how we get fast food companies to collect an extra nickel from us every time we buy something from them? and then, how do we get them to hand over all the money collected? or is this a deal made with the credit card companies and the fast food places aren’t the collectors? and whichever method used, how much does the process cost (i.e. how much of the 5 cents actually is usable for health change efforts)? and what about people who pay for food by cash? can we also be involved? i’m thinking this may be something like the little charity boxes set up near cash registers that encourage people to toss their change into the box? for a drive-through, the box could be vulnerable to theft and that system must cost a lot in collection and handling. i’m sure you’ve thought through all these things but could you share the details with us on your website? also a simple explanation of the concept of “impact investing”?

    • Left Hip Pubs

      April 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Ginger Gee. Yes, the beauty of the idea is that the project is about getting the credit card/ATM processing capabilities to be the key. We clearly would have to convince them and the fast food industry to play along, but that would have to be the goal. While cash buyers would be nice, the real gold is in getting the money electronically. Not only because we would get the money quickly but the fee for the transaction would already be paid as part of the customer’s burger charge. I have concerns about cash boxes for theft and other reasons, but localities could surely add this element. But the innovation comes from getting access to the e-dollar transfer systems, which will become more important in the future.

      Impact Investing is a goal to dramatically change the monetary and investor system to give voice and credibility to those who really want to use their dollars for socially responsible or what is called double (or triple) bottom line expectations. Visit or the Global Impact Investment Network to see more details. My thinking is that if we can figure out how to crack the nut of quick and consistent money, these folks will be helpful in getting the heartfelt investors to follow.

      THanks for the notes.

  3. ginger gee

    April 22, 2011 at 5:26 am

    also, any chance of making it an “opt out” system, rather than an “opt in” system? would that be legal?

    • Left Hip Pubs

      April 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      The system is designed to be “opt out.” Each food outlet that participates would have a sign or logo, much like Visa or MasterCard does. That sign would indicate the nickel addition would come automatically. The customer would have to “opt out” to take it away. We need to encourage a default toward progress. Again, needs to be worked out but it is doable. Thanks.

  4. Dodie Mcclearen

    October 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Probably be better of creating your won uniqu content

  5. ferienspanien

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