Have you noticed all of the fast-food FISH commercials and specials lately? They started this past week…

It reminded me of an article in TIME magazine I came across and never forgot. Apparently, the Filet-o-Fish sandwich from McDonald’s was a result of a religious tradition. It showed a time line with all of the menu changes over the years. It was the 1960’s section that caught my eye.

People may not be aware that Catholics (and other similar denominations) don’t just give up something for Lent. They used to also only eat fish on Fridays as well. On that day of the week they avoided meat. They “fasted from it”, in a way. The idea was to focus on “giving up”. Sacrificing. In honor, of sorts, for what Christ did for them. His sacrifice on the cross.
This tradition used to be such a part of Western culture, that Fish Fridays became a common option on most, if not all, menus.
But back to McDonald’s. A man by the name of Louis Groen, of Cincinnati, Ohio, owned a McDonald’s franchise. One day, he contacted corporate headquarters with a concern. He told them that he needed help if he was going to keep his Catholic customers–who wouldn’t eat meat on Friday. He was well aware that Catholics (for centuries) only ate Fish on Fridays, and that this tradition was affecting his sales.
The solution? The creation of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich in 1962.
And so, now you know.
Knowing that we’re in the midst of Lent, perhaps you have given up something, not just on Fridays, but during this 40-day fasting period. But for today, it’s all about the fish factor. Something for your water cooler chats this week. Or, perhaps you could plan for sushi this Friday.
Just my thoughts.
#mcdonalds #filetofish #lent #fasting