Why did McDonald’s remove tomatoes from Indian menus?

The question in India right now is not whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable; rather, it has become prohibitively expensive.

The price of the everyday staple has risen sharply in recent weeks, reaching around 200 rupees (£2; $3) per kilo in some parts of India, a significant increase from the typical 40-50 rupees.

The pricey tomato has caused turmoil in households, kitchens, and even on the streets.

McDonald’s recently made headlines for deleting tomatoes from its menu in majority of its shops in northern and eastern India, rather than adding a new item. It claimed a lack of high-quality tomatoes “due to seasonal crop issues” as the cause.

The rising prices have been especially difficult for India’s middle and lower classes, who make up the majority of the population.

A vegetable salesman in the western city of Pune allegedly struck a customer in the face with a weighing scale after they argued over the price of 250g of tomatoes.

A politician in India’s holiest city, Varanasi, reportedly employed two bouncers to keep people from bargaining over tomato prices at his shop.

People have been reported stealing tomatoes from fields and stealing tomato-laden trucks.

 

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