Have you heard about McDonald’s new campaign to attract “thinking mothers” back to McDonald’s? They have capitalized on the popularity of blogs and selected six Moms’ Quality Correspondents whom they are treating to an insider's view of all things McDonald's. The moms each have their own blog, apparently unedited by Micky D’s, which appears on the McDonald’s website.
I heard about it on a local newscast since one of the moms is from my area. And I just had to check it out. I mean, I watched Supersize Me and read Fast Food Nation and I was pretty sure I’d hate what I saw. And yes, I admit it. The Prince, like every other kid, would eat anything with Ronald McDonald on it, if I let him. Like everyone else with gluten and casein sensitivity, I too felt a bit betrayed by the Red Haired One when the new FDA labeling laws kicked in and we learned that McDonald’s fries, long promoted as “the only safe fast food fries” for kids on the GFCF diet, in fact contained traces of questionable ingredients.
But when I looked at the McMom’s blogs, I was pleasantly surprised, or at least, I didn’t totally hate them. The Miami McMom seemed to have a somewhat decent knowledge of nutrition. Though not happy that the beef has a high fat content, 20%, she was surprised that the beef is 100% beef with no fillers or preservatives, though they are not “free-range grass fed.” I also learned that Temple Grandin is a consultant for their beef providers, so they are humanely treated. I almost spit out my coffee when I read that one! I had no idea Temple Grandin worked with McDonald's, though it is not too surprising. Now, we GFCF Mommies and Daddies still have to worry about cross-contamination with burger buns and other things, but I was surprised too about the beef quality, for fast food standards that is. Still doesn’t meet my GFCF Mommy standard though, but I appreciate their honesty.
She also commented with surprise that Egg McMuffins are made fresh with “real eggs” and that although the scrambled eggs are made with liquid substitute, that you can request scrambled eggs made with “real eggs” since all franchises have them in stock. For some reason I had to laugh at that, “real eggs” what a concept!
Miami McMom also had a few good ideas that I wish the corporate types would note. She suggested transforming the Snack Wrap with grilled chicken into a Happy Meal with the toys etc. She also suggested including bags of grapes, strawberries or carrot sticks with the Happy Meals. She noted the apple slice option on the current Happy Meal is nice, but wished they’d lose the accompanying carmel dip.
Maybe Burger King was listening to her, I read they are planning on making a kid’s meal with grilled chicken tenders and apples sliced to look like French fries and put in a frie pouch.
I was even more interested in what Pennsylvania McMom had to say. She is a skeptical journalist type with food allergies herself (she is allergic to soy) and a lactose-intolerant child. Like me, she knew the bad wrap from Supersize Me. Yet, she too commented on the high quality of the beef. McD’s must be really proud of that since all the moms mentioned it. But she also noted that asking for items to be specially prepared to meet her allergy needs, and those of her family, seemed to vary from franchise to franchise. Some places her requests were met with great customer service and a smile. Other places, not so nice. And considering she was there as a “McMom” getting the red carpet treatment, you gotta wonder.
But on balance, I believed in the candor of these ladies. Did it change my view of McDonald’s? Not really, but I have to admit, they made me look!