Giveaways and Reviews

I’m a McDonald’s All-Access Mom!

Last month I learned that McDonald’s in a partnership with CityLine, was putting out a call looking for mom Bloggers across Canada to participate in the McDonald’s All-Access Moms program.  Along with CityLine parenting expert Nanny Robina (known for her insight on raising children of all ages on the popular tv show, The Mom Show) these bloggers would be given the opportunity to travel across Canada to go behind the scenes at McDonalds and get “unprecedented access” to to the facilities and people that make McDonald’s Canada the company it is.

I knew I had to apply.

Here’s the thing.  I love McDonald’s.  My kids love McDonald’s.  I have no issue with our family having McDonald’s food as part of our diet.  Do we eat it daily?  Of course not – I don’t think anyone should be eating fast food daily.  Do we eat it more than we should?  Possibly.

Fast food is a part of our lives, but it’s a small part of it.  My husband and I are sugar-police in our household and we also ensure we have plenty of fruit and vegetables for our kids.  My son lists my Vietnamese salad rolls as one of his favorite foods and that makes me beam.

I do think we should probably eat fast food less often than we do, but the fact is it’s quick.  It’s easy.  But how nutritious is it?  What about the rumors?  Oh, we hear the rumors don’t we?  I have for years.  What does McDonald’s really mean when they say their hamburger patties are made with 100% beef (it sounds pretty straightforward but the terminology is questioned.)  How are their Chicken McNuggets made?  What about the facilities where the beef and chicken come from – how are animals treated?

I’ve reviewed hundreds of products over the years, but I’ve never looked at an entire company and been given the chance to look at so many aspects and have my questions answered by key people in the organization like this.  I do realize that not everyone is a fan of McDonald’s or a mom-partnership like this and that’s ok too.  If I picked the companies I worked with based on other’s opinions, my blog would no longer be my own.

And so, I applied.  Then I heard that they were only picking  3 mom bloggers from all of Canada.  All of Canada?  I shrugged and figured I would enjoy reading about the experience since obviously I wouldn’t be chosen.

And then last week the call came.

This mom blogger is 1 of 3 in Canada chosen to be part of the McDonald’s All-Access Moms!  The other mom bloggers chosen are:

Maureen Dennis –
Jill Amery –

I’m very excited to be a part of this program and am keen to learn as much as I can about the company AND get my questions answered.  I’ve been told that I will get the answers I am seeking – if the person I speak to can’t answer a question for me they will find someone who will.

My first trip is next week when I’ll be going to Toronto, Ontario to tour McDonald’s Head Office and checking out what it’s like behind the counter at a Canadian McDonald’s restaurant.  Mid-way through the week we’ll be going to Chicago, Illinois to visit McDonald’s Global Headquarters, checking out the test kitchen with Chef Dan and going on a tour of the Innovation Center.  Nanny Robina will be with us along the way, asking questions and sharing her experience as well.  We will have a television production crew with us and CityLine will be sharing videos of our experience with Canadians at a later date (which I’ll of course keep readers posted on).

Your questions count too.  My job is to bring the questions of my readers to those who have the means to answer them.  What rumors have you heard?  Are you confident that the food you’re eating from McDonald’s is made and processed as it should be?  Here’s your opportunity to find out.  Post your questions, send me a tweet, or simply send me an email.


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  • Congrats Tenille – I was on the fence about applying, but after decided against it.
    I’m thrilled that you were chosen and I can’t wait to hear the answers that I’m sure many people ask when it comes to MC Donald’s.
    If I had to ask 1 question is would be How much of the food is “Real” food and what preservatives are used.

    Have a fun trip!

    • That’s a good one Jody – I’m curious to know as well. % of preservatives would be good to know too.

  • I’d be curious to know more about the Big Mac that never disintegrates…. you’ve probably seen pictures on the internet. People say that since there are so many preservatives in McD’s food, you can leave a Big Mac out for 6 months or a year, and it will look exactly the same as it did on the first day.

    I’d also like to know about the source of their meat, and exactly what parts of the chicken and cows are being used in their burgers and nuggets. Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s explanation of how chicken nuggets are made? (It was on his Food Revolution series in West Virginia.) It’s unappetizing, to say the least.

    I’ve also heard that their “ice cream” contains absolutely no milk products…. if so, what the heck is in there?

    I’d be curious to know how they have changed over the years (if at all) in favor of a healthier lifestyle (other than just offering salads)…. is it true that they *have* to ask every customer if they want to supersize it? Have they decreased the amount of salt they put on the fries in the last few years? Have they made any other changes to their products over the years to make them healthier?

    I think that’s plenty of questions for you!! Have a great trip!

  • I really hope you learn all the nitty gritty and I hope they’re honest.

    It’ll be interesting to see their side of things and if they take the stance “we are what we are…take it or leave it” or if they’ll be trying to church it up for you while you’re there.

    Very exciting opportunity for you gals – don’t leave anything out!!!

  • Oooh forgot my question. Actually I have lots, but I’m most interested in hearing what preservatives they use. Are they industrial strength or something? The cranberry-orange muffin that had been hiding in the side of my car door for 3 months still looks like new.

  • Sounds like a great opportunity! I’d be excited to go on this adventure as well, even though I hate McDonald’s!
    I’d be interested to know if their hamburger meat is actually partially cardboard (heard this one many times). Why grilled chicken patties list pork as an ingredient (heard this one from employees). Why their food never goes bad! And when they are planning on following the “healthy trend” and making their food more natural.
    As a kid I loved happy meals, I only had a few, but getting a toy was the best addition ever! I’d love to treat my son to a happy meal, but I don’t wanna feed him their fake beef burgers…

  • Congratulations!! What a fantastic opportunity!

    My question: with the increasing amount of food allergies today, why do they choose not to offer any “free from” foods, except salad? Even French fries have extra allergens added. While I understand it’s not possible to make allowances for EVERY allergy, at least offering something for children that is wheat or dairy free would be great! (explain to allergic children that they can’t have any of the foods offered at their friends birthday party…. )

    • Rachel thanks for bringing this up – when my daughter had a dairy allergy I remember reading something about McDonald’s fries. Also, a friend of mine had a son with a beef allergy (rare but it happens!) and he couldn’t eat the fries.

      As the mom of a child with food allergies I think this is a great question of any restaurant chain and I’m glad it’s something I can ask them about.

  • So cool. Looking forward to hear more. I like their wraps and their fries but find them too salty. Hours after I’m done eating the fries I feel super thirsty and don’t seem to be able to make my thirst go away. I heard they use salt to absorb the fat. Wondering if there would be another way.
    Have a good trip!!!

  • I think the important thing to realize is that they will show you what they want to show you and they will have really nicely crafted answers to any question you can ask (because they’ve heard it all before). However, when you get home, take those answers and do a little digging. You may find a lot of half-truths, doublespeak, and things that were intentionally left out.

    I had the opportunity to ask Nestle a series of questions. I posted their answers and my response to their answers on my blog.

    Based on the FAQs and other materials I’ve already read on the McDonald’s website, I expect your experience with them will be similar. I would love to see you expose the truth behind the corporate speak that they feed to you.

    • Annie@PhDinParenting, you do get around. I’m sure these moms will bring their skeptics’ hats. But I’m not sure why you think big companies shouldn’t do good things. I find your approach…interesting.

  • Hi, congrats and have a fun time. Everyone has some really good questions, and I can’t think of any rearding food that havn’t been brought up. But I do have one consern as a mom regarding McDonalds…how often do they clean those playgrounds? Really! From the ones Ive been in I think they should do it more often.