Whenever I see a headline with McDonald’s as the subject I have to read it. At first I thought the article would be another exposé about the company’s questionable food selections, but I was mistaken. Instead the article, McDonald’s Will Help Teach Nutrition, highlighted the New York Metro Nutrition Network that was recently established. Have you heard abut it?
According the NYMetro Nutrition Network website,
the initiative is part of a corporate commitment to offer improved nutritious choices and wholesome options at McDonald’s restaurants, and to teach children how to make good food choices while using recommended food groups.
Additionally, local community organizations that are promoting nutrition and responsible eating (whatever that means) can apply for a $5,000 grant to support their work. The grant application states that the initiative is an extension of McDonald’s national commitment to offer improved nutrition choices. With each project being evaluated on the following criteria:
- Nutrition Focus
- Impact on Community
- Longevity/ Enduring Value
- Organization’s Program Track Record (i.e. past successes)
Not to discredit how much impact a small grant to an organization can make, but I am very weary of one time nutrition related grants especially those distributed by a fast-food restaurant. Yes, it is commendable that McDonald’s is subtly addressing the perception that the general pubic has of its products offerings, but I hope this signals that more changes will be coming to their menu in the future. Seriously, when you think about nutritious food, I bet McDonald’s is not your first thought. Although, upon closer examination of their menu there were actually some healthy and affordable options. For example, a hamburger, a side salad with low fat balsamic vinaigrette, a kiddie cone and a bottle of water are only 350 calories. As for the meal being locally-sourced and organic, that is another issue.
What do you think about this new initiative? Is this just another PR effort or is McDonald’s really changing and supporting nutrition?