McDonald’s Answers Canadians’ Questions

Image: JKCarl
“The Golden Arches” are a symbol of the fast food icon McDonald’s. Image: JKCarl

Have you ever wondered exactly what’s in a McDonald’s hamburger?

Or why the food at McDonald’s doesn’t look the same in the advertising as it does in the store?

Or whether McDonald’s food is good for you?

If so, you’re not alone.

McDonald’s has a website that posts questions answered by Canadians—and answers from McDonald’s staff.

Over the years the restaurant chain has taken a lot of heat for its food which tends to be fast, cheap and not necessarily always good for you.

However, it is everywhere. There’s hardly a city in North America—or the world—in which you can’t find a McDonald’s restaurant.

That means there are a lot of people eating at the fast-food restaurant. And over the years, people have asked a lot of questions about the chain and a lot of rumours about its food have gone around.

For instance, there is a rumour that McDonald’s is able to put “100% Pure Beef” on its packaging because there’s an actual company called “100% Pure Beef”—the insinuation being that McDonald’s uses a loophole allowing them to claim their hamburgers are pure beef.

Image: AYArktos
A “real” McDonald’s hamburger. Image: AYArktos

The website tackles that rumour; one of the company’s lawyers gives a statement saying there is no company called “100% Pure Beef.” And then in a video he does a search for such a company and, of course, doesn’t find one.

Some of the questions are a bit cheeky. For instance, Sar N. in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan asks, “Are McFlurries made from ground chicken feathers?” And Nikki L. from Blackfalds, Alberta asks, “Does Canada use ‘pink slime’?”

Since the website went up in May 2012, McDonald’s has answered more than 8,700 questions.

On its website, McDonald’s says, “we haven’t always done a great job of answering questions. We want to change that.”

The company does reject some questions. It won’t answer any questions that aren’t about the food and they will only answer questions asked by Canadians within Canada.

Questions can be posted on the “Our Food. Your Questions.” website. However, questioners are asked to sign in via Google, Facebook or Twitter. Only adults, or children with an adult’s supervision, should ever enter information on this website or any similar type of website.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
If you could ask McDonald’s any questions about their food, what would you ask them? Why are these questions important to you?

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences / Interpreting Texts
Why might a company choose to share information about its products with their customers? Why might it try to hide certain details about their products? Make a comparison chart that shows the possible benefits and consequences of sharing this type of information. Now, that you’ve looked at both sides, if you owned a company, would you try to share or hide information about your products?

Make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Rhetorical Questions
A rhetorical question is a question that is asked in order to make a statement, get someone’s attention, or to be sarcastic. Unlike the questions most of us are used to, rhetorical questions are not meant to be responded to. For example, a teacher who feels like she is being tricked by her students may ask the following rhetorical question, “Do you think I was born yesterday?” As you can tell by the tone of this question, the student would not be expected to answer.

Because many people are interested in questions, many authors use rhetorical questions to get their reader’s attention and to make them interested in their piece of writing. The author of today’s story uses three rhetorical questions in a row to pull in her readers!

“Have you ever wondered exactly what’s in a McDonald’s hamburger?

Or why the food at McDonald’s doesn’t look the same in the advertising as it does in the store?

Or whether McDonald’s food is good for you?”

If you were asked to rewrite the beginning of today’s story using rhetorical questions, what questions would you include? Why would your questions do a good job engaging readers?