McDonald's CEO Gets Read By  A Third Grader

A 9 year old is fed up and she’s not going to take it any more.  Well those weren’t her exact words to McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, but they’re pretty close. 

On May 23, Hannah Roberston, a third grader, had a chance to speak at the  McDonald’s shareholders meeting when she told CEO Don Thompson, “It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.”

She came to talk business. Fast food business.

Hannah had a prewritten statement that criticized the fast food giant’s nutritional deficiencies and marketing tactics. She asked, “Mr. Thompson, don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and happy life?”

Hannah attended the conference with her mother, Kia Roberston, a health-food blogger, who came to the conference with other members of Corporate Accountability International, a human rights advocacy group that’s hoping to stop what they say is the fast-food chain’s predatory marketing to kids.

CEO Don Thompson responded by denying the allegations, saying, “First off, we don’t sell junk food, Hannah,” he said. “My kids also eat McDonald’s. When they were about your size, to my son who is with us today…”

Thompson also made reference to the fruits and vegetables they are trying to serve.

I guess ketchup is a vegetable. Wait, or is it a fruit? Yeah, I know, there’s apple slices and those big ass fried or grilled chicken wraps surrounded by lettuce and cucumbers.

But don’t for a second think Hannah is a one trick pony. She’s a YouTube sensation also! She regularly makes Youtube videos with her mother for their site, Today I Ate a Rainbow, which promotes healthy eating and home cooking for children and their parents.

I doubt Hannah changed anything in Don Thompson’s mind, but she didn’t do bad for a third grader.



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  • The social compact under which we operate in this country allows for private businesses to operate with very little government oversight with the understanding that those businesses are also committed to the overall social good. So while parents share a responsibility for policing what their children eat, the food industry is equally responsible not to market and sell garbage to children. All parties have a responsibility but how fair is it to expect parents to protect themselves and their children from billion dollar marketing and food altering campaigns?
    Do we believe McDonalds has no social responsibility to not market and sell faux food to us that has had all the nutritious value removed?

    Companies like McDonalds spend enormous amount of resources creating food that targets not only our stomachs but our brains. The best most parents are armed with is food nutrition tables that generally offer them very little information about where the food originates or whether it has been mutated or altered before being served to the public. After all there was no law that required food companies to tell us that they were putting pink slime in the food or horsemeat in the burgers.

    I don’t eat fast food and that is how I solve that problem but I also don’t have to battle children on a daily basis as they fall prey to the Siren song that comprise most fast food commercials. I have seen how young kids react to the sight or smell of much of this “fast food” and I think it’s only a matter of time before the fast food industry is exposed like the tobacco industry was as intentionally adding stuff to their product to make them more addictive.

    Additionally, as taxpayers we subsidize one of the most basic ingredients in most fast food products, corn starch through the federal government continued subsidy of corn crops. This makes it more incumbent on the food manufacturers to ensure the quality of their food since we subsidize their cost.