Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Fast-food study choice perplexes mum

Rachel Osborne with her 6-year-old daughter Maddy who is going on a school trip to McDonalds. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Rachel Osborne with her 6-year-old daughter Maddy who is going on a school trip to McDonalds. Photo / Sarah Ivey

An Auckland mum is baffled that her daughter's primary school is planning to take its 6- and 7-year-old students on a field trip to McDonald's.

Pupils from West Auckland school Hobsonville Primary will this week be visiting the New Lynn McDonald's to learn about "sustainable" living.

Rachel Osbourne, whose 6-year-old daughter Maddy is in year two at the school, said she was shocked when she found out the school had chosen McDonald's as a field trip destination.

"They sent out a newsletter saying this term we're looking at making a sustainable community, and ... locally grown food, which I thought sounded fantastic.

"And then it said - as part of this we've got the wonderful opportunity of going to McDonald's to see behind the scenes how they use locally grown food in there."

The 28-year-old mother, who also has a 4-year-old son, could not understand why the school had chosen to take its students to a fast-food outlet which is not even located in the Hobsonville area.

"We've got a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables in this area ... and we've got so many places around here that use this local food."

Mrs Osbourne said she was allowing Maddy to go because she did not want her to feel left out.

Hobsonville Primary School principal Margaret Doherty said she did not see any problem with the upcoming field trip, and was adamant the 6- and 7-year-old pupils understood the McDonald's visit was about "sustainability" only.

"They're looking at food miles, and that is, if they [McDonald's] use local produce," she said.

"It's nothing to do with health, it's nothing to do with making choices around food."

Mrs Doherty said the trip was part of a study the children were undertaking on local produce and sustainable food. "They will also be going to the farmers' market."

She said the New Lynn McDonald's was chosen because "it was quite open to the children.

"It was a choice that was made by the group of teachers."

New Lynn McDonald's said it would be giving the students a presentation on healthy food as part of their visit.

Franchise owner Dinesh Mani said the children would be given a presentation about healthy living.

"We do a small presentation in the day to show them the food comes from local farmers ... then we take them around the restaurant."

"We talk about healthy lifestyles and choices for the kids ...

"It's about food in general and what healthy options are at McDonald's," she said.

- NZ Herald

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