I first heard about CityLine’s McDonald’s All-Access Moms program and thought it would be intriguing to see the operations, food preparation and strategy of a huge corporation from behind the scenes.  It is a rare opportunity to be granted access to the inner workings of one of the world’s largest restaurants.  (And not only any restaurant – but one which arouses passionate opinions by so many people).  I applied and was honoured to be chosen.  With the decision to participate comes a huge responsibility to ask tough questions, consider philosophical positions and present all I learn in a professional manner.

Four Canadian writers were chosen, including Maureen Dennis (weewelcome.ca), Tenille Lafontaine (feistyfrugalandfabulous.com) and Jaime Damak (jesuisunemaman.com), who will write for a Francophone audience.  The program will take us to Toronto and Chicago to begin, followed by farms and plants in New Brunswick, Alberta and Ontario.  CityLine’s Nanny Robina will accompany the group.

My kids and I do eat at McDonalds a few times each year.  It’s convenient, and it tastes good.  But let’s face it, McDonalds gets some bad press and people have very strong opinions about nutritional value, corporate social responsibility and obesity.  I do feel guilty every time I grab a happy meal.  That said, my guilt and perhaps the opinions of many are not necessarily based on facts.  This program allows me to see and experience a large part of the process first-hand.  Most importantly, it gives me the opportunity to ask questions.  Having access to chefs, farmers, senior executives and restaurant workers affords me the chance to learn and consider everything from the amount of fat in a Big Mac to broader issues that affect our society.

So, as I embark on this journey across the country, I promise my readers that I will tell it like I see it.  I also want to know what issues are important to you and to ask your questions. Please email me , tweet, or post your queries here, and I will personally get back to each of you.   This is a very exciting chance not only to find out more, but perhaps also to influence the future of a large part of our economy and culture.

– Jill Amery will try to refrain from golden arch references and the Urban McMommies joke has already been put forth, just in case you were wondering.