Last week, Viet Nam News asked readers if they liked free food. We also asked them what they thought about the fact that thousands of people, including parents and children, queued up for more than three hours under a harsh sun in HCM City recently for free McDonald's food.
Here are some of their thoughts:
Tran Phong Vu, Vietnamese, Ha Noi
I think queuing up to get a free food is a good choice. In the time spent waiting for free food people could not earn enough money to buy the same goods. And as food is necessary for life, feel happy while waiting for your Macca!
Steven Fuyer, Binh Duong
Free or not, McDonald's has been sued many times in the United States for selling unhealthy food. Beef patties are made by major food factories then shipped to McDonald's franchises.
During my life in the US, I only ate hamburgers from McDonald's twice,but I was never convinced they were healthy. Recently, as the Texas-based www.infowars.com reported, McDonald's was questioned about beef patties and french fries said to be contaminated. Some weird things were reportedly found in their buns and beef.
The website's reporter was escorted out by police without getting the answer. One wonders if McDonald's fast food processing has some flaws. Vietnamese food is much healthier, but sometimes has too much sugar and salt.
Anh, a reader
I don't think I would be happy queuing up for so long just to get free food. Surely it would be better to earn some money for the hour or two it takes to queue up. With that money, they can buy anything they want, not wait for something. Remember the old saying: Nothing is free.
Andrew Burden , Canadian, Ha Noi
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Either drinks on offer cost more, or the nutritional value of the goods is questionable. Marketers also collect your information to sell and track you down later.
My Vietnamese heart-doctor friend in HCM City trained in America. He tells the story about going to McDonald's for a treat, but was told by his American mentor that mostly poor and poorly educated people eat there. "The food is garbage," he said.
I expect new product to be advertised or offered as samples at the supermarket. If promotional music is blaring loud and the girls are provocatively pretty (eye candy), I lose respect for the ad campaign. Quality products speak for themselves.
I trust word-of-mouth advertising and by reading professional food critics in the newspapers.
I know what I like and I like what I know. Accept free food samples, but beware.
There is an invisible fish hook attached and they will reel you in.
Don't be a sucker and always read the labels and see what the ingredients in these neew foods really is.
Do Dung, Vietnamese, Da Nang
Many people say it's a shame to queue up for such long time for free food. I don't think it's a shame at all. The promoters don't steal from anyone, why feel embarrassed?
It's simply a marketing activity of the company, it's not charity food. And it's every one's choice to accept or refuse the free food.
In some countries, there are restaurants that put unsold food on sale cheaply after 9pm. Many people queue for up to an hour before that. I enjoyed my waiting because I could chat with my friends.
I think many Vietnamese people queued for not only for the food. Look at the pictures, there were many children, their parents must have wanted to simply give them a little fun. I also think they can teach them about being patient and polite when queuing up.
John McDonald, Australian Ha Noi
Queue up for hamburgers if you like, but why? When there is a Macca's on every street corner and all the local food peddlars have been banned, residents may find they may as well be living in the West.
These foreign food merchants are not interest in a few outlets to comp-lement an already vibrant scene, they want to be on every prominent street corner and reap in the dollars. They have the money and the clout to achieve this. Goodbye Viet Nam! — VNS