There’s no rib in a McRib. There are about 70 other ingredients. The greatest amount of them come from ground-up low-value pork trimmings mixed together with salt and water to create “meat logs” that are then carved to size. So in what forest do you find a meat log?
McDonald’s posts a McRib ingredients list on their website, which is appended to this post. But just reading a raw ingredients list is a little obtuse. Far more revelatory is to hear how the McRib masterminder, Roger Mandigo, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, described the process behind making “restructured meat products” in Food Chains: From Farmyard to Shopping Cart:
“Most people would be extremely unhappy if they were served heart or tongue on a plate,” he observed. “But flaked into a restructured product it loses its identity. Such products as tripe, heart, and scalded stomachs are high in protein, completely edible, wholesome, and nutritious, and most are already used in sausage without objection.” Pork patties could be shaped into any form and marketed in restaurants or for airlines, solving a secondary problem of irregular portion size of cuts such as pork chops. In 1981 McDonald’s introduced a boneless pork sandwich of chunked and formed meat called the McRib, developed in part through check-off funds [micro-donations from pork producers] from the NPPC [National Pork Producers Council]. It was not as popular as the McNugget, introduced in 1983, would be, even though both products were composed of unmarketable parts of the animal (skin and dark meat in the McNugget). The McNugget, however, benefited from positive consumer associations with chicken, even though it had none of the “healthy” attributes people associated with poultry.
[via ChicagoMag] (Thanks to David!)
McRib ingredients list:
McRib Â®â€ :
McRib Pork Patty, McRib Bun, McRib Sauce, Pickle Slices, Slivered Onions
McRib Pork Patty:
Pork, water, salt, dextrose, preservatives (BHA, propyl gallate, citric acid)
Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, high fructose corn syrup, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, corn meal, wheat gluten, soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oils, dextrose, sugar, malted barley flour, cultured wheat flour, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, soy flour, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate (preservative), soy lecithin.
Water, high fructose corn syrup, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, molasses, natural smoke flavor (plant source), food starch-modified, salt, sugar, spices, soybean oil, xanthan gum, onion powder, garlic powder, chili pepper, sodium benzoate (preservative), caramel color, beet powder
The McRib Is Back, Temporarily