The Atlantic has an article on their website about McDonald’s strange, seasonal sandwich, the McRib. Ian Bogost’s column is mostly about why people want to eat McRibs (advertising!), but he opens with the following description of the “barbecue wonder”:
…this would-be rib sandwich is really a restructured pork patty pressed into the rough shape of a slab of ribs, its slathering of barbecue sauce acting as camouflage as much as coating.
“Pork” is a generous term, since the McRib has traditionally been fashioned from otherwise unmarketable pig parts like tripe, heart, and stomach, material that is not only cheap but also easier to mold and bind into a coherent, predetermined shape. McDonald’s accurately lists the patty’s primary ingredient as “boneless pork,” although even that’s a fairly strong euphemism. Presumably few of the restaurant’s patrons would line up for a Pressed McTripe.
I checked the website (you can too if you click here) and found that the primary ingredient is “pork”. That to me implies it is no longer “boneless”.
Okay so sausage is made up of many of the same things, and I eat sausage once and a while. Here’s another excerpt from the article and it’s why I won’t eat a McRib:
[It’s] bound and preserved by a petrochemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. According to the Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, one gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.”
I’m lovin’t it! NOT.
McDonald’s manufactures their much more popular McNuggets the same way. If you click on the link to view what they’re made of you’ll find the primary ingredient is “White Boneless Chicken”. That’s a little more precise than “pork”, so maybe it’s not as bad.
Other fast-food restaurants serve chicken nuggets, and another Atlantic article reports that Doctors Richard D. deShazo and Steven Bigler dissected samples of chicken nuggets from two unnamed restaurants and found:
The nugget from the first restaurant (breading not included) was approximately 50 percent muscle. The other half was primarily fat, with some blood vessels and nerve, as well as “generous quantities of epithelium [from skin of visceral organs] and associated supportive tissue.” That broke down overall to 56 percent fat, 25 percent carbohydrates, and 19 percent protein.
The nugget from the second restaurant was 40 percent skeletal muscle, as well as “generous quantities of fat and other tissue, including connective tissue and bone.” That was 58 percent fat, 24 percent carbs, and 18 percent protein.
I’m lovin’ it two times! Not NOT.
So do yourself and your kids (if you have any) a favor by not buying manufactured food from fast-food restaurants. You’ll all be better off.