What is the McRib Made of?

The McRib is a sandwich served by McDonald's that consists of a restructured boneless pork burger shaped like miniature ribs, barbecue sauce, onions and pickles, served on a 5 ½ inch (14 cm) roll. While McDonald's claims that the sandwich consists mainly of shoulder meat, the truth is much less appealing. Chicago Magazine reported that the ingredients actually consist of restructured meat products such as heart, calluses and scalded stomach. McRib is made from a composite ground pork shoulder that is put through a grinder and molded into the shape of a rib rack.

The hamburger contains pork, water, salt, dextrose and preservatives, and is sprayed with water to prevent dehydration during the freezing process. The McRib also includes barbecue sauce, onions, pickles and other ingredients. The United States Army offered low-cost meat to troops on the ground for this program. The McRib does not contain rib meat, but rather a mixture of beef and potatoes.

Kevin Nanke points out in a video that McRib burgers at McDonald's contain boneless pork picnic meat. McDonald's has been affected by the uproar over its previous inclusion of pink slime and a meat scandal earlier this year in China. The McRib contains lots of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides residual from genetically modified grains fed to pigs. Animal rights groups sued Smithfield Foods, the pork supplier of McDonald's McRib, for the inhumane treatment of pigs after an undercover video showed horrific scenes of abuse.

Last November, the Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit against Smithfield Foods alleging that the meat distributor houses its pigs in unethical farm conditions. The ingredients are comprised of restructured meat products such as heart, calluses and scalded stomach. Rene Arend came up with the idea and design of the McRib, but it was Richard Mandigo, a professor at the University of Nebraska who developed the restructured meat product that McRib is actually made of.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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