The McDonald's McRib is back, hitting restaurants nationwide Tuesday. It looks like a rack of ribs, but is far from it. The McRib is a product of modern technology and creative marketing. The McRib came into existence about 1981 - 1982, after a 1979 shortage of chicken meat due to the popularity of the McNugget.
The McRib is a product of "restructured meat technology."
It is made from a less than appetizing combination of tripe (stomach lining), heart, and scalded stomach, which is then mixed with salt and water to extract proteins from the muscle. The proteins bind all the pork trimmings together so that it can be re-molded into any specific shape. In this case, a fake slab of ribs. The entire McRib sandwich contains about 70 ingredients, including azodicarbonamide, which is a flour-bleaching agent often used in the production of foamed plastics such as yoga mats.
The entire sandwich is about 500 calories, 26 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbs,
and 980 milligrams of sodium.
The McRib has produced a cult-like following with websites tracking McRib
availability. Not everyone is ecstatic about the return of the McRib. Last November, the Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, the pork supplier of McDonald's McRib meat, claiming the meat distributor houses its pigs in unethical farm conditions.
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