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McDonald's Serving Up 'Restructured Meat Technology' - You Want Fries With That?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Factory Farming page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

Well, it's that time of year again when McDonald's rolls out its venerable McRib sandwich. Tens of millions of Americans will purchase one - or, judging by the nation's ever-widening belt line, several - but most will do so without knowing all they should know about this popular sandwich.

Besides high caloric content, there are several other reasons why you should avoid the McRib, a boneless pork product smothered in BBQ sauce that famously resembles a rack of ribs, as much as you avoid most of the other "delicacies" served by this fast-food behemoth. In addition, The Blaze reports, there are several "fun facts" about the sandwich you may not have known:

A sandwich 'built' from scratch?: The McRib is a product of Rene Arend, who came up with the idea and design of the sandwich. That said, Richard Mandigo, a professor from the University of Nebraska, who developed the "restructured meat product" that the McRib is actually made of.

According to Chicago magazine, citing a 1995 article by Mandigo, "restructured meat product" is described thusly:

Restructured meat products are commonly manufactured by using lower-valued meat trimmings reduced in size by comminution (flaking, chunking, grinding, chopping or slicing). The comminuted meat mixture is mixed with salt and water to extract salt-soluble proteins. These extracted proteins are critical to produce a "glue" which binds muscle pieces together. These muscle pieces may then be reformed to produce a "meat log" of specific form or shape. The log is then cut into steaks or chops which, when cooked, are similar in appearance and texture to their intact muscle counterparts. ... 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.

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