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.
Packed with calories - and ingredients: In a time of labeling, when government entities and the public are pushing for more disclosure, the package for the McRib would have to grow just to list all of its ingredients.
According to the current box labeling, the sandwich consists of just five basic components - a pork patty and BBQ sauce with pickle slices, onions and a sesame bun.
But, as Time magazine points out, a closer examination of McDonald's own list of ingredients reveals that the sandwich contains a total of 70 ingredients, including azodicarbonamide, a flour-bleaching component that is often used to produce foamed plastics (think gym mats and the soles of shoes). In fact, "the compound is banned in Europe and Australia as a food additive," says Time. Other ingredients include ammonium sulfate and polysorbate 80.
Besides, the sandwich itself contains an incredible amount of calories - 500 at least - along with 26 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates and 980 milligrams of sodium, nearly half the recommended daily amount of about 2,400 milligrams.
Not a good choice for your heart: The ingredients, combined with a dose of 10 mg of saturated fat (nearly half of the recommended daily allowance), make the McRib an enemy of a healthy heart, say the experts.
"Think about that for a second: When you eat a McRib, you're eating the same chemical ingredients and compounds in those disgusting yoga mats at the gym. And that's on top of the fact that it tastes terrible in the first place," writes Rick Paulas, food editor for KCET, a public television network in southern California. "Which means it's time to ask: Why are we still eating this?"
That's a very valid question. In the meantime, that sound you hear is the further tightening of the nation's belt line.