It was fictional misogynist Don Draper that deftly noted about advertising: “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Here, McDonald’s applies the lesson into a series of transparent videos that literally show how the sausage gets made.
Responding to a tweet from Wes Bellamy—an accomplished young professional from Charlottesville, Va. —McDonald’s employed Mythbusters host Grant Imahara to drive Bellamy to Oklahoma City’s Lopez Foods headquarters. That’s where the world famous McRib is processed and frozen. Watch the clip and suddenly this seasonal sandwich seems like a mostly harmless indulgence.
A massive tub of “boneless pork picnic” containing only meat and reportedly no bones or grizzle is stirred like a giant stew. It’s ground and molded like cookies into that iconic, faux-rib shape. According to Vice President of Lopez Foods Kevin Nanke, “Every piece of meat is officially inspected by highly trained individuals.”
McDonald’s adds salt, water, meat preservatives (specifically Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Propyl Gallatee), and citric acid. It adds water to lock in buoyancy, then deep freezes the thin sheets of meat. At the restaurant, they are warmed, slapped in sauce, and boom—you have one of mankind’s most storied fast food creations.
Is it delicious? Without question, McDonald’s knows your taste buds better than you do and its research pays off here time and again with its nationwide clarity and consistency on this project. But the problem with the meat employed by McDonald’s isn’t whether or not it will cause you comparative harm, but about the economic, systemic power wielded by the handful of companies that control our food system.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to uncover the horrible truth of who, exactly, was behind the fall of the Arch Deluxe.