Do You Know What’s in Your McRib Sandwich?

The McRib (photo: David Paul Morris, Getty Images)

The McRib is a sandwich periodically sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s. It was first introduced to the McDonald’s menu in 1981 as a limited-time item; then, as now, it returns to the menu for promotional periods.

Brad Tuttle of Moneyland reports that the McRib enjoys a bizarre cult following in part because of its impermanence. It has generated not only Facebook pages, but McRib Locator websites and a Twitter account.

The McRib consists of a ground pork patty, barbecue sauce, onions, and pickles served on a 5½ inch roll. Despite its name, the McRib is primarily composed of pork shoulder meat.

But the McRib has more than ground pork, bun, onions, and barbecue sauce. The sandwich has 70 ingredients (34 in the bun alone), including azodicarbonamide, ammonium sulfate and polysorbate 80 — whatever they are.

Meredith Melnick reports for Time, Oct. 27, 2011, that although these components are in small enough quantities to be (supposedly) innocuous, “it’s still a little disconcerting to know that, for example, azodicarbonamide, a flour-bleaching agent that is most commonly used in the manufacture of foamed plastics like in gym mats and the soles of shoes, is found in the McRib bun. The compound is banned in Europe and Australia as a food additive. (England’s Health and Safety Executive classified it as a “respiratory sensitizer” that potentially contributes to asthma through occupational exposure.) The U.S. limits azodicarbonamide to 45 parts per million in commercial flour products, based on analysis of lab testing.”

If azodicarbonamide doesn’t give you pause, here’s the “nutrition information” for the McRib (serving size 7.4 oz) from McDonald’s website:

  • Calories: 500
  • Calories from fat: 240 (i.e., half of a McRib’s calories are from fat!)
  • Total fat (g): 26
  • % of daily fat value: 40%
  • Saturated fat (g): 10
  • % of daily saturated fat value: 48%
  • Cholesterol (mg): 70
  • % of daily cholesterol value: 23%
  • Sodium (mg): 980
  • % of daily sodium value: 41%
  • % of daily value of Vitamin A: 2%
  • % of daily value of Vitamin C: 2%
  • % of daily value of Calcium: 15%
  • % of daily value of Iron: 20%

Buyer beware!

~Eowyn

55 responses to “Do You Know What’s in Your McRib Sandwich?

  1. Anybody that eats at McDonalds gets just what they deserve, a company that cares ONLY about $$$! Or they would serve a decent meal for the price. I went in McDonalds once a long time ago, and the smell told this old country boy that I didn’t ever want to eat in there, and I have NEVER ate at McDonalds EVER! I have been in outhouses that have smelled better!
    Semper Fi.

    • There’s really nothing more enjoyable than a McRib. I eat them all the time and find them to be tender and delicious. I don’t like the “Tangy” campaign very much and I get my McRib without pickles even though I get pickles on my McBurgers. Haters gonna hate.

  2. Vic, you got that right about McDonalds, all they care about is their bottom line.
    Semper Fi Brother!

  3. Yuck–this is no better than the story about the pink froth that turns into chicken nuggets.

  4. I will tell no lie.. I have tried one… O-N-E! And that was years ago… it was gross then and I am sure it is still as gross now… blah…

    • It’s the sauce and the pickles that does it (such as it is :/ )… remain partial to Big Mac/ Quarterpounder w/ Cheese, if it’s McD’s.

  5. After finding out McDonald’s supports a “One World Government” and given the United States gave them their start-they refuse to buy their beef from the United States. So,yeah,it is hard-telling what you will get when you order McDonalds. They mind Moochele real good though. Please support business’s that support America,it will make a difference. If we don’t get these communist’s out of our govt.and run the UN out of here. We will be ordering all of our food from other Countries. Leave agriculture,farming and ranching alone. We produce very little these days,thanks to our govt.officials selling their souls to the devil.

    • Crony capitalists are in charge now that Ray Croc’s long gone… funny how they react when they’re tossed out with the other useful idiots by leftists.

    • I’ve read that THE McDonald is part of the Illumaniti-according to info. as I have found in many various searches about this enlightening group of Satanists—. But then when you look at the list of VIPs in the groups Bilderbergers, CFR, Trilateral Comm. & visitors of Bohemian Grove, it makes your jaw drop ! No witch hunt intended. I don’t of course have any knowledge other than in reading on this group & the elitists involved, in numerous sources then comparing–. I used to think anyone who thought the stuff that I now believe, was NUTS ! Gosh, I wish some of the things I have found out wasn’t so !

  6. The only things they do right are coffee and fries.

    As for burgers, I do mine at home on the grill, ’cause at least that way I know what’s in ‘em. :-)

    -Dave

    • You’re so right, Dave, about McDonald’s coffee and fries! Their fries really are good, although I can’t remember when I last ate their fries, probably more than 10 years ago. LOL

      • Back in the day, I would go to Burger King and get my Whopper with cheese, and if there was a Micky D’s close, I’d go there for the fries.

        LOL – BK would have saved me a lot of time and trouble if they had just swallowed their pride and done theirs the same way McDonald’s does. I usually had to order another Coke, too, because I would drink the first one while sitting in the drive-thru line.

        -Dave

        • Good onya Dave. Eat more McDonalds, because for some people it certainly is desirable. I think it could be construed as a public service in some ways. a potent and karmically perfect form of natural selection.

  7. Not missing all that much.

  8. Let us be wary of attempting to control what people are willing to eat, or we’ll end up with a tyrannical group of busybody bureaucrats telling us what to eat and where to buy it all.
    I’ll stick with a McRib sandwich and all of its ingredients (that most likely will not kill me) over a government that’s large enough to control what I eat that historically can kill me!.

    • Dave,

      Nowhere in my post did I even suggest we should “control what people are willing to eat” or that government bureaucrats should tell us what and what not to eat. That’s the whole point of doing a story on the McRib — to inform people so that we can then make our own intelligent choices!

      • The problem of course is that some people do not want to make intelligent choices. They operate on the equation that if it “tastes good” I’ll eat it, never paying a mind to what they are putting into their body. Some people seem to resent having their ignorance disturbed. Thankfully their numbers are dwindling and with their shortened lifespans they won’t be able to crow too long before they wind up with one of the more popular diseases associated with poor diet. And of course there are the paid PR people hired to post on boards like this to attack any information, no matter how valid, that might affect their sponsor’s bottom line. As well it does not help that all those big brother agencies, such as FDA and USDA, that the nanny-statists say are there to protect us are owned by the industries they purportedly regulate and are busy telling us that sure aspartame is safe – never mind that it is a slow dose neurotoxin with over 60 known adverse side effects.

        • Joe… find one scientifically peer reviewed study on aspartame. Oh, wait, you can’t, because there are none aside from unworthy personal anecdotes and bogus pseudo-science puff pieces regarding the artificial sweetener in question. I advise you to read about human physiology and the laws of thermodynamics and learn about the big scheme of things regarding the three main macronutrients, body composition and nutrition density. Sigh….

    • You could for example just be smart enough to oppose tyrrany and avoid eating poisonous crap from McDonalds you know, but then you’d not be eating the crap if you were that smart. By the way, it will kill you, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing always..

      I see it as a form of natural selection and sincerely suggest you gobble down half a dozen of these disgusting things a week if you can manage it.

  9. Aw come o all you alarmists. Bottom line is they taste great and a good value for the money. I had to chuckle at the guy who said he makes his on his grill so he knows whats in them because do you really believe you know what is in the burger you buy? How much genetic mutation the cow had, how much GM modified grain it was fed. You need to all get off your high horse and get a life.

    • Dan I agree, you should also eat lots of these. Hey they taste reat man, that is surely the best reason to eat anything. See how many you can get in you each month then try and better your tally next month. Not only will you be doing your taste buds a favour, you’ll be contributing to the improvement of the human gene pool.

      • Er, no thanks, I don’t want to get fat and have liver failure (it’s been done already in a documentary, except that the guys liver was only in bad shape).

  10. It is rather scary when one starts to analyse the ingredients in modern processed foodstuffs. Certain things are just not fit for human (or animal) consumption, and although reading the labels of processed foodstuffs is an option in the supermarket, it seldom is in a fast food joint.

    Articles such as this one really serves as a most valuable tool in helping to get the public to realize just what exactly they are stuffing their faces with. Whether it will ever significantly affect the number of people regularly indulging in fast food remains to be seen, as it has been proven that fast food is as addictive as heroin…..

    Growing your own organic food as far as possible is the only way to truly be assured of an uncompromised food supply….

    • I agree. As a long term home Kitchen Gardener I can vouch from twenty-odd years of growing my own that there is no substitute for keeping your own garden. Modern grocery store produce is selected first for shipping, and then shelf life – taste and nutritional value comes at best a distant third. Not to mention I do not use toxic pesticides and pay attention to soil heath and viability so that my plants produce high nutrient value fruits and vegetables. I’ve gotten to where I refer to those tasteless pink globes misrepresented as tomatoes in the grocery store as “Pink Rocks”. With a little bit of study ANYONE can grow something. Container gardening is a great option for people short of space, and I use both a variety of containers and raised beds.

      It is not hard to learn folks – just something new to learn – which pays dividends in quality, nutrition, and, if you are frugal, the cost. Nothing beats going out into the garden, admiring what you’ve done, and then picking fresh off the vine tomatoes, or melons, or cucumbers, or ….

  11. The last time I ate in a McDonalds, I was I’ll for a week!

  12. Anything and everything sold in a MacDonalds is toxic.

  13. Nobody who eats at McDonalds cares about their health or is bright enough for their lives to be worth squat anyway. Eat the crap and die faster you cretins and good riddance too.

    • Well, definitely don’t eat it all the time… but people are flawed and will do dumb things, banning McD’s or something like that won’t stop it.

    • Gosh, Rabbit, why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel—! You really are a “love meister” now, aren’t you !!

  14. Absolutely disgusting. If possible stay away from all fast food.

  15. Sorry for my abrupt responses to some but I sincerely believe McDonalds is the great satan of fast food filth. If you even consider eating there, you deserve to, it is that simple.

  16. McDonald’s quit selling real food decades ago.

  17. Mc Donalds, Burger King and most fast food is pretty much dog food fit for human consumption. Google the words MEAT GLUE.

  18. You bashers are hilarious. I’ve eaten McD’s since I was a little kid, as did my parents, and most other folks. Yet, I bet I’m still healthier and far more capable of physical activity than most of you detractors. Everything in life is about moderation, it is all really plain and simple, but it would seem you lack the common sense to figure that out.

  19. ….The compound is banned in Europe. No big deal. In Europe we find no banning of msg, Asparatme, microwave ovens, Teflon, copper or aluminium cookware, rapeseed, soya, and canola oils, unfermented soy, fructose syrup etc. All well documented as harmful to health.

    All we find is a massive attack on vitamins and herbs. Stuff the Europeans.

  20. i know how they make the sauce they whipe the tables of and ring it into a pitcher and call it sauce

  21. eat it! it tastes good. stop talking nonsense i grew up playing outside in the dirt and never got sick nor do I now. so i am not worried about a mc rib!!!!!!!!

  22. Strange ingredients but they’re still delicious and I don’t mind the tentacles growing out of my back.

  23. Is McDonald’s still the number one purchaser of cow eye balls…………after all, it’s still 100% beef?

  24. People, I’ll let you in on something… All the toxic crap in foods and medicines are THERE FOR A REASON. They want people to get sick, be unhealthy and die an early death. The govt WANTS you to die before SS kicks in. The same people who hold controlling interests in Big Food and Big Pharma WANT YOU TO BECOME SICK because they also own the controlling interests in the “treatment” you will receive due to said illness! They make more money off you as they drain every last cent from you when you are hospitalized and medicated. A lot more than they make selling you MSG and aspartame laden POISON. Do some research on MSG and aspartame. You’ll be SHOCKED. They also want you to be stupid, passive, and apathetic, which is a byproduct of consuming the poisons long-term. BTW, the FDA, AMA, and Cancer Society… the last thing they want is a cure for cancer! Think I am a kook? Fine, just know that I have made millions personally using my intelligence and no longer have to work 30 years before most people retire.

  25. just by saying what you did about being intelligent basically means you wish you were :-)

  26. Dr Eowyn: I drink lots of coffee from Mr Mac.( keeps the cancer away as “they” say). I do not eat there at Mc Donald as the hamburger taste the same as in 1968. I have never felt sick for one(1) day in my life. Never never took over the counter drugs if there was a probleem and i felt uncomfortable. Seldom have a cold, and that goes away by itself.Never never over eat. Don’t over load your stomach ever!!Lovable open minded

  27. I love the McRib and I’ll continue to enjoy them and be in great shape. :) Have a good day.

  28. Ah, Yes. McDonalds should be about the $$$$$, IT’S A BUSINESS !!!!! Micy D’s is one of the better stocks; it was doing well while others were tanking. Why? Because whether you claim to eat there or not, it’s a good company. Whenever there’s a complaint about their food choices, they’ll try to fix it which is why their investors are plentiful. I prefer Wendy’s, but I’ll go to Mc D’s SO WHAT. I’m not going to pretend to only put quality level food into my mouth. McDonalds is like porn; it’s a billion dollar business yet you can’t find anybody who will admit to supporting it. McRibs suck, but we have a choice not to buy it!

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