- One of McDonald’s most divisive products, the McRib, made its return last week. For three decades, the sandwich has come in and out of existence, popping up in certain regional markets for short promotions, then retreating underground to its porky lair
Ultimately what the McRib says about us as a society is perhaps worse than any conspiracy theory about pork prices. The McRib, born at the end of the Volcker Recession, a child of Reagan’s Morning in America, has been with us on and off over the last three decades of underregulated corporate growth, erosion of organized labor, the shift to an “ideas” economy and skyrocketing obesity rates. The McRib is made of all these things, too. When you think back to its humble origins, as both an homage to Carolina style pork barbecue, and as a way to satisfy McNugget-hungry franchises, it’s all there.
I enjoyed it so I voted for it, but it was long on hyperbole and short on fact. Saying that the McRib is somehow the "only pork-based non-breakfast product at any QSR" is not only irrelevant it's also a lie; Subway has five or six menu items in which ham is central. For that matter, there isn't a fast food restaurant in America that doesn't have bacon on the menu somewhere.
The large food distributors; SYSCO/USFOODSERVICE have been trying to popularize the use of re-formed beef steaks for the past few years. They are made using "cold-set binding agents" that are largely carrageenan based. This allows them to take "bi-product" from whole muscle areas and "bind" them together in shapes suitable to the consumer. It's not just the McRib and QSR's, you may be eating "shaped meat" at a white table cloth restaurant one day.
I know that the "farm to table" crowd isn't going to be serving congealed meats, it was an exaggeration. But you are right, there is likely still plenty of SYSCO in your food. Even the restaurants that advertise "whenever possible we source locally" will have a SYSCO deliveries coming in.
Mmmmm, slurry. This article hit the trifecta: informative, funny and disgusting. I've never (and hope I never in the future) tried a McRib, but I find it fascinating as a cult phenomenon. A couple weeks ago all the cable news channels turned away from politics and the economy to offer us news and analysis of the McRib's grand re-entrance to the market. Why?