As The Awl's John Herrman points out, the video may be a clever marketing ploy not because it reveals any secrets or refutes any rumors but because it puts the patty in the context of how mass-produced food is made. Last November, the Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, the pork supplier of McDonald's McRib meat, claiming the meat distributor houses its pigs in unethical farm conditions. Even now, by offering the McRib nationwide twice just a year apart, it's walking a fine line. The pork meat is chopped up, then seasoned, then formed into that shape that looks like a rib back.
Then the patties are sprayed with water and frozen. McDonald's invited high school teacher Wes Bellamy to tour the factory of one of its McRib suppliers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, after he tweeted an image of a frozen McRib patty last year: The fleeting nature of the sandwich has generated a cult-like following. Better late than never. McRib lovers are fanatical, but it wouldn't be this way if the phenomenon hadn't had decades to marinate in the hearts and minds of its fans. The entire sandwich packs a whopping calories, 26 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbs, and milligrams of sodium. Then we flash-freeze it. The McRib debuted in , disappeared in , and has resurfaced from time-to-time since The legendary pork sandwich was developed out of necessity. McDonald's struck gold with the McRib, and it doesn't want to do anything to affect its brand. Franchises that didn't have the Chicken McNugget needed a new hot-selling product — and that's when Arend scrambled back to the test kitchen. Then we flash-freeze it. Of course, as this is a video produced by McDonald's, the mass production of the McRib patty is being shown in the most palatable way possible. The practice has even inspired websites devoted to tracking McRib availability across the nation. Individual restaurants can actually order the ingredients for the McRib at any time. McDonald's has always known about its customers' weird obsession for the sandwich, and its marketing completely leverages the McRib's scarcity. The McRib pops up at McDonald's locations across the country sporadically. The McRib came about because of a shortage of chickens. Then, they move the meat around the factory a bit. As The Awl's John Herrman points out, the video may be a clever marketing ploy not because it reveals any secrets or refutes any rumors but because it puts the patty in the context of how mass-produced food is made. Animal rights group sues McRib meat supplier over inhumane treatment of pigs. As it appears out of the box, the McRib sandwich consists of just five basic components: It garners almost as much attention for its pseudo-meat shape as its impermanence on restaurant menus. The Awl's Willey Staley argues that whenever the sandwich springs up, hog prices are almost always in a trough. The proteins bind all the pork trimmings together so that it can be re-molded into any specific shape — in this case, a fake slab of ribs.
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