Yes, McRibs are back. But, they are made from every part of a pig BUT their ribs.
McRibs are basically McNuggets made from a different animal and molded into a different shape. Let’s explore the brave new world of Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR).
I found this mouth watering description on Wikipedia:
“Mechanically separated poultry is a paste-like and batter-like poultry product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible tissue, through a sieve or similar device.”
The key operating phrase here is “edible tissue.”
The process is basically the same for chickens, pigs and cows on their way to becoming McNuggets, McRibs and McBurgers. After all the good cuts of the unfortunate beast are removed and sold as actual meat (including the ribs)…what’s left of the pillaged carcas is pulverized and mulched into a pasty goo. The USDA allows for up to 1% “calcium”…in other words bone fragments that made it through the sieve. A few of the guts are tossed in for good measure as are clumps of fat trimmed off the good cuts. In the case of McRibs they admit to hearts, tripe and stomach, but one look at the machinery involved in AMR and you realize it could have been…anything. Use your imagination.
The Internet is bristling with photos of another alleged secret ingredient: inverted pig rectums. I guess it technically qualifies as “edible tissue.” (piggy poopers cut cross ways are also rumored to be sold as “artificial” calamari).
Whatever the ingredients, or the animial of origin, the process ends with similar results. The pink goo that makes it through the strainers and grinders is pretty much identical regardless of which McProduct it is destined to become. McD’s finished menu items take on their savory personality when molded into a reassuring shape; breaded and fried, slathered with barbecue sauce, or stamped with fake grill marks and topped with melted cheese-like material. The McRib has less of a real relationship to the actual barbecued ribs we enjoyed as kids off the backyard grill than a $20 inflatable sex doll has to a real woman. It is finally shipped to your local McDonalds as a frozen meat waffle with embossed fake “ribs” (probably made by the same machine that extrudes corrugated metal roofing), The McRib sandwich has 70 ingredients, NONE of which is actual pork ribs.
Finally it is cooked and assembled by a minimum wage moron who probably just picked his nose. Now it has 71.
I have no doubt that, given the go ahead and wondrous efficiency of AMR, they could be producing Soylent McGreen in under 24 hours.
Are you lovin it yet? Thank God it’s “For a limited time only.”