11 Amazing Facts about the McDonald’s McRib

11 Amazing Facts about the McDonald’s McRib – Yahoo Finance
(reblogged from: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/11-amazing-facts-about-the-mcdonald-s-mcrib-170212930.html)



McDonald’s McRib Back for Christmas (ABC News)


The McDonald’s McRib is back, hitting restaurants nationwide today. The legendary boneless pork sandwich, famously molded to resemble a rack of ribs, is both a feat of modern engineering and shrewd marketing.

It garners almost as much attention for its pseudo-meat shape as its impermanence on restaurant menus.

The barbecue-sauce-smothered sandwich was supposed to return at the end of October, but was pushed back to help boost end-of-the-year sales.

Better late than never.

1. The McRib came about because of a shortage of chickens.

In a 2009 interview with Maxim, Rene Arend, McDonald’s first executive chef and inventor of the Chicken McNugget, explains that the McNugget was so popular when it was first introduced in 1979 that demand quickly outstripped chicken supply.

The legendary pork sandwich was developed out of necessity. 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.

2. The McRib was inspired by Southern BBQ.

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Flickr/Southern Foodways Alliance

Rene Arend modeled the McRib after the barbecue-sauce-slathered pork sandwiches he ate during a visit to Charleston, South Carolina.

The decorated French-trained chef, who once whipped up fancy culinary creations for the Drake Hotel, is also credited with coming up the unique shape of the sandwich.

Although the McRib doesn’t contain a single bone, Arend suggested the meat be patterned after a slab of ribs instead of the classic round patty.

3. The McRib is a product of “restructured meat technology.”

Rene Arend came up with the idea and design of the McRib, but it’s a professor from the University of Nebraska named Richard Mandigo who developed the “restructured meat product” that the McRib is actually made of.

According to an article from Chicago magazine, which cites a 1995 article by Mandigo, “restructured meat product” contains a mixture of tripe, heart, and scalded stomach, which is then mixed with salt and water to extract proteins from the muscle. 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.

4. The whole process from fresh pork to frozen McRib takes about 45 minutes.

Director of McDonald’s U.S. supply chain Rob Cannell explained how regular pig gets transformed into the famed McRib in an interview with Maxim: “The McRib is made in large processing plants—lots of stainless steel, a number of production lines, and these long cryogenic freezers. The pork meat is chopped up, then seasoned, then formed into that shape that looks like a rib back. Then we flash-freeze it. The whole process from fresh pork to frozen McRib takes about 45 minutes.”

5. The entire McRib sandwich contains about 70 ingredients — including a flour-bleaching agent used in yoga mats.

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Flickr/Calgary Reviews

As it appears out of the box, the McRib sandwich consists of just five basic components: a pork patty, barbecue sauce, pickle slices, onions, and a sesame bun.

But, as recently reported by Time magazine, a closer inspection of McDonald’s own ingredient list reveals that the pork sandwich contains a total of 70 ingredients. This includes azodicarbonamide, a flour-bleaching agent often used in the production of foamed plastics.

The entire sandwich packs a whopping 500 calories, 26 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbs, and 980 milligrams of sodium.

6. The McRib debuted in 1981, disappeared in 1985, and has resurfaced from time-to-time since 1994.

Depending on where you read, McDonald’s introduced the boneless pork sandwich sometime between 1981 and 1982. The fast-food concoction vanished in 1985, only to reappear as a limited-edition item in 1994.

The McRib has become something of a legend for its on-and-off appearances on McDonald’s menus. The fleeting nature of the sandwich has generated a cult-like following.

7. Individual restaurants can actually order the ingredients for the McRib at any time.

The McRib pops up at McDonald’s locations across the country sporadically. It’s so random because the individual restaurants are able to offer the McRib whenever they feel like it. The practice has even inspired websites devoted to tracking McRib availability across the nation.

8. McDonald’s keeps the McRib scarce because the sandwich’s entire brand relies on it.

McDonald’s has always known about its customers’ weird obsession for the sandwich, and its marketing completely leverages the McRib’s scarcity. Take its “Save The McRib” campaign in 2010, where it encouraged McRib fans to go online and sign a petition to keep the sandwich around for a while longer.

But a strategy like that only works with something that’s as popular as the McRib is. If you make an unknown item scarce, nobody’s going to care.

9. It’d be incredibly difficult for McDonald’s to create more McRib-esque products, because that cult-like following is so hard to replicate.

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. A wholly devoted fanbase for a new product would take years to develop, and even then, there’s no guarantee that it would work.

McDonald’s struck gold with the McRib, and it doesn’t want to do anything to affect its brand. Even now, by offering the McRib nationwide twice just a year apart, it’s walking a fine line. At what point will consumers get sick of it?

10. There’s also speculation that the McRib is really just a big commodity trade by McDonald’s.

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The Awl’s Willey Staley argues that whenever the sandwich springs up, hog prices are almost always in a trough.

Here’s more of his argument on why McDonald’s behaves like a trader: “Fast food involves both hideously violent economies of scale and sad, sad end users who volunteer to be taken advantage of. What makes the McRib different from this everyday horror is that a) McDonald’s is huge to the point that it’s more useful to think of it as a company trading in commodities than it is to think of it as a chain of restaurants b) it is made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world and c) it is only available sometimes, but refuses to go away entirely.”

11. Animal rights group sues McRib meat supplier over inhumane treatment of pigs.

Not everyone is ecstatic about the return of the McRib. 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.

A 2010 undercover investigation by the animal rights group shows pigs crammed into gestation crates covered in blood and baby pigs being tossed into carts like rag dolls (WARNING: the video contains some pretty graphic content).



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What’s Really In A Big Mac?


What’s Really In A Big Mac ?  

Once you’ve read the article, come back and get a pretty close (in taste that is) imitation of the sauce that is the whole reason I used to be addicted to Big Macs.



11 Amazing Facts about the McDonald’s McRib – Yahoo Finance

Synthetically modified organisms aren’t “natural” at all | Institute for Agr iculture and Trade Policy


Synthetically modified organisms aren’t “natural” at all

Synthetic biology is “Still in [the] Uncharted Waters of Public Opinion,” according to a recent focus group study by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. That’s not surprising since the technology involved sounds like something out of science fiction. It includes a range of techniques to modify organisms using artificially constructed sequences of genetic information (DNA) not found in nature. The Center’s Synthetic Biology Project gives an introduction to this discipline, sometimes referred to as “synbio.”

The advancement of synbio has taken place largely under the radar, with little public debate, but that’s changing. A June 17 criticism of an NGO synbio letter by an industry lobbyist, published on the investor website The Motley Fool, served to put more of a spotlight on the issue. The Motley Fool blog was almost immediately rebutted by Synbio Watch.

More attention was brought to synbio earlier this month, when 17 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including IATP, sent an open letter to Ecover, a self-described “green pioneer” of consumer and cleaning products, and its parent company Method, to protest their decision to use an oil derived from synthetically modified algae in laundry detergent. The NGOs, led by the ETC Group, Consumers Union, and Friends of the Earth, also opposed the company’s characterization of the synthetically modified ingredient as a “natural” alternative to palm oil. The palm oil industry is notorious for illegally clear cutting tropical forests and evicting forest residents to establish palm oil plantations.

Jaydee Hanson, of the Center for Food Safety, said that the companies could readily and safely substitute coconut oil for palm oil. He added, “That solution would support tropical farmers and would really be ‘natural’, rather than misleading consumers.”

The creation and use of Synthetically Modified Organisms (SMOs), to the extent that they are regulated at all, are governed in the United States by policies issued in 1986 and 1992, which were designed to expedite the deregulation and commercialization of Genetically Modified Organisms. A recent New York Times article surveyed some of the synthetic biology products that are entering the market without regulation specific to the identified and potential harms and risks SMOs pose.

Since SMOs have not undergone independent and mandatory pre-market safety assessment, the NGO letter urges Ecover/Method to “[p]ledge not to use SMO-derived ingredients in its products.” The letter also asks the companies to “[a]cknowledge that descriptors such as ‘natural,’ ‘green,’ ‘ecological’ and ‘sustainable’ cannot apply to the products of synthetic biology.” The press release for the letter links to a petition, “Synthetic Biology is not natural,” which is open for sign-ons. The petition website also contains links to more reading about synthetic biology.

Some of the issues raised in the letter will be discussed by the scientific advisory body of the Convention on Biology Diversity, which meets June 23-28 in Montreal. Of particular interest to the CBD is the effect on biological diversity of the environmental release of SMOs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has already issued permits for field trials of synthetically modified biofuels feedstocks. Since the risks of SMO interaction with wild and cultivated plants are not well understood and since SMOs cannot be retrieved once released, the NGO letter calls on the CBD and “national governments to establish a moratorium on the commercial use and environmental release of synthetically modified organisms.”

IATP is beginning work to understand specific applications of synthetic biology to foods and agriculture. The aforementioned APHIS permitting process for SMO field trials is another indication that the Obama administration will use the existing framework for the case by case deregulation of GMOs to govern the deregulation of SMOs. The U.S. government is a major investor in synthetic biology, particularly through the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. As an investor, the U.S. government is more concerned with synthetic biology product development than it is with process or product regulation.

Indeed, it appears that federal synthetic biology investment, like the investments in the National Nanotechnology Strategic Plan, commented on by IATP, will prioritize product development over research in public and environmental health and worker safety related to nanotechnology product development. IATP anticipates a very difficult regulatory struggle for U.S. agencies to mandate pre-market safety assessment of synthetic biology products and processes. Actions like the June 2 NGO letter, by publicizing the use of synthetic biology in consumer products, will help slow down the development of the synthetic biology industry, while petitions to mandate pre-market safety of all products derived from synthetic biology or nanotechnology work their way through the legal process.

8 Awesome Benefits Of Sleeping Naked

Thought Catalog

a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-122086012/stock-photo-naked-girl-on-the-bed.html?src=b0pjLOqv1obUpfkLzcdRvA-1-59">Shutterstock Shutterstock

1. Ease. There’s however many less clothes you need to wash each week because you just aren’t using them. You don’t have to buy pajamas.

2. It encourages you not to be a schlub. When you wear pajamas, pajama time can creep up earlier and earlier. Some people get into the terrible habit of changing into them as soon as they get home from work! And then you are a person who wears pajama pants and won’t leave the house because you’ve already taken off your work clothes. Sleeping in the nude means you can’t get ready for bed until you’re actually going to bed — and forces you to keep your nice clothes on until then.

[tc-related post=”357698″]

3. Self-esteem. Spending time naked makes you feel comfortable with your body. When you are comfortable with your body, you act more confidently which makes you happy and is viewed…

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