Psychoanalysis of the McRib



The Atlantic is mark on with this op-ed. From day one - high school really - I have squirmed in my seat at the thought of eating a McRib. I am not a rib eater for the most part anyways, so why would I spring for a reconstructed pork patty made to look like it has edible ribs (?).

"By contrast, there is no world in which pork spare ribs could be eaten straight through, even after having been slow cooked such that some of the cartilage breaks down. "
- The Atlantic

This obviously leads to the chicken nuggets and how they are hardly chicken nuggets, but the main fact is that the McRib is a tad grosser and plays into our subconscious somehow, to some people. Not to mention, this seasonal monster is a success to the bottom line of an American corporation so iconic it parallels that of any other global brand. Is the McRib here to round out the menu?


Regardless, I favor the Big Mac.


From The Atlantic:

Each year, the McRib makes a brief visit to Earth. Its arrival elicits reactions ranging from horror to awe. And for good reason: this would-be rib sandwich is really a restructured pork patty pressed into the rough shape of a slab of ribs, its slathering of barbecue sauce acting as camouflage as much as coating.

“Pork” is a generous term, since the McRib has traditionally been fashionedfrom otherwise unmarketable pig parts like tripe, heart, and stomach, material that is not only cheap but also easier to mold and bind into a coherent, predetermined shape. McDonald’s accurately lists the patty’s primary ingredient as “boneless pork,” although even that’s a fairly strong euphemism. Presumably few of the restaurant’s patrons would line up for a Pressed McTripe.

Despite its abhorrence, the McRib bears remarkable similarity to another, more widely accepted McDonald’s product, the Chicken McNugget. In fact, the McRib was first introduced in 1982, shortly after the company had designed the McNugget. Chicken McNuggets are fashioned by the same method as is the McRib, namely by grinding factory-farmed chicken meat into a mash and then reconstituting them into a preservative-stabilized solid, aka a “nugget.” And both products are bound and preserved by a petrochemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. According to the Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, one gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” In a 2003 lawsuit accusing McDonald’s of consumer deception, federal district court judge Robert W. Sweet called Chicken McNuggets a “McFrankenstein creation.”

Full Article Here