This is Why You’re Fat: Sticks to Your McRib Edition

McRib

McDonald's has even created an online game: The Quest for the Golden McRib

Members of the cult of “restructured meat product” are rejoicing with the return of the McRib to the menus of 14,000 Golden Arches across the country.  November is usually the time when Americans think about turkey and cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, but at Mickey D’s, it’s all about boneless meat patties that are shaped like bones.

Here’s the thing about the McRib: it actually contains less calories and fat than a Big Mac (500 and 26 for the Rib, 540 and 29 for the Mac). So why is it making us fat?  It’s all about planned scarcity.

McRib sandwiches were introduced last November for the first time since 1994, and McDonald’s saw an increase of 4.8% in sales for U.S. locations for the month in comparison to November 2009.  Which means millions of Americans were pigging out on McRib sandwiches, likely visiting the restaurant more frequently than usual so they could savor this limited time treat.  And once again this year, McDonald’s is offering McRibs only through Monday, November 14th.

So, sometimes it’s not so much the nutritional and caloric content of the meal (which, admittedly, isn’t great) as it is the number of times you consume that particular dish. But the McRib doesn’t get off that easily. As has been noted in multiple locations, an ingredient in its bun is azodicarbonamide, a flour-bleaching agent most commonly used in the production of foamed plastics like yoga mats that is banned as a food additive in Europe and Australia.

Ultimately, if you’re Jones-ing for some tangy BBQ, why not go to a real restaurant for a plate of authentic pulled pork or dry rub? And leave the McRib to McAdam and McEve.

past “This is Why You’re Fat” posts

About Greg Wymer

Greg Wymer is Principal and Chief of Creative for Healthy Dose Media. He was an award-winning radio copywriter and morning show producer for WFNX-FM in Boston in the 1990s, and in the 2000s won Best Viral Marketing Campaign and Best Non-Profit Campaign for his work with e-tractions, a provider of custom online entertainment. Before launching Healthy Dose Media, he spent 10 years at the MIT Enterprise Forum working as a developer of programs, content, and marketing for a global audience of startups and entrepreneurs. Greg has been a mobile and club DJ for 25 years, created and ran a pub trivia night called Useless Trivia, and is on the Board of Directors of ImprovBoston, where he performed as a cast member of its Mainstage for seven years.

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