The Other White Meat- McWHAT?
The McRib. Why are people doing this to meat? As it has been reported, the McDonalds “rib” sandwich contains various pig parts soaked in salt solution to extract the “glue” that holds the whole thing together. According to Robert Mandigo, a professor at the University of Nebraska, the “reconstructed meat product,” AKA McRib, includes “bits of tripe, heart, and scalded stomach.”
Peggy Lowe shared this story on npr.org:
Back in the 1970s, Mandigo tells The Salt, he was approached by the National Pork Producers Council (the folks who later brought you "the other white meat") to create a product with pork trimmings that could be sold to the fast food giant.
"The pork producers wanted to see more pork on the menu, and they were targeting McDonald's," Mandigo said.
Mandigo went to work in the lab and came up with a new take on an old-fashioned technology: sausage-making. Instead of just stuffing pork meat inside a casing, Mandigo used salt to extract proteins from the muscle. Those proteins become an emulsifier, "to hold all the little pieces of meat together," he says.
"All we did was reuse the technology that had been around for hundreds of years and emphasize that we could shape products to shapes people wanted," he says.
"[McDonald's] chose the shape," Mandigo said. "They wanted it to look like the boneless part of a back rib."
Smithfield Farms, the pork supplier for McDonald’s, is under investigation after the Humane Society filed a complaint for misleading their customers and the conditions in which they raise their pigs. The Atlantic reported unfit living conditions, abuse of premature piglets, neutering without anesthesia, and sick pigs brutally tossed away without care.
If you’re craving ribs just be sure its ribs you’re eating. By the way, I love tripe, tendons, and all types of tasty pig parts. I just like to enjoy them presented honestly.
Here at Big Bowl, we are proud to get our ribs and pork from Compart Family Farms. The Compart Family are regular guests in our Minnesota Big Bowls (is there an actual Smithfield family anymore?) We are proud of the way the Compart family raises their animals. Their heirloom Duroc pork is beautifully marbled and dark red with a rich flavor and moist texture-–perfect for our BBQ ribs. First, we braise them with Chinese spices, dark soy, and rock sugar. After they cool, we toss them with a bit of cornstarch; flash fry them and then toss them with our homemade teriyaki BBQ glaze. That’s it! A sprinkle of sliced scallion and these real ribs are ready to enjoy. And if your looking for other tasty pig parts, visit one of those cool pho shops on Argyle Street in Chicago and ask for extra tendon and tripe.