The 70 Ingredient Cancer Promoting McRib Sandwich: It’s Not Real Food

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McDonald’s is the king of marketing; there seems to be a cult-like following surrounding their “McRib” sandwich. Originally introduced in 1981, McDonald’s made the sandwich a ‘special’ selection menu item  available in certain regions at different times. It has come and gone throughout the years, now making a triumphant return at the end of 2013.

The McRib is back at McDonald's; this franken-creation is in all ways a recipe for cancer

The McRib is back at McDonald’s; this franken-creation is in all ways a recipe for cancer

Disturbing is the only word to use to describe such a monstrosity, as the “McRib” contains over 70 ingredients for an item that is supposedly compiled from a bun, a barbecue patty, pickles, and onions. In fact the McDonald’s official website is daring enough to list all of the ingredients contained within the franken-creation.

The “Meat”

*Taken from the McDonald’s website


Ingredients: Pork, Water, Salt, Dextrose, Preservatives (BHA, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid).

The ‘pork’ is restructured meat, meaning that there is no real quality meat involved. Instead they use the disposable innards of the pig such as tripe, heart, and scalded stomach which are then turned over to a process which cooks all of the pig scraps in water and salt. This process extracts all of the salt-soluble proteins and congeals everything together into a rubbery concoction respectfully titled as a “pork patty”. (1)

005-mcrib-cleantop 007-mcrib-filet

Notice the ingredients propyl gallate and BHA. This preservative is one to look out for, as it can cause promoted urinary bladder and thyroid carcinogenesis. Studies have noted that BHA and propyl gallate showed additional effects in inducing stomach hyperplasia and cytotoxicity. (2)

But we already knew McDonald’s meat was ‘sub-par’. Let’s move onto the bun.

The McRib Bun


Allergens: WHEAT AND SOY

Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Yeast, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Contains 2% Or Less: Salt, Corn Meal, Wheat Gluten, Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oils, Dextrose, Sugar, Malted Barley Flour, Cultured Wheat Flour, Calcium Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate, Soy Flour, Dough Conditioners (Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, DATEM, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Mono- and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Mono- and Diglycerides, Monocalcium Phosphate, Enzymes, Guar Gum, Calcium Peroxide), Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Soy Lecithin.


That’s almost 40 ingredients for the bun alone. Interesting that high-fructose corn syrup is the fourth ingredient considering it is known to cause pancreatic cancer. (3) If the hydrogenated oils alone don’t ring your alarm, then perhaps the ammonium and calcium sulfate will, seeing how their common usage is as a soil fertilizer. That’s nothing to worry about however, considering the FDA  approved it as a safe food additive. Azodicarbonamide takes the cake for unnecessary ingredients, acting as a ‘dough conditioner’.  Azodicarbonamide is used in the manufacture of foamed-plastics in the US and is banned in Europe and Australia. (4) The use of this chemical in Singapore actually results in jail time.

The McRib Sauce


Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tomato Paste, Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Natural Smoke Flavor (Plant Source), Modified Food Starch, Salt, Sugar, Spices, Soybean Oil, Xanthan Gum, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Pepper, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Caramel Color, Beet Powder.

Here we see high fructose corn syrup again as a main ingredient.


Ingredients: Cucumbers, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Alum, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Natural Flavors (Plant Source), Polysorbate 80, Extractives of Turmeric (Color).

Even the pickles are carcinogenic. Potassium sorbate is a genotoxic and mutagenic compound. (5)

Surely a ‘ribless’ rib patty would raise questions for anyone as to how such a thing could even exist. Marta Fearon, Marketing Director for McDonald’s, says the lack of actual “ribs” is what gives the item its “quirky sense of humour”, an interesting spin from a marketing director.

If this information was common knowledge, would people still be eating these things? The good news is that fast food nutrition awareness is spreading like wild-fire. McDonald’s was shut down and banned in Bolivia, Bermuda, and Iceland in the past decade. Stories such as the Strange Fibers Found in Chicken McNuggets and the McRib Breakdown are making headlines as people are beginning to make more conscious decisions with regards to the food they are choosing to put in their bodies. Perhaps the day of worldwide McDonald’s prohibition is just around the corner. Let us at least hope.


1.) (restructured meat info)

2.) (Propyl gallate information)

3.) (high fructose corn syrup information)

4.) (azodicarbonamide information)

5.) (potassium sorbate information)



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  1. Dudley Horton

    Have you ever eaten balogna or a hot dog? This is not a new type of food and not just a McDonald’s invention. Seems the author has a bias against McDonald’s. Also, if these ingredients are so bad for us, his crusade should be with the FDA, shouldn’t it?

    • Zolly Simon

      Dudley Horton, how long have you worked for McDonald’s?

      You sound like a paid McDonald’s troll, that seeks out “true” information about the toxic ingredients used in …dare I call it “food” that McDonald’s produce. You continue on and make lame attempts at diverting attention from the fact they aren’t the only company that produce toxic waste and feed it to people, albeit low IQ people. Two wrongs DON’T make a right.

      You go as far as suggest the FDA should regulate such “foods”, not the corporations that produce them. What about corporate conscience? What about developing their own set of moral$? ..or I$ it ju$t about corporate profit$?

      I have no less that 7 warning labels on my new 6 foot tall aluminum step ladder, informing me of 7 different dangers involved with using said ladder.

      If McDonald’s were to use the same type of public safety warning label system, it would have somewhere around 30 such warning labels on a McRib sandwich alone. Another 4 or 5 on French Fries and another 3 or 4 on a soft drink. In all honesty it should have a “Biological Hazard” or “Toxic Waste” warning label on it. Yet, not one warning label.

      The cost of healthcare to deal with diseases caused by long term, and not so long term consumption of this toxic waste is astronomic. Soon, Diabetes will absorb 50% of Canada’s annual healthcare budget. Diabetes is only one such side effect of consuming such toxic foods, there are many many more.

      I can’t carry an AR-15, nor a handgun in Canada, because it is deemed to be a deadly weapon, however more people die from eating this toxic food a year than from guns.

      • tom

        Zolly: Your diatribe is a meandering load of data-free swill.

        When you come across a claim that you disagree with, the rational approach is to providing arguments and evidence against it. People who do not have any tend to resort to a number of logical fallacies, cognitive simplifications or thought-terminating clichés. One such key example is the dismissal of any evidence or arguments by deploying the shill gambit. This conveniently allows the reduction of cognitive dissonance without having to address any of the actual arguments.

        Another related technique to group critics and activists together with large corporations uses the false dilemma fallacy: either you are with us, or you are against us; either you accept the rhetoric, or you are part of the problem.

        Ladder vs food labels is an other logical fallacy. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, sandwiches are not ladders.

        Finally, you construct a strawman that has us eating whatever you despise 3x day. Moderation in all things my friend.

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