It is definitely the most famous fast food franchise in the world, where over 68 million people per day eat. The golden arches of its signs are so famous that more people recognize them than enduring religious symbols. But McDonald’s also has a whole lot of disturbing facts about its franchise — from what goes in its food to its business practices.
Did you know that many of their famous meat products are made up of parts — and not just meat? That’s the case with Chicken McNuggets, which also include nerves and blood vessels. The McRib includes tasty stomach and heart parts, which are then molded to resemble ribs. Their strawberry shakes may seem relatively harmless — but they are both calories and sugar bombs.
For a company that is often in the crosshairs for directly or indirectly contributing to obesity, it fired the first Ronald McDonald for being too fat. Sugar is in almost every item, including healthier items that you wouldn’t expect — and even the salads are more fattening than hamburgers. It’s also probably not surprising that there is a wealth gap between the CEO and it’s workers — but was is surprising is just how large that wealth gap has become.
Check out the post below for 15 disturbing facts about McDonald’s.
15. Chicken McNuggets — or Chicken Parts?
You know those tasty Chicken McNuggets? Well, it turns out they’re not made entirely out of chicken. The chicken you’ll find in their nuggets is made at least half out of fat… with a side of blood vessels and nerves. The nerves were from the cells that lined the skin and internal organs of the chicken. There is also cartilage and bone in their nuggets. It is of course easier to make the nuggets this way, and they are a huge calorie bomb. So the next time you order or see the eponymous Chicken McNuggets… just know that what you think you’re eating may not be the case.
14. The McRib is not made out of ribs
Remember when the McRib was all the rage? It famously was a cheap way of getting your rib fix. Well, just like the famous Chicken McNuggets, turns out the McRib aren’t ribs. In fact, very little of the product seems to be ribs at all. The McRib is actually made up of heart, scalded stomach, and tripe — “restructured meat product”. Salt and water is then used to take out proteins from the muscle, which bind everything together to make it look like a faux slab of ribs. The product is usually available during the fall season (though permanently available in Germany).
13. Chemical Shakes
McDonald’s tasty strawberry milkshake is less strawberry and more chemical. Did you know that the shake contains roughly 50 chemicals — all present just to mimic the savory taste of strawberries? In addition to the massive dose of sugar, which comes in such forms as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and more. And here are just a few of the yummy sounding chemicals infused in the shake for its strawberry taste — amyl acetate, butyric acid, ethyl butyrate, isobutyl anthranilate, and much, much, much more. There’s probably a reason why these shakes are so addictive — and its chemical makeup may have something to do with it.
12. The original Ronald McDonald was fired — for being too fat
For a company that’s often blamed for single handedly contributing to the world’s obesity epidemic, here’s bit of irony. The first person hired to play the famous Ronal McDonald, the mascot for the McDonald’s brand, was fired — for being too fat. Willard Herman Scott has had many jobs — weather presenter, television personality, author, and comedian. But not many people know that back in the 60s and until 1971, Scott portrayed the fast food clown. McDonald’s allegedly let Scott go because of his weight — concerned about their image. Just let that irony sink in for a moment.
11. Sugar is in almost every item
Did you know that almost every single item on McDonald’s menu — even the seemingly non sweet ones — contain sugar?
In fact, you’ll only find seven items on the entire menu that contain no sugar at all. So if you’re battling a sweet addiction, good luck. Items like the fruit smoothie, a seemingly healthy item, ha more sugar than a Coke. And the wholesome sounding fruit and maple oatmeal? More sugar than a bag of M&Ms. The surprising items that contain sugar are the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the Sausage McGriddle — even the Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Salad.
10. The salads are more fattening than the hamburgers
OK. So let’s say you’re really trying to get healthy, and you want to have a McDonald’s salad for lunch. Surely that must be healthier than it’s chemical and sugar laden products, right? You would think so, but that is certainly not the case. For example the Chicken Caesar salad comes to 425 calories with everything — dressing and croutons — more than a cheeseburger, which clocks in at 300 calories. So you may be better off ordering the cheeseburger if you’re watching calories. Not that this is much of an issue for regular McDonald’s customers — salads only make up roughly 2 to 3 percent of the restaurant’s sales overall.
9. The wealth gap between the workers and the CEO is staggering
Let’s say you work at McDonald’s. If you want to earn what the CEO Steve Eastbrook makes in one year, guess how long you’d have to work? 70 years. This wealth gap between the average McDonald’s worker and the CEO has only increased in the past decade alone — in fact, it has doubled. While McDona’d’s employees (on average) make $7.73 an hour, the CEO makes over a thousand times more per hour — $9,247. And that was as of 2015, so the amounts have only increased. In fact, in the years spanning 2001 to 2006, fast food workers overall required $7 billion in public assistance.
8. There’s a version of antifreeze in its food
Many customers who patron McDonald’s probably have no idea that they’re eating a version of proplyene glycol, otherwise known as antifreeze light. Now, the version used in its products is a “less toxic” version of ethylene glycol, a definitely inedible antifreeze. Propylene glycol is used in many of McDonald’s glazes, sauces and hotcakes. It’s purpose is to prevent food products from becoming too solid — therefore remaining edible. The taste is disguised by the clever mix of chemicals and sugars that makes McDonald’s foods so tasty and addictive. So just be aware when you’re dipping your McNugget or fry into a sauce packet, that you’re actually enjoying an edible version of antifreeze.
7. The Happy Meal wasn’t their idea
Ronald McDonald is as synonymous to McDonald’s as the famous Happy Meal, which have been served at the restaurant since the late 70s. But did you know the meals weren’t originally their idea? They are actually the brain child of Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño, a Guatemalan woman. She called the meals the Menu Ronald to make the meals easier for moms to feed them to their kids. These meals consisted of a hamburger, small fries and a small sundae. Once the concept got to the company’s management in Chicago, where the product was developed further, it became the Happy Meal.
6. It’s food doesn’t age
Now given the chemical nature of the products McDonald’s serves, it should come as no surprise that its food doesn’t age the way good old organic food products age. The chain uses a lot of a chemical called sodium propionate to prevent mold or bacterial growth. It works — all too well. David Whipple, a Utah resident, found a paper wrapped McDonald’s hamburger in his coat pocket that he had forgotten about — in 1999. 14 years later, it was eerily still in tact and had barely decomposed. In lab experiments, McDonald’s fries have been sealed in jars for years with hardly any sign of decomposition.
5. It aggressively markets to kids
We all know that McDonald’s marketing to children is aggressive. But do you know just how aggressive? McDonald’s start targeting children as early as possible to develop a sense of trust. McDonald’s — and many other fast food chains— market in a way to make them seem like parental figures to small children. Given this marketing push, its not at all surprising that McDonalds has more playgrounds than any other private entity in the U.S. Roughly 96 percent of school aged children know who Ronald McDonald is. Given the rising rates of obesity in children, this aggressive marketing is incredibly disturbing.
4. Gross things have been found in its food
A host of… alarming items have been found in McDonald’s food. Back in 2008, a teenaged girl found a mysterious piece of metal in her hamburger. Well, it turns out that it was a piece of a veterinary needle from an Ohio packing plant, which was used to vaccinate an animal before slaughter. In 2007, Max Ipinza found chewed gum inside his hamburger… and he had already bitten into it. In 2009, a young girl in Switzerland found a condom in her french fries. And in 2000, a woman found a deep fried chicken head in her food.
3. Their eggs aren’t really eggs
So the eggs at McDonald’s aren’t really eggs… they’re a mixture that includes both eggs and a so called “egg blend”. What’s in this egg blend? A solvent found in shaving cream and soap. It also contains the easy to pronounce chemical dimethylpolysiloxane, which is a silicone that you can also find in Silly Putty. There’s also calcium silicate, which is sealant used in concrete and on roofs. And of course, to mimic the actual texture and flavor of actual eggs, there’s a whole host of additional chemicals. So when you grab one of the egg based meals at McDonald’s, just be aware of what you’re truly getting — a decent amount of this “egg blend”.
2. It can feed a whole country – in a day
We all know that McDonald’s is popular. Really, really popular. For the most part, no matter where you live, it’s hard to drive or walk down the street and not stumble across those famous gold arches. But it’s really hard to fathom just how popular McDonald’s is. Every day, McDonald’s serves 68 million people. That’s across 120 countries and over 36,000 stores. Let’s put that in perspective. 68 million people is roughly the population of Thailand. By that same logic, McDonald’s could easily feed an entire country in one day. Considering how many countries with smaller populations suffer from hunger related issues, it’s an uneasy fact.
1. It doesn’t pay taxes
Like many large corporations, McDonald’s cleverly avoids paying taxes through various loopholes. Back in 2015, trade unions accused the restaurant of dodging 1.13 billion dollars in taxes. It has routed billions of euros in royalties to utilize a Luxembourg tax loophole. In France, its offices were inspected by fiscal authorities in 2013 and the European Union made inquiries into the Luxembourg loophole. Again, like most large corporations, McDonald’s has never officially been found guilty as a result of the investigations. With a massive revenue given its popularity around the globe, McDonald’s has allegedly not taken on the tax burden for such profit.
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