We Just Discovered Something Weird AF About McDonald’s Beloved McRib

weird McDonald's mcrib

By this point, you probably assume you know everything there is to know about the McRib. The elusive darling of McDonald’s is one of the most buzzworthy fast food items ever, and whenever it’s available at McD locations, fans go wild. Seriously — when it’s McRib season, it’s rare that you eat just one. But have you ever wondered how the McRib got its start? You might assume that it was invented to help McDonald’s have an edge over Burger King and Wendy’s, but its origins go even deeper than that.

Anastacia Marx de Salcedo wrote a piece for Munchies about how the McRib was technically created as a way to have combat rations that didn’t spoil too easily. “The McRib and, with a small modification, the McNugget are actually restructured meat, a food processing technique created by the U.S. Army in the 1960s to dramatically lower its food bill,” Marx de  Salcedo wrote. “Until then, most beef, lamb, and pork had been sold in carcasses, which were broken down by butchers in specialty shops or, increasingly, supermarkets.”

Marx de Salcedo added that the McRib is especially appealing with its flavor and sauce, even though it might not look all that great under a microscope.  For the ribs used in combat, even if they’re technically “old,” they still don’t taste like they’ve expired due to the preservatives.  As Marx de Salcedo pointed out earlier, it’s commonly known best as restructured meat.

Now, the bad stuff. The Army was looking forward to buying prepackaged meats like the McRib because the meat used severely cut down on expenses. Sadly, when you’re eating meats like this, you’re not getting the good parts of the animal.

But… you probably knew that.

Of course, since the McRib is owned by McDonald’s, the product served in the Army and Navy isn’t given the same title. Still, the products have a ton in common.

It looks like it’s a personal favorite of many troops.

For the Army, food technologists spent about a decade getting the recipe and preservatives just right. They were tested in the late ’70s and popularized by the ’80s. It was so popular that the research company began selling the idea to fast food companies. Thus, the McRib was born.

As you know, the McRib has since brought about plenty of followers and even parody accounts on Twitter.

So, even though it’s kind of wacky to find out about its origins, perhaps you now have a new reason to appreciate it. The next time the McRib comes back to town, you might want to think about how happy it makes our troops.

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