By all accounts, McDonald’s is the most popular type of burger in the country. The chain’s flagship Big Mac sits comfortably at the top of the lists of the best-selling and most popular burgers on the US menu, according to the Big Mac Museum.
The chain sells approximately 6.5 million burgers a day and about 4,500 every minute – which is a huge amount of meat to get. How do you go from farm to drive? Read on to find out.
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Where does McDonald’s meat come from?
Information provided by McDonald’s USA says that the company “participates with a global network of suppliers and growers to provide high-quality ingredients and packaging materials”. The site goes further and mentions Oklahoma City-based Lopez Foods as a major supplier of beef, pork, and chicken to the chain since 1968.
Additionally, McDonald’s points to Philadelphia-based Keystone Foods as a major meat supplier that supplies the chain with more than 150 million pounds of beef, 300 million pounds of chicken, and 15 million pounds of fish each year.
Keystone is also credited with developing the single quick-freezing process that allows popular burgers to be frozen in a way that preserves flavor and texture. McDonald’s also says it has partnered with Keystone to develop the hugely popular Chicken McNuggets.
When asked in general about the quality of the meat, McDonald’s USA said, “Our burgers are made using only 100% USDA inspected beef. There are no preservatives or fillers in the patties and the only thing ever added is a touch of salt. and peppers on the grill. Our Quarter Pounder burger is made with 100% fresh beef patties in the USA.”
The process by which a McDonald’s burger is made is not a closely guarded secret. In fact, a interested in trade A report from one of McDonald’s largest meat processing facilities in Germany says shipments of beef are checked for purity before being ground in a large meat grinder. Then the pies are automatically formed. Once the burgers are made, they are individually quick frozen and packaged in plastic bags and boxes before being shipped to restaurants in the United States and abroad.
Some have concerns about this meat and the treatment of animals.
However, the burger giant has recently been criticized for its animal welfare policies by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who has advocated similar animal welfare issues in the past.
CNN I reported a few days ago that Icahn sent a scathing letter to investors saying that McDonald’s “fails” investors and misleads the public about the company’s animal welfare policies regarding how it obtains its pork supply.
Specifically, “carrying” boxes are used which are very small stalls where pregnant pigs are kept and their movements are highly restricted in the company’s pork supply chain.
McDonald’s promised in February of this year to completely stop using boxes by 2024, according to CNN.
But Icahn said the company’s claim that most of the pork in the United States does not come from pigs in pregnancy crates was a “cynical slander”.
In response, McDonald’s said CNN“While the company looks to foster more cross-industry collaboration on this issue, the current supply of pork in the United States will make this type of commitment impossible,” adding that Icahn’s demands to eliminate the use of crates would significantly increase costs, “putting a burden on all aspects of our business, supply chain, and McDonald’s customers.”
Furthermore, the company said its inability to meet previously announced animal welfare goals was a result of pandemic challenges as well as “devastating swine fever.” Icahn called these “bad excuses.”
There are also concerns about antibiotics.
When it comes to the use of antibiotics in the meat supply, McDonald’s says it is trying to limit their use. Most fast food chains try to avoid or reduce the use of meat raised with antibiotics as it has been identified as contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant viruses.
The company’s website states, “In August of 2016, we achieved our goal of providing only chicken in the United States that is not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine.” And the company adds that it’s making progress on beef, too — “In December 2018, McDonald’s announced a policy to reduce the general use of antibiotics important to human health, in the beef supply chain. The world, including the United States, accounts for more than 85% of our supply. world of beef.
Unfortunately for Golden Arches, consumer groups are even more important when it comes to efforts to reduce antibiotic use in the chain’s meat supply. The latest report on Chain Feedback, an alliance of consumer groups including Consumer Reports and the Center for Food Safety that reviews and ranks fast food chains annually on policies related to antibiotic use in meat, gave McDonald’s – along with Wendy’s and Subway – a low-grade rating. regarding the use of antibiotics in their beef supply.
The report noted that “Subway and McDonald’s received grades of ‘C’ for adopting responsible antibiotic use policies, but neither of them began implementing them.” In addition, McDonald’s was selected for “…failing to meet its commitment to set targets to reduce antibiotics in the beef supply by the end of 2020”.
Both McDonald’s competitors Burger King and Arby’s were awarded “F” grades, “for failing to take any public action to reduce the overuse of antibiotics in the beef supply.” According to the report, the top performers are Chipotle and Panera. The two companies achieved the grade “A” for the sixth year in a row.
Despite all of this, there are some McDonald’s items that have actually gotten healthier in the past decade. Read all about them here.
Alan Krawetz is a veteran journalist based in New York with 25 years of experience working for a variety of media including Newsday, Zenger News and Long Island Press. Read more