Ever wondered exactly what's in that neatly formed McDonald's hamburger, or if those are real potatoes in your super salty fries?
In an effort to dispel myths about the origins of fast food and answer customer questions, McDonald's has produced a series of YouTube videos describing exactly what's in their menu items, and where those ingredients are produced.
Apparently inquisitive minds want to know what's in those slim golden fries (spoiler alert -- it's potatoes!), because a five minute video titled "How McDonald's Canada Makes their World Famous Fries" has almost a million views.
The series, which also includes videos with Pulitzer-winning titles like "Where McDonald's Canada Gets Our Hamburger Patties" and "What is in the sauce that is in the Big Mac?", seems to be an effort at transparency, perhaps to put an end once and for all to rumours that "100% all beef" actually means eyeballs, hooves, and all the rest of it, something that's been whispered on playgrounds for decades, and which no video in the series has adequately addressed.
In this particular video, Scott Gibson, a manager of the supply chain at McDonald's Canada, answers customer questions about the fast food giant's fries, starting with, "Are they made from real potatoes?"
But of course!
Angelo Levesque of Levesque Family Farms demonstrates to Gibson and the camera how the very real potatoes are harvested, sorted, and then sent to a McCain processing plant. According to the text that accompanies the video, "McDonald's World Famous Fries are made from whole potatoes harvested mainly from farms in New Brunswick, Alberta, and Manitoba." That's encouraging.
Now here's where things get good. That dirty little potato is about to turn into a perfectly formed side dish. Next question tackled, "Are McDonald's fries cut, or are they processed and then formed?"
Here Gibson is quite emphatic that they are always cut, never formed.
But it's not like they're untouched by the (mechanical) hand of man.
First they're washed, and are then pushed through a peeling system and a cutting system. Next, these whitish slices of potato are put through something called a "blancher" to remove the colour variation that potatoes naturally have. Then they're coated in a dextrose solution so that they have a "nice even coat." Then there's one more unnamed ingredient that prevents them from greying. Finally they're dried, pre-fried, frozen, and sealed in large clear plastic bags.
Final stop, an actual McDonald's. Here we learn that McDonald's only uses 100 per cent vegetable oil (vegetarians!) and that you can get them without salt — all you have to do is ask.
The video series is called "Our Food. Your Questions." People are watching, with McDonald's Canada's YouTube channel sitting at close to 12 million views. The question is whether an up-close look at the processing plant is making anyone want a Big Mac.
Watch the video below about the worst fast food kid's meals.