Fast food isn’t exactly known for being made of the healthiest ingredients. Remember this September 2013 study that revealed the actual makeup of “all white meat” chicken nuggets? Now, after their precious McRib was defamed on Twitter, McDonald’s decided to show consumers what exactly goes into making this juicy, saucey sandwich.It all began when Wes Bellamy, a high school teacher and director of the non-profit HYPE, tweeted a photo of an (admittedly unappealing) frozen McRib, pointing out how gross it looks and enouraging the Twitterverse to never eat from Micky D’s again. So the fast food company invited Bellamy out to visit their pork supplier, Lopez Foods, in Oklahoma City, to show him what really goes into the meat.

RedditThe frozen McRib photo that Bellamy Tweeted
frozen mcrib

We were pleased to see that there is indeed real pork going into the McRib … but that still doesn’t mean it’s void of some of the questionable ingredients found in fast food. During the tour, we see that boneless pork is thrown into a huge meat grinder, and mixed with water, salt, dextrose (sugar), and preservatives Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), propyl gallate and citric acid. A machine then molds the meat into the rib shape, and it’s flash frozen for transport to stores.The preservative BHA is considered a likely human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health and Human Services due to of the tumor-causing effects it has shown in animals. It is, however, recognized as safe by the FDA when it’s used in small amounts in accordance with their regulations (which McDonald’s obviously has to follow).So, while the real-pork fake ribs seem less offensive than some other fast food dishes, it’s still probably not a good idea to chow down on it three times a day, a la “Supersize Me. “Check out the video below to get a glimpse at how the McRib is brought to life: