Have you ever cleaned out your car and found an old Mcdonald’s french fry under the seat? You don’t know how long it’s been there — maybe a week, maybe a year — but for some strange, sickening reason, it still looks exactly the same as one you get from the restaurant fresh out of the fryer.
Before you boycott McD’s, it turns out there’s a method to the fast-food chain’s madness. If that french fry has you reconsidering the gloriously salty side dish, you might want to rethink, because it’s not all bad. It’s not all good, but it’s not the worst, either. There aren’t any chemicals that don’t absolutely have to be in there, or that aren’t contained in foods that many of us regularly buy at the grocery store. So, some food for thought. Here are some things you might not know about the delectable potato sticks.
1. Yes, they’re made with actual potatoes
No other veggies were harmed in the making of their fries.
2. They’re cut with a real knife
Unlike many speculative accounts, which stated that the fries were molded into their perfectly uniform shape from some sort of potato goop, the potatoes are precision-cut by a water knife.
3. The fries are flash-frozen and blanched before they get to you
Then they’re fried again before they’re boxed for customers. It’s why they have that perfect, crisp outer shell.
4. They look the way they look (and keep the way the keep) because of a chemical
They’re partially fried before dextrose is added so they’re all the same colour, while sodium acid pyrophosphate keeps them from greying after freezing. (Yes, we concede that’s a little bit gross.)
5. There are 19 ingredients used in their fries in total
Potatoes, soybean oil (x2), hydrogenated soybean oil (x2), natural beef flavour, hydrolyzed wheat, hydrolyzed milk, citric acid (x2), dimethylpolysiloxane (x2), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate, salt, canola oil (x2), corn oil and TBHQ are the listed ingredients in McDonald’s fries. You’re probably wondering, “What do you mean ‘x2,’ The Loop?” Well…
6. Really, only 14 ingredients are actually used
Canola and soybean oil are listed on their ingredients list twice, as are hydrogenated soybean oil, citric acid and dimethylpolysiloxane, because they’re used at two different stages of production: first, as part of an oil blend at the supplier level, and again at its restaurants. Double the fun, right?
7. Canadian fries are made from New Brunswick potatoes
Two of the main industries in the small town of Grand Falls, New Bruswick, are potato farming and potato processing. So, it makes sense that this is where the life of a McDonald’s french fry begins, from the ground to the farm to the plant, then to restaurants everywhere.
8. They’re damn near irresistible
Okay, that you knew. But it bears repeating.
In case you’re still hungry for some McDonald’s…