By Jill Lawson for DietsInReview.com
The McRib and a yoga mat seem as far removed from one another as the people who eat the sandwich and those who practice yoga, but they do share something in common that is wildly alarming and worth a look.
Azodicarbonamide, ammonium sulfate and polysorbate 80 are just three of the 70 ingredients that make the McDonald’s McRib sandwich. Even though these chemical ingredients are in small enough quantities that may not otherwise be harmful to your health, it is worth noting how and where else these chemicals are used just to put things in to perspective.
The primary one that will make you squirm is azodicarbonamide, a flour-bleaching agent found in the McRib bun. This chemical, in addition to giving your McRib bun that fresh, white appearance, is also used to manufacture shoes, foam plastics, materials such as gym flooring, and believe it or not, yoga mats.
From McRib’s introduction in 1982, the sandwich has come and gone from the menu giving it a unique following some might refer to as cult-like. The sandwich has its own Facebook page and Twitter account, and the McRib has made headlines, tweets and posts that it is resurfacing yet again, but for a limited time only. There are McRib Locator websites that can direct you to the legendary sandwich. Of course eating one means you don’t mind chowing on something that also contains the very stuff that will prevent slipping on your own perspiration in a hot yoga class while sweating out the McRib’s 980 mg of sodium. Then again, if you’re a yogi you’re probably not ordering a McRib any time soon.
My research lead me to find that there are 414 common food items that also contain azodicarbonamide. Aside from some of the other fast food chain buns and breads, additional foods labeled as “all natural” whole wheat breads, muffins, croutons and bagels also have this nasty chemical in their ingredients list.
Azodicarbonamide is banned as a food additive in Europe and Australia because of its possible contribution to respiratory problems such as asthma.