Rumors surrounding just what’s in a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget won’t quit, and the Internet–where conspiracy theory thrives–isn’t helping. So McDonald’s is striking back, as empires do. A video posted by McDonald’s Canada combats the increasingly popular notion that McNuggets are composed of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, or any such farrago. Neither are McNuggets made of pink slime, explains Nicoletta Stefou, the charming and bemused Supply Chain Manager for McDonald’s of Canada–and video emcee. Stefou takes visitors on a 3-minute tour of the Cargill facility where they process the chicken–and it’s all deboning, grinding and nothing but the best, err, breast. Sure the process adds in skin and spices, and covers the nuggets in batter–and then a “second batter called tempura”–but there’s no pink goop. Stefou doesn’t mention what these plump-breasted chickens were fed before their sojourn to Cargill, or what percentage of the final product is actual chicken meat, but she’s got a nice smile. And there’s also this too-little-appreciated aspect of the tour: you can’t smell video.
The McNugget was introduced nationwide in 1983 and quickly became the first real product extension (sorry, Filet-O-Fish) that competed with the famous hamburgers for primacy under the arches. (We don’t count shakes and fries–they’re sides.) McDonald’s McNuggets became so successful that people today commonly refer to any generic chicken “nugget” as McNuggets. Kids order McNuggets at Wendy’s and Burger King, and at home from the freezer, no matter what brand name is on the bag. Presumably only actual McNuggets come in the four distinctive shapes the video reveals: the bell, the ball, the bow tie and the boot. (The boot looks exactly like New Jersey on a map.) The video was posted on January 31, 2014 and has been viewed almost two million times. The supply chain manager job hasn’t traditionally included doing video Public Relations for the company, but according to glassdoor.com, a supply chain manager at McDonald’s might expect to be paid $100,000 a year–enough to make one want to defend her processes.