A new theory about the origin of the McDonald's pork sandwich, the McRib, attributes it to the U.S. Army’s food lab in Natick, Massachusetts. Vox reports how in her book “Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat,” Anastacia Marx de Salcedo explains the Army’s role in creating the McRib.
“What the Army develops is the backbone,” said Salcedo. “The private companies make it more palatable for the consumer.”
By pioneering restructured meat, the Army laid the groundwork for the McRib, but once those formed patties left Uncle Sam’s kitchen, the McRib’s origins become cloudy. Salcedo provides several possible creators, from McDonald’s chef Rene Arend, who crafted sandwiches unique flavor; to Roger Mandigo, worked on shaping restructured meat to look like pork chops.