McDonald’s Reveals Its Processing Process (Video)

screen shot via YouTube/McDonalds

A growing awareness of nutrition — the good and the bad — as well as the desire to know what’s in their food, has driven many Americans away from the iconic golden arches of McDonald’s. As one person in a new McDonald’s commercial asks, “Does McDonald’s even sell real food?”

Marking the very first time a camera crew has ever been allowed inside a McDonald’s processing plant, a team from ABC’s “Good Morning, America” recently got a peek at the place where the greasy magic happens.

GMA’s Gio Benitez got the chance to experience burger production firsthand, as he and a camera crew suited up in sterile uniforms for a look inside one of McDonalds’ “top secret” food plants in Fresno, Calif. Inside the plant, Benitez handled real beef, which McDonald’s says it uses in all their burgers — it’s even shown being ground and turned into patties, presumably without any sinister mystery ingredients being added.

Rickette Collins, director of quality systems at McDonald’s, tells Benitez that the fast-food behemoth is beginning a program called “Our Food. Your Questions” that will provide greater transparency and hopefully answer all the burning questions that the public has regarding McDonald’s food. In fact, Kevin Newell, McDonald’s chief brand officer, says that right now, the chain’s attitude is “Don’t judge us before you know us.”

Newell also claims that this new strategy has nothing to do with business performance; rather, it’s about making sure customers know the truth about McDonald’s food. With millennials “driving the food bus,” as’s Naomi Starkman points out to ABC, it’s in the company’s best interests to be open, transparent and as healthy as possible.

Benitez wasn’t the only person granted access to McDonald’s inner sanctum; Grant Imahara of “Mythbusters” fame also got a look at the Cargill beef plant, which supplies meat to McDonald’s restaurants. Busting the myth that the beef contains wood pulp or the dreaded pink slime, Imahara is shown the inspection area, which contains large pieces of meat running by on a conveyor belt, and the product testing area, which involves cooking and eating burgers.

So the next time you desperately need to know whether your Shamrock Shake has green dye in it (it does) or whether the apples in McDonald’s apple pies are actual pieces of fruit (they are) or whether Soylent Green is people (it is), you can check out the chain’s website or even Tweet at them, and all your fast food questions will be answered.