A Rumination on McNuggets

The first fast-food menu item that I ever remember absolutely loving was McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.  I started loving those things when I was young – maybe kindergarten-aged.  I remember going to the McDonald’s on Telegraph and Square Lake near our house in Michigan, and ordering a six-piece McNuggets, always with barbeque sauce, with fries and that orange drink that McDonald’s used to sell.  This was back in the day when McDonald’s still served all their food in styrofoam containers, and the six-pack McNugget box had a special built-in spot for the packet of dipping sauce.  Then, the fries would go in the lid of the McNugget box, and I’d be all set.

I remember loving McNuggets so much that I would get annoyed if we, as a family, ever went to Burger King, because they didn’t have McNuggets, and I didn’t remember liking hamburgers all that much.  I’m sure I ate them, but hamburgers were an option only when McNuggets weren’t around.

I remember thinking, when I was a kid, “maybe when I’m older and bigger I’ll be able to get the 9-piece McNuggets!”  I can’t recall when I graduated from 6 pieces to 9 pieces, but I know it happened.  I also know that when I was in my last couple years of high school, when I had my driver’s license and access to a car that I shared with my sister, I graduated from 9-piece to the 20-piece, which I would order when I was alone, in the car, with no chance of seeing or running into anyone I knew.

I’ve been thinking about McNuggets the past couple of days because, on Friday, when I was running some errands (bank, post office, oil change, smog test), I drove past a McDonalds that had a sign up advertising their 50-piece McNuggets for $9.99.

That’s right, a 50-piece order of McNuggets!

I haven’t seen any other advertising for this particular menu item, but I’m really curious about who orders 50 McNuggets and what they do with them.  Do they bring them home for their whole family to enjoy?  To they show up at potlucks or dinner parties with 50 McNuggets as their contribution to the festivities?  (“Hey, Sharon, thanks for inviting us to your Memorial Day get-together, and guess what! We’re bringing the McNuggets!”)  And how many packets of dipping sauces come with 50 McNuggets?  Does McDonald’s have 50 McNuggets ready to go at all times in case someone orders them, or are they deep-fried to order?  I have so many questions!

I’m not going to get into what’s inside a Chicken McNugget.  I’ve read “Fast Food Nation,” and I know it’s not pretty, and you can Google it for yourself – I don’t want to gross anyone out with this blog.  But I was curious about the nutritional breakdown, and, as it turns out, that’s pretty gross, too.  Based on the information available on the McDonald’s website, I calculated the following:

A 50-piece order of McNuggets has:

  • 2,300 calories
  • 145 grams of fat
  • 25 grams of saturated fat
  • 5,000 mg of sodium

I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a Chicken McNugget.  And you know what?  I’m not going to be having another one for a looong time.

Keep it up, David!

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13 Responses to A Rumination on McNuggets

  1. I used to love me some McNuggets, too! These days, I get the Chickenless Nuggets from Trader Joe’s. They’re not the same, but it’s enough to satisfy that craving when it creeps up. :)

  2. Rachel says:

    Having once worked at Mickey Dee’s (during college), I’ve consumed my share of McNuggets…However, I haven’t had one since I watched Jamie Oliver make some on an episode of “Food Revolution.” Ugh!

  3. Erin says:

    I haven’t had a McNugget in YEARS and have no plans to eat them again! I have never seen the 50-piece nugget offering, but the advertising board at my local McD’s says “20 peice nugget $4.99.” Someone didn’t pass 7th grade spelling…

  4. Emily says:

    I used to love McNuggets. They were like crack – the perfect vehicle to get some calorie-and-sugar-laden sauce into my mouth. Blech.

  5. lynn says:

    here in canada i kid you not they had a family super pack 75 nuggets 31.95 yuck. I love your blogs I once weight 475 yikes now I am 320 slowly coming down. I can not do the gym I have many medical issues however chair exersizes walking eating veggies and no soda sugar starch etc its coming off. thanks keep up the work
    and like you i will never eat a nuget again

    • David says:

      WOW, Lynn! 155 pounds – that’s AMAZING! Keep it up! Thanks for the note, and so glad you’re enjoying my blog. Hope you have a great week up in Canada. -D

      • lynn says:

        thanks i do enjoy your blogs i wish we had slimins in canada tell richard to open one here lol

  6. Sara says:

    I haven’t had fast food now in a month, which is HUGE for me. I’ve also only been on my healthy track for a month too to clarify. I won’t eat the chicken salads or the chicken sandwiches at McD’s (found something funky once) but those damn nuggets would still get me. I think I need to try and make my own nuggets. Baked instead of fried, hmmm, I think I have a project!!

  7. missmarisol says:

    I used to get the 20 piece chicken nuggets, large fries and a large diet coke. How gross! I would finish them. I have eaten chicken nuggets but I now get their mini meals. 4 nuggets, small fries and a small diet coke. It fills me up! It disgusts me how much I used to eat. I think in the past 36 weeks, I probably have gone to McDonalds 3 times.

  8. Rhiannon says:

    Random question: Why is there always one nugget that’s shaped like a boot? Sometimes you get two and can make them dance.

    • David says:

      I used to love the boot-shaped McNugget – a perfect little handle to hold onto while dipping. I once read that there are only 4 standard McNugget shapes.

  9. claudia says:

    i’m actually shocked 50 McNuggets is only 2300 calories- i mean it’s 50 MCNUGGETS! they’ve been advertizing them for guys who can’t cook and want to invite everyone over for ‘the big game’ i still can’t imagine many people buying them.
    I do remember when i was little (pre McNuggets being invented) eating a small cheeseburger, wondering when i’d be big enough to order a Big Mac- it seemed like such an ‘adult’ thing to order. LOL. Like you, i don’t picture myself eating one any time soon.

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