- Food and Cooking
Has McDonald's Ever Put Worms in Hamburgers as Filler?
A Corporate Giant Fights a Nasty Rumour
Every so often a rumour goes around that, to save money, McDonald's adds mashed up worms to its hamburgers as filler to save money on beef. A Friend recently told me that in the late 1970s and early '80's the cost of McDonald's hamburgers was very low because they added something called meal worm to it and when people began to find out, they switched to beef. That's why now the wrapper says 100% beef.
Apparently this urban legend started in 1976 when an entrepreneur farming earthworms to sell for bait boasted that he was going to become the McDonald's of worms. Things got a little misconstrued to say the least. That year McDonald's sales began to slip as the worm story went viral.
On 'Saturday Night Live' Jane Curtin joked that McDonald's executives deny using worms but can't explain why two halves of a Big Mac crawl away from each other in opposite directions.
All of this negative attention was certainly hurting the restaurant giant and Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's as a corporation, couldn't bring himself to say the word, 'worms.'
Adding worms to hamburger meat doesn't make any sense as worms are more expensive. Kroc said that, "Hamburger costs $1.50 a pound and night crawlers cost $6."
So with that vicious rumour dispelled, people forgot about it but, once in a while, it resurfaces.
You can eat worms if you really want to
If earthworms are expensive, meal worms aren't a bargain either. The sale of meal worms is almost 100% for food used in the exotic pet food market. However, some people have used them in tequila.
The meal worm isn't really even a real worm. It's a darkling beetle in the larva state. If that's not enough to gross you out and you'd like to chomp down on some baby bettles, get more info here:
- Live Mealworms at Mealworm Store
Mealworm Store - Live mealworms at discounted rates
Soya is the only alternative
If ever a fast food chain wants to substitute beef, the only alternative would be soya. It's cheap, easy to produce, high in protein, and, above all, not gross. If McDonald's ever moves away from an all beef patty, it'll be using soya.
McDonald's is the largest chain of restaurants in the world today with about 31,000 locations. Their U.S. revenue is over 20 billion. They aren't going to pull a fast one over an unsuspecting population because they'd have too much to loose!