Grant Imahara, McDonald’s, Eggs and Me!

Grant Imahara, McDonald’s, Eggs and Me!

Disclosure

My cooking tends to be a joke in our family. Even the priest couldn’t resist adding a little tidbit about how I manage to burn grilled cheese into the sermon at our wedding. It is what it is. I’m not the best cook in the family and am perfectly happy letting Scott do most of the cooking.

That doesn’t mean I don’t participate in the decision making. Once the kids were old enough to eat non-baby food, we started including them in our dinners. Many families would serve their kids hot dogs and mac ‘n cheese when salmon and vegetables were on the menu. Not us. They ate what we did, and now enjoy sushi and even ask for more vegetables. Our youngest will even make herself a salad whenever it’s a “free choice” meal. We arm them with the tools to make their own decisions.

As I have mentioned before, I am a member of the McDonald’s Family Arches community where we learn about new McDonald’s promotions and products. In addition, it is a platform for community members to voice concerns and share thoughts on new packaging, potential promotion ideas and more. As part of a survey last fall, community members were given the opportunity to ask McDonald’s some questions about their food. Whenever I see rumors circulate the internet or email about anything from food to urban legends, I look them up on Snopes. It’s unfortunate that people believe something just because they read it on the internet without truly researching it. As I filled out the survey, there wasn’t anything that weighed heavy on my mind. Question after question was more detailed. “..about our beef?” No.  “…about our chicken?” No. “…about our eggs.” No. Wait. Yes. I did have a question.  A while back I was reading another blogger’s tips on ordering at McDonald’s. It contained a handful of things like asking for a sweet tea cup because the ice doesn’t melt as fast. One of the tips said that McDonald’s offers real eggs at breakfast but you have to ask for them otherwise you get an egg product. I had never given much thought to it, but here I was with a chance to find out if what I read on the internet WAS really true. So I asked.

“I read somewhere that egg products are used as a default but if a customer wants a real egg on their sandwich they need to request it specifically. Is that true?”

I genuinely was curious, but usually when we fill out the surveys through the community, we don’t receive individual feedback. I figured the questions we presented would be used as part of a new marketing campaign. I had no idea what was to come.

Representatives for McDonald’s contacted me and asked if I would be interested in having my question answered in person as part of their “Our Food. Your Questions” web series. They invited me to Michigan in December to see the Herbruck’s chicken farm, the Cargill facility where the eggs are processed as well as a local McDonald’s to see for myself what goes into my favorite breakfast sandwiches. They would pay for my transportation, lodging and meals so I wouldn’t be out anything, however they made it very clear there would be NO other compensation offered. I wasn’t being hired for this project. It wasn’t about blogging. I would be there as any other consumer with a question.

Despite a hectic holiday season with activities for the kids along with work, I took them up on the offer to see the behind the scenes at the restaurant and be filmed with Grant Imahara (you might know him from Mythbusters)! I had to pass on visiting the farm and egg processing facility because we own a parakeet. For me to visit those facilities would have required that I be quarantined from my home for several days prior to the visit. An unpaid quarantine during a really busy time of year just wasn’t in the cards for me. I love seeing what happens behind-the-scenes, but could not be away from work for that many days. They assured me that I would have the opportunity to speak with someone to get my questions answered.

Filming "Our Food. Your Questions." for the McDonald's web series featuring Grant Imahara. - SahmReviews.com

I flew in the day before the filming was to begin. Call time to leave the hotel the next morning was 5:10 am. I dressed in an outfit meeting their requirements then brought along a few additional options so they could coordinate my wardrobe with Grant’s. They had a stylist touch up my hair and makeup while someone else fitted me with a microphone. I was instructed NOT to speak to Grant ahead of time because they wanted the first time I met him to be in front of the camera.

Filming "Our Food. Your Questions." for the McDonald's web series featuring Grant Imahara. - SahmReviews.com

When the time came to step in front of the camera, they asked me so many questions. They inquired about my kids, blogging, being part of the Family Arches community, what inspired my question about the eggs and more. I was so incredibly nervous! Despite what people may think, they never coached me on anything to say. To put it completely into perspective, they asked me where I was and I babbled away “Somewhere in Michigan near Lansing. West of Detroit. East of Grand Rapids. I’m not sure exactly where because they chauffeured me here.” As I struggled and prayed for another question, it dawned on me the answer they were waiting for. “Oh, I’m at McDonald’s. Duh!” Thank goodness they cut that out during final editing. I had the same issue when they asked me what I am. “Social Media Mom. Consumer. Curious customer, Brand Advocate, Family Arches Community Member, Blogger.” when I think they just wanted me to say “Mom.” Even when the answer was painfully obvious to anyone who WASN’T nervous, I was making it more difficult than it needed to be.

After they were done asking me questions, Grant came on camera and started talking to me. I’m sure a fumbled a bit at first because (as I mentioned) I had not been introduced to him or chatted ahead of time. He was easy-going and carrying on a conversation with him was effortless. From there, we went into the McDonald’s kitchen to see whether or not they use real eggs. After all, that’s the main thing I wanted to see for myself.

As soon as we stepped up to the grill, I saw a large package of real eggs sitting right by the station. Real eggs! I couldn’t resist just leaning over and picking one up. Drew Marsh, the manager, proceeded to tell us about the five types of eggs that are used and which menu items they are used in. The Egg McMuffins come with a “round egg” so that was my main focus however the Egg White Delights come from a box that was sitting right there. I was skeptical, and the camera wasn’t on so I took the liberty of grabbing the box to see the ingredient list for myself.

Ingredients: Egg whites. That was it. Interesting.

On set with Grant Imahara during filming of the "Our Food. Your Questions" web series for McDonald's. - SahmReviews.com

Grant and I spent several hours seeing the team in action, learning about eggs, cracking some (eggs and jokes) and ultimately making breakfast sandwiches ourselves. Grant is an engineer and tech-guy so during breaks we talked about robotics and strategy games. (He said he plays the Ticket to Ride app on his phone! I wish I could remember the other games he mentioned!) I also asked what he’ll be doing now that he’s done with Mythbusters. He said some ideas were in the works but nothing had been finalized at that time. I could have spent all day chatting with him. Alas, the schedule was tight and they had other things to do.

Filming "Our Food. Your Questions." for the McDonald's web series featuring Grant Imahara. - SahmReviews.com

The production team along with Grant headed off to Cargill facility while I stayed behind. As I mentioned before, there are five different types of eggs used. Round eggs, liquid egg whites, liquid eggs, folded eggs and burrito mix. The folded eggs and burrito mix are made at the supplier and the liquid eggs come in a box. During the shooting, I happened to look at that packaging and saw that it contained other ingredients. I was introduced to management and someone from the supplier chain. They wanted to see if I had questions that were not answered during the filming process. They had no secrets and answered everything that I asked. With respect to the other ingredients in the liquid eggs, it was explained that the eggs that make it to the carton (by the grill) meet very specific requirements for size and quality. Anything besides that is used elsewhere. Too large or too small and they are cracked to be used for the other egg products. If they don’t meet quality standards, they are discarded. The other ingredients noted on the carton were things such as preservatives.

If you haven’t already had a chance to watch the videos, please do. There are two different although some parts are repeated for continuity of the story. The one at the top of this post is specific to my experience while the second focuses on Grant getting my questions answered at the Cargill facility where the eggs are processed.

It was a cool behind-the-scenes eggs-perience. Not just about the eggs but about McDonald’s and their processes in general. I arrived with a curiosity and skepticism and left with a new-found respect for the process and for McDonald’s. All because I asked a simple question.

Do you ever have questions for McDonald’s?

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Nicole

About Nicole

Founder and owner of SAHMReviews.com, Nicole has been involved in social media marketing since 2007. She has worked with a number of major corporations who utilized her skills to improve their social media outreach and online presence. Nicole works as an ambassador for brands such as Netflix, U.S. Cellular and K’NEX, has been featured in McDonald’s videos as well as Maria Bailey’s book “Power Moms”. Always a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and mother of two beautiful teen daughters, if you can’t find Nicole, she is probably somewhere playing board games.

30 comments on «Grant Imahara, McDonald’s, Eggs and Me!»

  1. Rosie says:

    That was quite an experience that started with a question – what a production! I’ve been reading about McDonalds and some of their problems – good to know it is great behind the scenes!!!

  2. I LOVE videos like these. In university I worked for a meat processing company who supplies McDonalds Canada with their beef patties. It drives me CRAZY when I hear people talk about what is in “McDonalds Hamburgers” – Beef, thats it, that is ALL. I am glad that McDonalds is dispelling the myths that surround their food and educating people about their practices.

  3. Wow. What a great experience. And what a cool way to get your question answered — and actually see the answer. It’s good to know that the eggs in McDonald’s eggs are just that: eggs. It makes me feel better about grabbing breakfast there. Thanks!

  4. Vera Sweeney says:

    I think its really interesting to see the behind the scenes of a company like Mcdonalds! What a great chance for you to get to talk to them!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    This is so interesting… Going behind the scenes of big companies like this is really useful! Thanks Nik!

  6. What an exciting experience that must have been. Very interesting to see the process compared to our little chicken coop in the back yard.

  7. How cool, I love behind the scenes look,especially at places we frequent.

  8. Deborah A. says:

    That was such a fun article to read! I’m with you I hate when people believe something just because they’ve seen it on the internet. I know I’m guilty of it too. Thanks for the information on the eggs. It’s good to know what we eat!

  9. I love that McDonalds took the time to share with you the truths behind their food!! I feel so much better about sharing these things with my family when I know the truth!

  10. Lena Burkut says:

    Very interesting-
    i just assumed it is all synthetic and out of the bag

  11. Janice says:

    It looks like you had a blast. I love McDonald’s Egg McMuffins and I always will. I need to get me some of those egg molds though so my own eggs will be perfect circles. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  12. Aubrey says:

    That sounds like you had a good and productive day. It’s always good to know what goes into the food you eat.

  13. Christina W says:

    Well that was an interesting video to watch and I think it’s great that you were able to go behind the scenes at McDonald’s. I always wondered how they made such round eggs on their McMuffins! I’ll feel much better about my family eating there knowing this. Thanks!

    1. Christina W says:

      I have wondered what exactly is in their McRib Sandwich.

      1. Nicole says:

        One of the videos in the series was specifically about the McRib, Christina. Did you have a chance to see that one? It was very cool! (Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJoMzhStPNk)

        They’ve also done beef, fries and nuggets. It’s a very informative series to watch.

  14. Mary Burris says:

    I can usually tell that the eggs are real.. it’s the other mystery meats that I worry about.

  15. Ashley says:

    This sounds like a fun trip for you! It’s good to know they use actual eggs… since not everything else there is quite as real. Yuck!

  16. Debbie Moon says:

    How cool would it be to go behind the scenes of a major company like McDonalds and to find out what goes into their food for real. What a great experience you had and very interesting videos.

  17. Amy Lovell says:

    Wow! Very cool to learn theeggs are real. Now to find out if the french fries are…..

    1. Nicole says:

      Amy – One of the videos they did in the series was for the fries. Here’s the link:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el0EDgyO39w

      I had only seen the McRib one when I filmed the egg video. After the fact, it was cool to see the processes of the others – beef, fries and nuggets. I haven’t heard if they are doing more in the series but I hope so. They’re so informative. (But I watch Food Factory and How It’s Made so I like these types of shows.)

  18. Leela says:

    I’ll bet that was a lot of fun.

  19. Julian Reyes says:

    Pretty interesting video!

  20. paula schuck says:

    Excellent job on the video Nicole! Loved this and the question was clearly answered. It’s funny because I have kids who are 10 and 13 and we talk a lot about what’s on the Internet and what is real and sometimes the two are the same and sometimes not so much. Sometimes it’s better to just go to the source and get the answers. We had a friend of theirs here the other day who literally said I haven;t eaten at McDonald’s in like 6 years and I was shocked. We limit fast food and eat healthy but maybe once a month now the kids visit McDonald’s because it makes them happy and they LOVE the fries. Then the kid’s friend went on to say he had seen a video on line that shows their meat is pink goo. I started to tell him um no but it was clear he had his mind made up. I have enjoyed the series and the approach that McDonald’s has taken to the myths and questions from real people.

  21. Illy Junus says:

    Got some knowledge for this

  22. Debbie S. says:

    Well I found this very interesting as yes there is so many things you hear about fast food chains food supply. Thanks for sharing. We may just go have breakfast at Mcdonald’s tomorrow!

  23. If they used free-range, hormone-free, organic meet and GMO free organic veggies, I would eat there more often.

  24. Amanda Bernard says:

    Great question, and nice to see proof for people who don’t want to believe. What I love about their breakfast sandwiches is that the eggs are cooked fresh. Other places use pre-cooked, frozen egg rounds and it just does not taste the same.

  25. I am glad to know that they are really eggs, so as even though their burger is real meat it sure don’t taste real. Thank you for the review, it was rally great.

  26. Ryan D Baker says:

    Grant imahara is awesome!

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