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Rib Sandwiches, Really? – Ribs are like hope

We are always looking for someone to blame. And many times, that blame falls on the last, most recent person in line. For example, some people blame René Arend, McDonald’s first Executive Chef. After all, he oversaw the introduction of McNuggets® and McRib® onto McDonald’s menus (1). But like so many other inventors, he built his work on the shoulders of others.

For example, the chicken nugget was invented in the early 1960’s by Robert C. Baker. He was a food scientist at Cornell University who is often called the “George Washington Carver of chicken.” And while René is credited with the first rib sandwich, it would not be possible without Roger Mandigo.

Pork producers wanted to see more pork on the menu (no mystery there), and they were targeting fast-food chains Roger came up with a new take on the old-fashioned idea of sausage-making. Instead of just stuffing ground-up meat inside a casing, he took proteins out of the meat and reused them to “hold all the little pieces of meat together." This worked with just about any kind of meat, in just about any shape. His invention, called Restructured Meats (2), earned him a place in the 2010 Meat Industry Hall of Fame class (3) – yes, there really is such a thing.

Now, I don’t know what you think about “Restructured Meats” or fast-food sandwiches. But I’d bet all the money in my pockets that you’d rather have real ribs instead of “Restructured Meat.” There is nothing “restructured” or “fast food” about ribs. You prepare and cook them one slab at a time. They take time, care, skill, and practice to get them right. And their enjoyment lasts a long time in our memory.

And like ribs, real hope is just like this too. Real, long-lasting, genuine hope is something to be savored, enjoyed, and remembered. Hope doesn’t come from a drive-through window either. Hope comes when we connect with people that offer it to us individually.

Don’t look for some manufactured, restructured, hope. Look for the real thing. It’s right there, waiting for you.

(1) McNuggets® and McRib® are Registered Trademarks of McDonalds Corporation.

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