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Extreme lengths McDonald's goes to make your Big Mac

Mirror logo Mirror 22/02/2018 Joshua Barrie

a cake sitting on a table: Credits: McDonalds © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: McDonalds McDonald's is selling a lot of Big Macs these days.

The fast food giant always sells plenty of its famous three-bun beast, but more so currently due to the limited edition range, launched in celebration of the burger's 50th birthday.

McDonald's fans have been sampling the original version, as well as Grand Big Macs and Big Mac Jrs.

There's also the bucket-sized matter of the KFC crisis .

KFC, Britain's second favourite fast food, gets its chicken delivered daily. Since November 2017, DHL has supplied the chain with poultry across the UK.

a person eating a hot dog: Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: PA The chicken shortage is unprecedented. We fail to remember the last time KFC branches at such scale failed to open, simply as a result of a lack of food.

McDonald's has encountered its fair share of problems, but when was the last time it couldn't serve the nation their Big Macs? Some restaurants might've asked customers to wait a while, sure, but mass closures?

Obviously, KFC is all about chicken – only chicken. Whereas McDonald's casts a wider net. Still, it's Big Mac is the big one, and it's surprising it's unfailingly so readily available given how complex the company's sourcing of ingredients is.

Research by kitchen company CDA found that Big Macs travel a whopping 8,050 miles before they're eaten here in the UK.

CDA based its calculations on delivery to a central London restaurant. Here's the breakdown:

  • The bun travels from Banbury in Oxfordshire, 77.5 miles away.
  • The beef patty has two origins – Scunthorpe in England and Ballygriffin, Grannaugh, Waterford. On average your patty will travel 270.05 miles to reach the restaurant.
  • Lettuce is seasonal, so in summer, it comes from Chichester in the UK. In winter, it’s imported from Spain. On average your lettuce will travel 557.35 miles.

The bun, patty, and lettuce aren't anyting special when considering the size of McDonald's. But what about the rest of the ingredients?

  • Onions travel the farthest, as they make their way to your Mac. McDonald’s said it gets them from America. That’s 4,484 miles away.

Why America? We've got loads of onions here in Britain. The company apparently uses a "very specific variety of onion", which is best grown in the US due to its soil.

Apparently European suppliers can't meet the rigorous demands.

McDonald's onions differ too in that they are first dehydrated and then rehydrated in store. Some menu items use fresh vegetables, but dehydrated onions can be stored for much, much longer – up to 15 years.

a close up of a sandwich: Credits: Getty Images Europe © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty Images Europe The chain's dill pickles can travel 1,930 miles. The cucumber used is found in Turkey.

McDonald's cheese, meanwhile, journeys 509.2 miles, from Coleraine in Northern Ireland. The famous Big Mac source is made in Littleborough in Lancashire, 222.6 miles away.

In a world increasingly aware of food waste and mileage, environmental standards and plastic packaging, it shows the lengths big corporations go to in order to meet customer demand and achieve continuity in its products.

Mirror Online has contacted McDonald's for comment.

Related: 10 Burger Mistakes You Should Never Make (provided by Gourmandize)

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