McDonald’s Fries Are Made of Potatoes—and a Whole Bunch of Other Stuff

It takes 19 ingredients to get the menu item consistently crisp and tasty.
Jan 22, 2015·
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

Are Mickey D’s fries made of real potatoes?

Why yes, they are—a mix of Russet Burbanks and Umatilla Russets, to be exact—according to the latest installment of the fast-food giant’s “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign.

McDonald’s released the behind-the-making video for its french fries after launching the campaign with a viral clip about what goes into the McRib. Just as Mythbusters host Grant Imahara previously defended the famous pork sandwich, in this clip he attempts to disprove myths surrounding the popular McDonald's side.

He even goes to a field where some of the starchy tubers are grown and digs one up.

“See? A real potato,” Koko Neher of McDonald’s supplier Simplot tells Imahara. “This is where it all begins.”

That the fries are made with actual produce may not persuade the fast food–averse to rush to the nearest drive-through.

A companion video reveals that more goes into the fries—18 more ingredients, to be precise. Those include salt, myriad types of oils, milk, and beef flavor.

Concerned about the longest word on the ingredient list, "dimethylpolysiloxane"? We all need to relax, Imahara suggests.

“I know it sounds scary, but it’s actually an anti-foaming agent,” he says.

It all adds up to 337 calories and 17 grams of fat.

Whether Americans will buy into McDonald’s aggressive marketing of late is yet to be seen, but its decline in sales in 2014 indicate that customers will keep driving past the Golden Arches unless the company takes a page from its fast-casual competition.