What has been seen cannot be unseen and now that we've peeked behind the curtain of the beloved McRib sandwich, perhaps we should delve further into this terrifying Frankenmeat to discover the truth behind the oddly-compelling pale pink dish sponge meat patty. Here, grab a bedpan.

Unfortunately, if you want word straight from the sow's mouth, you're out of luck; McDonald's website has been suspiciously unresponsive today. Just what exactly are you hiding beneath those golden arches, Mickey D's? It's almost as if they don't want us to know the horrors that lurk inside their viral sandwich. A corporation concealing details from consumers? We feel so disillusioned.

Luckily, we tracked down the ingredient list [pdf] through internet back channels; it's territory we've covered before but let's probe deeper, shall we? Behold the terrifying facts gleaned from researching the nation's most fascinating of foodstuffs.

The McRib sandwich boasts 70 ingredients. That's a whole lotta goings on for a sandwich advertised as "a McRib Pork Patty, bun, barbecue sauce, pickle slices and slivered onions. The bun alone makes up 34 of those ingredients, with tasty additives like Ammonium Sulfate (a kind of salt commonly found in soil fertilizers), azodicarbonamide ("a flour-bleaching agent that is most commonly used in the manufacture of foamed plastics like in gym mats and the soles of shoes," according to Time) and everyone's favorite trans fat friendly partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils.

McDonald's keeps suspiciously vague regarding the patty meat, claiming it's a wholesome combination of "pork, water, salt, dextrose and three kinds of preservatives: BHA, Propyl Gallate, Citric Acid. BHA, or butylated hydroxyanisole, a fat preservative, "may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity" and can also lead to changes in behavior. Propyl gallate also has carcinogenic properties and can have damaging effects on the stomach, skin, respiratory system, kidney and liver; it's banned in other countries.

Besides the gnarly chemicals, what kind of cuts go into forming this "pork" patty? According to a dispatch from Maxim, there is "very little actual rib meat in a McRib." "Primarily, it's shoulder meat," Rob Cannell, director of McDonald's U.S. supply chain, explained to the magazine. That sounds promising; pork shoulder can be used to make delicious pulled pork sandwiches. But according to a University of Nebraska study, you're really eating restructured pig innards coated in salt, specifically tripe, heart, and scalded stomachs. Offal has become trendy thanks to the nose-to-tail movement and, to be sure, folks in countries like Mexico and Italy have no problem devouring things like tripe without a second thought. Just helpful to know exactly what you're consuming, is all.

So what's the deal with the faux-rib shape? "One reason our customers love the McRib is its fun and wonderful shape," a McDonald's rep told the Huffington Post. "Just like a burger patty is formed to be round and flat, we form the iconic McRib in the shape of traditional ribs. We then flash freeze the patty to seal in flavor and freshness, just like you freeze meat in your own freezer, before going to our restaurants." Yes except, by that logic, wouldn't that mean reforming beef into cow shapes to resemble the original thing? Point to the burger on a cow!

Again from Cannell: "The McRib is made in large processing plants—lots of stainless steel, a number of production lines, and these long cryogenic freezers. The pork meat is chopped up, then seasoned, then formed into that shape that looks like a rib back. Then we flash-freeze it. The whole process from fresh pork to frozen McRib takes about 45 minutes." Cryogenics—fancy!

It gets worse. Even more horrifying than the ingredient list are allegations of animal abuse against Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer and origin of the meat used to form McRibs. In 2010, the Humane Society of the United States discovered deplorable conditions for pigs at a Virginia factory farm owned by a subsidiary of Smithfield, including breeding sows confined to "gestation crates" that restricted their movement so severely that the animals attempted to bite through the bars, coating them in blood; their confinement also caused "open pressure sores that developed from their unyielding confinement." Investigators reported that premature piglets born in gestation crates fell through slats in the floor and were left to die in the manure pits below. The Humane Society then filed a lawsuit against Smithfield; read the gruesome details here.

In conclusion, the McRib—like everything else at McDonald's, including the fries—is a revolting product that's not only a terrible thing to ingest but also contributes to the cruel torture of sweet little piggies. Not to mention McDonald's reputation as a clueless, soulless operation. Still Lovin' It?