TikTok User's Attempt To Expose McDonald's Meat Was An Utter Fail

TikToker Bryan Johnston is just trying to find his way in the grown-up world, figuring out where to go to college and maybe even thinking about what career to pursue. Or, as he said in a September 10 TikTok video, maybe he could chuck all that and become TikTok famous. Johnston is further along in that goal than a lot of people. As of this writing, he has nearly 336,000 followers, according to his profile page on the video-sharing platform.

The former Dunkin' employee hit a TikTok home run in January. His two viral Dunkin TikToks about how he was required to throw away leftover donuts every day attracted a combined 54.8 million views. Dunkin' fired him after those videos, per Bored Panda, but Johnston soldiers on. Donations from supporters helped take the sting out of losing his Dunkin' job, and he mentioned in his September 10 video that the Maryland Symphony Orchestra hired him as a digital marketer associate. He also slings ice cream part time at a shop called Sweeties, where he makes TikTok videos that are more company-friendly.

But Johnston isn't done exposing perceived wrongs in the restaurant industry. In late October, he went after a target that doesn't sign his paycheck: McDonald's.

The viral McDonald's TikTok relies on myths

In his recent McDonald's video, viewed 1.3 million times so far, TikToker Bryan Johnston trots out some conspiracy theories leveled against the world's biggest fast food chain. One bogus claim Johnston repeats is that 99% of McDonald's hamburger meat is possum. Then, he brings up the chicken McNugget "pink goop" myth.

Johnston also touches on the issue that he takes most seriously: food waste. "McDonald's also produces 90,000 tons of food waste and trash every single year," he says in the video. (That number couldn't be confirmed, but Resource cited a report from Zero Waste France claiming that McDonald's globally uses 1.5 million metric tons of packaging a year.) Johnston concludes by saying he'll still go to McDonald's because he loves their oatmeal. As a get-out-of-jail-free disclaimer, Johnston wrote in the comments, "THIS IS JUST A CONSPIRACY don't sue me McDonald's I love you."

To be clear, Johnston is trading on popular but inaccurate misconceptions about McDonald's meat. On the chain's beef FAQ page on its website, McDonald's asserts that its burger meat is 100% beef, no fillers. On a separate chicken FAQ page, the chain says it doesn't use "pink goop" or "pink slime" in any of its foods, and it doesn't even know how that rumor started.

In any case, commenters on Johnston's TikTok video weren't sold on his fear-mongering. "If it tastes good I'm still going to eat it," one commenter said, echoing statements by several others. At least one commenter did learn something from Johnston's TikTok, however: "Hol up.... McDonald's has OATMEAL?"