Where does your Big Mac come from?

The Big Mac is one of McDonald’s most famous menu items and with good reason too. It’s a tasty treat that never fails to satisfy. Have you ever wondered how McDonald’s make such a yummy burger and why you can never seem to replicate that mouth-watering meal at home?

Well we’ve done our research and were surprised to discover where Big Macs actually come from. While some ingredients are locally sourced, some are well-travelled and the miles it takes to get your Big Mac to you in the familiar state you know is eye-opening. How far do they travel I hear you ask, a whopping 8,050 miles!  

Where does your Big Mac come from?

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We decided to look at how far a UK Big Mac travels, from the source to your plate. Our calculations are based on delivery to a central London restaurant.

The bun travels from Banbury in Oxfordshire, 77.5 miles away.

The beef patty has two originations – 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 seem about normal but what about the rest of the ingredients?

Onions travel the furthest as they make their way to your Mac. McDonald’s admitted sourcing them from America. That’s 4,484 miles away. Why do McDonald’s source their onions from the US and not closer to home like the other ingredients? They claim to use a ‘very specific variety of onion’ which is better grown in the US due to their soil. They also said European suppliers couldn’t meet their demands.

mcdonalds comments on big mac onions

McDonald’s onions also differ as they are dehydrated then rehydrated in store. While they do use fresh onions for some menu items, for their burgers they use dehydrated onions. One of the benefits of dehydrating onions is that they can lost a considerable amount of time. According to Honeyville dehydrated onions can store for 10-15 years when kept correctly.  

Dill pickles, love them or hate them, double up or remove them, travel 1,930 miles to make it to your meal. The cucumber used to make dill pickles is sourced from Turkey.

The cheese and source is a bit more local for UK eaters. The cheese travels 509.2 miles, from Coleraine in Northern Ireland, and the Big Mac sauce comes from Littleborough in Lancashire, 222.6 miles away.

While some of the ingredients are locally sourced, when you add up their distance and consider where the onions and pickles are from, it adds up to quite the mileage. Do you think the distance has an impact on the quality of your burger?