The Happy Meal Project

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by 10thpjj, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. 10thpjj

    10thpjj Green Belt

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  2. YeahBee

    YeahBee Samdog Original Nine

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    bah 137 days is nothing

    [​IMG]

    The McDonald's hamburger on the right is from 2008; the one on the left is from 1996. And they both look fairly edible.

    Wellness educator and nutrition consultant Karen Hanrahan has kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to illustrate its nonexistent ability to decay. Aside from drying out and bit and having "the oddest smell," it apparently hasn't changed much in the past 12 years.
    Follow AHT on Twitter and/or FacebookFollow @ahamburgertoday on Twitter
     
  3. Francis Rossi

    Francis Rossi Here's a song for ya

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    Mmm, yummy...
     
  4. giscanada

    giscanada Orange Belt

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  5. MMA RLZ

    MMA RLZ Banned Banned

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    Yeah I found a cheeseburger underneath the seat of my Jeep about 3 years after I bought it (hadn't gone to fast food that whole time). It looked literally exactly the same, just slightly stiffer. So disgusting.
     
  6. Cannon_6

    Cannon_6 Green Belt

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    But what happened to the toy?
     
  7. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    Meh...would be far more interesting with a control group of regular burgers. I wonder what would be left of them?
     
  8. oyaji poi

    oyaji poi oyaji belt

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    I also wonder if they ever actually touched the food after it was fried. All of the transient bacteria on the food would be killed, and if no one touched it directly it would reduce the chance of mold growing - especially on the fries and bun. They would simply dry out.

    Same with the meat, it would just dry out, as it appears to have done there. I worked in restaurants for years and it wasn't uncommon to find something that had fallen behind the stove or grill. Cooked meat simply shrivels up a bit and doesn't look that much different after a few days versus a few weeks.

    And with a thin burger cooked well-done there would be very little moisture left in it anyway, add to it some salt, and it's already mostly preserved the same as jerky when it is served.

    I'm not defending the nutritional value of a Happy Meal, I'm disputing the results of this art project as being meaningful in anyway regarding the healthiness of the Happy Meal.
     
  9. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    Exactly. Without a control, the experiment is just playing on our sensibilities about fast food. For the experiment to mean anything, there has to be a control for comparison.
     
  10. dnj23

    dnj23 Guest

    There is moisture in the atmosphere. In several years of exposure, you would expect mold to develop. And what that guy said about a cheeseburger is true, come on, the cheese isn't going bad too? Gimme a break.
     
  11. oyaji poi

    oyaji poi oyaji belt

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    Is there really moisture in the atmosphere?
    :icon_neut


    There was no cheese in the Happy Meal.

    The burger was thoroughly cooked and untouched, all it could really do is dry out even more. With no insects around or additional bacteria or handling (which would add bacteria and fungi) to go to work on it, it would simply sit there. Same with the bread - cooking plus no additional moisture, touching, or bacteria means it will just dry out.

    Things don't just spontaneously grow mould or go rotten. Without bacteria and insects, they will simply dry out. In Supersize Me it clearly shows the guy take the box of fries and dump them out of the container without touching them. They went straight from the fryer to the counter, and stayed there. Unless bacteria were introduced somehow, and some moisture, the result would simply be shrivelled up fries - and burgers.

    That being said, fast-food fries are weird though and could barely be considered food in the first place.
     
  12. xX~RUSH~Xx

    xX~RUSH~Xx Green Belt

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    Yes, yes there is moisture in the atmosphere :icon_neut. What do you think humidity is? Leave a cooked steak on the counter for a few weeks without touching it, watch it "spontaneously" grow mold. It wont just dry up. There is bacterica on basically everything, and if what it is laying on doesnt have any bacterica somehow then airborn bacteria or fungi spores will get to it.
     
  13. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    What is this "air water" all of you speak of...?

    The point is, without having a control to demonstrate what happens when a "normal" burger is left to sit for 137 days, it's all just speculation. Suppose a salted burger is essentially sterilized and dried out by the cooking process, as oyaji speculates. Would the humidity in the air be enough to allow this thing to rot into nothing? Or, would it look more like the McDonald's burger? Somewhere in between?

    Leaving out a control is a very effective device, from the perspective of the "experimenter," because he (or she, in this case, I believe), does not leave herself open to being proved wrong, and benefits from tapping into our preconceived notions abut fast food to boot. It's fun for to beat up fast food giants, and the person doing this "experiment" is counting on that sentiment to keep her experiment away from reproach.

    Even if after 137 days the "regular" burger had a little mold or whatever, if it was still more or less intact, it would make the whole presentation much weaker.
     
  14. immovablestone

    immovablestone Purple Belt

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    Maybe I've just lived in contaminated zones or something, but...

    Anyone could do a control at home. Cook a burger and leave it out, and watch as the thing rots and stinks you out of the experiment before you get to the 137 days, lol. I've never left a whole burger out, but in my crazy single days in my 20's I left cooked food both in and out of the sink/fridge at times and it's always an awful experience.

    Leave regular buns and breads IN their packaging, in the fridge even, and they will mold in like a month or less. Meat starts to rot something FIERCE if you leave it out, even cooked.
     
  15. dza76wutang

    dza76wutang Black Belt

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    I'm in the "mummified" burger camp. Probably just loaded w/ sodium/salt and cooked thoroughly so rotting agents like mold and bacteria can't get a foothold on it.
     
  16. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    One more point worth making...this whole thing completely side-steps the far more interesting and important question of, "Is (whatever preserves this burger) 'bad for me?'"

    I'm not endorsing or defending McDonalds. I think y'all should know me better than that right now. :D I am, however, cautioning against reflexively and blindly giving in to what are clearly appeals to emotion and sensibility.

    I mean, sure, at face value, "eat fat, get fat" makes perfect sense. Of course, we know the reality's a whole lot more complicated than that. Nonetheless, because of the mental/emotional resonance of "eat fat, get fat," it is an enduring belief...just an example.
     
  17. IDRISCKY

    IDRISCKY Purple Belt

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    Translation: "I'm going to Arby's"
     
  18. HannaMan

    HannaMan White Belt

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    LOL - Well played!
     
  19. xX~RUSH~Xx

    xX~RUSH~Xx Green Belt

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    Most preservatives are known to cause cancer and other diseases......
     
  20. xX~RUSH~Xx

    xX~RUSH~Xx Green Belt

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    Ever heard of humidity? Yea that is water in the atmosphere. Leave a cooked bun or just a plain bun on the counter for a month. It will have mold on it. Cook a steak or burger in ALOT of salt and leave it anywhere for a month or 2. They will be covered in mold.
     

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