Why McDonald's Food Never Decays
It's not because of chemicals
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2010 11:46 AM CDT
Updated Sep 5, 2010 7:37 AM CDT
A McDonald's quarterpounder and a large order of french fries is seen June 19, 2003 ... does it still look this good?   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A number of casual, relatively unscientific experiments with McDonald’s food have turned up a disturbing discovery: The food seemingly never decays. A Happy Meal still looks kinda appetizing after 143 days on a shelf; a 12-year-old hamburger looks relatively similar to a new one; one burger traveled around the country in a woman’s purse for more than four years. But it turns out it’s not—as widely theorized—chemicals and preservatives that are to blame for McDonald’s immortal food.

An expert tells Salon that fat is the real culprit: Both McD’s fries and burgers are very high in fat (50% of the calories in the fries are fat, and as much as 54% for the burgers), which means they’re low in moisture, which means there’s less room for mold to grow. (All that salt—nature's great preservative—on the fries doesn’t hurt either.) The buns contain preservatives, but no more than what you’d find in supermarket white bread. So if you’re looking to avoid McDonald’s, do it to avoid the fat and the salt—not the chemicals.

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
Oct 15, 2010 3:14 AM CDT
Greetings, after reviewing a few posts on various social networks, including most recently a news-article about mcdonalds burgers not going bad, we decided to do a test of our own. We are placing a Mcdonalds cheesburger in front of a cam, streaming it LIVE 24/7, for YOU to see what happens with it under normal room conditions (no editing, no cheating). We are launching our project on Friday Oct 15th at 12pm ET, please visit our website: www.watchmyburger.com we would like to hear your ideas and comments (you can post your comments on the website). Thank you, let us know if you have any questions or sugestions.
Oct 15, 2010 3:04 AM CDT
whatch what really happens to a mcdonalds burger LIVE at: www.watchmyburger.com
Oct 15, 2010 3:03 AM CDT
watch what really happens to a mcdonalds burger LIVE: www.watchmyburger.com