Monday, November 08, 2010

Mushrooms, Mold, and McDonald's, Day 17

By Monica

The story that McDonald's food is immortal and forever resistant to decomposition has gotten massive amounts of public attention. When Richard Nikoley blogged about my preliminary results, he made a perfect comment:

...everybody and their extended family has seen the hyperbole by Morgan Spurlock, Sally Davies, Mike Adams and others, has forwarded breathless emails to their entire address book, posted links to their Facebook pages and, how could they possibly resist...? Tweeted with self righteous glee.

Well, folks, it's time for a little reality check. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats just showed that McDonald's burgers do, indeed, rot. So did a blogger in China, back in May. And so did another blogger, again, way back in May.

But... how about the fries? McDonald's fries have different types of fats, plenty of salt, and preservatives. Mike Vaughan has a nice write-up on McDonald's fry ingredients, calling for an experiment on them.

On Oct. 21, before I knew about the other experiments that had been completed or were in the process of being conducted, I set up a well-controlled experiment to find out whether McDonald's burgers and fries rot or not, and if not, why not. In particular, I was interested in the lack of decomposition of the fries, observed by so many different people.

I have 18 different jars of McDonald's and homemade burgers and fries, and it's Day 17 of my experiment. And we've finally hit the mother lode of mold! Check it out:

McMold Day 17, Part III from Monica Hughes on Vimeo.

I'll save my commentary on this issue for another post.

What about the butter and the "not butter"s, you ask? There's nothing visible growing on any of them. Check back again for another update. As for the fries and the burgers, I'll be keeping them until they're too disgusting to keep anymore. When I throw away one set of fries, I'll throw away all of them. Likewise with the burgers. I won't be throwing away parts of the experiment before it's all over, as Morgan Spurlock did.

Stay tuned for next week's "McMold" update!

Correction: I incorrectly state in the video that 1/6 c. water was added to the foods. Actually, 1/3 c. water was added to burgers and fries. 1/6 c. water was used for the butter, margarine, and spreads.

Crossposted from Spark a Synapse.

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