That Happy Meal Is How Old?


happy meal disgustingIn another disgusting indictment of the horrible quality of McDonald's "food," an artist has created The Happy Meal Project. Sounds harmless enough, until you see what happens to the contents of a Happy Meal over a period of 143 days. Which is, nothing.

Sally Davies, the woman behind this project, decided to photograph the Happy Meal every few days to document the time it takes to spoil. While the burger is admittedly hard, the meal still looks like what you pulled out of your bag on Day One, hundreds of days later. No mold or decomposition -- just a chunk of processed food.

Over at Salon they explain how this could happen. One, of course, is that McDonald's menu items are highly processed, almost to the point of being inorganic. But less spooky explanations are still not making me jump for joy about the burger and fries target marketed to our kids.

McDonald's French fries, for example, which have repeatedly proven their hardiness to spoilage, contain citric acid as a preservative. But a bigger factor might be the fat content of the fries. About 50 percent of the total 250 calories contained in a small order of fries come from fat. "Anything that is high in fat will be low in moisture," says Barry Swanson, a professor at the Washington State University department of food science. And low moisture means less room for mold to grow.

The burger is also high in fat, pounded thin, and cooked at a high rate of heat, which will also decrease moisture.

So we can't blame the entire experiment on chemicals in the food, but instead a lovely combo of chemicals, fat, and sodium. Hungry yet?

Would you feed this to your kids?

Image via jasonlam/Flickr

eating out, food, healthy choices


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xavie... xavierlogan09

i might sound like a bad mom but i let my son have a few of my fries when we eat mc donald's. we hardly ever eat fast food but he likes the fries and chicken nuggets. i read that chicken nuggets are the healthiest thing on the menu. the salads have more fat than the big mac. he hasn't gotten sick from eating a few fries and chicken nuggets. 

hotic... hoticedcoffee

This has already been done by someone - she left a Happy Meal untouched on a shelf in her office for a year, and it looked exactly the same as the day she bought it.  I can't remember if she was a blogger or what, but the before and after pics were posted on the internet, along with the story. 

Fallaya Fallaya

Yesterday, I has the bacon ranch salad with lo-fat balsamic vinegaret (sp?), and it was only 300 calories, so it's NOT true that the salad have more fat than a big mac. 

I think this "study" is b.s.  To test my theory, I'm going to cook a hamburger, encase it in a bun, and I'm going to leave it sitting out on the counter for 143 days.  I'll update you via cafemom journal regarding my results.

I think people need to stop blaming McDonalds on their health issues.  no one is pointing a gun at you and forcing you to eat there.  It's kind of patheitc to bash a restaurant that has been around for so long and is apparently not going anywhere. 

Fallaya Fallaya

Also, McD's is offering a much healthier menu for children.  You can choose milk and apple slices instead of fries and a soda. Like I stated earlier, I went there yesterday and had a salad with grilled chicken.  If I had chosen a greasy burger, then that would been on ME, not McD's. The point is this: we need to start taking personal responsibility for OUR choices, good or bad. 


No, I do not feed my kid fast food.  I have seen other articles similar to this and it grosses me out. 

scien... science_spot

I would like to see the control used to prove mold would grow on other food when it did not grow on the burgers.  If my husband would let me, I would love to see what my burgers and mashed potatoes looked like after a few months. 

BaezBoyz BaezBoyz


I agree with everything you stated!

momof... momoflilangel

We eat fast food every once in awhile. No where near everyday. I think everything is fine in moderation (which means seldom)

sstepph sstepph

He's had it once. And only the fries.

Carey... Carey2006

Nope! (And to think I grew up eating that crap!)

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