The truth behind the everlasting Happy Meal!

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by soulx, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. soulx

    soulx GBAtemp Legend

    Apr 4, 2009
    The internet was totally grossed out recently by images that showed a McDonald's hamburger sitting out in the open for six months without decomposing or rotting. But one blogger dug a bit deeper, and it turns out no hamburgers rot.

    Well, no burgers that are roughly the shape and size of McDonald's plain burger, anyway. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats was tired of people slagging off the Happy Meal burger without any real scientific sense of what was going on. The Happy Meal burger doesn't rot, sure, but he wanted to know why it doesn't rot.

    To figure out just that, Lopez-Alt set up a little experiment. He'd leave a Happy Meal burger out, unwrapped, just like the previous slideshows had shown. But he'd also make his own burger out of ground chuck and put it on a store-bought bun and leave that out too. And along with those two he'd whip up pretty much every variation on the theme:

    Sample 1: A plain McDonald's hamburger stored on a plate in the open air outside of its wrapper.
    Sample 2: A plain burger made from home-ground fresh all-natural chuck of the exact dimensions as the McDonald's burger, on a standard store-bought toasted bun.
    Sample 3: A plain burger with a home-ground patty, but a McDonald's bun.
    Sample 4: A plain burger with a McDonald's patty on a store-bought bun.*
    Sample 5: A plain McDonald's burger stored in its original packaging.
    Sample 6: A plain McDonald's burger made without any salt, stored in the open air.
    Sample 7: A plain McDonald's Quarter Pounder, stored in the open air.
    Sample 8: A homemade burger the exact dimension of a McDonald's Quarter Pounder.
    Sample 9: A plain McDonald's Angus Third Pounder, stored in the open air

    Rigorous! So what happened? Did the regular "real" burgers shrivel up into a moldy beef balls while the Mickey D's chemical pucks remained impervious to bacteria?

    Nope. None of the skinny burgers showed signs of rot. It was only the quarter pounders—both the McDonald's one and the homemade one—that got funky. So the no-rot phenomenon isn't a matter of substance, Lopez-Alt concluded, but rather one of size:

    The burger doesn't rot because it's small size and relatively large surface area help it to lose moisture very fast. Without moisture, there's no mold or bacterial growth. Of course, that the meat is pretty much sterile to begin with due to the high cooking temperature helps things along as well. And what about when you put a Happy Meal burger in a bag, where the moisture can get trapped?

    image in spoiler

    Yup. Rot.

    Basically, Lopez-Alt's findings confirm that McDonald's official response to the hoopla—bacteria needs moisture; dehydrated food won't rot—wasn't a load of shit. The scientific method! It's a beautiful thing.
    Image of Happy Meal Burger in Bag

    [​IMG] Source

    I'm going to McDonalds to buy a Happy Meal now. [​IMG]
  2. metamaster

    metamaster GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Mar 7, 2010
    I saw this a few months ago, some guy has kept burgers for years.

    He says it's because of what the burger is made of, not the size.
  3. Sephxus

    Sephxus GBAtemp Fan

    May 27, 2010
    United States
    Pomona, CA
    Nice findings, but mcdonalds still makes burgers basically from thrash.

    The sad thing is that people know this and still eat it.
  4. Depravo


    Global Moderator
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    Oct 13, 2008
    That's because it's tasty shit.
  5. Sephxus

    Sephxus GBAtemp Fan

    May 27, 2010
    United States
    Pomona, CA

    Edit: However, people should know where their food comes from and see it from themselves. Many people have heard mcdonalds food is crap, but many have not actually seen it themselves.
  6. SamAsh07

    SamAsh07 GBAtemp Addict

    Jan 27, 2009
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    whatever it is, mcdonalds is tasty!! Now to go buy me some happy meals!
  7. Forstride

    Forstride The rudder moves when I turn the wheel

    May 6, 2008
    United States
    Pittsburgh, PA
    So where does this oh so craptastic food that still seems to be sold more than anything else in the world come from, that's so horrific and unbelievable? Even if it's from somewhere really nasty, people don't care, because the food tastes good, and it's clearly not killing anyone (I mean that by stuff in the food, not from obesity or anything) or having bad side effects (Again, not including obesity).
  8. Infinite Zero

    Infinite Zero Almost!

    Apr 25, 2010
    United States
    I just a burger from McDonald's. [​IMG] GAH. Need to stop doing so already..
  9. PeregrinFig

    PeregrinFig A miserable little pile of secrets

    Jun 18, 2010
    United States
    Exactly. I saw the thing on here a few weeks ago talking about how the McChicken patties were made from a pink goop treated with ammonia, then artificially flavored and colored. That made me think "Hmm, a McChicken sounds good right now", so I went out and had one.
  10. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

    Jan 22, 2009
    United States
    Exactly, but I recall it being regular chicken...
  11. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    Apr 4, 2006
    Including you, apparently. [​IMG]
  12. GundamXXX

    GundamXXX Ergo Ego

    Sep 25, 2007
    Im in luck!

    Maccas over here sucks ass, I know the Maccas in Australia and US arent TOO bad tasting but the ones in Europe really suck ass and the produce is even more inferiour then the US or Australian produce

    But its bad for you either way, and its cheaper to make your own hamburgers!!!!! AND WAY TASTIER

    so yea, mince your own cow and make pwn burgers