Most of the foods we eat rot in just a couple of days or weeks, but that is not the case for McDonald's French fries and chicken nuggets. A woman from Alaska posted a photo of a Happy Meal on Facebook that she bought six years ago. However, the meal looks like it was served today. The photo has gone viral on social, and most of the people who saw it call for healthier food choices.
"It's been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard," Balanced Health Chiropractic owner Jennifer Lovdahl wrote in her Facebook post, which has been shared for more than 310,000 times.
Lovdahl also showed a photo of the receipt, which is dated Jan. 8, 2010. The Alaska-based chiropractor said she wants to show people how unhealthy fast food is. Based on the experiment, she concluded that the chicken nuggets and fries from McDonalds contain tons of chemical to prevent it from rotting. She added that these meals have tremendous amount of sodium that can harm our body.
She also advised people to eat healthier meals like apples, bananas, carrots--the real fast food according to her.
Lovdahl is not the only one who did this experiment; Serious Eats writer J. Kenji López-Alt also conducted a much more thorough study of fast food meals.
Lopez-Alt's findings strongly supports the idea that McDonald's burgers, and similarly-sized homemade burgers, don't rot because of dehydration. Based on his experiment, he found that 93% of the burger's moisture was lost in the first three days. Fast food meals do not rot easily because mold and bacteria can't grow without moisture. Therefore, if food is dry enough, it is unlikely to grow mold or bacteria or decompose.
The meal's freakish ability to remain preserved is troubling for experts. For fast food meals to remain preserved, it would need to have high sodium content.
For New York City registered dietitian Jessica Cording, she is concerned with the tremendous amount of sodium in these meals. She explained that excessive amount of sodium intake could lead to a variety of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure.
In a report from Yahoo Health, dietitian-nutritionist Gina Keatley said it is probably okay to have fast food as a special treat. However, she said the viral photo of McDonalds fries and chicken nuggets should serve as a "red flag" for regular consumers of fast food. Keatley explains that fast food meals contain an excessive amount of sodium, sugar, and fat.