A while ago, there was a rash of postings all over the internets about the sinister Happy Meal That Would Not Die or the utterly disturbing McDonald’s hamburger that had been preserved since, I don’t know, the last ice age or something. The conclusion of the woman with the ancient hamburger is:
Ladies, Gentleman, and children alike – this is a chemical food. There is absolutely no nutrition here.
Note: everything is made of chemicals. Everything.
This even got a mention on Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe (#274), with many a good hypothesis as to why a hamburger might act this way. It was something that definitely could be tested scientifically, and no one had bothered.
Every day, I monitored the progress of the burgers, weighing each one, and carefully checking for spots of mold growth or other indications of decay. The burgers were left in the open air, but handled only with clean kitchen tools or through clean plastic bags (no direct contact with my hands until the last day).
This is why I love, love, love reading Serious Eats. Some of the contributors are made of 100% pure WIN.
Read the post, but the punchline is that the author made his own (“all-natural”) hamburger the same size as the McDonald’s one and set them head to head. They both dehydrated nicely and turned into hamburger jerky. This comes as no surprise to anyone who doesn’t ascribe to the idea that McDonald’s is trying to destroy the world by feeding everyone food made out of plastic. Or whatever.
Of course, it’s a small sample size and yadda yadda. We must need some replication! It sounds like an awesome way to flavor the air of your house with the stench of old hamburger. This would, I think, make an EXCELLENT science fair experiment for a kid with extremely tolerant parents.