The Round Table (Rational Pagans Forum)

Science & The Supernatural: A Discussion of the World Around us - Based on Science with an Interest in the Supernatural ...
It is currently 04 Aug 2020, 11:54

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2010, 08:59 
Offline
Grand Poobah
User avatar

Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
Posts: 5793
Location: Buffalo, NY
http://www.salon.com/food/food_technolo ... t_wont_rot

Quote:
Ever since Morgan Spurlock held up that jar of mysteriously well-preserved fries in "Super Size Me," the list of exhibits in the McDonald’s museum of food-that-refuses-go-bad has grown exponentially. The latest entrant is the Happy Meal Project, a burger and a packet of fries that have soldiered on undecayed for 143 days.

Started by New York photographer Sally Davies, as a part-art, part-food science experiment, the Happy Meal Project involves Davies documenting a Happy Meal every few days until it spoils. At day 137, the meal still looks pretty great.

And then there are other, more shocking examples of McDonald’s food's weird indestructibility: like this poor burger that’s been around for 12 years. This one managed to stave off mold for a year and this one’s been around the country in this lady’s purse for more than four years. Each experiment, of course, brings with it a new wave of fear and outrage over the chemicals and preservatives that are making our fast food almost inorganic.

For its part, McDonald’s has remained largely silent. The fast food giant’s Chinese arm released a statement this May to counter the hysteria over Joann Bruso’s year-long experiment. It announced that all its patties are made of 100 percent USDA-approved beef and are completely preservative-free. Sneakily, though, it made no mention of its fries, bread, cheese or sauce.

But preservatives alone may not be responsible for the fungus-resisting powers of a Happy Meal. Marion Nestle, chairwoman of New York University’s food studies program, told us over e-mail that McDonald’s would have to use "really a lot of" sodium propionate to prevent bacterial or mold growth.

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. They're crisper and thinner than regular fries, which means that they’re exposed to greater heat per surface area, killing pathogens and reducing water content. McDonald's fries are also coated in a nice, thick layer of salt, something we've been using as a natural preservative for the last 2,500 years.

The beef patty is also high in fat -- varying between 37 and 54 percent of the total caloric content -- and has been cooked at a high temperature. "It’s also very thin, which once again means high heat per surface area," says Sean O’Keefe, a professor of food science at Virginia Tech. Davies noted that over time, her patty just shrank and hardened, losing whatever moisture it once contained.

A regular McDonald’s sesame-seed bun contains calcium propionate and sodium propionate -- both preservatives. But the list of ingredients -- down to the preservatives -- is actually no different from what you’d find on the packaging of your average loaf of supermarket white bread. Wonder Light Enriched Buns, for example, are also loaded with calcium propionate. While neither list mentions quantities, it’s reasonable to assume that both are under the FDA-approved limit.

Ultimately, says O’Keefe, the McDonald’s haters have gotten their science wrong. "The ingredients are similar to anything you’d see in processed fast food," he says. For better or for worse, McDonald’s is no more a chemical laboratory of secret compounds designed to embalm us from the inside than any other processed food maker. A Happy Meal manages to stay unspoiled because it is fatty, salty and practically empty of nutrients -- which, really, are all good reasons to avoid it anyway.


Well, I knew it. Nice to see other people do as well.

_________________
Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2010, 07:31 
Offline
Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
Posts: 667
It isn't just mcdonalds food. I seem to remember a certain burger that sat on a loft in a dorm room for quite a bit of time....


....anyone else remember that burger? :wave:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2010, 15:45 
Offline
Devoté of Eros
User avatar

Joined: 25 Jul 2008, 18:51
Posts: 69
Location: Anns' Arbor, Michigan
McDonald's Secret Sauce: Vampire blood. :compress:

_________________
Sorcery, geek romance, and space invaders -- Black Hat Magick
Burning rubbber where angel's fear to tread -- Mill Avenue Vexations


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2010, 13:57 
Offline
Grand High Lord Admiral of Hell
User avatar

Joined: 10 Sep 2007, 13:14
Posts: 5726
Location: Buffalo, NY
HavenMage wrote:
It isn't just mcdonalds food. I seem to remember a certain burger that sat on a loft in a dorm room for quite a bit of time....


....anyone else remember that burger? :wave:


He did have an extraordinary lifespan. But he was -so- cute!

And yes, he had been anthropomorphized. There were some long nights working at The Spot in those days ...

Does The Spot even exist anymore? :umm:

_________________
If you can't stand the heat, don't tickle the dragon ...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2010, 05:57 
Offline
Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
Posts: 667
Hex wrote:
Does The Spot even exist anymore? :umm:


That is a very good question!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2010, 12:26 
Offline
Grand Poobah
User avatar

Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
Posts: 5793
Location: Buffalo, NY
not according tot he web, it doesn't. Maybe by a different name?

_________________
Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group