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People will devour fast-food regardless of horrific facts

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 00:02

Taylor Likens | The Houstonian

Taylor Likens | The Houstonian

Most people know that McDonalds food can sit for approximately ten minutes before transforming from greasy joy into salt-flavored mush. But some sources are claiming that the Big Mac may live on as the one of the undead. In a sense.

Blogger Karen Hanrahan, claims to have carried in her possession a 14-year-old McDonald’s burger that she utilizes during health lectures. With no mold or decay to be found, the burger seems determined to someday live to haunt future generations.

I would hardly call myself anything more than a humble burger connoisseur--by no means an expert on health or transporting plutonium--but the thought of consuming another one of these burgers horrifies me. If I were not on the verge of spilling my insides I would, here and now, swear an oath to never again touch that sludge from McDonalds, or any other fast food chain.

Of course, that was a complete, shameless lie. Merely discussing the subject now has me lusting for a Big Mac and I would expect the same of most others. One imagines a legion of obese consumers chewing away while reading about the immortal burger, shrugging with disinterest before going on to wonder why McDonalds doesn’t carry Mountain Dew.

Or is it really that big of a deal? If you’re the sort of person to trust what a women who carries around 14-year-old burgers has to say then you might want to reconsider.

The Chief Creative Officer over at the Serious Eats website tackled the subject with an interesting experiment in which he used various burgers, buns and recipes. Surprisingly, he found that not a single one of them decomposed when left in the open air, regardless of what they were composed of. Given the slightest encouragement however, such as being sealed in a Ziploc bag to lock in their moisture, they didn’t just mummify into an unholy meant-raisin but molded up just as God/Allah/Vishnu/Darwin intended.

The science? Apparently the moisture in burgers dries up relatively fast--quickly enough that bacteria and mold, which require moisture to flourish, can’t really get much of a foothold.

Although certainly entertaining news, the urban legend of the immortal burger is significantly less alarming than it sounds. Of course, this won’t change the fact that Facebook and Twitter will light up with cries of concern. Ironic, considering that most Americans would sooner throat punch their own mothers than they would ever consider cutting out the fast-food.

Then again, sensationalism has always been a major selling point for health fanatics (and just about everyone else). The closest Americans have ever come to health awareness is the laughably sensationalist documentary “Supersize Me,” in which a vegan (of all people) force-feeds himself greasy burgers for a month, eats far beyond his threshold, gains weight then acts surprised about it. “Supersize Me” caused a shockwave that pressured McDonalds to decrease its portion size and is now one of the most well-known documentaries ever made, despite somehow managing to be both skewed and unnecessary.

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