The Scientifically Tested and Authenticated Truth About McDonald’s Hamburgers

I wish they would just give McDonald’s a break.  As if the media hoopla frenzie surrounding Supersize Me* were not enough, now there’s the McChemical burger we’ve all supposedly been eating.  Unless you live under a rock inside of a cave, you know about the 12-year-old hamburger that has yet to decompose.  Or the blog that photographs their 90-day-old hamburger daily.  Or some other blog/website/meme that claims McDonald’s food is a chemical victory for science and that of course there is no nutritional value whatsoever to be found there.

Here’s the thing about scientific analysis: experiments must be conducted with a control group.  Sitting a single burger on your table and watching it not rot when we all know it should doesn’t mean anything.  You need a control for comparison.  Placing a hamburger you cook yourself in your own kitchen next to a McDonald’s hamburger and watching them both for a week might tell us something.  Or placing a burger from McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King side by side could yield results that are meaningful.  All of the “experiments” we’ve seen so far are just like declaring that smoking is not hazardous to your health because your grandmother smokes and is 95.

The Food Blog Serious Eats is out to discover the truth.  We will have to wait for the results (decomposition takes time you know) but the variables have been isolated and the experiment is afoot.  Click here for the whole story. And I for one will be checking in.

*So what’s my gripe with Supersize Me? In his experiment, he decided to eat 3 meals a day at McDonald’s for a month.  What is that supposed to prove anyway?  Who would do that?  We would all die just as quick eating Taco Bell 3 times a day, or only donuts for food 3 times a day.  A condition of the experiment was that if he would always answer “yes” if they asked about supersizing his meal.  I love McDonald’s; and Wendy’s and Burger King.  But I have never supersized my meal once, ever, period.  The give you more fries and bigger drink.  I’m not that crazy about fries, and refills are free.  I drink diet anyway, but that’s not the point.  He ate McDonald’s 3 times a day for a month, supersized his meal each times they offered, and the whole world was shocked at his weight gain and blood pressure.  (On a side note, the world is filled with idiots.)  This was not a scientific experiment.  This is a best selling book AND MOVIE about a guy that gorged himself on McD’s like a sumo wrestler and then concluded eating there is unhealthy.

1) You don’t have to supersize your meal just because they offer, just like I have never purchased an extending protection plan when buying anything at Wal-Mart, Office Depot, etc.

2) They have grilled chicken sandwhiches at McDonald’s, as well as half a dozen salads.  The fruit and yogurt parfait is awesome.

Bottom line – you can eat reasonably healthy or kill yourself at any restaurant.  Supersize Me was a publicity stunt and total BS all day long.  Why has nobody written a book about eating enormous omelet sandwiches everyday for a month?  McDonald’s, like every place that wants to stay in business, is simply offering what we are buying.  It’s not their fault we’re fat.

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About Clark Bunch

Clark Bunch is the pastor of Unity Baptist Church and author of God is Near. He and his wife Teresa have one child. In his spare time he enjoys blogging, playing guitar and riding his motorcycle. And coffee, he'd be nowhere without coffee.
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5 Responses to The Scientifically Tested and Authenticated Truth About McDonald’s Hamburgers

  1. dell90wattac says:

    I don’t think you get the point of Super Size Me. Obviously eating too much of anything is bad, but that wasn’t the point he was trying to make. Believe it or not, there are many MANY Americans who eat fast food every single day (maybe not every meal, of course). His experiment wasn’t just about how fat he got, it was also a look into how addicting fast food is. It came to a point where if he didn’t eat the fast food, he’d be sick, yet the more he ate, the sicker he got. There are a lot more facts in Super Size Me that just “LOOK HE EAT MCDONALDS AND GOT FAT!”.

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    • dell90wattac says:

      And I just want to point out that I hate 95% of fast food. I will only eat Wendy’s burgers or their wraps. Everything else makes me sick minutes after I eat it.

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    • Clark Bunch says:

      The problem is that most people didn’t get the point of Supersize Me (assuming that you’re right about what the real point is). My problem is that when I say something like “We’re heading to McDonald’s” some random person goes “You didn’t see Supersize Me? I’ll never eat there again.” Whatever the intended effect, that has been the actual effect. And of course I neither watched nor read it and never will. Eating a Enormous (there’s now a Meatnormous Omelet Sandwich at Burger King or a 3-stack Baconator from Wendy’s would be just as bad or worse, but people think McDonald’s in particular is the problem. McDonald’s was my favorite restaurant for a long time, and Supersize Me really pissed me off.

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      • dell90wattac says:

        Ah, I see your point. But honestly, if a show, no matter if the main point is skewed, gets some Americans to stop eating fast food, is it really such a bad thing? Obviously fast food is bad for people, so is it so horrible that a documentary actually got people to start thinking twice about munching down seventeen big macs?

        BTW, I stopped liking McDonalds before I saw Super Size Me because their food made me sick.

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      • Clark Bunch says:

        Is fast food bad for you? Yes. Is McDonald’s in particular any worse than Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC or Pizza Hut? No, but that’s the impression that many people walk away from Supersize Me with. The Supersize rant was just a tangent from the original post; I guess I should have got all this out of my system a long time ago.

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