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.