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Back in 2008, Karen Hanrahan, of the blog Best of Mother Earth posted a picture of a hamburger that she uses as a prop for a class she teaches on how to help parents keep their children away from junk food… The hamburger she’s been using as a prop is the same plain McDonald’s hamburger she’s been using for what’s now going on 14 years. It looks pretty much identical to how it did the day she bought it, and she’s not had to use any means of preservation. The burger travels with her, and sits at room temperature.Now Karen is neither the first nor last to document this very same phenomenon. Artist Sally Davies photographs her 137 day-old hamburger every day for her Happy Meal Art Project. Nonna Joann has chosen to store her happy meal for a year on her blog rather than feed it to her kids. Dozens of other examples exist, and most of them come to the same conclusion: McDonald’s hamburgers don’t rot.
- A plain McDonald’s Hamburger, when left out in the open air, does not mold or decompose.
- In order for mold to grow, a few things need to be present: mold spores, air, moisture, and a reasonably hospitable climate
- There is some kind of chemical preservative in the beef and/or bun and/or the wrapping that is not found in a normal burger and/or bun that creates an inhospitable environment for mold to grow.
- The high salt level of a McDonald’s burger is preventing the burger from rotting.
- The small size of a McDonald’s hamburger is allowing it to dehydrate fast enough that there is not enough moisture present for mold to grow
- There are no mold spores present on McDonald’s hamburgers, nor in the air in and around where the burgers were stored.
- There is no air in the the environment where the McDonald’s hamburgers were stored
- Sample 1: A plain McDonald’s hamburger stored on a plate in the open air outside of its wrapper.
- Sample 2: A plain burger made from home-ground fresh all-natural chuck of the exact dimensions as the McDonald’s burger, on a standard store-bought toasted bun.
- Sample 3: A plain burger with a home-ground patty, but a McDonald’s bun.
- Sample 4: A plain burger with a McDonald’s patty on a store-bought bun.*
- Sample 5: A plain McDonald’s burger stored in its original packaging.
- Sample 6: A plain McDonald’s burger made without any salt, stored in the open air.
- Sample 7: A plain McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, stored in the open air.
- Sample 8: A homemade burger the exact dimension of a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder.
- Sample 9:A plain McDonald’s Angus Third Pounder, stored in the open air
93% of the moisture loss in a regular burger occurs within the first three days
how do you think beef jerky is made?
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