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Re-thinking Fast Food

We all know fast food is bad for us, but eat it anyway.  Worst of all, we buy it for our children.  Simply put, it’s quick, easy and cheap. Yeah, we all know the excuses justifying why we did the drive-thru.   I’m hungry, it’s late, I need something quick, I don’t have enough money on me for anything else, my child won’t stop crying until I get him/her chicken nuggets. There are hundreds of excuses we use to justify our consumption of it.

Every morning I look at the health headlines on over a dozen different sites.  Over the last few weeks, there have been several different headlines with the same common denominator….McDonald’s. It’s not just McDonald’s per se, it’s all the fast food chains, however, McDonald’s just happens to be the poster child of the fast food industry.  Some of the headlines come as no surprise to me.  I’ve already heard about some of these reports years ago, however, some of these headlines have finally made their way to mainstream media.

If you haven’t gotten wind of some of the latest “McDonald’s” health news headlines, I’m going to summarize the two biggest stories for you, and once you’ve gotten the full picture of what you are not only feeding yourself, but your children, you may want to re-think your next visit to your favorite fast food chain.  Think about this, it’s not a matter of what you eat, but what your body does with the foods you eat.  When you look at the latest “fast food” headlines, it’s no wonder why dis-ease, cancer and illness is so prevalent not only amongst adults, but children as well.

The Stuff Doesn’t Rot!

Yes, that’s right.  Fast food doesn’t decompose.  There’s been documentation over the years that McDonald’s Hamburgers and French Fries do not decompose, however, I’m willing to bet that it’s not just McDonald’s and it’s not just the hamburger and fries.

A few weeks ago, the “Happy Meal Experiment “ story went viral.  In a nutshell, an artist purchased a Happy Meal, left it out on a shelf for six months, and took photographs of it over a six month time span.  The photographs showed that the food does not decompose.  Again, this story is nothing new.  There is a You Tube video documenting  the same thing from 2007, but for some reason, this time, it got the attention of the main stream media.  If you’re ready to be entertained, you should definitely check out this video.

Of all the reporting recently done on this story, the best coverage I read came from Why McDonald’s Happy Meal hamburgers won’t decompose – the real story behind the story.

Another favorite video you may want to check out is the Twinkie vs. Blowtorch. I can assure you, you will be thoroughly entertained on this one as well.

Moral of the story, if it doesn’t decompose (and I would be willing to bet the Twinkie doesn’t decompose either!) and if a blowtorch can’t burn it, what do you think happens to it in your digestive system and what kind of havoc do you think it will have on your immune and auto-immune system?

If this doesn’t gross you out, perhaps when you find out what one of your favorite or your child’s fast food treat is made out of, will get you to think twice about feeding this stuff to your kids or yourself.


Chicken Nuggets – The Frankenfood of Fast Food

What’s the number one food fast food item that every child, teenager and adult loves?  Chicken Nuggets.   How much of these tasty little bites are actually chicken?  Jamie Oliver demonstrated how chicken nuggets are made in his show Food Revolution, but he only scratched the surface.

When it comes to chicken nuggets, patties (and probably your favorite drive thru burger), parts is parts along with a laundry list of chemicals that are not safe for human consumption, yet, the FDA deems these foods to be “fit” for human consumption.

Before I share with you the chemicals that are used to make Chicken Nuggets, think about how this applies to the burgers, tacos and other popular fast food items you get at your favorite drive-thru.

Here is a  list of what makes up a Chicken McNugget straight from McDonald’s

Chicken, water, salt, sodium phosphates. Battered and breaded with: bleached wheat flour, water, wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, spices, wheat gluten, paprika, dextrose, yeast, garlic powder, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil with mono -and diglycerides, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), natural flavor (plant source) with extractives of paprika. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

So, what actually are some of these ingredients?  As reported by CNN , Dr. Mercola, Organic Authority,  and,  one of the listed ingredients, TBHQ is is a chemical preservative and a form of butane (AKA lighter fluid). One gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse,” according to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives. Five grams of TBHQ can kill you.

Dimethyl polysiloxane, a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties used in cosmetics and a variety of other goods like Silly Putty.

According to Organic Authority “Scariest perhaps is the fact that this recipe is a new and improved, “healthier” Chicken McNugget launched in 2003 after a federal judge called the deep-fried poultry bites “a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook.” Also terrifying is the fact that these McFrankenuggets are overwhelmingly marketed to children who love their fun shapes and kid-friendly size.”

I have just one more “nugget” to share with you from The Huffington Post if you want to get a visual of what this food-like substance looks like before it becomes the friendly little patty you and millions of children have grown to love.  Photo : Pre-Chicken Nugget Paste.

Bear in mind that not only are these wonderful little morsels made up of these wonderful chemicals that human body was not designed to ingest and digest, but most of your favorite fast food delicacies are mechanically separated meat.   Mmmmm…yummy.  So good for my tummy!

Here’s an update as reported by The Huffington Post

“UPDATE, 10/4/10: The story has been amended to reflect that although mass produced chicken nuggets at large may contain mechanically separated chicken, McDonald’s famous McNuggets no longer do contain “mechanically separated poultry as defined by the federal government. The USDA now requires foods with mechanically separated poultry to be labeled as containing “mechanically separated chicken or turkey” in their ingredients lists.

Additionally, although “mechanically separated meat” may apply to turkey, chicken and pork, due to concerns over BSE, the federal government has held since 2004 that mechanically separated beef “is considered inedible and is prohibited for use as human food.””

As you can see, the amount of information out there about these types of foods is endless and it’s difficult to find any good news about these types of foods.

The next time you’re thinking about visiting a fast food drive thru for your next meal or your child’s next meal, I do hope that the information I’ve provided you with helps you re-think that decision.

Organic Authority
Huffington Post

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  1. 2 Comment(s)

  2. By sal | Reply

    I watched Food Inc and there is a company that make a hamburger fille made with and rinsed with ammonia and they claim they are in 87% of the market and will be in 100% soon

  3. By sal | Reply

    I am now buying all my meats from a local harvest co-op, red meat, pork and poultry as well as all my produce!

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