In case you saw the story breathlessly reported by the media about how a teacher had kept a McDonald’s burger for six years and it hadn’t rotted, so this is proof they are covered in chemicals or preservatives.
Turns out that not only did the regular McDonald’s burgers not rot, but the home-ground burgers did not rot either. Samples one through five had shrunk a bit (especially the beef patties), but they showed no signs of decomposition. What does this mean?
It means that there’s nothing that strange about a McDonald’s burger not rotting.Any burger of the same shape will act the same way. The real question is, why?
Well, here’s another piece of evidence: Burger number 6, made with no salt, did not rot either, indicating that the salt level has nothing to do with it.
The key issue is the size of the burger. A bigger burger will grow mold as it will hold moisture for longer.
A further test was done:
So we’ve pretty much cleared up all of the confusion, but a keen scientist will notice that one question remains to be answered. We’ve proven that neither a McDonald’s burger nor a regular home-made burger will rot given certain specific conditions, but are there conditions we can create that will cause it to rot, and more importantly, will the McDonald’s burger rot as fast as the homemade burger?
The final two burgers I tested were a McDonald’s burger and a regular homemade burger of the same dimensions placed in plastic zipper-lock bags side by side. Hopefully the bag would trap in enough moisture. The question: Would they rot?
Indeed they do. Within a week, both burgers were nearly covered in little white spots of mold, eventually turning into the green and black spotted beast you see above.
So the global media story on this is basically bullshit.