This guy gets it. Addressing the pressing issue of why McDonald's burgers do not appear to rot -- ever -- he establishes the following theoretical framework.
Things we know so far:
- 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
Given those two facts, there are a number of theories as to why a McDonald's burger might not rot:
- 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
He then creates a formidable research design.
- 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
Read on for the results:
The Burger Lab: Revisiting the Myth of The 12-Year Old McDonald's Burger That Just Won't Rot (Testing Results!)
I was sure it was the salt!