If you’ve been following my “Not Lovin’ It” series on ingredients in McDonald’s foods, you’ve already seen some disgusting and shocking ingredients in McNuggets and French fries. Many people contacted me to ask “what’s in those burgers?” I have to admit, even though I haven’t eaten a McDonald’s burger in many years, I too have wondered what’s in them. Before I share information from McDonald’s own ingredient lists, let’s consider the processing of their burgers.
There’s been a tremendous amount of controversy over McDonald’s burgers since celebrity chef Jamie Oliver demonstrated how meat scraps and sinew are spun in a centrifuge and “washed” with ammonium hydroxide, which has also become known as ”Pink Slime.“ This chemical is used in fertilizers and cleaning products. According to Oliver it is used in 70 percent of ground beef in the United States but does not require inclusion on ingredient lists because the US Department of Agriculture classifies it as a “process” not an “ingredient” even though residues of this process are left behind in the meat consumed. He says, ”Basically, we‘re taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest way for dogs, and after this process, is being given to human beings.”
Recently, McDonald’s announced that “we made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated beef in our hamburgers.” But, there is no way to know if it is still in use at McDonald’s, other than to trust McDonald’s to do what it says. As an aside, McDonald’s reportedly never used pink slime-treated beef in the UK and Ireland, but was comfortable including it in North American burgers.
Before you decide whether you want to trust McDonald’s let’s take a look at ingredients in their burgers (according to the company’s own website) along with some information I’d like to share about these ingredients.
Here are the burger ingredients:
Beef Patty—according to the corporation, it is using 100 percent pure beef. The moniker “100% pure” actually means nothing. It may or not be pure. We really don’t know for sure whether McDonald’s is using Pink Slime in its processes and whether its beef is among the 70 percent of ground beef in North America that contains Pink Slime.
Grill Seasoning contains “salt, spice (pepper), sunflower oil (‘as a processing aid’).” Most sunflower oil used in commercial processes has been heated to extreme temperatures prior to use. This process denatures the oil, causing it to become inflammatory when consumed.
Ketchup—contains “tomato paste (made from fresh ripe tomatoes), liquid sugar, white vinegar, salt, onion powder, and spices.” Liquid sugar is usually high fructose corn syrup which is almost always from genetically-modified corn and has been linked to obesity. “Spices” can actually mean any number of ingredients, including herbs, but it can also include monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is commonly found in most fast, processed, and even restaurant foods. Monosodium glutamate is frequently used in laboratories to create obese animals for testing. Here’s an example of this practice. And another.
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