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Is Processed Fast Food Really Food?

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When you consider the fact that a large number of the ingredients in a fast food meal exist nowhere in nature, but are rather concocted in a lab, the answer would have to be “no.”

Ever since the advent of the so-called TV dinner back in the 1950′s, the concept of “food” has expanded from meat, vegetables, raw dairy products, fruit and other such natural items to include the highly processed, preserved, artificially flavored and often brightly colored chemical concoctions.

But man simply was not designed to thrive on man-made chemicals.

How Can Bread Remain Mold-Free for Years?

Part of the embalmed-like feature of the meat patty can be explained by the fact it contains excessive amounts of sodium (salt), which is a natural preservative that has been used throughout history.

But what about the bun? What kind of bread can lie out for years on end without developing so much as a trace of mold?

The answer, I believe, is: a “bread-like” concoction that bears no real resemblance to natural bread.

According to McDonald’s website, their hamburger buns consist of:

“Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, enzymes), water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, yeast, soybean oil and/or partially hydrogenated soybean oil, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide, soy flour), calcium propionate and sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin.”

Interestingly, analyzing this list of ingredients offers clues not only for how these buns remain unblemished for years on end, but also to some of the health ramifications you may experience when eating a McDonald’s hamburger.

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90ís he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

53 comments

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12:04AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Saw the documentary "Super Size Me," and it was a real waker-upper. The sad thing is, McDonald has such slick advertising campaigns and fun play areas and themed toys in their "happy meals" that my grandkids beg to go there. It's hard to say no, but it has to be done.

1:38AM PST on Nov 12, 2011

Yes, we've all heard from nutritionists that we should eat "real food". yet they encourage us to drink diet sodas containing artificial sweeteners, that our bodies don't know what to do with, and actually make us fatter because our brains get tricked into thinking we got sugar. Then butter is "bad" because it has calories, even though it's real. Yet they promote margarine, that has so many chemical stabilizers in it that it can make you have intestinal problems.

So why is it that we are smart enough to know that fast food is bad, and understand it's not real food, but yet we want to eat unreal food like margarine and aspartame?

6:46PM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Duh, the "food" at McDisgusting is of course NOT real food at all...and I can't believe there are still people who think otherwise. People need education. I don't even think the salads are good. It's mostly iceberg lettuce with one or two veggies topped with fat laden dressing with lots of additives...

8:04PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Yeah it is not a good healthy choice, but the people who are chosing to eat it consistently are creating their OWN existence. I don't eat at McD and the others very rarely and always prefer home cooking.... and I get stressed when my kids want take out very often BUT I hate to say it, it bugs me to see everyone blaming fast food for the health issues and obesity epidemic. Are we not capable of making better choices? Can we not grab an apple? Eat a salad? Make a home made juicy burger? Roast a chicken? Thsi fight is getting old... no fast food is not easier.....no it is not cheaper.... and it definitely doesn't taste better. We just need to be smarter in our choices and our priorities.

1:02PM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

are you people aware that the fast food industry in the US is currently lobbying congress to allow food stamps to be used at fast food businesses?
start calling your reps NOW.

9:08PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

the comment below about vegans needing to be careful they get enough protein really shows ignorance about nutrition. protein is so easy to get from plants if you're not getting enough you're probably barely eating anything nutritious at all.

10:39AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

noted, thanks

6:20AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Fast Food is really bad for you, going Vegan was the best thing I ever did!

1:54AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Thanks for sharing. Let's eat real food!

7:10PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Not every food is capable of supporting life unassisted, and I don't believe that McDonalds has ever claimed that a diet consisting exclusively of the products they sell was sufficient for optimal health. There are MANY foods and combinations of foods which are not, by themselves, sufficient to sustain life and promote good health. Certain very healthy Vegan diets, for example, must carefully contain the right balance of the right sorts of foods in order to insure an adequate supply of protein. Take away one critical class of foods and those diets could become extremely hazardous to one's health.

Saying this is not food is like saying that candy or steak or brussel sprouts are not foods, because you can't survive on a diet consisting exclusively of one of them either.

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