What’s in a Fast Food Burger?
Last week, McDonald’s announced that they would stop using ammonia-treated trimmings in their hamburgers. Dubbed “pink slime” by a USDA microbiologist, ammoniated beef is one of many surprises found in fast food burgers. In the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, anatomic pathologists at the Cleveland Clinic dissected burgers from 8 different fast food chains to see what was inside. Their research paper entitled “Fast food hamburgers: what are we really eating?” is profiled in my NutritionFacts.org video pick for the day, shown above.
The pathologists saw Sarcocystis parasites in a quarter of the burgers. What percentage of retail U.S. beef samples in general are infested with these parasites? (Find out in USDA Parasite Game.) What percentage of U.S. lambs are infected with Toxoplasma parasites? (Watch Brain Parasites in Meat.) What percentage of fish fillets are ridden with Anisakis worms? (See Allergenic Fish Worms.)
Besides parasites, what else might be lurking in our meat supply?
- Anabolic Steroids in Beef (3 min.)
- Heterocyclic Amines in Chicken (2 min.)
- Arachidonic Acid in Chicken and Eggs (1 min.)
- Prozac Residues in Fish (1 min.)
- Putrescine in Canned Fish (2 min.)
In 2008, the same research group applied their expertise to evaluate hot dogs. Find out what percentage of a frankfurter they determined to be muscle meat in What Is Really in Hot Dogs?
You may not want to know.
Michael Greger, M.D.
Image credit: Dois Espressos / Flickr