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McDonald's Scraps Composting Program Because Food Won't Decompose

Green Lifestyle  (tags: McDonald's, composting, food, green, greenliving )

- 3199 days ago -
McDonald's announced this morning that it would discontinue plans for a worldwide composting initiative after scientists confirmed that no item on the McDonald's menu is compostable.


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Sharon Balloch (127)
Friday May 14, 2010, 12:01 pm
That is because none of it is food...

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday May 14, 2010, 12:19 pm


[From the link within the article] According to Joann Bruso, who put a Happy Meal on a shelf for one year, then re-examined it:

"NOPE, no worries at all. My Happy Meal is one year old today and it looks pretty good. It NEVER smelled bad. The food did NOT decompose. It did NOT get moldy, at all. ...

I think ants, mice and flies are smarter than people, because they weren't fooled. They never touched the Happy Meal. Children shouldn't either."

Jodi B (28)
Friday May 14, 2010, 12:31 pm
this article, upon closer examination says this is an April fool's joke. Not that I would suggest any one should actually eat that nasty McDonald's food but.....

Heather Andrews (340)
Friday May 14, 2010, 1:20 pm, gross. I'm sure it does wonders on our bellies, too.

Roseann d (178)
Friday May 14, 2010, 1:27 pm
It is an April Fool's joke....but the best dang April Fool's joke ever because it's so believable!

. (0)
Friday May 14, 2010, 2:30 pm
You're right, Roseann and Jodi. This was an April Fool's joke.

OF COURSE McDonald's food will decompose. As would any hamburger or french fry or egg biscuit that you might make at home.

S C (1)
Friday May 14, 2010, 4:25 pm
Joke or not, it's creepy and if this "urban legend" can stop people from eating that crud, we're probably all better off.

Saturday May 15, 2010, 1:03 am

samantha pankey (2)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 2:49 am
OK, that's scary and disgusting

Mike M (40)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:19 am
And people think they clown is creepy

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:24 am
People, this article was meant as a JOKE. It isn't real. McDonald's food is no different from anyone else's food in terms of being able to decompose.

Again - the article was an April Fool's Joke.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:31 am
I've got to say that this is really a fascinating example of how so many people will believe anything they read on the internet if it reinforces their own preconceptions.

Common sense alone tells you that this article is a joke. Think about it - do you really believe that ground beef doesn't decompose? Or bread? Or cheese? Or potatoes? Or eggs? Or bacon? Or lettuce? Or tomatoes? All things on the McDonald's menu.

Junk food is no different than what many of you call 'healthy' food when it comes to its molecular structure. It may be higher in calories or have more fat (or whatever) - but it still is perfectly compostable.

For heaven's sake, think about something before just taking it as true. Some things are so very obviously wrong (or are meant as a joke) that very simple logic will tell you that you shouldn't believe them.


. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:48 am
And, my apologies. I was a little harsh there. While this really was an obvious fake, I suppose all of us are taken in at times.

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 5:03 am
I don't think this was a healthy 'joke', April Fool's Day or not. Since things like this can hurt a business' revenue once the joke starts making the rounds and being passed along by those who think it's factual. You're right, Lindsey, most of us are taken in by things sometimes but so much of the time it's avoidable if we really look at the facts and the sources.

It's a good piece of propoganda, though.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 5:29 am
That's true, Kate Beckett. It can be used for propoganda (and I'm sure it will be by some.)

I suppose I get so frustrated over issues like this because I see it as part of a larger problem - a tendency among humans to believe that for which there is no credible evidence provided. We all have our hot-buttons and when they're pushed so many of us tend to jump on the bandwagon without really considering the matter (I'm guilty of that at times myself). The Internet is such a wonderful tool, but it has so many dangers as well. Today we're exposed to far more in the way of information than our ancestors could have dreamed of, and so much of it is mere opinion presented as facts or sometimes just outright garbage. And so many, especially our children, haven't been given the proper logical tools with which to evaluate the credibility of any individual part of that flood of information.

It just really does frustrate me.

Elizabeth Schauki (13)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 5:35 am
That's funny, kind of like the Onion stories I've seen. Thanks Roseann.

Destiny Atienza (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 6:31 am
Yeah, that goes to show how UNNHEALTHY and FAKE McDonald's food is. That's just sad and disgusting.

pam w (139)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 6:54 am
(Lindsey, are your eyebrows raised?)

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 7:26 am
It's hardly "fake food", Destiny. It's real food.

And in moderation as part of an otherwise well-balanced diet, OK. Many things, even involving perfectly healthy activities, can be harmful in excess. Peanuts, for example, are entirely natural and a good source of nutrition. But they're high in calories and in excess are therefore unhealthy (and can even kill those who have a nut allergy.)

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 7:37 am
Definitely all things in moderation. We don't have to strive for perfection to be healthy overall.

pat B (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 8:13 am
We all have to eat REAL food !

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 11:53 am
LOL, my parent heard about McDonalds food not decomposing MANY years ago, so they bought a plain hamburger and a small fry. This was MANY MANY YEARS AGO. They still look as good today as they did the day they were bought. THIS IS NO JOKE. My parents proved it to themselves.

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:04 pm
I decided to click on every link provided in the story. All of them resulted in this msg:
"April Fools’ Day, suckas!"

EXCEPT ONE. This link; no item on the McDonald's menu is compostable.(the 2nd one in the article, went to a real story, titled:
"looking good for your age
A Happy Meal still looks ‘fresh’ on its first birthday" by Ashley Braun.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:14 pm
Sorry, DeannaGiggles, their french fries, which fell underneath my car seat did show signs of wear and tear by the time I sold my car. Proof that the food is not plastic!

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:24 pm
Ugh. That explains why so many frequent McDonald goers are obese - it stays inside of them.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:25 pm
Again, how is a McDonald's tomato, for example, any different than the ones in my refrigerator right now?


A Happy Meal is not going to look the same after a year has passed. McDonald's does not have special cows that produce meat which doesn't degrade with time like all other beef. They don't use bread which doesn't degrade with time like all other bread. Their mayo doesn't stay fresh while all other mayo goes bad.

Point us to legitimate scientific studies which say, as this joke article states, that no part of McDonald's menu degrades and is compostable and we'll consider the question. Otherwise - IT'S A JOKE!

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:30 pm
Are we so far gone as a society that we cannot think for ourselves?

Are we so unintelligent that we cannot see when we are being had?

Whatever one's views on eating meat or junk food may be, the fact is that simple common sense - COMMON SENSE - will tell anyone that this article is untrue.

I no longer care about trying to be polite. I've had a rotten day and don't feel like mincing my words. THINK!

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:37 pm
Dearest Lindsey,
It isnt' the condiments that make a hamburger or fries. Those things most likely will get moldy, even in the fridge.
But why get upset. It will only cost you $2 plus tax to find out for yourself. Buy a plain burger and small fry. Make sure there is NOTHING on it. Then put them in the fridge. After awhile, they'll be hard, but still not moldy. At a certain point, you can take them out of the fridge, and they will only get dusty, but NEVER moldy.

Hey Chana,
Did you know that margarine is one molecule away from being plastic? (giggle)

Back to you Lindsey,
i'm really sorry you are having a rotten day. I hope it gets better.


Chris C (5)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:40 pm
This makes me glad I sold my McDonald's stock.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:42 pm
Lindsey, people on care2 are not higher on the IQ scale than the rest of the population, even though you would like to think so.

Deanna: I never eat margarine. It tastes icky. I like the real stuff.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:45 pm
Okay, here's the real test: my parrot eats them. Unlike dogs, who will eat anything, Einstein only eats real food. Food with flavor. True, he likes junk food like Cheetos and freeze pops, but he does not eat plastic or paper or food that does not rot. Therefore I have to clean out his cage.

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:47 pm
Hello folks ... check the link ... this was an APRIL FOOLS DAY JOKE!!!!!

Kristine c (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:49 pm
Lindsey DTSW, makes me wonder why something like this bothers you so much. You are either an employee of the McDonalds corporation or you work for the industry that supplies the McDonalds corporation? The fast food industry is just as much to blame for their reputation as the consumer is for supporting it.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 12:52 pm
Kris, I'm a paralegal in a family law firm - hardly an employee of McDonald's. And I'm also vegetarian so I don't eat at McDonald's.

It bothers me, as I said, because it is indicative of a much more important problem. That of people not thinking critically about issues before accepting them as true. It's a major problem in our society and affects every one of us.

Nancy M (147)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 1:22 pm
I think the article is quite funny. Thanks Roseann. Just another example of just how GULLIBLE people will be. (which is what is upsetting Lindsey so much, I am guessing)

Deanna, any food put unwrapped into the fridge will dry out. The lack of water will then mean that "germs" can't grow. Put that same food into a plastic container and believe me, it will grow plenty of something. Not that a refrigerator is the same as a compost pile. The lower temperature, of course, slows done the break down, which is why we use refrigerators, isn't it.

Craig Zimmerman (86)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 1:33 pm
I am storing Big Macs in my fallout shelter. They will keep for years.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 1:44 pm
Make sure you also store an MD in your fallout shelter so that when you get food poisoning, you'll be all set.

Patricia N (41)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 1:50 pm
And to think people eat this junk and feed it to their kids.

Vivien Green (153)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 2:14 pm
noted. Thank you Roseann. Glad I don't eat McDonalds.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 2:26 pm


Get it?

Kristine c (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 2:50 pm
Lindsey, I am a vegetarian as well and I understand your frustration. If people know about composting, that's good, if people have acknowledged that the food in fast food chains is less than nutritious, that's good, if people care enough to read this article and comment, that's good.
However, our society has become overwhelmed with "experts" and for everyone to have the time to investigate every subject would be unrealistic. I hope your comments will give people the incentive to perform their due diligence and investigate the subject if they feel it's important in their lives.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 3:19 pm
I think Lindsey's mistake, Kris, was falsely assuming that the people who post messages here actually read the articles they post comments about.

Nancy M (147)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 3:38 pm
As for storing Big Macs in a fallout shelter, well, I'd be more afraid of the green fuzzies in the fall out shelter than of the "big one".

And yes, everyone feels they are an expert now thanks to much of the cr*p on the internet. And of course, they distrust the real experts.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 3:45 pm

Deanna T (1)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:47 pm
Stopping it isnt the answer. Using real food is... and they can look at getting eco friendly containers

Chris peters (48)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 6:33 pm
An old farmer doing the farm report on the radio. laughed and said that he was pre-growing Corn Seed and found that the Corn would NOT grow until he added the Fertilizer.....THAT IS NOT REAL FOOD......IT IS A CHEMICAL THAT IS ACTIVATED BY ANOTHER CHEMICAL TO GET A DESIRED RESULT......That is why the food is not breaking down, anymore, than people are not decomposing upon death...We need NO embalming.,because we have so many preservatives in our bodies, it takes a long time for our bodies to break down. ...That is why MC Donald's composting is not working.. The 5 major Agra Corporations have modified or poisoned the crops with pesticides and fertilizers, which I understand is 90% of the world's food supply..... None of this is really news... ..

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 6:36 pm
Actually, Chris, bodies still decompose. Ask any cop. Or funeral director. Or M.E.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 6:48 pm
How interesting.

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 7:23 pm
doesn't surprise me at all

Edward Riordan (53)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 7:23 pm
In 1973 I was working at Kansas beef industries in Wichita Kansas. We ran an order of meat for Mcdonald's and I have not eaten there since. It turns out they have been in federal court for selling meat that was not for human consumption several times over the years.

. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 7:27 pm
And anyone who's worked in a restaurant - even a high end restaurant - thinks twice before eating in a restaurant.

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 8:54 pm
Ah Nancy,
Try the experiment with an organic hamburger and a McDonalds burger. I know that if I leave fruit or veggies unwrapped in the fridge, they'll get moldy. If I leave my organic bread out of the fridge it will mold faster than if I put it in the fridge. And since I don't eat that much bread, I have to keep it in the freezer to keep it from getting moldy.
The reason for preservatives is not to keep our food fresh. It's to keep it from spoiling before it gets to market. It's the only way to insure that it will LOOK good enough to buy. The same reason red dye is injected into beef.

Chana, if I weren't allergic to soy, I'd be a vegan. But I'm not ready to give up cheese. I have discovered coconut milk and almond milk, both of which lasts longer than cows milk. Nice.


Kacy T. (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 9:47 pm
This is funny because it's so believable. Glad it isn't true though.

. (1)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 10:00 pm
Nor will it digest for the next 1,00 years!

Philippa P (154)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 10:42 pm
Personally, I won't eat anything from McDonalds.

Andrea M. M. (3)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 11:09 pm
April fool's joke or not, I have taken my kids to McDonald's cleaned out the car months later, and found the McDonald's food scraps dropped between my son's baby seat and the car wall, still looking the same but rock hard. I suspect that this April Fool's joke was made by McDonald's do they can put out the propaganda that McDonald's food fossilizing rather than composting is an "April Fool's Joke" (technically a true statement, but making the deceptive implication that McDonald's food composts rather than fossilzes. Clever propaganda, McDonald's, but I'm not fooled. Your food does fossilize.

Ram Ksa (9)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 11:31 pm
Oh Great Not Compostable inside and outside. So better avoid eating to get rid of not compostable inside your stomac,and also save not to throw it for avoiding not compostable outside. McDonald should do further research for simple and afordable food for the general public.

Edward M (8)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 3:28 am
If it is true(unlikely), then the unthinkable will have to be applied with all haste and that is to decommission McDonalds. Really not a bad idea!

Past Member (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:01 am
Andrea - many foods will air dry and become hardened under the right circumstances. That isn't unique to McDonald's or its french fries. In fact, air drying is one method of food preservation for some foods. Put the same food, however, in a compost heap and it won't air dry - it will decay.


. (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:26 am
Of course food can sometimes dry out/harden when left out. When cleaning out an old purse I came across a hardened raisin that had fallen out of a packet I had carried in the purse. And I guarantee it wasn't from McDonald's.

Even dead human bodies can mummify naturally in some environmental conditions rather than decompose.

Tamie R (2)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 6:28 am
Imagine what it does in our bodies!

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 7:00 am
Deanna Giggles, fruits and some vegetables have alot more water content in them to begin with than meat or breads. Thus, they will mold.

I really don't need to do any experiment as I have done plenty already and have also learned the reasoning and science behind all these food preservation methods. Kate Beckett correctly indicates that air drying is a method of preservation. Let all those grapes sit out long enough and you have raisins. They are generally dry enough to last a long time.

If you leave your bread out and it molds, that it because of the difference in temperature. MANY things will mold at room temperature whereas refrigeration impedes that process. That, once again, is WHY we refrigerate. BUT if you left your bread in the fridge and it dried out enough (to be inedible) you could then leaev at rock out at room temperture and it would NOT decompose (unless thrown into a compst pile where eventually it would moisten up and decompose).

In our bodies? that is such a different environment, filled with moisture and plenty of enzymes. Of course it decomposes. Have you ever heard of anyone pooping out a undecomposed hamburger?

. (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 7:03 am
"Pooping out an undecomposed hamburger" would indeed be one for the "Ripley's Believe it or Not", Nancy.

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 7:05 am
Or the Onion, so someone can post it and we can have another one of those fun-filled discussions.

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 7:13 am
And I would like to point out that the one link that did not say April Fool's was a link to another article by Grist itself. April Fool's everyone!

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 7:15 am
"Even dead human bodies can mummify naturally in some environmental conditions rather than decompose."

Oh LIndsey, they clearly must have had McDonald's in Ancient Egypt. Thanks, I have learned something today.

Debbie G (306)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 10:09 am
I would like to know, is McD's actually doing a composting program? If so, I would like to know the outcome, or at least an experiment on it. The update on the story itself does say "Happy April Fool's Day".

Alicia V (181)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 10:59 am
It figures that any Mac can't be compost, can you imagine?

Nicole W (3)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 12:41 pm
And that, in a nut shell is why
1. I am a vegetarian
2. I don't eat at mcdonalds

Nicole W (3)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 12:44 pm
I don't care if its an april fools joke, it is pretty dang believable, everyone knows mcdonalds is CRAP!

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 12:45 pm
Well, yeah, but crap DOES decompose.

Mark Quire (68)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 12:54 pm
Man, what a testament..Who really knows what is in that stuff?????

Brittany R (2)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 1:10 pm
Just another example on why not to eat fast foods.

Jodi B (28)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 1:36 pm
I for one DO read and re-read, and cross reference the things that I want to know about or before posting as an article just to make sure it is real, in order to make sure that it is true.

I was fooled once by an article about a whale that was stuck and freed by a conservation group only to be brutally killed by a whale killing boat a just a short distance away. The story turned out to, not be true. But I was so angry that I had posted. It created such a stir. I wanted to know more about it but could not find any other stories about it and found the site to be fake.

Lindsey, I think we can all sometimes be fooled especially if the article is disturbing, like this joke article. But for the most part I think if people are really interested in a certain subject, then they usually research it out.

You have created quite a stir Roseann! *LOL*

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 1:50 pm
“Have you ever heard of anyone pooping out a undecomposed hamburger?”

LOL, now we have the basis for a b class horror movie!

Well, I have been made aware of various alternative reasons for this occurance, tho I still know that it’s still all unhealthy.

I’d really love to have a reputable research institution do a study on the decomposition of fast food vs organic food. Then again, how much difference would that make in the number of consumers? Just thinking out loud.

What a fun topic.


Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 2:02 pm
Deanna, I do understand your point. Yet, academic food scientists do those studies all the time. As do other academic scientists.

As for McDonald's being unhealthy? I think most of us would agree with that and infrequently eat it. I can't remember the last time I did.

If the high fat content and overall calorie count hasn't deterred Americans, I am guessing that the compostability or decomposability of the food won't either.

But yes, this was a fun topic. Looking forward to the "Big Mac from the Black Lagoon" movie.

Jodi B (28)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 2:06 pm
Deanna, I think organic food would decompose much faster than fast food or junk foods hands down. Heck, I have a hard time just keeping it in my fridge just a few days. Conventionally grown food does have fungicides and pesticides sprayed all over, I think just to keep them from spoiling faster.

Adam G (10)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 2:35 pm
this is an april fools joke, unfortunately it's also pretty close to the truth.
a local high school here did an experiment:
1 ordinary burger from a small takeaway, 1 big mac, both put into separate glass cases.
the aim- to see which one decomposes first (ie. which one has artificial preservatives, wtc...)

after a few days, the normal burger was noticeably breaking down. the big mac hadn't changed at all.

after a week, the normal burger was well & truly rotten. the big mac hadn't changed at all.

that completed the experiment so it was shoved it aside to be disposed of, where it ended up being covered by other scrap/recyclable materials..

after 6 months, the big mac was rediscovered, still in it's glass case, still unchanged except for 3 tiny little spots of mould.

anyone who eats maccas "food*" needs their head read.
anyone who gives it to kids should be charged with child abuse.

*for want of a better term...

Elizabeth V (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 4:06 pm
I know this is a joke, but at the same time, I can believe it :P I once found a hot dog behind my fridge when I went to clean the kitchen in order to move out -- a hot dog that someone had dropped six months before and which had rolled under the fridge. I knew it was six months because I don't eat hot dogs and that was the last time they'd been in my apartment. It was scary -- and this was food from a grocery store. No telling how long a McNugget would've lasted back there!

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 4:44 pm
Thanks for imparting that little experiment to us. I just knew that I knew what I was talking about (hehe).

I wonder how many people reading this thread are going to do experiments of their own now. Wouldn't that be loads of fun for them to come back and report their findings!

Patricia Herrick (54)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:07 pm
Me for one Deanna~~~

Karl L (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:20 pm

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:24 pm
Experiment away Deana and others.

Adam's experiment actually does indicate the McDonald's food will decompose, albeit at a slower rate.

It does not, as described, replicate a compost pile, however.

. (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:28 pm
True, Nancy, since a compost pile is specifically designed to speed up the decomposition process.

An additional problem with Adam's experiment is that the sample is too small to base any conclusions on.

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:29 pm

. (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:35 pm
Lindsey, Nancy, you're letting scientific method interfere with your preconceptions! Be careful. That leads to thinking.

Nancy M (147)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:40 pm
yeah, but everything I do uses the scientific method. I can't help myself.

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:44 pm
Patricia, I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiment.
I actually don't think most people are going to conduct experiments that others won't find flaws with. But the idea is to see what happens when..... and then discuss the results. As I said, I think we're going to have some fun when results begin to trickle in.

Oh sorry Chana, thinking is a requirement ONCE in ahwile. giggle

Roseann d (178)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:53 pm
"LOL! Responding to Craig Zimmerman's comment....
I am storing Big Macs in my fallout shelter. They will keep for years. Maybe also MAKE the fallout shelter out of Big Macs?

. (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:54 pm
I have an even better idea. Let's construct airplanes out of them.

. (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 5:57 pm
I think, Nancy, that everything we do in life (if even unconsciously) is subject to the scientific method. How do we know whether it's safe to cross the road? We study the evidence (stop signs, traffic lights, oncoming traffic). We mentally evaluate past 'experiments' of crossing the road under similar conditions. We try to accurately judge the speed of the car heading towards us. We evaluate road hazards and consider traffic laws. Then base our decision on the evidence (without consciously thinking about most of that, of course.)

Jayashree Sivakumar (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 6:34 pm
EW... mcdonalds is horrible! People need to stop eating it!

Roseann d (178)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 6:53 pm
I'm not going to post this one as a new story bc it's from 2005, and I probably posted it back then anyway...but this Univ of Georgia professor found a way to turn dark meat chicken into white meat chicken - Bleh!Ground, strained, bleached regurgitated into tasty little lumps! :-P

Playing chicken: No more dark meat - Food Inc.-
26 Aug 2005 ... Daniel Fletcher has found a way to transform dark meat chicken into white, ... The centrifugal force makes the mixture settle into layers of fat, ... Fletcher believes his faux white meat is a way of applying solid ... he says transforming chicken won't change the food industry much right now. ...
www.msnbc.msn. com/id/9086839/ - United States

Playing chicken: No more dark meat
Professor develops way to transform poultry, but purists cry 'fowl!'
Paul Efland / AP
University of Georgia professor Daniel Fletcher, right, has developed a process of turning dark poultry meat into a white meat product.

updated 4:55 p.m. ET, Fri., Aug 26, 2005

ATLANTA - Daniel Fletcher has found a way to transform dark meat chicken into white, a scientific advance some purists say has gone too far.

"Leave chicken alone," said Mary Raczka, who's in charge of hospitality at Mary Mac's Tea Room, a prominent Southern-style restaurant in midtown Atlanta that serves more than 500 pounds of fried chicken a week — dark and white meat.

But Fletcher, a University of Georgia poultry science professor, said his other white meat isn't designed to compete with the real thing on restaurant menus or grocery shelves. Instead, it's a filler that can be used to add protein and amino acids to something else, such as chicken nuggets.
Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here

The recipe involves adding excess water to ground-up dark meat to create a kind of meat soup, then spinning the mixture around in a tub at high speed. The centrifugal force makes the mixture settle into layers of fat, water, and extracted meat, which can be molded into breast-like patties of all-white meat.

When food specialist Marion Nestle heard about Fletcher's work, she immediately compared the end product to imitation crab meat made from minced fish.

What type of chicken do you prefer?

"Surimi! This is chicken surimi! For the purpose of creating chicken-like objects ... yuck!" said Nestle, a food studies professor at New York University.

Fletcher said Nestle's reaction is typical, but he has a ready response: "There's a lot of good eating experiences you may have had in your life that you wouldn't think were as good if you read the label."

Hot dogs, made of minced chicken, pork, beef and other meat byproducts, are a primary example. But millions of people devour these pressed, squeezed and extremely processed food products each year.

"It tastes like something you would use with Hamburger Helper," Fletcher acknowledged after nibbling a sample of his faux white meat. "It's a very neutral flavor. In some ways, it's like tofu. Tofu is something with so little character that if you eat it by itself, it'd put you to sleep."

Why in the world would anyone be interested in fake white meat anyway?

According to Bill Roenigk, senior vice president of the National Chicken Council, Americans have expressed a strong preference for white meat over the last 20 years. Dark meat's color and fat are what make it less attractive, he said, and it's also more difficult to mold dark meat into shapes.

Right now, most dark meat produced in the United States is exported to Russia and the Middle East. Fletcher believes his faux white meat is a way of applying solid technology to expand the use of dark meat in the States.

"Back when I was in school, one of our goals in food science was expanding the food supply by taking foods that are less valued, and expanding their value," Fletcher said, explaining his motivation. He compared chicken whitening to making sausage out of otherwise unused meat, or making cheese from milk.

Dark meat gets its color from myoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen. It shows up in the muscles animals use most often. Chickens walk more than they fly, so the dark meat is in their legs and thighs.

In the past, researchers have found ways to lighten dark meat, but lessening the fat content has been the challenge.

The project has been a good model for teaching graduate students about the chemistry of meat. Fletcher and his students work to find new ways to supply nutrition because the fight against hunger, he said, is really about producing more calories.

While manipulating food is eye-catching and fun for Fletcher, he says transforming chicken won't change the food industry much right now. But it's a technology that may be adapted in the future.

Marla Ferguson (1)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 6:54 pm
Um... scary!

. (0)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 7:13 pm
I don't think their food is necessarily horrible, Jayashree. Back in my own meat-eating days I sometimes ate there and a lot of the food is perfectly OK. Of course, I've got completely plebian tastes when it comes to food and would probably be happier eating a PB&J sandwich with Spaghetti-O's rather than dining at a five-star restaurant.

Catrina Velez (46)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 8:07 pm
I wouldn't eat their "food" before this article, and whether it is a hoax or not, I still won't touch a single bite!

greenplanet e (155)
Sunday May 16, 2010, 11:31 pm
... so their food is plastic too, hehe

JBear A (56)
Monday May 17, 2010, 2:11 am
And this is a surprise to everyone??? Haven't you seen the Morgan Spurlock doc that was done on Mc's food? This doc really demonstrates how this 'dead' food just won't disintergrate!

Marianna M. (6)
Monday May 17, 2010, 3:08 am
whatever. how come this made it to this page i dont know. this has no news value at all.

. (0)
Monday May 17, 2010, 4:43 am
Marianna, items make it to the Front Page (which is what I assume you're speaking of) based on the number of people noting them in a given time frame (there's a computer formula). Obviously many people enjoyed Roseann's news item enough to note it and it sparked what I think has been an interesting discussion. And that's a big part of what this forum is about. Things don't have to be breaking CNN news flashes to be of value.

Bon L (0)
Monday May 17, 2010, 5:13 am
I'm not going to eat there anymore

Jean Lord (46)
Monday May 17, 2010, 5:44 am
Glad I don't eat at McDonalds anyway.

Past Member (0)
Monday May 17, 2010, 7:38 am
This is absolutely scary!

Patricia Herrick (54)
Monday May 17, 2010, 7:59 am
Oh yeah, I do have a compost pile going. Haven't been to town yet, but will soon. Haven't decided yet which other burger I'll bury. I'll put 'em in the bottom.

chris b (2474)
Monday May 17, 2010, 8:58 am
Just imagine what all that uncompostable plastic does to your insides assuming one was foolish and undiscerning enough to eat at such an establishment even if one was not aware of the inherrant cruelty to chickens and other animals in the fast food industry. If it won't compost then it presumably won't be digestible either! Never mind it's spurious nutrition value or lack of same! I'm surprised nobody has thought of bombing their enemies with the stuff to make them obese and reduce their fighting capacity!

Past Member (0)
Monday May 17, 2010, 9:06 am
Strange how many are overlooking all the many comments stating that this is a joke item. Check the links in the story and it becomes clear.

It's May now and April 1 is long gone. But not the gullibility.

Nancy M (147)
Monday May 17, 2010, 9:07 am
If we were talking about eating the containers that you might have a reason to be concerned about that plastic.

Guess what- April Fool's once again.

chris b (2474)
Monday May 17, 2010, 9:08 am
Just in case any thought my reply was serious just have a look at the key words , plastic, foolish in the first two lines for a clue the other four are serious!

chris b (2474)
Monday May 17, 2010, 9:10 am
Of course BP have now contracted to stuff the product down their leaking well that will fix it for sure! I do love that American saying "for sure", for sure!

Marie Therese H (10)
Monday May 17, 2010, 9:55 am
Common people, a bit of logic here. A french fry is a french fry and and a bun is a bun, salade, tomato, meat whether served by McDonald or yourself, they will decompose whether in compost or in your bodies.
I happen to think tha McDonalds version with all its additives, will do more good in the compost pile, but that is not the issue.

Deana, if what you say is true, the your parents must have plastified the food in question.

Carla L (1)
Monday May 17, 2010, 10:26 am
This is an april fool's joke, yes... but... if you have not seen super-size me, go now to get it. At the end he does an experiment with french fries, some from Mc Donald's comared to some from other places to see how long it take to decompose. The Mc Donalds never did. He gave up waiting on them to. Have you ever found a french fry in the backseat of the car your kid must have dropped and relized you haven't even been to Mc Donald's in over a month. That should be your "ah-ha" moment!

pam M (98)
Monday May 17, 2010, 2:36 pm
It maybe a joke, but I wouldn't doubt that there is a hint of truth. My Lord I haven't eaten at a McDonalds in years and no worse off. Thanks for the yucks!!!

Judith C (159)
Monday May 17, 2010, 4:04 pm
Yes it is mostly just rubbish, no nutrients for us or the soil.

. (0)
Monday May 17, 2010, 4:12 pm
Yes, McDonald's food does indeed provide 'nutrients' for us.

For example, a Mcdonald's hamburger provides, as the percent of the recommended daily allowance (among other nutritional provisions):

Protein - 26%
Thiamin - 17%
Vitamin B6 - 17%
Riboflavin - 15%
Niacin - 24%
Calcium - 13%
Iron - 15%
Magnesium - 5%
Phosphorous - 11%
Potassium - 6%
Zinc - 13%
Copper - 6%
Carbohydrates - 11%
Fiber - 5%

The issue isn't that these kinds of fast food don't give us nutrition - they do. It's that the calories, fat count, etc. are high and such foods shouldn't be eaten as a regular part of our diets. In moderation, they aren't going to hurt an otherwise healthy diet.


Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Monday May 17, 2010, 4:54 pm
"Deana, if what you say is true, the your parents must have plastified the food in question"
Wow Marie,
Insulting my parents’ character in your very 1st post to me? Great way to make me think that anything you have to say is worth considering. Not very nice.

Lindsey, I agree that eating fast food in moderation is not going to do any damage to an otherwise healthy diet. That's because, in an otherwise healthy diet, the liver isn't overloaded and can filter out the toxins the way it's supposed to do.

Re the nutritional value, however, just because the ingredients are there doesn't mean they are alive, or from a source that the human body is capable of assimilating. But that is getting into more detailed problems between what toxins do to our bodies compared to how many nutrients we'd need to fight them PLUS keep our bodies healthy.

For those of you still talking about this article being an April Fools joke, if you read all the posts, you will find that it isn't STRICTLY a joke, and even the 2nd link in the article takes you to a story about the burger that doesn't break down.

The idea of McDonalds having a program for composting is probably the joke part, since environmental issues are not their strong point. The idea that they scrapped thie idea of a composting program is probably not a joke. It would cut into their profits too much for them to iimplement it at each store.

I wonder if any of the readers are going to deep fry organic fries in organic oil, and then put those fries right alongside with Mc fries in different places safe from children and critters mouths and report the findings to us.

Nancy M (147)
Monday May 17, 2010, 5:07 pm
Clicking through the link to the original original link about the undecomposed Happy meal, it was pointed out that the "experiment" was carried out in an arid environment and that the happy meal dried out and shrunk. So again, their will be no decomposition without enough water. Would the happy meal degrade in a moist environment? Most likely.

Also, as for composting, at least at home, the number one rule is NOt meat or fat. The fat and protein are more difficult to degrade without stinking up the neighborhood. So "experimenters" beware.

The other thing that I did find out is that McDonalds' does recycle its used fry oil into biodiesel for its truck.

Deanna Zimmerman (74)
Monday May 17, 2010, 7:34 pm
That's great that they use their oil for biofuel. I'm glad to hear that.

Now, I've just decided that the next time I leave the house, I'm going to buy a Mcburger and set it in a shallow container of water. If moisture is the only thing missing from this experiment, then the burger that's barely sitting in water, should be quite moldy by the end of a week, right?

I don't know when I'm leaving the house again, tho. I'll let you know when I start the experiment.

Donn M (56)
Monday May 17, 2010, 9:30 pm
Very entertaining. Keep trying, Lindsey, hopefully you have made some people stop and think, but you may be fighting a losing battle.

Food that dries out can last a long, long time. I remember seeing a 100 year old wedding cake in a museum. I think it was in Montana. And by now it would nearly be a 130 year old cake. I don't think Ronald McDonald baked it.

Elle S (6)
Tuesday May 18, 2010, 11:39 am
thats gross

paul l (2)
Friday May 21, 2010, 11:54 pm
Well now, I always said that McDonald's stuff is inedible.
If it does not decompose, how long is it going to be in your stomach.
Nuff said!
Besides all I sometimes eat in the way of chicken, is the drumstick!

Michael Angel (58)
Saturday May 22, 2010, 12:46 am
Are you sure it is a joke?
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