By now, you may have seen the famous year old pictures of a fast food meal. If not, the concept is easy. Basically, someone purchased a fast food meal and let it sit open to the environment for a certain length of time, typically a year. The result?
No rot. No mold. Picture-perfect. I’m sure it was all as hard as a rock, but that’s still not really a natural response. Try doing that with a vegetable and a steak. (Or maybe don’t… not endorsing any science projects here).
There have been arguments on both sides of the fence. Some people claim that these photos are fake and the health nuts vehemently react. Either way, I’m sure that we’ve all had that fry in the floorboard experience while doing the yearly car wash and vacuum. You may have mistaken them for sticks, but those little guys were salty, soft, and delicious on purchase.
This isn’t just a fast food problem. You can have this same result with many prepackaged products from the grocery store. From pizza crusts to bagels to potato chips, something very unnatural resides within.
Let’s not jump to conclusions too quick about this though. The food may not look spoiled, but there is no question that it is. No one can deny that food eventually spoils if left to the environment. The fear comes from the appearance. Why is mold not growing on the burger? Does it know something we don’t?
Many proponents of fast food have come up with an answer: moisture content. According to the people who would prefer that you eat their food, this is simply a matter of moisture content. To a degree, it makes sense, no moisture = no mold. The argument is that the meet patty is so thin that the moisture content decreases dramatically, thus reducing the chance of mold significantly. If you were to place the burger in a bag with water, it would most definitely mold. But then, so would a plastic straw, as those of us with kids and straw cups would know.
You can apply this same logic to the other prepackaged foods mentioned earlier. Notice a common theme?
It’s all simple starch. (As opposed to “complex” starch, such as whole grains)
Okay, so we’ve explained away the “no mold” problem. I might have even convinced you that it’s simply an esthetic issue. But one more problem remains.
There are still preservatives in a lot of these foods.
If I were to give you a list of all the foods with preservatives in them, I’d be selling you a book. Instead, it’s best to know the preservatives and avoid them. Here is a great article including some of the most common preservatives and why they’re no good.
In the meantime, here’s a good rule of thumb: If the food hasn’t been pulled from the ground or been walking on it recently, it’s probably packed with preservatives.
The decision to partake is up to you. But now you know.