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Happy Meal Resists Decomposition?

  1. Oct 12, 2010 #1
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20101012/bs_yblog_upshot/mcdonalds-happy-meal-resists-decomposition-for-six-months" [Broken].

    Who else here has observed several (or perhaps many, yech) food items which have "resisted decomposition" in the same way as Davies' Happy Meal Project?

    I find this particularly true in dry climates such as exists here in Colorado. Grapes that have rolled under the fridge. A pizza slice my son left in the microwave... Literally dozens of items over the years found their way into various locations around the house.

    The same thing happened to each and every one of them: They dried, and did not decay, even items containing absolutely no preservatives whatsoever.

    I discovered a far different story for those items in, near, or containing any moisture. They decayed (rotted, actually), in just a few days.

    The flaw I find in Davies' "test" is that there are no comparisons, no controls. Then again, she's an artist and a photographer, not a scientist. She doesn't know how to conduct any such "research" and certainly not a properly established and controlled scientific experiement.

    This is nothing more than sensationalistic nonsense, perpetuated by media folks who know know anything more about biology or scientific controls than Davies.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2010 #2
    This would make a perfect science fair project for someone.
  4. Oct 15, 2010 #3
    Good critical thinking Mugaliens.
  5. Oct 15, 2010 #4


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    Having been the mother of two children, you wouldn't believe the amount of mumified food I've discovered under couch cushions, under beds, behind desks, etc... Yes, quite a bit of it was partially eaten McDonald's burgers and fries.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Oct 15, 2010 #5

    D H

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    We found vegetables. Carrots, peas, beans, you name it. Beans in particular petrify very nicely.
  7. Oct 15, 2010 #6
    Guess the healthy eating parent contest? :biggrin:
  8. Oct 15, 2010 #7


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    My kids ate their veggies. :biggrin:

    Fast food fries probably mummify the quickest, those things can turn into inedible rods of cardboard within an hour.
  9. Oct 15, 2010 #8


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    Interestingly there is a brand of milk that you can leave out of the refrigerator for two weeks, without it becoming spoiled. After two weeks you can just open the carton and pour fresh looking and smelling milk out.

    There was a television program that went to investigate what was going on with the milk, with the hypothesis that it was maybe reconstituted milk power or heat-sterilized milk. Both didn't seem to be the case. The only clue that they had is that the milk could have been passed through a micron filter and subsequently pasteurized to remove all possible microbes, leading to the extended life-span. Possibly something that will be implemented for all fresh milk products.

    Of course sometimes there are whole humans that appear to bypass the process of decomposition, so I guess the burger is not that unusual. The circumstance for the burger must have been just right: few fungal spores and low humidity, coupled to fast dehydration.
  10. Oct 15, 2010 #9


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    I did preserved foods from m daughter all over the house. Mostly grains though: rice, oatmeal, cracker bits.

    Anyway, the humidit here allows for it. It's so dry compared to my hometown that bread lasts about twice as long and usually dries out before molding.
  11. Oct 19, 2010 #10
    I, too, think its gotta be a function of climate. There is simply nothing to say a happy meal will outlast the above mentioned carrot or bean. I've always called BS under my breath at this little illustration. I had a happy meal a couple times a week as a child, and I turned out just fine. Thing is-I didn't sit around playing video games all day or in front of a TV.
  12. Dec 22, 2010 #11
    happy meals contain a lot of sugar that tends to kill bacteria by extracting the moisture from them, osmotic shock, same as the sugar in jam preserves the fruit. In a very wet enviroment to moisture content dilutes the effect and bacteria thrive
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