I posted earlier about an experiment occurring at the Burger Lab (at Serious Eats Blog) testing the ability of home made and McDonalds burgers to rot under a variety of conditions. This is all in order to test the hypothesis, often stated among internet folk, that there is something strange about McDonalds hamburgers that prevents them from rotting. Well, the results are in!
Not to toot my own horn too much (just enough, I hope), I was right. The McDonalds burger doesn't rot if you leave it out - but neither does a home made burger. A McDonalds quarter pounder, however, as well as an equivalent home made burger, rot a little more and also lose moisture at a slower rate due to their larger size (there's even a graph! See, science!). Most conclusively, if you keep the moisture in the burger by putting it in a zip-top bag, both the McDonalds and the home made burger will mold and rot quite nicely (nastily?).
So, the take home message is twofold 1) McDonalds burgers are not bad for you because of mysterious mold-inhibiting additives or processing (they're bad for you for completely different reasons) and 2) Scientific testing of hypotheses can be informative! (This point is illustrated nicely below in a sign at the recent Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in DC.) Don't believe everything you read on the internet, folks!