A photo recently emerged (pictured below) on Facebook showing a McDonald’s Happy Meal that has aged for 6 years with almost no change in appearance. The food doesn’t look rotten, or moldy, nor did it even decompose in the slightest bit. For those of us eating paleo, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, the paleo community is one of the most educated communities on the planet, which is why they typically avoid fast food like the plague.
It is uncertain whether the photo is real or if it was staged as some sort of anti-McDonald’s campaign. In fact, news stations report that McDonald’s has already responded to the photo and issued the following statement:
In the right environment, our burgers, fries and other menu items could decompose. The reason our food may appear not to decompose comes down to a matter of simple science. In order for decomposition to occur, you need certain conditions – specifically moisture. Without sufficient moisture – either in the food itself or the environment – bacteria and mold may not grow and therefore, decomposition is unlikely. So if food is or becomes dry enough, it is unlikely to grow mold or bacteria or decompose. Food prepared at home that is left to dehydrate could see similar results. Look closely, the burgers you are seeing are likely dried out and dehydrated, and by no means “the same as the day they were purchased.”
Now, it seems very peculiar that McDonald’s would respond so quickly to a viral photo on the internet. This leads us to believe that they are doing some major damage control before the poop hits the fan.
For those of us who follow the paleo diet, McDonald’s is not on our list of food choices. Actually dining out isn’t an option for many of our clients at Paleo on the Go, due to a variety of health concerns related to autoimmune diseases. Many of our clients suffer from these diseases and have found relief by following a diet that is gluten and dairy-free, which also focuses on real food choices. This means that they choose to eat from reputable businesses that only source their food from trustworthy suppliers.
Here are a few more reasons the paleo diet is better than fast food:
- Paleo food is real food. Food prepared on the paleo diet is minimally processed to maintain the nutrients that nature intended for us. McDonald’s on the other hand, is concerned about profits and margins, and is always looking for ways to “create” new food-like products. They use food scientists, not real chefs!
- It is a great source of nutrition. Grass-fed beef and cage free chickens are one way to get more nutrients in your diet. Grass-fed beef is higher in CLA and Omega 3’s, making it a better food source than traditional beef. Take it a step further, McDonald’s doesn’t even deserve to call their beef real beef, and assuming it was real beef, it is most likely grain-fed, and lacking in nutrients. Not to mention that their food is highly processed beyond the typical ground beef, and in the end, their burgers are really nothing you should be consuming. Remember the pink slime controversy!
- Paleo is full of good fats. The paleo diet doesn’t use dangerous oils such as soybean (think GMO’s), canola or other harmful vegetable oils. People that are conscious of their long-term health, including paleo dieters, know to stick with coconut oil, rendered animal fat, and possibly extra virgin olive oil. McDonald’s fries all of their food in highly processed vegetable oils. This translates into potential anti-inflammatory responses in the body, which can lead to a variety of health maladies. Plus, fried food is usually lacking in any real nutrients.
- The paleo diet is more sustainable and supports local business. Grocery stores don’t typically sell organic, cage-free eggs, but the local farmer’s market may actually carry them. Paleo food doesn’t need to be organic, or locally sourced, but many of the people we know in the paleo community feel that they have an obligation to source their food locally. While many grocery stores are carrying more organic product, and what appears to be locally sourced vegetables, a trip to the farmer’s market can lead to a new and long lasting relationship with the people who supply your food. When was the last time you heard the word organic, locally sourced, or cage free at a fast food restaurant?
- Paleo food isn’t fast food, but it can be. To do paleo eating right, you need to shop for the food, prep the food, prepare it and then if you were lucky enough to have any left, portion it out and freeze it. For anyone with health conditions controlled by diet, it is critical that they eat a very specific way to encourage good health. While some people have the patience or time to cook their own paleo food, we feel that there is another way to nourish our bodies. Paleo on the Go offers pre-made paleo meal delivery that is almost like fast food, but without all of the dangers of harmful preservatives and chemicals. In fact, our food is cooked in a dedicated gluten free kitchen that is used specifically to prepare thousands of paleo items each year. Order up a meal plan and throw it in the freezer, and when you are short on time, avoid the fast food drive thru and just reheat one of our frozen paleo meals.
I will leave you with this quote from the person who posted the Facebook photo:
“It has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard. We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is. Especially for our growing children!! There are so many chemicals in this food! Choose real food! Apples, bananas, carrots, or celery. Those are real fast food.”