Every so often a picture shows up on social media of some McDonald’s food that has been left out for months or years without going mouldy or rotting and people use it as some sort of proof that there is some highly toxic preservatives that prevent any mold or bacteria from growing. There are plenty of reasons why you should not eat too frequently at fast food places like McDonald’s, but a picture of a preserved six year old Happy Meal is not one of them.
If you were to take an organic potato, peel it, cut it into little batonettes the size of McDonald’s French fries, deep fry them in the purest, most organic oil you can find, then sprinkle some kosher salt on them and leave them in a relatively dry place for six years they would look just like the fries you see in all those Facebook photos you’ve seen. Once something is dry it isn’t going to grow mold, and if you drop it in scalding hot oil, you will kill off any bacteria and mold spores which will prevent any growths from starting in the short time it takes for the food to dry out.
Why aren’t there any viral Facebook pictures of dried cranberries that don’t deteriorate after several years? Why don’t people send around pictures of a bowl of rice that looks exactly the same as it did 50 years ago? Why would anyone expect a dried piece of potato to be any different than a dried piece of rice? Nobody is appalled by homemade beef jerky will last for years in your office just like McNuggets, but it is much the same thing; it’s dried meat with.
I actually care about preparing healthy food for myself and for my two young children. I think that everyone should try to eat a little healthier and make sure their children are eating healthier food, but the way to do that is by disseminating objective facts and data, not by scaring people with misleading, attention grabbing pictures.