McDonald's wants the world to know that yes, its food can rot.
In its latest attempt to woo health-conscious customers to the Golden Arches, the company has embarked on a campaign to debunk common perceptions about the quality and nutritional value of its food. At the top of the list was a the long-standing idea that McDonald's meals don't decompose.
The fast-food giant even hired Grant Imahara, the former host of the TV show “MythBusters,” to star in videos touting, for example, the quality of the beef used to make burger patties.
McDonald’s has struggled to defend its cheap, fattening fare since the 2004 release of the Oscar-nominated “Super Size Me.” A scene from the documentary, which tracks star Morgan Spurlock as he eats nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days, showed how McDonald’s french fries did not decay when kept in a glass container for eight weeks.
Compounding the bad press was a blog by a Utah man named David Whipple, who claimed to have photographs of a burger that remained unchanged since it was purchased in 1999.
On a section of the site launched to support the new PR push, McDonald’s refuted the idea that its food doesn’t rot. The company said that tests that show their food never decaying were performed in places where there wasn't enough water in the air to grow the mold and bacteria needed to decompose the food.
“You might have seen experiments which seem to show no decomposition in our food,” the company said. “Most likely, this is because the food has dehydrated before any visible deterioration could occur.”
McDonald’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This isn’t the first time the company has tried to fight back against the idea that its food doesn’t break down. In 2012, McDonald’s hired a doctor from the University of Guelph in Ontario to explain in a post on its Canadian website that the chain’s “hamburgers, french fries and chicken are like all foods, and do rot if kept under certain conditions.”
Was in a McDonald's the other day for the first time in several years. I was in wolf country, where predator birds fly overhead, gun and ammo huts are on every corner, and meat is what is for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks. Only thing I could eat in that place was ice cream. As there wasn't a froyo place within 50 miles, ice cream was what I was looking for. It was hardly worth enduring the place. Next time I go to the cabin by the lake in the woods, I'm bringing a cooler of food with me.