There’s no question about it: Many fast-food chains use a ton of preservatives in their food.

For the timelapse video above, titled “How Fast Do Burgers Age?,” BuzzFeed bought a burger from seven different fast-food restaurants and placed them in a glass jar for 30 days. wen

After 30 days, your food should decompose and look absolutely disgusting, right? That would indicate that the food is natural, and doesn’t contain all types of powerful additives, right?

Watch what happens to the fast-food burgers in the video above.umami


CNN reports that a chemical preservative called TBHQ (tert-Butylhydroquinone) is widely used in fast food, as well as in crackers, potato chips, varnish, lacquer, and resin. TBHQ helps prolong the shelf life of food and, if it’s consumed at low levels, is considered safe—but what happens when TBHQ is consumed in higher doses? According to CNN,

“In higher doses—above what the FDA says manufactures can use in food prep—TBHQ has been found to cause ‘nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse,’ according to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives. It may also cause ‘restlessness and vision problems.'”

Although, there’s another side to the “OMG FAST-FOOD HAMBURGERS DON’T AGE!” story. Back in 2010, Serious Eats’ Kenji Lopez-Alt aged a fast-food burger—as well as an all-natural beef burger that he made at home—for 25 days. What did he find?

“Turns out that not only did the regular McDonald’s burgers not rot, but the home-ground burgers did not rot either…on the whole, the results are remarkably similar.

Take a moment and read the full results of the Serious Eats experiment, along with Lopez-Alt’s scientific theories as to why both burgers did not rot. They’re mad interesting.

[via BuzzFeed]

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