Let’s face it. The temptation is always there. Fast food has not become an option for many people, it has become a daily indulgence. Lunch hour time pressures, cost, and the need for mobility have driven many otherwise intelligent adults right into the clutches of the fat food industry, to the extent that for a growing number of people fast food has become the primary source of caloric intake. While this obviously has detrimental effects on one’s weight, there are other, less obvious reasons why a daily dependence on fast food is a habit to break. Ingredients that are hard to even pronounce, an unsettling number of issues regarding feces and anuses, and debilitating effects on the brain itself are just a few of the perils one faces when fast food becomes a way of life. DNN has collected a list of some of the more disgusting ones.
1. Pink Goo “Pink Goo” first went viral in 2010, when it was revealed to be the main ingredient in fast food chicken nuggets and other uniformly shaped and textured meat products. The goo is basically all the parts of the chicken that have been mechanically separated by smashing the birds, including bones, and then sifting it through a sieve. This gunk is then treated with ammonia hydroxide. Although this mixture is commonplace in the frozen food industry, and used in some fast food restaurants as well, McDonald’s responded with a video of their own that shows that their nuggets are made from ground chicken meat.
2. There is shit in your soft drink. Approximately 48% of soft drink dispensers in fast food restaurants are contaminated with traces of fecal bacteria. Fortunately, the amount of fecal bacteria you drink in an average soda is below the threshold that can cause illness, presuming the dispenser has been properly cleaned on a regular basis. Much of this bacteria comes from the hands of the hundreds of people who handle the dispensers daily.
3. Your Subway sandwich has bread made from fake rubber. Azodicarbonamide is a bleaching agent that makes bread appear white, and is also used as a dough conditioner in food to make it pliable. However, it has many other uses across a spectrum of industries. Other industrial uses include yoga mates, synthetic leather, and shoe rubber; the chemical increases elasticity. Subway has announced plans to phase out use of this chemical, but it is still commonly found both in fast food and supermarket bread.
4. Your salad is coated with lube. Propylene glycol is a viscous liquid commonly used in sexual lubricants and anti-freeze, as well as various chemical sprays and gels. It is also used to de-ice aircraft. It is also frequently sprayed on salad lettuce in fast foods and restaurants with salad bars, because the leaves stay fresh and crisp longer when coated with the chemical. It is not known to have harmful effects when consumed in modest quantities, although it may result in diarrhea in some individuals.
5. Silicone in your chili. Wendy’s uses a chemical called silicon dioxide (silica) in its chili in order to keep it looking fresh and prevent discoloration. Silica is also a major component of electronic microchips, and it is derived from substances like quartz and sand. It is also found in many beer and wine products, again as a measure to prevent discoloration and improve flow. It is also used in the production of glass. It is a natural substance, and does exist within living organisms as well. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat it.
6. McDonald’s meat will outlive you. In a video that went viral a few years back, a woman produced a McDonald’s cheeseburger she had been carrying around for fourteen years. The cheeseburger, while slightly shriveled, had lost none of its coloration and still displayed a spongy quality. This is a fine illustration as to why we call certain chemicals “preservatives”; we can only hope that consuming them will preserve us too, although evidence seems scanty that it will. Why the woman kept a cheeseburger in her purse for fourteen years is still unknown.
7. Make your toilet bowl sparkle with Coca Cola. Never underestimate the power of citric acid. Like any acid, it burns holes in things. Fortunately, your stomach is able to handle it when consumed in ordinary quantities. But if you want to see its awesome power at work, simply dump a can into a toilet bowl and let it sit for an hour. Flush it away, and you’ll have the shiniest porcelain you’ve seen in some time. Keep a jug of it in the bathroom, or have it handy for cleaning any porous material. Just remember that the sugar will make it sticky.8. Taco Bell proudly proclaims 88% beef. Yep, they state it right on their website. 88% sounds like a lot of beef for something called “beef”, but why not a full 100%? Because a full 12% of the stuff is cellulose, potassium chloride, torula yeast, caramel color, and trehalose, among other filler. An Alabama law firm once sued the chain, claiming that their meat product did not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as beef, but later withdrew the claim.
9. It may cause brain damage As if the huge fat content and high sugar levels present in burgers, chips and soda in fast food restaurants weren’t enough, recent academic studies have suggested that overindulgence in fat food over time reduces the flow of blood to the brain. This can lead to mood swings, confusion, and problems with memory. The evidence is not conclusive, but so far it is pointing in a discomfiting direction.
10. The sweet anal glands of beavers Many flavored shakes, especially vanilla, strawberry, raspberry-flavored ones, contain an ingredient called castoreum. This ingredient provides a tart sweetness to the product. It is a yellow fluid extracted from the anal glands of beavers. Beavers use it mixed with urine as a means of marking territory.