Fast Food Facts That Will Ruin Your Appetite
Need some extra motivation to stick to healthy food when you're craving a burger? Some fast food hidden secrets could ruin your appetite for quite a while. From strange ingredients to the 59 different chemicals found in a strawberry milkshake (seriously), some foods contain astonishing ingredients that should never go in your body.
Let’s take a look at some behind-the-scenes facts all your favorite fast food restaurants don’t want you to know. McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell — they’re all guilty of hiding the truth.
Meat That Won’t Rot
Have you ever noticed that leaving your McDonald’s burger out does nothing to it? Even flies don’t go near it! Dr. Keith Warriner, the program director at the University of Guelph's Department of Food Science and Quality Assurance, explained that McD’s burgers don’t rot because they’re full of chemicals.
Secret Egg Ingredients
No matter how healthy they might look in your sandwich, burger or salad, fast food egg items aren’t great because they’re not actually eggs. A Forbes writer looked into different egg sandwiches in fast food restaurants and ended up discovering a pretty gross fact.
If you’ve ever worked in a fast food chain, you know how hard it is to clean filthy drink fountains and ice machines. This gross truth was actually revealed by a 12-year-old as part of a science project.
Pink Sludge McNuggets
You’ve probably seen this one before — the viral picture showing pink slime before it’s turned into yummy nuggets has circled the internet several times during the past few years. That sludge is actually ammonia-treated lean beef trimmings, and it’s used to plump up burgers and chicken products.
Taco Bell’s “Beef”
A few years ago, the fast food chain revealed what’s actually in its meat, claiming that it contains 88% beef. An Alabama law firm sued the company, claiming that statement was untrue. Instead, the firm claimed the beef content in most of Taco Bell’s products is probably closer to 35%.
About Those Healthy Fast Food Salads…
If you opt to order a salad instead of greasy, salty foods because you think it has to be a healthier option, this might change your mind. Business Insider highlighted several fast food salads that are actually unhealthier than hamburgers. Some even have more calories than a standard Big Mac.
Disturbing Tomato-Based Sauces
Let’s talk about tomatoes, particularly tomato sauces. This one’s pretty disturbing because it reveals that the FDA — the organization tasked with protecting us from food-related hazards — is okay with a certain level of "gross." To clarify, the FDA standard for fly eggs in tomato sauce is no more than "30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams."
The Truth About Papa John’s Pizza
Remember the huge controversy surrounding Chuck E. Cheese after Shane Dawson made a YouTube documentary questioning the quality of its pizza? Papa John’s reportedly doesn’t want to reveal the actual ingredients in its pizza at all.
Wendy’s Chili Secret Ingredient
Fast food contains a bunch of weird ingredients that make no sense when you first read the words. You might shrug it off and think it’s just ingredients that are necessary to make the food taste so delicious, but the truth behind some of the ingredients is pretty gross.
Natural Flavors That Aren’t Natural
Franziska Spritzler revealed that an ingredient list containing "natural flavors" can be very misleading in terms of what it really means. The natural flavors are extracted from various plant and animal sources, but it’s important to note that they all contain chemicals, often in the form of preservatives.
Inaccurate Calorie Counts
A TIME article revealed that if you’re calorie counting while eating fast food, you might be in for a surprise. If you’re attempting to choose menu items with lower calories, you could actually end up eating a lot more calories than you think.
Sweet Tea Sugar Levels
Sweet tea is one of the most perfect summer drinks, especially when it’s served ice cold. Truth be told, the amount of sugar you get in sweet tea is far higher than any recommended percentage intake.
59 Ingredients and Chemicals
You would think that a strawberry shake couldn’t be all that bad. It’s made with milk, ice cream and strawberries, right? Well, it works differently in the fast food world. In truth, you probably find very few actual strawberries in a typical fast food strawberry shake.
With a Cherry on Top
If the ingredients in a strawberry shake don’t scare you, you should also consider the hazards of that very tempting cherry that goes on top. The truth is there’s far more to that cherry than meets the eye.
The Truth About Thickeners
Nutrition Insight reports that thickeners are used in fast food to solidify runny foods like sauces and soups. Some of these thickeners include cellulose, which comes from wood pulp. Ingredients like guar gum are used to thicken your ice cream, bread and pastries.
Petroleum-Based Food Items
If you’re not grossed out yet by all the weird ingredients you can find in fast food, this one should get your attention. McDonald’s fries were deconstructed and found to contain an astounding 15 ingredients. So, no, they’re not just fried potatoes.
Sorry to all the nuggets lovers and the share boxes you keep to yourself. A chicken nugget study revealed that chicken isn’t actually the main ingredient in most nuggets. It’s not just McDonald’s — the same is true for all your favorite fast food nuggets.
Fake but Tempting Ad Pictures
Ever been persuaded to get an item based on the photo, only to find the real-life version looks — and tastes — pretty darn pathetic? The food items you see in ads require a lot of extra help to look as fabulous as they do.
The Truth About the Packaging
A 2017 study revealed that even the packaging on fast food contributes to the problem. Paper wrappings and cardboard boxes typically used for fast food are full of chemicals designed to prevent grease from soaking through and leaking out. Some of these chemicals are actually connected to cancer and other terminal illnesses.
Beetle Juice Dye
Eating insects might be a way of life in plenty of places around the world, but most people here in the good old USA are put off by the thought of consuming a bug. If you’re eating fast food that is colored red in any way, you just might be consuming beetles without knowing it.
Fake Natural Smoke Flavor
We all know that most fast food burgers are frozen and then fried, right? So, how do so many of them have that smoky flavor that implies they just came off the grill? "Natural smoke flavor" is actually a keyword for something entirely different.
Duke University researchers found that some fast food chains use sneaky ways to make you buy more for less. They discovered that by decreasing the number of ounces in their soda sizes, customers were encouraged to purchase a larger size.
Styrofoam Coffee Cups with a Depressing Link
Although many eco-conscious businesses have stopped using Styrofoam coffee cups, you can still find them in some fast food chains. Although they are cheaper to purchase, they may present a health risk if you are overly exposed to them. These coffee cups contain styrene, a chemical that can be harmful to humans if absorbed too frequently.
Sugar, Sugar and More Sugar
It’s no secret that fast food contains far more sugar than is recommended for your daily — and even your weekly — intake. Excessive sugar is even found in some of the "healthiest" items on the menu. McDonald's fruit and maple oatmeal might seem healthy, for example, but the nutritional numbers tell a different story.
Fast Food and Sadness
Not only are Styrofoam coffee cups linked to depression, but fast food can also make you feel really, really sad. According to a Public Health Nutrition study, the more people consume fast food, the greater the risk of depression.
An ex McDonald’s worker who goes by the username dfunkatron on Reddit claimed that there’s one menu item at McDonald’s he would never let people eat — the Chicken McNuggets. According to the Redditor, he left a bag of about 100 nuggets out in the open for too long.
Fizzy and Tempting
Fizzy drinks don’t satisfy your thirst, even though they’re incredibly tasty and tempting. There’s a simple and very unhealthy reason behind that. The sweet taste in fizzy fast food drinks comes from the added high fructose corn syrup, which is used as a sugar substitute.
So. Many. Cows.
Obviously, fast food meats come from animals — you hope! — but did you know that one fast food burger could include meat from about 100 different cows? These items are cheap because only the inferior parts of the cow get processed and shipped.
Beaver Glands in Shakes
Still drinking that shake? We’re not done yet! You might want to put down your cup right now. It has been revealed that shakes contain an added sweetener that contains an ingredient that could put you off fast food shakes forever.
Apple Pie with Duck Feathers
Last but not least, the incredibly popular fast food apple pie might seem like the perfect balance of hot, crunchy and sweet, but it contains something pretty gross. To process the pies more quickly, they are infused with a bunch of chemicals, including L-cysteine.