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Fast Food and Preservatives

Page history last edited by plocker 10 years, 11 months ago

MRiddell: 24/10/10

Fast Food and Preservatives


     As a modernizing part of the global culture, fast food is becoming a larger and larger part of the average human being's diet.  But after years and years of eating millions of kilograms of fast food, has anyone really learned what factories put into their food to preserve it for so long? As most people know, in 2004 a man by the name of Morgan Spurlock created, "Super Size Me".  A documentary based on the premise to illustrate how much the average American citizen eats McDonald's.  The Most interesting point however, was the rather relaxed experiment conducted after he had finished his documentary.  Morgan put together a set-up consisting of some of the most popular menu items. (Movie not recommended if you are presently eating McDonald's)



     Food preservatives can be defined into two different categories.  One category are antimicrobial preservatives, these are preservatives that stop the growth of bacteria and fungi on food products.  Some examples of these are sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, sodium bisulfite, and sulfur dioxide.  The second type are antioxidants, which are used to stop the oxidation of food caused by the reaction between the food and the atmosphere that surrounds it.  Some other common preservatives found in foods, such as a McDonald's french fries, are formaldehyde used to preserve biological specimens, Glutaraldehyde, which is commonly used to kill bugs, and ethanol.


     One of the most noticeable chemicals in the list of preservatives, is the sodium nitrite.  Sodium nitrite can be found in breakfast sausages, bacon, basically in any processed-meat product.  Even meat in canned soups.  This chemical is a type of carcinogenic nitrosamines, cancer-causing chemicals  that helps the formation of cancerous cells throughout the human body. When people consume sodium nitrite in meat products, nitrosamines are formed in the body where they accelerate the growth of various cancers, including colorectal cancer (located in the rectum) and pancreatic cancer.


     After doing some research it is clear that fast food companies put millions of dollars into finding ways to make their food taste better, and last longer than their competitors.  It is also clear however that just as much money is spent trying to keep those secrets away from the rest of the human population.







 Different Restaurants and their Toxins

Patricia Locker



Yes, even subway contains unhealthy chemicals. The bread they serve contains azodicarbonamide (C2H4O2N4), which is most commonly used in foamy plastics to fill the bubbles. In the United States it is legal to use this chemical in very small concentrations, however in other countries such as France, Australia and Singapore the fine for using azodicarbonamide can be as high as 15 years in jail and a fine of $450 000 because of its link to causing asthma.


Taco Bell

The rice at Taco Bell contains dimethylpolysiloxane, which is used in the fast-food industry as an anti-caking agent (prevents formation of lumps) and as an anti-foaming agent. This chemical is usually used as a type of silicone, and can be used in things like contact lenses and shampoo.



The “Low-Fat Honey Mustard” dressing actually contains titanium dioxide. As a powder, titanium dioxide causes many severe health issues if inhaled, such as lung blockage, mutations, cell damage, and even cancer. Consuming it in your Wendy’s salad dressing would no doubt be harmful as well. It is commonly used to colour paints, paper, plastic, etc.



McDonalds sells millions of coffees every day, but the creamer is packed full of toxins, along with a lot of other items on their menu. The creamer alone contains sodium phosphate, sodium polyphosphate, tetra sodium pyrophosphate, sodium citrate and carrageenans! These are industrial chemicals that have no nutritional value and are harmful on your body. Check out the McDonalds nutritional information yourself, it’s disgusting how many strange chemicals are packed into your food! http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/404_error_page.html











Comments (4)

jlatorre said

at 1:15 pm on Oct 28, 2010

After reading through the research and watching the video, I don't want to get at McDonalds ever more than I did before reading this information. Ever since Supersize Me came out I haven't taken a bite of anything from McDonald because it is bad for you, this experiment video conforms my thinking. The chemicals put into the food in order to preserve it are damanging to your body and your health such as accelertating the growth of cancer cells, but also for heart disease, and diabetes to mention a few. I think that fastfood shouldn't be as popular as it is in todays world because it can cause obesity, diseases as well as sickness throughout the world. However, humans continue to be lured into the greasy, deep fried food day after day because it is conveint and tastes good, but what they really don't know is what it is truly doing to their body and heath.

plocker said

at 7:08 pm on Oct 28, 2010

It is disgusting that the French fries lasted so long without any decomposition, which is no doubt due to the cancerous preservatives such as the formaldehyde that Mike mentioned. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recognizes formaldehyde as a human carcinogen, with leukemia being the most common disease that it causes. I think it is unfortunate that healthy foods like fruits and vegetables cost so much more than McDonalds and Wendy’s, because then people without money are forced into buying cheap, extremely unhealthy food. We never did see how long the French fries lasted, we should research the experiment.

bboyle said

at 9:30 am on Nov 5, 2010

Obesity activist Julia Havey is currently doing the same experiment with a McDonalds hamburger and French fries. She has now had them for FOUR years, and neither have shown any visible signs of breaking down. (Check out the interview at http://www.ab-core-and-stomach-exercises.com/supersize-me.html) People need to start considering what this means to their health. Since these fries take a very long time to decompose, they are not breaking down in the body the way normal food should. This is due to the preservatives used; and these chemicals are very harmful. They can slow down a person's metabolism (which increases fat and can lead to obesity), and damage their liver. It is well-known in society that fast food products are extremely bad for you, so people need to get past the fact that they "taste good", and start taking their health seriously.

jeisen said

at 1:48 pm on Nov 7, 2010

Food isnt suppose to last a long time. It is suppose to be bought then eaten relativity soon. Food companies began making food that would last longer so that their profits would increase. The longer the food lasts, the more they can get in bulk and the less food they waste on things that can not be served because they have gone bad. People need to realize the unnatural side to food lasting so long and how that would affect our bodies. These harmful chemicals cause obesity and lead to many other diseases, the largest one in north america being diabetes. But for some people with good metabolisms they can eat what they want and still stay a healthy weight and body size. But have they ever stopped to think about what it is doing to the inside of their body, their organs and their overall health. These type of "naturally skinny" people are still affected by these harmful chemicals in fast food. Whether the affects from fast food show on the outside or not, the affect to the inside of ones body is just the same. It is horrible how popular the fast food business is in a continent such as ours that is so well educated on health and the importance of healthy nutrition.

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