This Is What A McDonald's Happy Meal Looks Like After 6 Years

Photo: David Paul Morris / Getty

Everything about the food at McDonald's is fast — it's made fast, cooked fast, and usually consumed fast — except for one thing: the rate at which it decomposes.

How on Earth do we know that? Well, a woman named Jennifer Lovdahl posted photos on Facebook claiming to show a six-year-old McDonald's Happy Meal — and it's pretty disturbing. Not because it's become a furry, moldy mess inhabited by creepy-crawlies, but because nothing has really changed.

The internet, of course, has gone berserk. The post has been shared over 280,000 times. But is the fury warranted?

The photos show four chicken nuggets, an order of slightly shriveled french fries, and an accompanying receipt dated January 8, 2010. And they look like they could have been ordered yesterday.

Screengrab: Jennifer Lovdahl / Facebook

Lovdahl said she let the food sit for years in order to show people just how unnatural McDonald's food is.

"It has not rotted, moulded, or decomposed at all!!!" she writes. "It smells only of cardboard. We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this 'food' is. Especially for our growing children!! There are so many chemicals in this food! Choose real food! Apples, bananas, carrots, celery.those are real fast food."

But Lovdahl isn't the first person to conduct this little experiment. In fact, stories about McDonald's hamburgers lasting years before rotting are frequently used as proof that fast food basically just a big pile of preservatives.

McDonald's, however, has another explanation:

In other words, the microbes that cause food to rot need water to live, so if the burger loses its water and is kept in a dry place, it's not going to rot. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats actually tested out this theory, comparing the decomposition of McDonald's burgers and home-ground burgers, and found that, when left out in open air, neither the McDonald’s burgers nor the home-ground burgers rotted.

So, no, we can't say that all of McDonald's food is composed entirely of preservatives, but when presented with a highly processed McDonald's burger and an organic, grass-fed burger, we're pretty sure we know what you'll choose.

(h/t Business Insider)

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