Periodically, over the last year, I've wasted a day or so screaming at my computer screen about how photos of a McDonald's hamburger failing to rot were not a sign that the food was somehow artificial or dangerous, but, rather, just what happens to meat products and bread when you leave them out in the open air. Think about the last hunk of baguette you didn't finish. Same thing. Basically, the food dries out before it has a chance to rot.
I'd been concocting a scheme to try this out at home, pitting a McDonald's burger against one made at home from free-range beef and organic bread. Luckily for my husband, Serious Eats up and did what I'd merely threatened.
In the picture above: A real,
live rotting McDonald's hamburger. Notice the plastic bag, which traps moisture and prevents the burger from drying out before the mold sets in.
Interestingly, because he ran this experiment with an impressive level of thoroughness, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt figured out that large McDonald's burgers (as opposed to the single-patty Happy Meal size) will, in fact, rot in open air. As will home-made burgers of similar proportion. It's only the small ones that get mummified. His conclusion:
The burger doesn't rot because it's small size and relatively large surface area help it to lose moisture very fast. Without moisture, there's no mold or bacterial growth. Of course, that the meat is pretty much sterile to begin with due to the high cooking temperature helps things along as well. It's not really surprising. Humans have known about this phenomenon for thousands of years. After all, how do you think beef jerky is made?
Read the full experiment (includes graphs!) at Serious Eats
NASA today announced that astronomers studying data from NASA’s Great Observatories have found the best evidence yet for “cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes.”
Could you recover a murder victim’s last sight of their killer by extracting it from the retina? Little more than a century ago, forensic scientists thought it might be possible. After all, in 1877 physiologist Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne was able to develop a simple image from an albino rabbit’s dissected eyeball. (Above, the two images […]
Backed by huge donations from vitamin companies, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is pushing to get naturopathic medicine recognized and regulated in all 50 US states, paving the way to receiving public funds in the form of Medicare reimbursements.
Jared Sinclair developed the RSS reader app Unread, which made $10,000 in its first 24 hours on the iOS market. And we’ve all heard the story of Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen, whose creation was reportedly earning $50,000 a day at the height of its 2013 explosion. While those are rare examples, they’re also testament to the […]
If you or your company’s IT system are besieged by black hat cyber attacks, an ethical hacker might be all that stands between crippling damage and a company’s long-term prosperity. It’s no wonder that the market for IT security specialists is exploding. Certification is the key – so learn the tenets of ethical hacking and get […]
Your laptop and mobile devices are top of the line…so why are you trotting out that raggedy decades-old suitcase when you go somewhere? Time to up your travel game with a complete 5-piece Herschel Travel Luggage bundle…and we’ll even give it to you for free!Of course, you’ve got to win the Ultimate Herschel Travel Bundle […]