A recent examination of McDonald’s popular French fry making process found that a number of ingredients used in it have been associated with brain damage, autoimmune disorders and even cancer! Grant Imahara, one of the hosts of the popular Mythbusters show, visited a McDonald’s fry factory in order to discover what’s inside those delicious fries. Using reverse-engineering, Imahara was able to isolate the following 15 ingredients:
- Canola oil
- Soybean oil
- Hydrogenated soybean oil
- Natural beef flavor
- Hydrolyzed wheat
- Hydrolyzed milk
- Citric acid
- Sodium acid pyrophosphate
- Hydrogenated oil
- TBHQ (Tertiary butylhydroquinone)
The three main problematic ingredients on the list are dimethylpolysiloxane, TBHQ and hydrogenated soybean oil.
Dimethylpolysiloxane is a compound commonly used in aquarium tank sealants, hair conditioners and silly putty, and sometimes it contains formaldehyde, a toxic chemical linked to brain damage, allergies, autoimmune disorders and other serious diseases. TBHQ on the other hand, can be found in perfumes and bio-diesel besides being present in McDonald’s fries.
Hydrogenated soybean oil has been put under a lot of fire recently due to the unhealthy effects on people who regularly consume it. Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston say that over 100 000 cardiac arrests every year are caused by trans fats from hydrogenated oils.
The release of this information to the public is a part of the “Our Food. Your Questions” McDonald’s initiative which makes nutritional information about their products available to everyone. “After listening carefully to our customers and identifying some of the challenges we were up against, McDonald’s created a transparent line of communication via the interactive, online Q&A platform,” said a representative of the company in a statement to Global News. But, although McDonald’s is trying to be more transparent about their products and their ingredients, they’ve made no promise or any plans to change the ingredients.