Posts Tagged ‘6 months’

The 6 Month Old McDonalds Happy Meal May Have Been a Bad Science Experiment

November 1, 2010

By now, you’ve likely heard about Sally Davies’ photographing a McDonald’s Happy Meal that was left out for six months and never decomposed. While the egg (McMuffin?) is certainly on McDonald’s faces over the whole experiment, it turns out that at least one scientist has announced a new experiment to check on the results that Ms. Davies found.

One Theory: The Hamburger Was Dry

The prevailing theory regarding the Happy Meal that refused to turn is that if it was extremely dry, it wouldn’t have been able to decompose. This is because mold and bacteria require moisture to grow.

Bad Science Charged

A blogger from the Serious Eats blog, J. Kenji Lopez Alt insists that the efforts of Ms. Davies constitute “bad science.” He charges that Ms. Davies (along with a number of others who are attempting to recreate the results of her experiment, such as Morgan Spurlock, who directed a documentary on the health effects of eating fast food every day called “Super Size Me” and Karen Hanrahan, who writes another blog, called Best of Mother Earth) is doing a one-sided experiment.

According to Mr. Kenji Lopez, they are not bothering to compare the results with other burgers to see if there is something special about the McDonalds food which makes it last so long as opposed to other homemade hamburgers and French Fries.

A New Experiment to Be Performed

He has decided that he is going to engage in a new scientific experiment where he will compare different hamburgers–including homemade hamburgers–to see if there is a difference between them.

He says he’s not against the idea of doing these experiments. He’s simply bothered by the “bad science” that has been used to draw these conclusions. Mr. Kenji Lopez has announced that he will be posting the results of his own experiment in a few weeks on his blog.