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A 12-Year-Old Burger

A 12-Year-Old Burger

by macdaddy on September 25, 2008 · 16 comments

I don’t eat much fast food, even when I’m not trying to be healthy. When I do indulge, it’s usually at the Northwest-only Burgerville or at the ubiquitous McDonald’s. The former has many redeeming qualities (including good food), but the latter? Ugh. Maybe I need to reconsider.

Karen at Best of Mother Earth has posted about a 12-year-old McDonald’s hamburger that she keeps as a prop. Why does she keep it? Because it still looks brand new:

Karen writes:

This is a hamburger from McDonalds that I purchased in 1996. That was 12 years ago. Note that it looks exactly like it did the very day I bought it. The flecks on the bun are crumbs from the bun. The burger is starting to crumble a bit. It has the oddest smell.


People always ask me – what did you do to preserve it? Nothing — it preserved itself. Ladies, Gentleman, and children alike — this is a chemical food. There is absolutely no nutrition here. Not one ounce of food value.  Or at least value for why we are eating in the first place.

Kind of makes me glad I haven’t had McDonald’s in 2008.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matty September 25, 2008 at 7:23 am

Reminds me of the book I’m reading – The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I highly recommend it.

Also – did you at least have that monstrosity stored in the fridge?


2 Joe September 25, 2008 at 9:43 am

Much as Morgan Spurlock did at the end of “SuperSize Me” with the McD’s fries.


3 sam September 25, 2008 at 9:47 am

But all of his burgers got moldy.

I’m pretty sure this means nothing to the breakdown of the burger in your body..


4 Blaine September 25, 2008 at 10:19 am

Although I’m not a big supporter of McDonald’s or fast food, I’m a little skeptical of the claim. The “I’m lovin’ it” campaign, which is clearly visible on the wrapper, was not started until 2003. Maybe she needed a new wrapper (which be ironic considering that the burger lasted 12 years but the wrapper couldn’t)?


5 Blaine September 25, 2008 at 10:20 am

Nevermind – guess I should have read the original post first! The new wrapper was purchased this year.


6 Alexia September 25, 2008 at 10:48 am

Ew! I remember reading that, if you put an open container of margarine in the garage, not even the bugs will touch it and it won’t decompose — any truth to that one or is that an urban myth?


7 Dave September 25, 2008 at 12:15 pm

ahhh….but at $1, the double-cheeseburger provided to us with mickey D’s superior purchasing power is clearly a wonder of the world…how can anyone on a budget resist?


8 Brigid September 26, 2008 at 5:46 am

Plus – this could save on funeral expenses. Eating one of those a day is like getting yourself pre-embalmed.


9 J. Peaslee September 26, 2008 at 5:53 am

Wow, that is…horrifically disturbing…


10 September 26, 2008 at 8:12 am

Mmmmm… I’m lovin’ it.


11 MizFit September 29, 2008 at 5:25 am

I think Im alone in not at all being surprised.

what did we expect? any different? :)


12 Miguel September 30, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Ha! I lost a McDonald’s cheese burger in my car a few years ago… I found it 6 months later, still in the wrapper. I opened it. The thing looked as fresh as the day I bought it.

It survived a whole Georgia summer. The inside of my car easily hit 150 degrees on most days.

My wife and I were pretty amused.


13 Jordan October 21, 2008 at 9:21 am

The small problem with this claim is not only is the wrapper too new to be 12 years old. But McDonald’s didn’t start toasting their buns until 1998… So lets assume she managed to get one of the first ones made, the oldest she can claim is 10 years old.

What annoys me about this is she claims right there on her website that, how can this be called food, and there is no nutrition here. If that really was the case, you would be able to shovel these things down your throat all day long and not gain any weight retained weight.

It’s a known fact that all chemicals break down in the body over time, some metals even do, some don’t so unless this burger is made out of some sort of new metal that looks, smells, tastes, cooks, feels like food then eating these things with her claims you would not gain any weight.

I don’t like McDonald’s, or much fast food to be honest, I’m overweight because I enjoy cooking and eating food. Nothing unhealthy, I don’t like sweets, a Nutritionist told me, don’t change your food, just don’t eat as much of it.

That says a lot about a diet, and probably the most profound thing most don’t understand. Food is Food no matter what form it comes in, eat the right amount and you can eat candy bars as your source of food, you just can’t eat a lot of it.


14 Joe October 21, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Hi Jordan,

I can’t add anything about the wrapper, but claiming that McD’s didn’t toast their buns before 1998 is crazy. I worked there in 1986, and all buns but for the Filet O’Fish, were toasted. The Filet buns were steamed.


15 Lefty Farkleberry April 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Burger Blues

Apparently, I can get a burger now
At my local Mickey “D’s”,
“Freshly” fried to order,
Hold the lettuce, onions, pickles please.

Then, take that savory Happy-slab
Of ground-up cow on home,
Park it for score of years,
Until it resembles greasy Styrofoam.

Wonder if an archeologist will find it,
A fossilized Quarter Pound?
And if Ronald, then, will want it back,
To sell it one more round?

Lefty Farkleberry


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