The 1996 McDonald’s Hamburger FAQ

The little 1996 McDonald’s Burger that could….

Who would have EVER thought that a show and tell prop and photograph of a 1996 McDonald’s Hamburger could cause such a bloggy stir?

Who would have ever known the devotion so many have to the almighty McDonalds Hamburger?

For those of you who were supportive, inquisitive and kind in your commentary – thank you.

For the many bloggers who shared the post – wow – my analytics show we’ve reached 49 plus countries!

For those who called me a liar, had disbelief in the validity of the burger and discounted me – well, those are the thoughts you are entitled to have. I didn’t respond because there were so many of you. I didn’t see the value of defending my simple experiment.

My intent for my blog post was to share something that amazes me to this very day, a burger I bought 12 years ago that looks like it did the very day I bought it.

Since many of you asked,  here are the answers to some of your questions…

The 1996 McDonalds Hamburger FAQ:

Did I freeze it? No

WHY would someone hold onto a burger for 12 years? Why not?

Where did you get the idea? A fellow sales leader shared with me that she had heard of someone who saved a burger and a twinkie and that it had never molded. I thought no way – I HAD to see for myself.

I heard of someone who had a twinkie like that. I have a twinkie too – mine is 5 years older than Michael Pollen’s twinkie, profound author of the Omnivore Dilemna

“The omnivore’s dilemma has returned with a vengeance, as the cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet confronts us with a bewildering and treacherous food landscape. What’s at stake in our eating choices is not only our own and our children’s health, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth.”

What did you do with the burger? I bought a plain hamburger, because that is what I was told the other person did. I separated the pieces – the bottom and top bun and the patty and put them on a plate in the cupboard. I would speculate that the burger sat on that plate in my cupboard over a year

Is there mold on the bun? Not one ounce of mold

What about the box you kept it in? The box I kept it in was not Tupperware, it was a sandwich box and as you can see it bannered the brand Welch’s Grape jam.

Where did you keep the box? In a drawer

Are you a nutritionist? No

Are you a dietician? No

Are you a teacher? No

What is my workshop Healthy Choices for Children? My community has an adult education division at the local high school. I pitched three workshop ideas to them and they hired me. Within that dynamic I created the workshop mentioned in the burger post – Healthy Choices for Children – I based it on a workshop someone else had shared with me, my personal experience in shifting to the alternative food market . My workshop was a way to get my name out into the community about my services and products. Grassroots marketing. I taught it twice a year for 10 years.

Do I sell vitamins? Yes, proudly for the number one nutrition company in the US. Selling vitamins and green cleaning supplies is how I earn my living. I have been an independent distributor for this company for 13 years

Was I a size 24? Yes. A car accident in 2001 had me in recovery for 2 years, during that time I became very sedentary and I gained a tremendous amount of weight. Judging someone by their weight is shameful. It’s positively mortifying to be obese. Because I have been there I understand the hopelessness one can feel, and want to help others to not go through what I have experienced. In recent years I took off 56 pounds despite another car accident and the loss of use of my hand. I share this because of some of the mean comments circulating. Have you ever been overweight?

What about the beef? It’s 100% USDA! Ever hear of factory farming? Please Educate Yourself: Watch The Meatrix


What about the wrapper? If my local McDonalds is using wrap circa 2003 as so many of you believe, that is certainly something I can’t comment on, I bought the 2008 burger last week.

I think the 1996 burger looks ” better” than the 2008 one – don’t you?

Youre just looking for blog traffic: Hits on my blog? I have to admit that was pretty fun. Sure, bloggers appreciate hits, especially if they monetize their blog. I don’t monetize my blog. Some bloggers, like myself want readership and usually have a message to share. It will be interesting to see how many readers stay when Im talking about healthful alternatives instead of 12 year old burgers.

How do I do my own test? I dont blame you if you find this unbelievable, thats what prompted me to conduct a test. Now its your turn to create your own proof. Buy a burger, put it on a plate in your cupboard for a few years, keep it in a plastic box in your drawer for another 10 and call me. By that time mine will be 24 years old and well write a joint blog post together.

It’s nothing but a scare tactic! No, its nothing but a personal test brought to the court of public opinion. Dont pour ketchup on the messenger. Every one can draw their own conclusion, but it certainly makes you wonder, doesnt it?

My favorite comment: I’ll pay you $5 to eat it right now!


Use facts. This burger demonstration makes perfect sense in the context of my workshop. Those are my facts. The workshop is nonjudgmental and all about choice. Eating McDonald’s is a choice. For some, seeing this burger has persuaded them to not eat or feed their children McDonalds ever again. As far as I am concerned that’s the point and my personal opinion.

K a r e n     H a n r a h a n
Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant
Mentoring YOU to Health Success

Weight Loss

Member of BNI – West Suburban BNI: “Chapter Mentor”
Member of West Suburban Women Entrepreneurs
WSWE Board Member and Programming Chair

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51 Responses to The 1996 McDonald’s Hamburger FAQ

  1. nadine sellers says:

    what a beautiful stir you have caused! did you just discover a superb marketing tool by honest photography?i would be surprised to see the numbers on this blog event.may you reach your every goal, you are a fantastic blogger.

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    nadine your comments are always welcome here…the stir has been very interesting!

  3. dianeb says:

    Miss Hanrahan – with all due respect, you are digging a deeper hole – you admit you are NOT a nutritionist, dietician or teacher, YET you TEACH wellness and are a wellness consultant. I would assume you get paid for your “wellness consulting” – but how are you actually qualified to do this? Where are your credentials except 13 years selling Shaklee.I know Shaklee vitamins are a good product – but selling vitamins to earn your living does NOT make you qualified to teach and educate people on wellness.You explained HOW you dried out the hamburger before putting it in the container. Had you put it into the container when you first bought it, yes, it would have gotten moldy. You dried it out – that’s all. You can do this with an organic hamburger.You seemed very pleased with yourself that it reached 49 countries – but your “scientific experiment” had very little value, as well as you uninformed information. A better test would have been to do the exact process with a “organic” burger and bun.A “fantastic” blogger is someone who actually gets facts correctly. You don’t.I am not a McD fan. I get iced tea there. However, to make undocumented derogatory statements about a very large corporation is not wise. Whether you realize it or not, you have opened yourself up to a lawsuit. It would have been better to just let the whole thing drop.As for your HUGE weight gain – please – people gain weight from eating. As a “wellness consultant”, you know that…….if you received comments about your weight and people judged you – well, it’s because you are in the field of “wellness education and consulting”and should practice what you “teach”. And I am curious – how did you do wellness consulting and workshops while you were (excuse the prhase) morbidly obese? Seriously, to make the excuse that you became sedentary – you’re a “wellness consultant” – how many calories a day did you need to consume to gain all that weight? Seriously.I would suggest you let this whole issue die down and stop writing about it – you are only making things worse. After reading comments, you have hurt your “reputation” more than helped it.

  4. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Dear Miss Diane,  Respectfully, when it becomes a crime to take a picture and talk about it kindly let me know. Parents don’t have masters degrees in mom and dad 101 and yet they educate their children profoundly each and every day.  When do they become qualified? The day a child is born? Life experience can qualify someone richly for all kinds of health and wellness sharing. I don’t know what makes you the credential police but you most certainly don’t understand the depth an informed nutritional consultation might provide. I feel that comments steeped with judgement and unkindness reduce your credibility. I could have stopped all of these ridiculous comments but feel they speak for themselves. Yours included.  What is it YOU do and since when are you concerned about my reputation?  I don’t even know you! I am very confident about my work, my life experiences, my qualifications and image here on the internet.  It takes remarkable courage and tenacity to overcome a weight challenge.  Have you ever done anything courageous? Have you ever patiently and methodically strived forward? Perhaps Miss Diane there is much more to the story than you know. Karen Hanrahan – wellness educator and nutritional consultantMentoring YOU To Health Success. 

  5. dianeb says:

    I’ll be interest to see if you post this reply….When you show a picture and talk derogatory about a well known product – yes, you are opening yourself up to a lawsuit. If you don’t want to believe me, so be it.You said my comments were “steeped in judgment and unkindness”. I asked basically what actual education you had to be a wellness consultant/educator. Apparently, that hit a “sore spot” with you since all you mention is life experience.You don’t see the irony of someone who was morbidly obese giving wellness consultation and education? Other people did.You say “I don’t even know you”. When you post daily blogs on the internet, you put yourself “out there” and be prepared for lots of uncomfortable comments. That’s just the way it is. What does parents being “qualified” to teach their own children have to do with you working as a “educator” ? That comment made NO sense whatsoever. If you are saying that you can go out and be a speaker/educator/wellness consultant because you have lived a life qualifies you to do so – well, that’s news to me.I have had “in depth informed nutritional consultations”, but they were with licensed nutritionist – not vitamin salespersons.NO, I don’t know you personally and am not invested in your reputation, but to ask me if I’ve ever patiently and methodically strived foward – have I EVER done anything courageous (like losing weight)…..well….I am a surgical nurse with the US Air Force – and I hold the rank of Captain.Does that answer your question? And talk about courage – come visit our VA hospital – then you’ll know what courge really is….If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you can’t take being critized, stop blogging.

  6. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Diane, My education has been through mentorship by a nutritionist. She’s degreed from Cormell and has 30 years in the field. Much if what I know today I learned from her.  Additionally, if you are familiar at all with our company,  we are very science based, our sales techniques always include explaining the quality and significant difference our products provide in the marketplace. We have trainings. We are the number one nutrition company in the US, and growing internationally. Our sales leaders do not need credentials to offer health and wellness.  They just need a desire to help people. I have always had a genuine interest in nutrition.  My first triumph was my own personal health, then the health of my children – they suffered from severe allergies. I became an expert in particular issues as clients crossed my path as I found out their needs.  Candida, PMS, Lowering Cholesterol, Detoxing, Children’s health are just a few areas of expertise.  I brought an additional layer to the equation as I worked for Whole Foods, opening the very first store in the midwest.  Because the alternative market was an interest of mine, the environment at Whole Foods was another place for me to train. All my credentials were built one person/ health recovery at a time for the last 13 years.  It’s not a sore spot at all to mention my experience. I just don’t see what it has to do with a hamburger. In the years when I was weighty I had significant growth in my business. Incremental growth each year.  While you may find it ironic that someone heavy could possibly inspire wellness, I actually did.  Should I explain the details of the triump of all of that on my blog,  Diane ? When someone tells you that they lost 56 lbs – it’s worth noting. It seems important for you to discount someone who was heavy. I think that’s insensitive Do you visit Best of Mother Earth often? I do post daily and have for over a year. My experience as a blog author has been profoundly positive. I have a strong community and the support has been remarkable. Uncomfortable comments have really not occurred prior to the burger post Parenting and life training really has everything to do with what qualifies me to speak, educate and inspire wellness. You didn’t mention that you are a parent. Perhaps you can’t relate. You have an admirable position and rank. I am sure you see your fair share of tragedy. You haven’t really answered my question Diane — what has you take the time to comment so determinedly here ? Have I satisfied your curiosity ?   Can you perhaps find a way to see me as someone valid in my profession? ~  Karen

  7. diane says:

    I found your website on another site – and I saw the blog and started reading your information. You want to know WHY I have commented on your site – it’s because I have seen people who are ill been taken by others who sell them “wellness” at a very expensive price. I know a person who had a very bad experience with a Shaklee salesperson – and, therefore, am suspicious of vitamin sales people in general.So, you are saying that Shaklee sales leaders need “no credentials to offer health and wellness.” (I just quoted you). So, anyone can sell that what you’re saying? With NO experience in health or nutrition. I didn’t ask you about your life experience – I asked you about your actual qualifications such as education to be a wellness/nutriton consultant/educator. So, you were mentored and you had trainings – you explained your “education”. Losing 56 lbs. is admirable – it’s the gaining 56 lbs. while selling nutrition and wellness that is ironic. I see you have many recipes and eating suggestions…I have to eat very carefully because we are required to be in shape – I can’t imagine gaining 56 lbs and not wondering “gee, maybe I’m eating too much”I am a parent AND a surgical RN – and although I have had quite a few courses in nutrition while getting my Bachelor’s and Master’s, I don’t think I would be qualified to consult with people on their nutritional needs. That is what a licensed Nutritionist does.Just because you are a parent and have lived doesn’t automatically qualify you to speak, educate and inspire wellness AND be paid for doing so. People were questioning your validity as a professional BECAUSE of your comments on the McDonald blog – and many of your comments were incorrect from a scientific viewpoint. That is what all the comments are about – Yes, you have satisfied my curiousity.

  8. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I can see that you come from a pro medical perspective.  Sometimes those of us who work alternatively may seem shifty. I am sorry to hear about a person you know who had a bad experience, truth is someone can also have a bad experience with a doctor too.  I am a very particular consumer and initially was not sold on supplementation. I completely understand the skepticism as it’s something we encounter in our work all the timeYes anyone can be trained to share wellness.  No degree required. While you didn’t ask me about my life experiences, I feel my life contributes greatly to the quality of my work and services. It’s part of my personal resume. You don’t have to agree but I feel it’s part of what I offer.Gaining weight during a medical trauma can happen Diane. It had nothing to do with me eating too much. I am a scratch cook, we eat raw foods daily and organics since the early 90’s. Imagine gaining weight and not being able to do anything about it.  Please don’t judge those who are heavy. You’d be an excellant wellness consultant. Many medical doctors share our products with their patients. Our scientfic advisory board is extremely impressiveIf you look at the comments about the burger most were pro burger.  Many took what I wrote out of context.  I am glad that your curiosity has been satisfied. I hope to see you here again soon

  9. Dane says:

    Question: Would you be willing to surrender a part of the 1996 burger so that it could be subjected to observation and testing?

  10. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Sorry Diane.  You can create your own and have it tested in 12 years

  11. Paul Moloney says:

    How very odd. So let me get this straight – if you dry out a piece of meat, it doesn’t rot. And somehow this “proves” there are no nutrients in the meat. Despite the fact that protein and carbohydrates are considered nutrients by scientific authorities.Oh, and you admit that the reason you teach a workshop – with no official qualifications – aimed at children’s health is to promote vitamin pills. Which is strange because if you eat as healthily as you claim, why do you need to take supplements?I certainly don’t either condemn or defend McDonalds – I get something from there once a month or less – but this is just quack science. It’s one thing to do this for a laugh, but you’re teaching classes based on it.P.

  12. diane says:

    Just so you realize, I did not write the reply asking to see the hamburger – that was someone named Dane -you answered Diane.I am NOT coming from a medical perspective. I have been holistic since the late 70’s. I AM looking at this from a “health” perspective.I am not judging those who are heavy. I am questionning HOW a wellness consultant – who is a scratch cook & eats raw foods daily – could let themselves gain 56 lbs. NOT judgement – questions.Your comment ‘anyone can be trained to share wellness’ – I asked about your training. You said you were mentored and have training. I asked what kind.People were questionning your methods of “testing” the burger and the faulty facts you stated. There were comments from people who didn’t eat MdDonalds, but still found your blog faulty.I don’t need to hear your life experience – I don’t ask for life experience when I see a professional – I ask for credentials and training.Telling people what supplements would benefit them is serious – everyone has different needs – so, your life experience doesn’t enter into this equation.

  13. Karen Hanrahan says:

    My mistake Diane re: the burger request – I am so sorryI thought you stated your questions had been addressedIs there anything else you need to say ?

  14. Dane says:

    Your response is an unfortunate one. This situation is similar to a scientist positing a theory but not allowing his methods and data to be peer reviewed. I cannot accept your statements as being valid or accurate without corroborating data. You cannot expect the majority to accept your position just ‘because you say so’ and state that you are an ‘expert’ in wellness and nutritional consulting…that would be like me saying current gravimetric theory is wrong and I say so because I’m a physicist, but I’m not going to let you review my data or test my theories, you have to believe just because I say so…that just doesn’t hold any sense at all.

  15. Fran says:

    I have been reading your site re the McDonald’s original blog.You stated ANYONE CAN BE TRAINED TO SHARE WELLNESS…what? What EXACTLY is sharing wellness? Selling vitamins?The more I read, the more I wonder about what you do – you have no FORMAL training, yet you CONSULT (at a fee I assume) with people about what supplements they should consume. BUT you are not a dietitician ,nutritionist or teacher, yet you give health advice and EDUCATE. Please.You were trained by Shaklee to sell their product. Period.Your 12 year old hamburger being used as a prop in your EDUCATION CLASSES is ridiculous. You can dry out an “organic” burger and bun. Do that and then use both as props.

  16. chris says:

    I LOVE the first comment by “Nadine” saying what a superb marketing tool (the dried out hamburger) by honest photography. Marketing tool? For what? Obviously, Karen Hanrahan and Nadine know NOTHING about marketing. Using a famous product without correct facts and not using a “organic” product for comparison – no, that’s not a superb marketing tool. It’s a dried out hamburger. I AM a marketing director for a large Health Food Distributor and this just makes me laugh.

  17. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I share wellness for you, your family and wellness for the planet.  Supplementation, Herbal Medicines, Air and Water Purification, Plant Based – never tested on animals skin care and and entire Green Clean line – a favorite of Oprah actually – should you have an actual interest in the work that I do I’d be happy to be of service

  18. Karen Hanrahan says:

     What large Health Food Distributor do you work for ? 

  19. Cate says:

    I read your blog and the comments – and now I see you also sell herbal medicine.I am a certified and licensed Herbalist – I studied and worked at Omega Institute over 6 years to prepare and “prescribe” herbal remedies.When you wrote about your “training” in being able to consult about vitamins – I let it go – but Herbal Medicine???No – you ARE NOT qualified to do this from all the information you have given.I AM educated and licensed to this. YOU ARE NOT. Period.

  20. Chris says:

    I work for Wild Oats, not that it matters.

  21. Karen Hanrahan says:

    OOOPS I meant to say medicinal herbs –  correction I am perfectly qualified to share herbs like alfalfa, echinacea, ginseng etc with my clients.

  22. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I use to work for Whole Foods. Any store sharing the alternative market with more people matters.

  23. cate says:

    How are you qualified to recommend medicinal herbs to your clients?I recommend medicinal herbs – explain how you think medicinal herbs are DIFFERENT than herbal medicine?I’d be interested in hearing your comments. Thank you.

  24. Karen Hanrahan says:

    You do what you do with your credentials and I do what I do with the company I proudly represent.  We each offer alternative solutions that get results with our clients and help people.  That’s a good thing.  If you are concerned about the thousands and thousands of independant distributors around the world sharing herbs – medicinal  or otherwise.  I suggest you look first to see what it is we offer.  Our products are profound and some are unlike any other. We are affiliated with a huge variety of chiropractors, massage therapists, and medical doctors who ALL use this product line in their practices.  Are you going to say they are not qualified ?  Our scientific advisory board has some of the very best doctors in their area of expertise represented. It’s very impressive.  You and I both strive for the same thing. To help people. In 13 years I have helped countless families, health challenged individuals. Are you saying that’s a bad thing?

  25. cate says:

    You didn’t answer my question – very simple – explain how YOU think recommending medicinal herbs (that you say you do) IS different than using herbal medicine?(which is what I do)That was my question which you completely ignored.

  26. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Cate,I am OK with how I’ve already answered your question, it may not be what you wanted to hear but it’s what I want to say. I think we do similar work. I feel we help people. I have been gracious, and I haven’t moderated or ignored your commentary. 

  27. cate says:

    You didn’t answer my simple question – because you said what YOU wanted to say.You think we do similar work? I don’t think so. I am licensed and certified -I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and 6 years of education and training as a herbalist….. you sell vitamins.You ignored my question because you don’t want to answer it. I wonder what Shaklee would think of your reply…….

  28. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I think we both help people – how many times or ways can I say it ?  Feel free to ask my company anything you’d like.

  29. cate says:

    I plan to ask your company what qualifies you to sell medicinal herbs and the fact that you think medicinal herbs and herbal medicines are DIFFERENT. Maybe Shaklee can explain the “difference”.

  30. Thinking says:

    To introduce myself-I am a licensed Occupational Therapist and have a Master’s Degree from a reputable school and was trained in the Texas Medical Center. I also worked on a research team between my Bachelor and Master’s degree, and the schools I went to emphasized a researcher/practitioner model. If this experiment were submitted to a peer review journal, it would not pass because the design is flawed:it is anecdotal. I’m not hearing from the author that she intended a solid scientific experiment, though, so that’s fine. The next step would be to repeat it with a control group.Scientific studies are not flawless either. The big problem is money, and there’s a lot of money in research. The other problem is inappropriate use of statistics.I will now switch to personal background. I have had moderate-severe persistent asthma for ten years. These are quotes from doctors: “moving out of Houston’s air pollution will not help your lungs”, “since you take prednisone, you should eat as much dairy as you can”, and “would you stop all that coughing, I can’t hear a thing!”, and while doing the pulmonary function test, “do you not understand, you’re not suppose to cough” as I’m bent over wheezing up a storm. Then, upon receiving the results that I was at 75% of expected value (in fact, tests are normed, and norms depend on Bell Curves. Some people don’t fit the norms, and my personal best is 720 peak flow, the norms predict 450. I was at 47% of my personal best.) “There’s nothing wrong-I won’t increase any of your meds.” My response “I can speak only one word at a time, I’m having attacks that don’t respond to albuterol, I’m breathing with accessory muscles. You’re crazy.” Having credentials does not guarantee common sense.I read some advice from someone who did not have formal credentials (not the author of this blog), I bought nothing because they were not asking for money or selling anything. It helped a lot. When I told my doctor stopping dairy products helped my lungs, he admitted he’d known for years it would help, but never told me, instead recommending a $2000/month medicine with no long term studies demonstrating that it is safer than prednisone.Having credentials guarantees you have a basic level of knowledge, not that you have common sense. Why would a doctor recommend a drug with no long term studies demonstrating safety and effectiveness when having Kale and fortified soy milk instead of regular dairy will help and this has not been tried? The advice given by the uncredentialed person was better than that given by the credentialed one.I do admit, though, that credentials guarantee a minimal knowledge set, if not common sense.In terms of this particular author, I can not tell how much is motivated by a desire to sell things and how much is not. I don’t know.

  31. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Dear Thinking, I appreciate your ponderings here, and I am glad to hear that an alternative modality has helped your asthma. I am personally medically skeptic, many issues along the way treated medically were not treated well. Many clients I have altered their health with supplementation have had negative medical advice or experiences.I can’t negate medicine completely – it has it’s place. I think all meds in general are bad they either destroy organs or have side effects. If one can get the same results with supplements I think it’s worth a try. I want my organs for awhile. I have been writing nutritionally since 2002 and decided to have that available on a blog – partly as a way to reach more people and partly as a draw to my services. My blog is a marketing expression. Just so you know past asthma clients do well with Vitamin E, Cal.Mag and Ginko Biloba. The quality of the supplement makes a difference in the result.

  32. Razzie says:

    Please stop spreading information about topics that you have absolutely no credentials to teach. You openly admit that you are not only not a dietitian, you don’t even have the training of a nutritionist. Your health basis is from sales experience for a vitamin company. While the vitamins may be great, a company such as this often publishes nutritional information that supports the use of their vitamins, but may have very little research basis. I am not doubting that there is no visible mold or deterioration, but even as you have admitted, the fat in the hamburger has undergone oxidative rancidity. This is a process in which any unsaturated fats undergo, due to prolonged exposure to oxygen. There is a free radical that produces many oxidation products, the main one being hydroperoxide which then breaks down into various aldehydes, ketones and alcohols. These all can cause not only off-odors, flavors, and colors, but may also pose health concerns in large doses. I guess I should clarify my education and qualification to educate you on this topic; I am graduating from the University of Illinois with my degree in Food Science and I currently help to TA a Food Chemistry class, so I have observed many of these properties in text and lab settings as well. I do not write this in anger, I just want people to know where to get reliable information and to learn about food and nutrition.

  33. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Dear Razzie,My 12 year old burger is a prop.  It is a very very convincing prompt for discussion. That is what this prop is for. My workshop is framed within the context of the book Diet for a Poisoned Planet, the food guide pyramid and a lot of common sense.  It’s about shifting from mainstream eating and getting back to scratch preparation, eating local, and fresh. It’s about eating real food. Not something wrapped in paper or something from a box. The workshop is interactive, very informative and offers parents options they may have never considered before. We spend the first class getting to know each other, what brought them to my class and outlining the issues and concerns of the american diet. The second class we talk about options, about organics, the alternative food market. The third and final class we take a field trip to a Whole Foods.  Some years we have had a reunion and parents from other classes meet up for dinner before the field trip. In some cases we have watched each other’s children grow up.  In 10 years I have met and helped many parents and their children shift to healthier eating.  Some of my parents have had special needs children. We’ve been able to make sense out of how diet can impact the unique needs of those particular kids. Tell me exactly how is spreading this kind of information is harmful? I was hired as a community educator.  I had to be interviewed. It’s not some willy nilly little gigI understand that many feel vitamins are not researched based.  Our industry is not regulated, It’s true that some companies are shifty.  I don’t work for those companies. I don’t want to throw long lists of research at you. I work for a very science based nutritional supplement company.  I am very proud to represent them.  We are the number #1 nutrition company in the US. I could  not work for a company that didn’t match my values and have integrity. I just couldn’t I respect your degree, your area of expertise and that you feel my information might not be reliable, however I feel you might miss the point of my sharing in the first place. It’s not important that the burger have a scientific explanation. It’s important that it’s a 12 year old burger that looks exactly like it did the day I bought it.  The mere premise of which horrifies many. It’s not about prooving something. Mother Earth aka Karen Hanrahan

  34. Tina says:

    Here’s some food for thought: The original Ronald McDonald that donned the suit became a vegan and animal rights activist.Here’s a story to ponder: A friend of mine, born and raised in the farming industry, attended an auction where two well-known fast food franchises were bidding. The larger of the franchise (not naming names, but come on people – where am I posting???) bid on scrawny, virtually downed bovines. Guess that’s why the $1 menu has taken off!Anyone watch supersize me? We’ve become a fast paced world living on fast paced food. We’re all going to find our graves a lot faster.

  35. Dane says:

    If it’s not about proving something, then why have you gone out of your way to try and prove that a 12 year old burger looks the same as if it was bought today? Obviously, you are out to prove something or you wouldn’t have bothered to do all this.Unfortunately, since you are reticent to allow your ‘proof’ to be examined by any outside agency, there’s no reason to take you seriously. There are a whole array of questions to be considered, the least of which is how scientific your ‘findings’ happen to be. When you couple this to your educational background, your position becomes almost ludicrous. As I said before, this is like a scientist claiming to have made some amazing discovery, but not allowing his methods, proofs or practices to be peer reviewed. THIS is why the information you spread COULD be harmful. Until you can firmly establish some scientific credence to your claim-that is, a claim that can be observed, measured, examined and verified-than there is no reason to put any stock into your position.

  36. Paul Moloney says:

    “I think all meds in general are bad they either destroy organs or have side effects”Well, I’m glad that you’ve removed all doubt that you’re a quack.P.

  37. Michelle says:

    I appreciate your skepticism so I encourage you to continue to look into this issue. This is exactly what is continuing our health care crisis and why America has one of the worst health care report cards in the world. Most doctors, nurses and nutritionists don’t know anything about diet and nutrition = that should shock you. The people who potentially know the most are those who have had issues – weight gain after being sedentary – and have to find out for themselves what works and what is wrong. Inflammation is a big issue which causes weight gain – regardless of how many calories you intake. Yes, calories in/calories out is a factor but it is by no means the ONLY factor and you can find that out for yourself if you do some research. I think its great Karen is creating such a stir with this blog. It’s great you responded – it shows some interest even if I strongly disagree with you. We need this disagreement to get the information out there – personal responsibility is huge here – we can’t eat crap and toxins and expect our health to continue. Some people have exceptional genes and therefore aren’t affected. Not everyone gets cancer who smokes cigarettes but there is a huge risk of heart disease, lung disease, and of course cancer, so would you begin to smoke if you REALLY understood the risks? I don’t think so. So the better educated we all are, the better we will function as we should – united for each other.

  38. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Appreciate your passionate health minded comments here and your support, Michelle!

  39. neil says:

    For some, seeing this burger has persuaded them to not eat or feed their children McDonalds ever again. As far as I am concerned that’s the point and my personal opinion.So that’s why you think it’s worth it to lie like this.I think it’s too bad you feel that you can’t make your point without lying.

  40. J91351 says:

    I did my own test with a plain Mcdonald’s burger, and it came out the same. Dried but otherwise looks perfect! When I touched the bun for the first time after 30 days it cracked in half…but still golden brown…. Scary!

  41. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Let’s meet up 12 years from now and we can compare!

  42. Jak says:

    1) Don’t be absurd. The first Ronald Mc Donald was Willard Scott and I have found no indication that he is or was a vegan or animal rights activist.2) Supersize Me:Did YOU watch the movie? I noticed a grandstanding idiot blithely ignoring all recommendations of his doctors and nutritionists (they continually gave him exact menu items for best health, which he ignored and continued to choose the obviously unhealthy ones.)Oh my gosh – he became unhealthy eating like a pig with no regard for common sense for a month?!Shocking.For those who see this movie as a reason to demonize fast food, I sincerely hope you aren’t that easily swayed in more important things.Oh wait – it IS post November second – I guess you were.

  43. Jak says:

    1) Don’t be absurd. The first Ronald Mc Donald was Willard Scott and I have found no indication that he is or was a vegan or animal rights activist.2) Supersize Me:Did YOU watch the movie? I noticed a grandstanding idiot blithely ignoring all recommendations of his doctors and nutritionists (they continually gave him exact menu items for best health, which he ignored and continued to choose the obviously unhealthy ones.)Oh my gosh – he became unhealthy eating like a pig with no regard for common sense for a month?!Shocking.For those who see this movie as a reason to demonize fast food, I sincerely hope you aren’t that easily swayed in more important things.

  44. Jessica says:

    How many calories does it contain?

  45. Hans says:

    If bacteria won’t eat it, neither should I. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Noel says:

    The problem here, i think, is twofold- one- the fact that you have conducted this “study/experiment” without any valid scientific methods, and that you refuse to have your methods subject to proper scientific scrutiny. However, this would be perfectly alright if you hadn’t used (point 2) the burger as a prop in an education class for health and organic eating. Without the scrutiny i mentioned, it is irresponsible, if not downright dangerous to use home experiments to educate people. Medical disasters (for lack of a better term) are caused by people claiming to be knowledgeable about something when the sole credential they have is a shoddily designed home experiment. Of course, your lack of qualification also poses further questions about the safety/effectiveness of the course you give. No doubt you feel good about helping people, but I believe that good intentions count for nothing if not backed up by established knowledge. I would rather see a cranky, yet brilliant doc, as opposed to a pleasant doc who knows little or nothing about my ailment. I recommend you cease these activities until you can acquire formal training and proper qualifications/ certifications. Thank you.

  47. Justin says:

    Joel – you crack me up. There are just as many ‘qualified/certified/educated’ doctors botching things as there are doctor-mom’s botching them. The fact you clowns are so scared to accept the fact a (now 14?) year old burger looks the same as when purchased makes me wonder just how ignorant our society has become.

    Let’s just say I’ve used a particular supplement for the past 20 years with positive results. Am I supposed to listen to some ‘qualified/certified/educated’ doctor who says it’s yielded negative results in test subjects after 6 months of use, yet isn’t old enough to have even been born when I started using it? Sometimes knowledge doesn’t come from a book. Is the educated kid with a 4.0 at Harvard smarter than the kid that can dismantle quantum physics in his sleep while never having attended school? Get off the stats.

    Tribes all across the world rely on herbal medicine and strange methods to heal the ill; all of which are passed down. Do they not work because they aren’t documented and haven’t passed a review board? Would they work better if so?

    Personally, I think this ‘experiment’ was harmless. Harmless both to the burger, and to the folks that may have been turned away from this CRAP food as a result. Fast Food is junk. Tasty maybe, but junk nonetheless.

    Karen want a new experiment? Send me the burger. I’ll eat it and we’ll see if I live. 🙂

  48. Noel says:

    First of all, the name’s Noel, not Joel, Justin. Second, I think you misunderstood the thrust of my comment. Let me address your rebuttals. Firstly, no one denies that knowledge is often obtained from sources other than books, and that’s fine. It’s not fine when this knowledge is proven untrue, or proven ‘true’ using very questionable methods. To use the example you gave, it’s remarkable this kid can solve quantum physics in his sleep, yet never went to school. What’s important is if this kid chooses to share his solutions, they must be properly examined and validated by experts to be accepted as solid fact or scientific principle. Point 2) It’s not about the burger itself, though the burger was tested without a control (like an organic burger) and that it did undergo oxidative rancidity as Razzie pointed out in his/her comment. (Which is why using the experiment as a basis to descredit fast foods in a class is not right). Rather it is the attitude behind the post here. The attitude that someone can teach people how to eat based only on life experiences with little or no formal training. As you pointed out, if you use a supplement that benefitted you but brought negative effects to the general population, would it be right to educate the public to consume it based on your experience alone? There’s a reason science is conducted like that, it is to find what works for the majority, which makes recommending drugs and such safer (and more economical) and that is why formal education and training is necessary. Thank you.

  49. C~ says:

    I think the point the posting Nazi’s are forgetting is that the burger isn’t a Masters level thesis experiment; it’s a curiosity, a prop like she said. It doesn’t NEED a “control” it’s not that serious. The fact that it looks like it does is just a gross little factoid. The anti-qualified crowd can suck it too. Who cares if she sells vitamins or pokes a voodoo doll; if you don’t “believe” in her methods don’t go to her class or buy her stuff. Some people just have to have something to pick at and B**** about! Way to go Mother Earth. Lets save something else on the shelf in your kitchen…..hmmmm twinkie has been done, hmmm?

  50. Alice Smith says:

    I did an experiment like this one. I put a mcdonalds hamburger on a plate and left it in my garage. A week later, there was mold on the bottom. ONE WEEK later, not some crazy number of years.

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