“What does this picture tell you? My doctor has had this “processed food” on her counter ever since 2010 and 2011 respectively. I asked her why she had it out, she stated “to show people what they are putting into their bodies”. This is man-made “processed food”, not real food. Over time real food will decay, grow mold and produce a decomposing odor. This “processed food” has not done any of that, matter of fact it has kept it’s original size, shape and texture. Your body has to work harder to breakdown and digest this stuff over real food. Since I’ve seen this, I have not had any fast food.” - Jerome Morgan Jr.
I am by no means a fan or supporter of McDonald’s but this “experiment” has been done many times (including in Super Size Me) but proves next to nothing about the ingredients contained in McDonald’s or other fast food. Without ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, or even onions, there is absolutely no moisture in these foods (it might be a slightly different story with whatever their thickest hamburger is but even that is probably too thin/cooked too hot to retain any moisture). And unless the counter on which this food sits is in a sauna or the Caribbean, there’s likely not going to be any serious moisture in the air, either.
On top of that, one of the nutritional issues with McDonald’s and other fast food is the high sodium content (the fries alone are devastating in that department). Sodium is salt, which would absorb any semblance of moisture that did mosey on into the proceedings.
Translation: it would be very difficult for any food to decompose without moisture (this is why fruit and vegetables have the shortest shelf life — they’ve got water all up in them guts). If you don’t believe me, take a piece of bread (even infallibly organic, gluten-free, homemade bread), remove it from its sealed bag, and leave it out in a normal, dry room. It will get hard but unless you introduced moisture or bacteria* (i.e., if you let flies into the room), it would not look any different than when it was fresh (and it would not smell). This also applies to just about everything sold in every grocery store that is in a box or bag. Egads! The universe!
Another way to demonstrate that this is not a viable scientific study of any kind: throw some McDonald’s in a normal trash can. It will rot at a normal pace, because of the presence of moisture and bacteria down there. If this stuff didn’t rot or smell ever, why do they need to take out the trash at McDonald’s like every hour? Exactly. Boom. Face.
(I’m not a fast food apologist, I’m just an advocate against really poorly executed scientific “experiments”.)
* They may not do too much right but here’s one in McDonald’s column: there’s very little chance their food will have bacteria on-board.