Over the last ten years, I have become increasingly politicized about my food choices. I try to buy my produce from local farmers' markets; I won't buy from Whole Foods; I generally look for organic choices. I've also eliminated fast food from my kids' diets. That last item was/is the hardest part. Being kids, getting a toy with lunch is a big bonus.
One of the things I did was make my kids watch Morgan Spurlock's "SuperSize Me" to help them understand that Mommy wasn't being an arbitrary meanie, but that I cared about what went into their bodies. The bonus features included this scene where Spurlock bought McDonald's food and watch to see if it decomposed, and that brought it home for my kids.
That's some scary stuff there. If it doesn't break down in air, what the hell is it doing in your body? My kids won't eat at fast food restaurants any more. Artist Sallie Davies recreated the experiment for her Happy Meal Project.
That's the disturbing point brought home by the latest project of New York City-based artist and photographer Sally Davies, who bought a McDonald's Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen to see how well it would hold up over time.
The results? "The only change that I can see is that it has become hard as a rock," Davies told the U.K. Daily Mail.
She proceeded to photograph the Happy Meal each week and posted the pictures to Flickr to record the results of her experiment. Now, just over six months later, the Happy Meal has yet to even grow mold. She told the Daily Mail that "the food is plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it."
Don't expect it to decompose any time soon:
Wellness and nutrition educator Karen Hanrahan has indeed kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to show clients and students how resistant fast food can be to decomposition.
Fourteen years? That's not a happy meal...that's sick.