It looks like an old urban legend about fast food hamburgers might actually be true. The burgers may actually contain little or no meat, with results showing some burgers containing only 2.1% actual meat.
When a team of scientists analyzed eight fast food burgers for their report in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, they discovered that meat composed only a tiny percentage of the patty. The burger with the most meat contained just 14.8% beef, while another burger contained just 2.1% meat. The study is available online from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.
The scientists, Brigid Prayson, James T. McHahon PhD, and Richard A. Prayson MD, found that the average burger contained just 12.1% meat. As a substitute, the main ingredient in the burger patties was found to be water.
The researchers also discovered other kinds of animal tissue inside the ‘burgers’, including bone and cartilage. Fortunately, no brain tissue was found in the burgers, which mostly rules out the danger of mad cow disease. Some of the burgers also contained plant-based materials.
Unfortunately, the chains selling the burgers were not identified in the study. It simply listed eight different burgers. The main results of the study indicate that meat used to make them seems to be deliberately injected with water to make it heavier.
Parasites in the ‘Burgers’
The researchers at the Laurel School in Ohio didn’t find much meat, but they did find something else: At least two of the burgers contained Sarcocystis parasites. These parasites have been found to cause a deadly disease in some species of animals.
Scientists don’t think that Sarcocystis can harm humans, but it has caused infections that have killed pigs and mice in the laboratory. Scientists in Oregon found that Sarcocystis can kill deer. There is no effective treatment for a Sarcocystis infection.
What this study, called ‘Fast food hamburgers: what are we really eating?’, indicates is that the low prices charged for burgers at popular fast food joints are too good to be true. The patties they’re using are of so low quality that they contain little or no meat. Unfortunately, the fat content of the burgers wasn’t mentioned.
What is more troubling is that parasites were found in two of the burgers. It looks like fast food burgers contain no meat and are potentially dangerous. If you care about your health or your family’s health, stay away from fast food. You should also stay away from fast food if you want value for your money. There is now scientific data that indicates some fast food is indeed a rip off in more than one way.