Common sense would dictate that the primary ingredients for a french fry would be potatoes and salt. If you are trying to get fancy you would do a mix of different condiments (Truffle fries anyone?). Well as we know common sense isn’t common.
For years, McDonald’s has been regarded for their delicious french fries. These golden beauties have a perfectly crisp exterior and are best served when hot. However the secret to these addictive spuds has eluded the public until now.
Grant Imahara from the super-awesome science show Mythbusters made a startling discovery when he visited a McDonald’s fry factory and reverse-engineered the fries to figure out exactly what they’re made of. What he found was a 19 ingredient list with 3 offenders that should NEVER touch the mouths of human beings.
Before the fries can be frozen and shipped off, they’re dipped in dextrose for color and sodium acid pyrophosphate to “control the graying after freezing,” then partially cooked in four different oils: soybean, hydrogenated soybean, canola and corn.
Is a silicone compound often found in contact lenses, medical devices, shampoos (as dimethicone makes hair shiny and slippery), kinetic sand and believe it or not silly putty. In McDonald’s french fries, it is used as an antifoaming agent.
Even more concerning Dimethylpolysiloxane contains formaldehyde which the National Toxicology Program lists it as carcinogenic to humans.
There is no dose response data for exposure to dimethylpolysiloxane via the route of ingestion (consumption). This chemical is not meant to be consumed and there is no safe level established. The point is knowing what you are eating – not fear mongering. There is a lack of long term exposure data via all routes of exposure. Pointing to dose dependency when there is no long term or even short term data is not grounds to dismiss informing people what is in products that are eaten routinely. And toxins are natural chemicals not manmade chemicals – those are toxicants or “toxics”.
TBHQ is the mother of all preservatives. In the case of McDonald’s french fries, it extends the shelf life to unnatural timeframes.
Healthline reports the chemical was found in lab studies done on animals to cause liver enlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsions and paralysis.
And to add insult to injury, TBHQ was also found in Bio-diesel.
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Compared to the two ingredients listed above, hydrogenated soybean oil doesn’t sound that bad. Unfortunately, this could not be farther from the truth. HSO is a trans fat that health experts are referring to as “the worst kind of fat, far worse than saturated fat.”
Dr. Mercola writes that soybean oil is actually not a healthy oil, even on its own. The fat in soybean oil is mostly omega-6 fat, and while its important, Americans consume far too much of it.
Health hazards of hydrogenated soybean oil include:
- Cancer, by interfering with enzymes your body uses to fight cancer
- Diabetes, by interfering with the insulin receptors in your cell membranes
- Heart disease, by clogging your arteries (30,000 premature deaths each year)
- Increase blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol
- Reproductive problems by interfering with enzymes needed to produce sex hormones
What McDonald’s has to say
In a statement to Global News last year, McDonald’s said the following:
“After listening carefully to our customers and identifying some of the challenges we were up against, McDonald’s created a transparent line of communication via the interactive, online Q&A platform.”
No word on whether or not McDonald’s has any plans of changing their ingredients.
SOURCES Dr. Mercola | David Wolfe | Healthline