Have you ever wondered how McDonald’s makes their French fries?
You probably love them; who doesn’t? However, you might think twice before you buy them next time.
First, let us look at the main ingredient: potatoes. According to the author and activist Michael Pollan, McDonald’s only use one type of potatoes named Russet Burbank due to the size. What is important is the fact that McDonald’s only buy potatoes which haven’t got net necrosis – the small brown lines or spots that sometimes appear on the potatoes. To eliminate these, farmers have to use a pesticide called Monitor, which removes blemishes and aphids creating these spots. Pollan reveals that the chemical is so poisonous that:
“farmers won’t venture outside into their fields for five days after they spray”.
Monitor is also known to be moderately hazardous to birds, fish and beneficial insects, it is also highly toxic to honeybees.
Let’s look at what other ingredients are used to make Macdonald’s “world famous fries”. Most people might think that they only contain three ingredients: potatoes, salt and oil. However, the truth is rather different, as is the case with many so-called “foods” made by large corporations. In 2013 McDonald’s launched a transparency campaign aiming at rebranding a more health-conscious image for the corporation and they revealed their list of ingredients. It turns out that they use 17 ingredients!
– Canola oil (most of American canola oil is GMO)
– Hydrogenated soybean oil – similarly most American soya is GMO, the hydrogenation process also makes the oil more saturated than in its natural form.
– Sunflower oil
– Natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives].
– Dextrose – a type of sugar.
– Sodium acid pyrophosphate – a colouring agent, unfortunately not recommended for digestion.
– Citric Acid used as preservative.
– Dimethylpolysiloxane – an anti-foaming agent.
– TBHQ – a petroleum-based preservative.
– Vegetable oil for frying – a blend of 7 ingredients including: canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), citric acid, and dimethylpolysiloxane.
– Salt (silicoaluminate, dextrose, potassium iodide).