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15 Horrifying Reasons to Never Let Anyone You Love Near a McDonald's

One of AlterNet's most popular articles of the year: Erectile dysfunction, the truth behind the "special sauce," and a burger from 1996. Keep reading if you dare.
 
 
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This is the 5th most popular AlterNet article of 2009.

The Golden Arches: the ultimate American icon. Super Size Me taught us that fast food culture brings obesity, heart disease, hypertension and a whole slew of other problems. How bad do you really want that Big Mac? Here are 15 reasons you’ll never let anyone you love get near those Golden Arches.

1. Real food is perishable. With time, it begins to decay. It’s a natural process, it just happens. Beef will rot, bread will mold. But what about a McDonald’s burger? Karen Hanrahan saved a McDonald’s burger from 1996 and, oddly enough, it looks just as “appetizing” and “fresh” as a burger you might buy today. Is this real food?

2. You would have to walk 7 hours straight to burn off a Super Sized Coke, fries and Big Mac. Even indulging in fast food as an occasional treat is a recipe for weight gain…unless you’re planning to hit each treadmill in the treadmill bay afterwards.

 

3. Containing less fat, salt and sugar, your pet’s food may be healthier than what they serve at McDonald’s.

 

4. In 2007, the employees of an Orlando-area McDonald’s were caught on camera pouring milk into the milkshake machine out of a bucket labeled “Soiled Towels Only.” That particular restaurant had already been cited for 12 different sanitary violations. Though McDonald’s proudly stands by its safety standards, and not every restaurant has such notorious incidents, the setting of a fast food restaurant staffed with low-paid employees at a high turnover rate arguably encourages bending the rules. (McDonald’s isn’t alone in this, of course – Burger King is actually ranked as the dirtiest of all the fast food chains.)

 

5. McDonald’s supports the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Much of the soy-based animal feed used to fatten fast-food chickens is grown in the Amazon. Are those chicken nuggets really worth acres of irreplaceable trees? (Especially considering how important carbon sinks like the rainforest are to halt global warming!) Fast food supports a completely unsustainable system of agriculture. It’s cruel to animals, unhealthy for humans, and bad for the planet.

 

6.  Even Prince Charles, while touring a diabetes center in the United Arab Emirates , commented that banning McDonald’s is key to health and nutrition . Don’t let the salads and chicken breasts fool you. The “chicken” at McDonald’s, by the way, comes with a whole lot more than chicken.

 

7. As if feeding children high-fat, high-sodium, low-nutrition “food” weren’t bad enough, some Happy Meals in 2006 contained toy Hummers. It’s as if McDonald’s was encouraging a whole generation of kids not only to guzzle food, but to guzzle gas as well. Would you like a few barrels of petroleum with that?

 

8. The processed fat in McDonald’s food (and other fast food ) promotes endothelial dysfunction for up to 5 hours after eating the meal. Endothelial tissue is what lines the inside of blood vessels.

 

9. For those who enjoy sex, take note: erectile dysfunction is connected to endothelial dysfunction. Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me commented that his normally healthy sexual function deteriorated in just one month when he ate only food from McDonald’s. Even his girlfriend commented on camera that “he’s having a hard time, you know, getting it up.”

 

10. How many cows does it take to keep the world loaded with Big Macs? I had to do a some research and a little math, but according to a brief video inside one of McDonald’s 6 meat processing plants, about 500,000 pounds of beef is processed per day, per plant. If an average beef cow weighs 1,150 pounds, that means 2609 cows a day are turned into burgers. That’s 952,285 cows per year. And that’s just in the United States. Eating a hamburger may not be worse than driving a Hummer, but it’s bad. One hamburger patty does not necessarily come from one cow. Think about that. You’re eating bits of hundreds of cows.

 
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