Healthy Living

This McDonald's Happy Meal Hasn't Been Touched In 6 Years

Terrifying. 🙈 🍟

It's no secret that fast food is a less-than-optimal fuel for your body. But somehow, the fact that it takes so darn long to decompose shocks us every time.

Take this Happy Meal, for example. Alaska resident Jennifer Lovdahl said she and her husband purchased it in 2010 -- and that it has hardly changed a bit since then.

It's been 6 years since I bought this "Happy Meal" at McDonald's. It's been sitting at our office this whole time and...

Posted by Jennifer Lovdahl on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Her husband, Dr. Shawn Lovdahl, told HuffPost he and Jennifer originally purchased the Happy Meal as a way to teach patients at their chiropractic practice about healthy nutrition. And they'd hardly peeked at the meal until now.

"I showed [the Happy Meal] to a junior high class about three years ago," he said. "But it's been over a year since I last looked."

The&nbsp;6-piece McNuggets and fries look <a href="" target="_blank">strikingly&nbsp;similar</a>&nbsp;to a freshly purchased batch.&nbsp;
The 6-piece McNuggets and fries look strikingly similar to a freshly purchased batch. 

Really, though, it's no surprise the meal didn't rot. Tons of home experiments have shown that fast food meals tend to keep their appearance over time. This could be due to artificial ingredients in the food, such as preservatives, or it could be that the shape of burgers and nuggets makes them dry out quickly and therefore avoid molding, as Serious Eats hypothesized in 2010.

McDonald's believes the latter.

"Decomposition of food happens under certain conditions," McDonald's spokesperson Lisa McComb told HuffPost Wednesday. "Any food -- whether homemade, store bought or from a restaurant -- can dehydrate in a dry environment, [and] therefore not decompose."

You've probably heard that preservatives are bad for you, and that's sometimes true. (Take a look at this list of offenders from Greatist.) But generally speaking, the real danger of eating regular fast food is the high sodium, high fat and high sugar content of the food.

Whatever the specific reason for it, this relatively unchanged Happy Meal is just another visual reminder that there are much, MUCH better ways to feed your body.

Happy meal-ing!

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