5

votes

Is McDonalds Paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 03, 2011 at 1:26 AM

The short answer is obviously No. However, I want to see what people think about a McDonalds hack that I've been implementing.

I order 3 McDoubles plain (ie no sauce) and only eat the cheese and meat, which sums to 3 slices of cheese and 6 patties.

The good: 100% beef, ~60g protein, minimal to no additives, only salt and pepper seasoning, no msg

The bad: CAFO meat (no n-3), sterilized w ammonia (all cooked off though, protects against e coli)

Well, Paleohackers, what do you think?

43873f3cea4f22f91653b0f5ec7ab9d9

(401)

on April 21, 2013
at 05:41 PM

"Minimal to no additives" in McDonald's beef? Really? I would assume it's the worst beef one could possibly buy, chock full of undesirable junk...

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on April 21, 2013
at 04:20 PM

After watching 'Food Inc.' I shall never let fast food meat past my lips, unless I am literally starving with no other option at all.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:23 PM

I just read that stuff on pink slime. Ewww! Theres probably dessicated thyroid in there too.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:23 PM

I just read that stuff on pink slime. Ewww! Theres probably dessicated thyroid in there.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on September 21, 2012
at 11:51 AM

I am pretty confused as to how throwing away enviromentally harmful things would aid the enviroment, lol...

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on April 19, 2012
at 12:24 PM

I am not sure about the 100% beef? Are we sure it is 100% beef and not a soy mix?

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on February 09, 2012
at 08:17 PM

McDonald's is also good for their playplace, given you know the cleaning schedule. :-) Order a coffee for you, some apple slices for your kiddo and enjoy an hour of play during the long, cold winters when you're stuck indoors.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:42 PM

McDs has a huge legal incentive to be honest about their ingredients.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:42 PM

But can you get 2 patties per $1? Sometimes. Sometimes not. Whereas McDs offers this as an everyday value.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:41 PM

SDD: I totally agree. Unfortunately in-in-out is a regional chain. Ronald scares me too, that's why the details of this hack surprised me when I started looking into the details. And you are right, I'm not dairy sensitive, though I'll get around to testing it via elimination at some point.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 03:51 PM

I agree, but this hack is trying address how we might think about and assess tradeoffs with potential suboptimal, less-than-paleo compromises.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I don't mean to be a food Nazi, but I am extremely skeptical of the quality of the food at McDonald's, especially their beef. When I eat it (which I have done out of desperation at times), I get stomach aches and poor digestion. In terms of the "100% beef" claims, do some Google searches for "pink slime" and see if you still feel the same way. I would literally skip a meal (which is very Paleo BTW) if McDonald's were the only option, but it almost never is.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:30 AM

lab tests. Ok. I'm about done with this thread.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:29 AM

Additionally, BPI products were exempt from federal inspections from 2007 on, because the govt felt their process was safe. (This is being changed due to the backlash from the NYT article) The safety of that process was assesed by an U of Iowa study funded by, guess who? BPI. BPI sued the same Iowa university when they attempted to publicly release the results of this study. (??) The FDA is looking pretty bad based on the results of their own paper (linked to above) , for short version of why, read the bullet points in the second link, such as that meat was not recalled even when it failed

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:23 AM

McDonalds has reiterated their plan to continue to purchase meat from Beef Products Inc, makers of pink slime (it just has a certain "ring" to it). The same product is distributed to both McD, to schools and to prisons apparently (as made apparent when the prison actually sent the meat back because it was frozen and in its frozen state smelled too strongly of ammonia - in NYT article). It's the same product because it is all supplied by BPI.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:20 AM

homogenization that I believe does happen and does negatively alter the remaining fat in the meat (i have read 10%) to become even more undesireable. This was to be my point about differentiating it from homemade pates (which I have made more than once myself).

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:19 AM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/food-safety----drugs-pois_b_537686.html The fda has a paper available on it http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/24601-08-KC.pdf, and you can find a list of violations even, (many of which include Cargill facilities which also buy from Beef Products Inc, makers of pink slime, and sells to McD's). The number of 15-25% average content of pink slime in commercial ground beef comes from an industry insider supportive of BPI's process. BPI has taken down all information detailing their production process, so I was unable to fully address the level of

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:50 AM

Im unclear on some of this stuff. The article talked about the distribution to both school cafeterias and to McDs, but its not clear if they receive the same product, or if they use the same amount of it in their patties. Do you know where we might be able to find this out? My rule for cooking meat is: bad meat well done, good meat rare. Know any good articles or studies of antibiotic residue in CAFO meat? I'd find that interesting and highly compelling. (Just in case my tone isn't clear here, I'm not being sarcastic or disingenuous; I really think it'd be interesting.)

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:43 AM

Shirley: Im sorry you think that. I enjoyed the exchange with tartare. As an ex of 1 thing I learned, I didn't know about the processed beef 'paste' that McDs adds to the meat. While the description of how it is proc.d isnt a deal breaker for me, it'll surely make me less nonchalant about my McDs hack. I plan on pursuing this issue further (a new thing). We still don't know what % of McDs meat consists of paste, eg; its hard to determine how (un)healthy it is. None of the problems mentioned were linked to McDs; I wonder if the two co.s have a unique arrangement. Many unknowns; still learning.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on May 04, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Eric, it does not sound like you're "trying to rethink" but that you've already made up your mind and justified a bunch of reasons to try to turn a junk diet into something acceptable or even admirable. I don't think you're really looking for answers here, but just more support for what you're already trying to convince yourself. If that's your Kool Aid, fine, but it doesn't seem like you're interested in any of the answers you're getting or willing to seriously take them into consideration if you can still make statements like "Their beef might be processed to some extent..."

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:07 PM

Oh, and eating well done meat regularly has been proven to be an increased and significant cancer risk due to HCAs, more than *quintupling* breast cancer risk for women who eat this way regularly as opposed to eating rare or medium.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Mexico sent our beef back because it violated their standards for copper toxicity and we don't even have set standards for some of these things.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:55 PM

"spent dairy cows", that should have read.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:55 PM

to say this is a "small dose" is very questionable and arbitrary. On top of this, the FDA itself expressed concern over other issues with commercial ground beef, mainly "residue" from vet meds. This residue is regularly found in cheap meat due to the use of spent cows and does not get affected by cooking, even thorough cooking. So, no, I won't be meeting you for lunch.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:51 PM

well there's the rub, isn't it? the process developped by BPI was deemed safe by the govt, and they argely exempted them from inspection. However, the ammonia process raised the ph of the meat (normally around 6) to 10, beyond the range of most food, and people complained. So they decied to somewhat lower the dose of ammonia the meat receives, and many samples have been found to contain salmonella and e coli. Additionally, the ammonia treated product is generally considered by the industry to be 15-25% of commercial ground beef.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:35 PM

Milk, water, milk fat, cheese culture,.. sounds like food to me. The other stuff is fairly benign as far as preservatives and additives go. It's not ideal, but its definitely food.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Okay, but with ammonia exposure AND thorough cooking the chances of any bacteria surviving are tiny. Lets not forget that we're talking about McDs here - masters of precision, organization, and efficiency. What, then, is left among your concerns? Ammonia? You'd have to cut out a lot of other foods. Texture? You don't appear to like pastes. Color? Pink is out. Liquifying fat? There goes all cooked meat. Suppose small doses of ammonia are OK, the paste-like texture is undetectable, & the burger isn't pink, then would you eat McD patties? Well, then, guess I'll see you under the golden arches...

Medium avatar

(3254)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Cool. Sorry if I hijacked it - dichotomous thinking gets me all worked up. As for whether it's good or bad, I'm not sure there's an answer, only opinion. 1. Conventional beef: good and bad. 2. "Cheese": probably bad, but try to prove it. 3. Ammonia: depends on the dose. 3. McDonald's in general: bad for many, great for others. It's the denial of the complexity of the world that's probably more harmful than anything.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:38 PM

(most good cooks freeze their grinding equipment beforehand expressly to avoid friction heat due to the changes it causes).

Medium avatar

(12379)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:38 PM

phew - a lot of soapboxing here! Eric - good question - sorry to see a lot of the bereating on this thread

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:37 PM

"But they probably contain stuff that we want because of the low status afforded to the animal parts from which they are made." The trimmings used to extend the burger are basic muscle meat. Nothing special. The reason they are undesireable is because they come from areas of the carcass which are very likely to have been exposed to fecal matter, and hence e. coli and other bacteria. Preparation of the carcass by washing is far from foolproof when it comes to removing this bacteria. Additionally, meat ground at home is not ground into a "sludge like"paste, nor is it heated

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:31 PM

Riveted: thanks for the spirited support. I should say, though, that I really wanted to get people talking about (i) whether or not McDs beef really is bad, and if so, then (ii) whether or not its benefits outweigh its gains. This is my opinion, but I wanted to think about it more rigorously, and with info and ideas from others that I otherwise wouldn't have come across or considered. Both have definitely happened, so suffice it to say that I'm really pleased with the Paleohacks community right now :)

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:40 PM

PS - I realize you know the difference between processed carbs and processed meats. However, I suspect that the negative valence attached to the word 'processed' is carrying over in a manner that is not helpful.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:40 PM

1 last thing. The word processed is looked down on by paleos, & for good reason. But its worth remembering why: processed carbs are in largely responsible for the DOCs b/c theyre too easy to store, eat, & digest - spiking our insulin and making us hungry again while not providing nutrition & inflaming our insides. The problems with processed meats, if they even exist, are far less clear. Meat isn't being simplified and stripped down like wheat. If meat processing has deleterious effects, they're not clear, and they will be of a totally different nature than those introduced by proc.d carbs.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:29 PM

And don't forget that school lunch beef, which is probably worse than McDs, contains 15% of the processed ground beef. McDs is probably higher quality than that, so it might contain something more like 5% of it. It can't be too much, I surmise, because of the uncanny similarity of its flavor to grass-fed ground beef. I'm up for eating any high-protein part of a cow, even if it requires the fat to be liquified 1st - especially if the result is only going to comprise a small percentage of the patty. I don't care about its color, & nobody has offered a reason to avoid those cow parts.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:20 PM

I don't know what the difference is that you are referring to. They liquify the fat, just like we do every time we heat fatty meat up. Think about bacon, which is mostly fat: we heat it up, it gets way smaller, and a lot of the liquified fat is left in the pan or tray. I don't think McDonalds patties are nutritious like offal. But they probably contain stuff that we want because of the low status afforded to the animal parts from which they are made. It doesn't really matter if we call it ground beef, but its better than ground cow parts. Maybe ground beef proper should change to ground chuck.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:03 PM

@Riveted - the ammonia content in food paper you cited is from 1973. "conventional ground beef" then did not include the type of ammonia treated filler that is used now.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:00 PM

It may not have trans fats but it's a stretch to call it "food."

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:32 PM

@akd, I just can't drink McDonald's coffee. It tastes awful and watery to me! They used to do free coffee Mondays and I would try it again and again and just throw it out! @eric, I would be comfortable with something like this once or twice a month, but 2 or 3 times a week for an entire month seems like a lot. What about cycling your habits weekly?

Medium avatar

(3254)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Not saying this is a good thing, just saying "it is". How does the ammonia content of conventional ground beef (*3.9gN/100g* wet) compare: gelatin (13.7g), bacon (4.9g), peanut butter (4.4g), chicken (3.8g), egg yolk (2.6g)...http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4735596

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:47 PM

the .06 percent you refer to is the number the company making the pink slime came up with for discovered pathogens in their "product" through their own testing. other testing has put this number much, much higher.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:39 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:37 PM

As to the pink slime here's an excerpt from the NYT article: Another department microbiologist, Gerald Zirnstein, called the processed beef "pink slime" in a 2002 e-mail message to colleagues and said, “I do not consider the stuff to be ground beef, and I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling.”

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:27 PM

let's be clear here. there is a tremendous difference between grinding meat for pate, even subsequently blending it to create a homemade emulsion and the type of homogenizing used to make your "pink slime" (and I will not refrain from calling it that because I think its an appropriate name), additionally, the undesireable trimmings you refer to are far different from offal or from the "variety meats" you seem to think they are. There are so many things wrong with your statements i don't even know where to begin.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:18 PM

+1 Well said, Kamal.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:09 AM

I'll also note that one of the things I like about getting the most 'undesirable' trimmings is that these are the parts of the animal that modern wealthy folks don't like, but that our ancestors most surely found a way to consume. I often privilege the 'processed' blends from local organic farmers (ie sausage patties and links), which is how they unload the weird fatty leftovers, and maybe even some stuff like cartilage, selling them for much less money per lb than the prized cuts. It makes sense that I'd follow the same ideas when consuming conventional meats that get cooked thoroughly.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:04 AM

Further, when McDonalds gets the (very thin) burgers, they cook them to well done at a temperature that they expect to be risk free, given their understanding of the likelihood of having contaminated meat on their hands, which is .06 percent. Note also that ammonia exposure and cooking eliminate e coli with equivalent efficiency. So McDonalds is being doubly safe by incorporating this redundancy into their anti-bacterial protocol.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 10:56 AM

The term 'pink slime' turns out to be pretty unhelpful. The substance is nothing more than beef trimmings ground up and treated with ammonia. That said, I suppose that liverwurst, pate, and most other ground meats are just pink slime too. Its sent through pipes, exposed to ammonia gas, and flash frozen. I don't view this as radically different than grinding beef or pork trimmings, then freezing them in vacuum sealed plastic, which is what my favorite local organic farms do.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:19 AM

Eric, you never addressed my point that the fat in the "pink slime" was thoroughly altered through it's pink transmogrifying "sliming homogenization" process. I agree with you that naturally occurring fat is truly good fuel, but it's been proven that adulterated fat can be wholly undesirable, even though the original fat may have been perfectly acceptable.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:02 AM

McDonalds, at least, doesn't add corn syrup to their beef. They don't even add msg. So what's their insidious hook? Salt and pepper. I suspect they get your hooked by offering the perfect (ie deadliest) mix of fat, glutamate (from the meat), salt, and processed carbs. But if you only eat the meat and cheese, the option needs to be re-evaluated. That's what I intended to make the post about. There's no clear answer, but the question is more interesting than most probably assumed.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 05:58 AM

I see where you're going, but one of the reasons I did this post is that I'm reconsidering the assumption that its bad, which we assume because of our presumably negative view of McDonalds. Their beef might be processed to some extent, but its still almost all beef, with minimal seasoning, and relatively low levels of chemicals. Same general characteristics with the cheese. See the ingredients listed above. Lastly, CAFO beef is actually very nutritious; it's just not as nutritious as grass fed pastured beef. Don't get me wrong, its not perfect or even good, but its way better than many think.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 05:22 AM

you wish they were only adding corn syrup.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:58 AM

2 free masters degrees and close to a PHD and still nom-nomming on Mcdonalds?... Oh U of C, I could go on... but this is the wrong forum. Best of luck. I'm sure you will eventually make decent enough wages to get past your intellectual curiosity based culinary "slumming" and move on to real food.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Well, this will be sure to get SOME sympathy from you: U of C gave me my first Master's for free, paid me a stipend during my second Master's, and they continue to pay me a stipend during the dissertation phase of the PhD program (the stipend is nice, but its not what I call adult money).

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:49 AM

i attended the University of Chicago for a spell. ugh. give up the freaking mcdonalds. now that i know you spend a gazillion dollars a year on your edumacation i have even LESS sympathy for your sub juvenile dining habits. :P

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:48 AM

Ha ha, I am a PhD student in political science at U of C. Are you a Maroon?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Oh good lord... i just noticed you're in Chicago...you're not at U of C or anything, are you? this type of question would make so much sense then...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:35 AM

lol. i'm more of a Jungian girl so i'd hate to say "freudian slip"....

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:34 AM

Oops, I meant to say 'I DON'T need that...' in the response to my alleged need for anonymous consensus :)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:32 AM

@Patrik, why is a tiny amount of gluten widely accepted as a profound disturbance to the system whereas ingested ammonia and transmogrified fat is acceptable for what, hormesis? sorry i cant get behind that.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:32 AM

Thanks Patrik. Don't worry, I'm not the sensitive type, which is good because I'm clearly not a purist. So far I like the responses; they are very engaging.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Ok, now its becoming the conversation that I was hoping for -- and its enlightening as I hoped as well, so thank you for that. I think you are sort of right: the beef 'slime' has the ammonia content of milk, but it only composes a small percentage (10-15) of the patty, so its actually smaller than milk. It is fatty, but I don't fear fat because I run on it. And we know that it doesn't consist of too much fat because of its protein statistics are so high.

66283d390809787a11a81be7ee5fb98d

(280)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Agree with the second comment above -- McDonald's is good for coffee. Period. And maybe free WiFi, though I can never stand to sit in the place long enough to use it.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:29 AM

@Patrik, i respectfully *completely* disagree with both of your comments. i don't think he has his back up against a wall here. I think he is asking about a habit, and i am giving him my honest opinion with regards to his long term well being.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:28 AM

BTW -- I see you are getting beat up in the answers/comments below so if it means anything to you -- The Chief PaleoHacker (me) thinks this is a good and useful hack.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:26 AM

@eric -- great hack. I too have found myself in situations where I need to eat as Paleo-esque as possible (choose the least evil) in a universe of many evils. Again, great hack.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:25 AM

@tartare -- I think it is pretty clear that Eric understands both Paleo and that this is a "hack", and its context. No need to beat him up for it as he is going into this eyes-wide-open.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:23 AM

Nice hack buddy -- I like it.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:18 AM

in case you doubt the fat issue, I spent 2 hours butchering a side of beef with the guy i bought it from not but 2 days ago. the throw away trimmings that would be the makeup of "pink slime" were mostly fat. Fat = good but frankenfat = bad.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:15 AM

"ammonia cooks off"? where did you get this idea? everyone says alcohol "cooks off"... it actually doesn't fully cook off. You're right that I am a bit irritated, because it irritates me that these companies have their hooks in you enough for you to think this stuff is not going to affect your long term well being when eaten regularly. Furthermore, if homogenization affects milk fat very negatively and the beef made into slime OBVIOUSLY contains a fair amount of beef fat, how do you think this process won't negatively affect that fat?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:11 AM

I need that, but I enjoy discussing the details, thats a large part of the reason I frequent this site.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:09 AM

Further, if the 'pink slime' is still 100% beef, and if the ammonia cooks off, then its really just beef. Environmental and moral objections aside, my understanding is that the problem with conventional meat is that it LACKS stuff like n-3 and other nutrients, and that it contains residue from antibiotics and hormones. I'm interested in knowing whether I should deem these downsides as larger than the upsides: protein, convenience, etc. No reason to get upset - its an honest and (to me) interesting question.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:07 AM

you need an anonymous consensus to help you form opinions about your own well being?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:04 AM

I don't completely disagree, but I do think that my McDonalds practice is worth having a reasonable discussion about. The reason I posted it is because I expect the input from others to affect whether I continue it -- ie, whether I conclude that the relevant tradeoffs are worth it.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:53 AM

i dont care if you eat Mcdonalds, but the idea of trying to realistically defend this as meritorious, nourishing food is a joke. the idea behind "paleo" is making choices that are biologically appropriate. it actually does not take a scientist to figure out that pink slime and ammonia are not healthy. give it a rest. seriously.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:51 AM

the fact is, you're defensively attempting to defend a very bad habit, which is either the result of laziness or lack of imagination. for your sake, i hope its laziness.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:49 AM

well, it sounds like you have answered your own question. Why ask us? I'm not snarky, I'm blunt. Lot of life experience makes me this way, and it happens to be efficient, which i like. Let me clue you in to a little secret, having a good record with food born illness is nothing to praise or shout about. It should be a given for any restaurant, and it's a bit like saying "he's healthy, look! he has a pulse!" It's crap food and as for "The heavily processed pink beef is only a portion of the meat", you'd be shocked how little heroin it takes to get a grown adult #####d up.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Kamal: Very nicely put. I suppose that I should add that one of my goals is to build muscle, and I do strength training 3 times a week. So I'm willing to trade off low n-3 and lower nutrients and vitamins in order to consume large amounts of protein and fat with minimal effort. Thanks again for the well-phrased and smart comment.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Liesl - Here the surprising thing about it: when I just eat the meat and cheese from McDonalds, it doesn't make me feel bad. In fact, just the opposite. It makes me feel the same way that my go-to home-cooked grass fed burgers make me feel: satisfied, strong, energetic, etc.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:24 AM

i'm a conflater, myself. obvs.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:22 AM

I also worried about this. Here are the ingredients according to McDonalds: 'Milk, water, milkfat, cheese culture, sodium citrate, salt, citric acid, sorbic acid (preservative), sodium phosphate, artificial color, lactic acid, acetic acid, enzymes, soy lecithin (added for slice separation).' I haven't researched processed cheese. But this looks pretty good to me; or, rather, not too terrible. What do people think, should I nix the cheese?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:20 AM

Also, here are the ingredients according to McDonalds: '100% pure USDA inspected beef; no fillers, no extenders. Prepared with grill seasoning (salt, black pepper).'

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:19 AM

Also, here are the ingredients according to McDonalds: '100% pure USDA inspected beef; no fillers, no extenders. Prepared with grill seasoning (salt, black pepper).'

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Kamal: Very nicely put. I suppose that I should add that one of my goals is to build muscle, and I do strength training once a week. So I'm willing to trade off low n-3 and lower nutrients and vitamins in order to consume large amounts of protein and fat with minimal effort. Thanks again for the well-phrased and smart comment.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Very nicely put. I suppose that I should add that one of my goals is to build muscle, and I do strength training once a week. So I'm willing to trade off low n-3 and lower nutrients and vitamins in order to consume large amounts of protein and fat with minimal effort. Thanks again for the well-phrased and smart comment.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Omg, I'm scandalized by the suggestion that Mr Schlosser might casually eat corporate fast-food. Paleo Schmaleo! Would Howard Zinn vote for Donald Trump? Hellz no, godblessim (r.i.p.)

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Tartare, you are so snarky, which I 1/2 like and 1/2 dislike. The heavily processed pink beef is only a portion of the meat. And McDonalds has a very good record with food born illnesses. So lets not forget that they also have strong incentive to make their food safe enough to avoid bad publicity. I'd like to think that I am not naive; rather, I'm trying to be an efficient satisficer.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:11 AM

Melissa: In order to balance exposure to toxins, diversify gut bacteria, & keep things interesting, I cycle all of my food habits. So, eg, this month I'll do it a few times a week, then I'll go a month or two incorporating other easy hacks (canned salmon and sardines are my favorite) on days when I have to drive to campus from my home 35 minutes away.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:10 AM

lets not forget ground beef is pretty darn cheap. even the grass fed stuff isnt too $$

51691d78e11ef532374f0205d0069f96

(35)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:09 AM

I would rather fast than eat any food from McDonalds. It's not worth feeling like crap afterward, not to mention what it's doing to your body. Just sayin' :-)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:04 AM

excuse the soapboxing - nothin personal.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:03 AM

it what it is, which is poison. poison for YOU - and also for farmers, and for the factory workers, for the land the gmo feed was grown on, for the sickly animals that eventually became your meal. you are doing yourself and your children no favors by supporting this. you deserve better. we all do.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:03 AM

my mcdonalds hack is a large coffee. ONE DOLLAR ANY SIZE!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:33 AM

There has got to be something better you can eat on the go. How often are you eating this?

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19 Answers

13
Medium avatar

(3254)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Ha! You just described my "Damn I didn't bring enough food to work, I'm starving, and have $5 in my wallet" meal. I order 3 double burgers, plain, no cheese and throw the buns away. I do this after the gym maybe twice a month.

Is it paleo? It is what it is.

EDIT (Comment box not big enough).

Whoa...hang on everyone. I get it - McDonald's is baaaad and I know it's not good food. I'm not defending McD's or suggesting you should eat it. I'm simply being open about the fact that I'm human and sometimes make less-than-optimal choices. I admire you if you've found a way to live your life with perfect integrity and without contradiction - I haven't, and am quite OK with it. I'm not poor, nor do I lack a range of other healthy choices - I just sometimes WANT a greasy McBurger, fully accepting all of the consequences (physically, socially, economically) and forgiving myself immediately. Eating a burger or two is pretty low on my rap sheet: I bike to work but sometimes drive because I'm tired; I buy local, but sometimes the thing I want is at Walmart (yes...I go); I'm a social justice peacenik who loves the UFC (GSP would have taken him out, but he couldn't see for chrissake).

Look...if you live in North America, your life is an ethical contradiction. We're only able to philosophize about whether or not a burger is paleo because we live daily off the backs of the world's poor. I don't want it to be that way, but I've failed to live as a zero-impact ascetic. If you feel strongly about the ethics of your choices as a consumer, then back slowly away from the environmentally disastrous, slave-wage computer you're reading this on and spend the rest of the day throwing away everything that has a negative impact on the environment, society, or global economy. Or you could just be honest about who you are and give props to a guy like Eric who's brave enough to be who he is.

Being conscious about minimizing our impact is absolutely critical - I work hard at it, as I'm sure you all do, but let's at least be honest about our own versions of the McContradiction.

PS. uwiniwin - I wasn't talking about my kids, and you really have no idea what I deserve (some would say I deserve much worse...like Subway!).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:04 AM

excuse the soapboxing - nothin personal.

Medium avatar

(3254)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Cool. Sorry if I hijacked it - dichotomous thinking gets me all worked up. As for whether it's good or bad, I'm not sure there's an answer, only opinion. 1. Conventional beef: good and bad. 2. "Cheese": probably bad, but try to prove it. 3. Ammonia: depends on the dose. 3. McDonald's in general: bad for many, great for others. It's the denial of the complexity of the world that's probably more harmful than anything.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:03 AM

it what it is, which is poison. poison for YOU - and also for farmers, and for the factory workers, for the land the gmo feed was grown on, for the sickly animals that eventually became your meal. you are doing yourself and your children no favors by supporting this. you deserve better. we all do.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:31 PM

Riveted: thanks for the spirited support. I should say, though, that I really wanted to get people talking about (i) whether or not McDs beef really is bad, and if so, then (ii) whether or not its benefits outweigh its gains. This is my opinion, but I wanted to think about it more rigorously, and with info and ideas from others that I otherwise wouldn't have come across or considered. Both have definitely happened, so suffice it to say that I'm really pleased with the Paleohacks community right now :)

51691d78e11ef532374f0205d0069f96

(35)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:09 AM

I would rather fast than eat any food from McDonalds. It's not worth feeling like crap afterward, not to mention what it's doing to your body. Just sayin' :-)

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Liesl - Here the surprising thing about it: when I just eat the meat and cheese from McDonalds, it doesn't make me feel bad. In fact, just the opposite. It makes me feel the same way that my go-to home-cooked grass fed burgers make me feel: satisfied, strong, energetic, etc.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on September 21, 2012
at 11:51 AM

I am pretty confused as to how throwing away enviromentally harmful things would aid the enviroment, lol...

11
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:35 AM

So the question is "Is questionable meat paleo?"

And the answer is "Semantics".

Paleo signifies different things to different people. Many would be fine with a McDonald's hack cheat, and many would rather fast. Some would do either depending on their mood (e.g. me). Obviously meat quality matters for nutrients and potential toxins/bacteria/etc. But it's easy to conflate anti-corporate sentiment with calling McDonald's meat not paleo.

What would the Fast Food Nation guy say about this if he were paleo?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:24 AM

i'm a conflater, myself. obvs.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Kamal: Very nicely put. I suppose that I should add that one of my goals is to build muscle, and I do strength training 3 times a week. So I'm willing to trade off low n-3 and lower nutrients and vitamins in order to consume large amounts of protein and fat with minimal effort. Thanks again for the well-phrased and smart comment.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Omg, I'm scandalized by the suggestion that Mr Schlosser might casually eat corporate fast-food. Paleo Schmaleo! Would Howard Zinn vote for Donald Trump? Hellz no, godblessim (r.i.p.)

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Very nicely put. I suppose that I should add that one of my goals is to build muscle, and I do strength training once a week. So I'm willing to trade off low n-3 and lower nutrients and vitamins in order to consume large amounts of protein and fat with minimal effort. Thanks again for the well-phrased and smart comment.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Kamal: Very nicely put. I suppose that I should add that one of my goals is to build muscle, and I do strength training once a week. So I'm willing to trade off low n-3 and lower nutrients and vitamins in order to consume large amounts of protein and fat with minimal effort. Thanks again for the well-phrased and smart comment.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:18 PM

+1 Well said, Kamal.

9
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:49 AM

100% beef? I almost envy your naive optimistic outlook. Almost. You forgot ammonia, oh, and this stuff: http://www.grist.org/article/2010-01-05-cheap-food-ammonia-burgers

technically this "pink slime" is beef. very very processed beef washed with ammonia. Yum.

Sorry, but i don't buy the "i'm broke and I can't afford to eat decently" argument either. I've been unemployed for a while now. (long story, short of it is taking care of family).

you can and should eat well. it takes some effort, yes, but let's not put lipstick on a pig and call that acceptable meat. I can go buy a $4 package of mussels at walmart that feeds me and my husband for dinner. $2/person plus the one time cost of herbs and maybe onions.

A local pastured chicken costs us $15 and that feeds us both twice plus lunch for him. Then stock. $3/meal.

I did a lot of drugs in my 20's but I never pretended it was healthy for me. It's poison and it is not ok on any level, unless you're trying to die, in which case, have at it but at least be man enough to call it like it is.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:15 AM

"ammonia cooks off"? where did you get this idea? everyone says alcohol "cooks off"... it actually doesn't fully cook off. You're right that I am a bit irritated, because it irritates me that these companies have their hooks in you enough for you to think this stuff is not going to affect your long term well being when eaten regularly. Furthermore, if homogenization affects milk fat very negatively and the beef made into slime OBVIOUSLY contains a fair amount of beef fat, how do you think this process won't negatively affect that fat?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:48 AM

Ha ha, I am a PhD student in political science at U of C. Are you a Maroon?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:09 AM

Further, if the 'pink slime' is still 100% beef, and if the ammonia cooks off, then its really just beef. Environmental and moral objections aside, my understanding is that the problem with conventional meat is that it LACKS stuff like n-3 and other nutrients, and that it contains residue from antibiotics and hormones. I'm interested in knowing whether I should deem these downsides as larger than the upsides: protein, convenience, etc. No reason to get upset - its an honest and (to me) interesting question.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:29 AM

@Patrik, i respectfully *completely* disagree with both of your comments. i don't think he has his back up against a wall here. I think he is asking about a habit, and i am giving him my honest opinion with regards to his long term well being.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:26 AM

@eric -- great hack. I too have found myself in situations where I need to eat as Paleo-esque as possible (choose the least evil) in a universe of many evils. Again, great hack.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:49 AM

i attended the University of Chicago for a spell. ugh. give up the freaking mcdonalds. now that i know you spend a gazillion dollars a year on your edumacation i have even LESS sympathy for your sub juvenile dining habits. :P

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:18 AM

in case you doubt the fat issue, I spent 2 hours butchering a side of beef with the guy i bought it from not but 2 days ago. the throw away trimmings that would be the makeup of "pink slime" were mostly fat. Fat = good but frankenfat = bad.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:34 AM

Oops, I meant to say 'I DON'T need that...' in the response to my alleged need for anonymous consensus :)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:35 AM

lol. i'm more of a Jungian girl so i'd hate to say "freudian slip"....

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Well, this will be sure to get SOME sympathy from you: U of C gave me my first Master's for free, paid me a stipend during my second Master's, and they continue to pay me a stipend during the dissertation phase of the PhD program (the stipend is nice, but its not what I call adult money).

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:53 AM

i dont care if you eat Mcdonalds, but the idea of trying to realistically defend this as meritorious, nourishing food is a joke. the idea behind "paleo" is making choices that are biologically appropriate. it actually does not take a scientist to figure out that pink slime and ammonia are not healthy. give it a rest. seriously.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:45 AM

Oh good lord... i just noticed you're in Chicago...you're not at U of C or anything, are you? this type of question would make so much sense then...

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:25 AM

@tartare -- I think it is pretty clear that Eric understands both Paleo and that this is a "hack", and its context. No need to beat him up for it as he is going into this eyes-wide-open.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:58 AM

2 free masters degrees and close to a PHD and still nom-nomming on Mcdonalds?... Oh U of C, I could go on... but this is the wrong forum. Best of luck. I'm sure you will eventually make decent enough wages to get past your intellectual curiosity based culinary "slumming" and move on to real food.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Tartare, you are so snarky, which I 1/2 like and 1/2 dislike. The heavily processed pink beef is only a portion of the meat. And McDonalds has a very good record with food born illnesses. So lets not forget that they also have strong incentive to make their food safe enough to avoid bad publicity. I'd like to think that I am not naive; rather, I'm trying to be an efficient satisficer.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Ok, now its becoming the conversation that I was hoping for -- and its enlightening as I hoped as well, so thank you for that. I think you are sort of right: the beef 'slime' has the ammonia content of milk, but it only composes a small percentage (10-15) of the patty, so its actually smaller than milk. It is fatty, but I don't fear fat because I run on it. And we know that it doesn't consist of too much fat because of its protein statistics are so high.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:32 AM

@Patrik, why is a tiny amount of gluten widely accepted as a profound disturbance to the system whereas ingested ammonia and transmogrified fat is acceptable for what, hormesis? sorry i cant get behind that.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:51 AM

the fact is, you're defensively attempting to defend a very bad habit, which is either the result of laziness or lack of imagination. for your sake, i hope its laziness.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:20 AM

Also, here are the ingredients according to McDonalds: '100% pure USDA inspected beef; no fillers, no extenders. Prepared with grill seasoning (salt, black pepper).'

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:11 AM

I need that, but I enjoy discussing the details, thats a large part of the reason I frequent this site.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:10 AM

lets not forget ground beef is pretty darn cheap. even the grass fed stuff isnt too $$

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:04 AM

I don't completely disagree, but I do think that my McDonalds practice is worth having a reasonable discussion about. The reason I posted it is because I expect the input from others to affect whether I continue it -- ie, whether I conclude that the relevant tradeoffs are worth it.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:49 AM

well, it sounds like you have answered your own question. Why ask us? I'm not snarky, I'm blunt. Lot of life experience makes me this way, and it happens to be efficient, which i like. Let me clue you in to a little secret, having a good record with food born illness is nothing to praise or shout about. It should be a given for any restaurant, and it's a bit like saying "he's healthy, look! he has a pulse!" It's crap food and as for "The heavily processed pink beef is only a portion of the meat", you'd be shocked how little heroin it takes to get a grown adult #####d up.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:07 AM

you need an anonymous consensus to help you form opinions about your own well being?

6
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 03, 2011
at 05:11 AM

There is a loooooooong list of things anyone should eat for protien before resorting to McDonald's "beef". I would rather starve for 3 days first.

Remember that eating Paleo (or any other way) is first about being nourished well before meeting some techical definition of some food group.

On a practical level, I think you are guaranteed that this beef-alike substance has absolutely no food value. It has calories, no carbs (good), no nutrients (bad), toxins and chemicals (bad), and puts you in a place where you might be tempted to eat even worse (bad).

If you really need some quick and easy proteins, and are ok with dairy (which it sounds like you are, except that McDonald's cheeze probably contains no actual cheese), just go to your local grocery store's deli counter and buy a portion of ham, turkey, roast beef, etc. along with some cheese. This is highly processed and contains some water and chemicals, but is still 100x better than the sorry garbage served at McDonald's.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 05:58 AM

I see where you're going, but one of the reasons I did this post is that I'm reconsidering the assumption that its bad, which we assume because of our presumably negative view of McDonalds. Their beef might be processed to some extent, but its still almost all beef, with minimal seasoning, and relatively low levels of chemicals. Same general characteristics with the cheese. See the ingredients listed above. Lastly, CAFO beef is actually very nutritious; it's just not as nutritious as grass fed pastured beef. Don't get me wrong, its not perfect or even good, but its way better than many think.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on May 04, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Eric, it does not sound like you're "trying to rethink" but that you've already made up your mind and justified a bunch of reasons to try to turn a junk diet into something acceptable or even admirable. I don't think you're really looking for answers here, but just more support for what you're already trying to convince yourself. If that's your Kool Aid, fine, but it doesn't seem like you're interested in any of the answers you're getting or willing to seriously take them into consideration if you can still make statements like "Their beef might be processed to some extent..."

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:43 AM

Shirley: Im sorry you think that. I enjoyed the exchange with tartare. As an ex of 1 thing I learned, I didn't know about the processed beef 'paste' that McDs adds to the meat. While the description of how it is proc.d isnt a deal breaker for me, it'll surely make me less nonchalant about my McDs hack. I plan on pursuing this issue further (a new thing). We still don't know what % of McDs meat consists of paste, eg; its hard to determine how (un)healthy it is. None of the problems mentioned were linked to McDs; I wonder if the two co.s have a unique arrangement. Many unknowns; still learning.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I don't mean to be a food Nazi, but I am extremely skeptical of the quality of the food at McDonald's, especially their beef. When I eat it (which I have done out of desperation at times), I get stomach aches and poor digestion. In terms of the "100% beef" claims, do some Google searches for "pink slime" and see if you still feel the same way. I would literally skip a meal (which is very Paleo BTW) if McDonald's were the only option, but it almost never is.

5
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21415)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:41 AM

I'll admit I do similar if I'm in a bind and need a feed. My poison of choice is the triple whopper at BK with no bun, they'll even put it in a salad bowl for you.

I do "field work" so I'm on the road all the time, and I emphasize sleep over making sure I have next-day grubs... so there are some days I won't have a packed lunch. I will try my best to hit up a BBQ, steakhouse, or churrasco, the meat might be CAFO but I can trust the preparation a bit more, and I don't have the stress of eating in my car.

3
0c0c5c65612425e497b7231c21516943

(1354)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:10 PM

The only reason that I go to McDonald's is to pee. Seriously! It is a horrible company, promoting horrible food, and destroying rain forests. Their food does not rot! Their meat is so processed and I believe they use bleach in it. YUCK! There are much better choices and planning to be had. Not judging, because everyone is in their own place, but factory farmed meat, disgusts me!

3
7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d

(668)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:48 AM

If I'm desperate for fat, protein... meat, I do this.

5 cheeseburgers, no ketchup no bun, down the hatch. (In Spain there is no double burger on the "discount" menu.)

I feel great after. Really.

That said the McDonald's meat here in Spain is notably juicier and more tasty than the golden arches state side.

I consider this a valid PaleoHack. McDonald's is not evil.

3
B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:18 AM

No.

(Apparently I have to have more than three characters to post a response, but still??? no.)

3
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:17 AM

I don't know what Paleo is, but I do know McDonald's AIN'T IT.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 03:51 PM

I agree, but this hack is trying address how we might think about and assess tradeoffs with potential suboptimal, less-than-paleo compromises.

2
C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:40 AM

The cheese is likely to be high in trans fats.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:35 PM

Milk, water, milk fat, cheese culture,.. sounds like food to me. The other stuff is fairly benign as far as preservatives and additives go. It's not ideal, but its definitely food.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 02:22 AM

I also worried about this. Here are the ingredients according to McDonalds: 'Milk, water, milkfat, cheese culture, sodium citrate, salt, citric acid, sorbic acid (preservative), sodium phosphate, artificial color, lactic acid, acetic acid, enzymes, soy lecithin (added for slice separation).' I haven't researched processed cheese. But this looks pretty good to me; or, rather, not too terrible. What do people think, should I nix the cheese?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:00 PM

It may not have trans fats but it's a stretch to call it "food."

2
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:31 AM

Hmmm...I always say that little Cable Guy prayer about "forgive me lord and mumble the pygmies" before I eat it, but I do a similar hack at Jack in the Box, just without the cheese (no dairy or dairy-like products for me). It may not be "paleo," but it tastes okay to me.

Although lately I've been worried about what they might put into the meat in these fast food places. Obviously it's not local, grassfed, blah-de-blah, and I can tolerate that, but what if they're adding corn syrup or something to hook people? I forget where that particular scare story came from, but it's recent, and it's on my mind. Maybe I'll dig around and see where I can find it (I know about the Taco Bell "meat" story; it wasn't that).

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:27 PM

let's be clear here. there is a tremendous difference between grinding meat for pate, even subsequently blending it to create a homemade emulsion and the type of homogenizing used to make your "pink slime" (and I will not refrain from calling it that because I think its an appropriate name), additionally, the undesireable trimmings you refer to are far different from offal or from the "variety meats" you seem to think they are. There are so many things wrong with your statements i don't even know where to begin.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:39 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:20 PM

I don't know what the difference is that you are referring to. They liquify the fat, just like we do every time we heat fatty meat up. Think about bacon, which is mostly fat: we heat it up, it gets way smaller, and a lot of the liquified fat is left in the pan or tray. I don't think McDonalds patties are nutritious like offal. But they probably contain stuff that we want because of the low status afforded to the animal parts from which they are made. It doesn't really matter if we call it ground beef, but its better than ground cow parts. Maybe ground beef proper should change to ground chuck.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:19 AM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/food-safety----drugs-pois_b_537686.html The fda has a paper available on it http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/24601-08-KC.pdf, and you can find a list of violations even, (many of which include Cargill facilities which also buy from Beef Products Inc, makers of pink slime, and sells to McD's). The number of 15-25% average content of pink slime in commercial ground beef comes from an industry insider supportive of BPI's process. BPI has taken down all information detailing their production process, so I was unable to fully address the level of

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:55 PM

"spent dairy cows", that should have read.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:04 AM

Further, when McDonalds gets the (very thin) burgers, they cook them to well done at a temperature that they expect to be risk free, given their understanding of the likelihood of having contaminated meat on their hands, which is .06 percent. Note also that ammonia exposure and cooking eliminate e coli with equivalent efficiency. So McDonalds is being doubly safe by incorporating this redundancy into their anti-bacterial protocol.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:38 PM

(most good cooks freeze their grinding equipment beforehand expressly to avoid friction heat due to the changes it causes).

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:40 PM

1 last thing. The word processed is looked down on by paleos, & for good reason. But its worth remembering why: processed carbs are in largely responsible for the DOCs b/c theyre too easy to store, eat, & digest - spiking our insulin and making us hungry again while not providing nutrition & inflaming our insides. The problems with processed meats, if they even exist, are far less clear. Meat isn't being simplified and stripped down like wheat. If meat processing has deleterious effects, they're not clear, and they will be of a totally different nature than those introduced by proc.d carbs.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 11:09 AM

I'll also note that one of the things I like about getting the most 'undesirable' trimmings is that these are the parts of the animal that modern wealthy folks don't like, but that our ancestors most surely found a way to consume. I often privilege the 'processed' blends from local organic farmers (ie sausage patties and links), which is how they unload the weird fatty leftovers, and maybe even some stuff like cartilage, selling them for much less money per lb than the prized cuts. It makes sense that I'd follow the same ideas when consuming conventional meats that get cooked thoroughly.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 08:07 PM

Oh, and eating well done meat regularly has been proven to be an increased and significant cancer risk due to HCAs, more than *quintupling* breast cancer risk for women who eat this way regularly as opposed to eating rare or medium.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 05:22 AM

you wish they were only adding corn syrup.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:29 AM

Additionally, BPI products were exempt from federal inspections from 2007 on, because the govt felt their process was safe. (This is being changed due to the backlash from the NYT article) The safety of that process was assesed by an U of Iowa study funded by, guess who? BPI. BPI sued the same Iowa university when they attempted to publicly release the results of this study. (??) The FDA is looking pretty bad based on the results of their own paper (linked to above) , for short version of why, read the bullet points in the second link, such as that meat was not recalled even when it failed

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:55 PM

to say this is a "small dose" is very questionable and arbitrary. On top of this, the FDA itself expressed concern over other issues with commercial ground beef, mainly "residue" from vet meds. This residue is regularly found in cheap meat due to the use of spent cows and does not get affected by cooking, even thorough cooking. So, no, I won't be meeting you for lunch.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:30 AM

lab tests. Ok. I'm about done with this thread.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:19 AM

Eric, you never addressed my point that the fat in the "pink slime" was thoroughly altered through it's pink transmogrifying "sliming homogenization" process. I agree with you that naturally occurring fat is truly good fuel, but it's been proven that adulterated fat can be wholly undesirable, even though the original fat may have been perfectly acceptable.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 04:37 PM

"But they probably contain stuff that we want because of the low status afforded to the animal parts from which they are made." The trimmings used to extend the burger are basic muscle meat. Nothing special. The reason they are undesireable is because they come from areas of the carcass which are very likely to have been exposed to fecal matter, and hence e. coli and other bacteria. Preparation of the carcass by washing is far from foolproof when it comes to removing this bacteria. Additionally, meat ground at home is not ground into a "sludge like"paste, nor is it heated

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 04, 2011
at 02:50 AM

Im unclear on some of this stuff. The article talked about the distribution to both school cafeterias and to McDs, but its not clear if they receive the same product, or if they use the same amount of it in their patties. Do you know where we might be able to find this out? My rule for cooking meat is: bad meat well done, good meat rare. Know any good articles or studies of antibiotic residue in CAFO meat? I'd find that interesting and highly compelling. (Just in case my tone isn't clear here, I'm not being sarcastic or disingenuous; I really think it'd be interesting.)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:57 PM

Mexico sent our beef back because it violated their standards for copper toxicity and we don't even have set standards for some of these things.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Okay, but with ammonia exposure AND thorough cooking the chances of any bacteria surviving are tiny. Lets not forget that we're talking about McDs here - masters of precision, organization, and efficiency. What, then, is left among your concerns? Ammonia? You'd have to cut out a lot of other foods. Texture? You don't appear to like pastes. Color? Pink is out. Liquifying fat? There goes all cooked meat. Suppose small doses of ammonia are OK, the paste-like texture is undetectable, & the burger isn't pink, then would you eat McD patties? Well, then, guess I'll see you under the golden arches...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 07:51 PM

well there's the rub, isn't it? the process developped by BPI was deemed safe by the govt, and they argely exempted them from inspection. However, the ammonia process raised the ph of the meat (normally around 6) to 10, beyond the range of most food, and people complained. So they decied to somewhat lower the dose of ammonia the meat receives, and many samples have been found to contain salmonella and e coli. Additionally, the ammonia treated product is generally considered by the industry to be 15-25% of commercial ground beef.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:23 AM

McDonalds has reiterated their plan to continue to purchase meat from Beef Products Inc, makers of pink slime (it just has a certain "ring" to it). The same product is distributed to both McD, to schools and to prisons apparently (as made apparent when the prison actually sent the meat back because it was frozen and in its frozen state smelled too strongly of ammonia - in NYT article). It's the same product because it is all supplied by BPI.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 06:02 AM

McDonalds, at least, doesn't add corn syrup to their beef. They don't even add msg. So what's their insidious hook? Salt and pepper. I suspect they get your hooked by offering the perfect (ie deadliest) mix of fat, glutamate (from the meat), salt, and processed carbs. But if you only eat the meat and cheese, the option needs to be re-evaluated. That's what I intended to make the post about. There's no clear answer, but the question is more interesting than most probably assumed.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:20 AM

homogenization that I believe does happen and does negatively alter the remaining fat in the meat (i have read 10%) to become even more undesireable. This was to be my point about differentiating it from homemade pates (which I have made more than once myself).

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:29 PM

And don't forget that school lunch beef, which is probably worse than McDs, contains 15% of the processed ground beef. McDs is probably higher quality than that, so it might contain something more like 5% of it. It can't be too much, I surmise, because of the uncanny similarity of its flavor to grass-fed ground beef. I'm up for eating any high-protein part of a cow, even if it requires the fat to be liquified 1st - especially if the result is only going to comprise a small percentage of the patty. I don't care about its color, & nobody has offered a reason to avoid those cow parts.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 10:56 AM

The term 'pink slime' turns out to be pretty unhelpful. The substance is nothing more than beef trimmings ground up and treated with ammonia. That said, I suppose that liverwurst, pate, and most other ground meats are just pink slime too. Its sent through pipes, exposed to ammonia gas, and flash frozen. I don't view this as radically different than grinding beef or pork trimmings, then freezing them in vacuum sealed plastic, which is what my favorite local organic farms do.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:37 PM

As to the pink slime here's an excerpt from the NYT article: Another department microbiologist, Gerald Zirnstein, called the processed beef "pink slime" in a 2002 e-mail message to colleagues and said, “I do not consider the stuff to be ground beef, and I consider allowing it in ground beef to be a form of fraudulent labeling.”

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 03, 2011
at 01:47 PM

the .06 percent you refer to is the number the company making the pink slime came up with for discovered pathogens in their "product" through their own testing. other testing has put this number much, much higher.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on May 03, 2011
at 03:40 PM

PS - I realize you know the difference between processed carbs and processed meats. However, I suspect that the negative valence attached to the word 'processed' is carrying over in a manner that is not helpful.

1
89985542ffc00c296552951369fe809a

on April 21, 2013
at 03:10 AM

Can guarantee that, that meat is NOT 100% Beef. I wouldn't touch that stuff with even a 20 foot pole! Grass-fed & grass-finished is BEST!

1
C08d7601a9ec112d40a4dfe2450329d0

on April 21, 2013
at 01:39 AM

The butcher at my local Whole Foods (where I get most of my local grass-fed organic blah blah) pointed out to me that McDonald's actually gets first pick on beef from the beef industry because they're the biggest customer, so they may actually have the highest quality CAFO beef around.

My main qualm with your hack is the bun. Even a removed bun leaves enough behind to make me feel glutened afterwards. Le sigh.

1
71ac925a9ac8f6b37a064400e3416528

on September 21, 2012
at 10:09 AM

I think McDonalds is offering far healthier and more real food than its reputation suggests. Its 100% beef, and unless you are only eating at restaurants that serve pastured, organic meat (where are they?), you won't get much different. People should look beyond conventional wisdom to the facts. After all, conventional wisdom says whole grain bread is good, and meat fat is bad. It is a convention to say McDonalds is unhealthy and even evil, but occasional meals here are fine. I get six burgers, toss the buns, chop them up and put them on a side salad, and I have a decent primal meal

1
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on November 09, 2011
at 09:18 PM

I'd rather "hack" an In-N-Out burger than McDonalds...

That orange haired clown just scares me; profit before people is his motto.

BTW You're obviously not dairy sensitive because any cheese from fast food seriously causes me some serious GI issues.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:41 PM

SDD: I totally agree. Unfortunately in-in-out is a regional chain. Ronald scares me too, that's why the details of this hack surprised me when I started looking into the details. And you are right, I'm not dairy sensitive, though I'll get around to testing it via elimination at some point.

0
04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on April 21, 2013
at 05:15 AM

Just order a bunless angus burger, no sauce, wrapped in lettuce, and unsweetened tea. That's what I do.I've gotten some snotty remarks from the kids that work there but hey, you do what you gotta do!

0
627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

on October 13, 2011
at 07:40 AM

Skip the McDonalds. There is never a reason in the world to eat it. As someone stated above, grass-fed ground beef is not expensive. Buy it in bulk for $4 or less per lb anywhere in the world. With this you can eat all of your meals for under $3.

Ground beef may be the healthiest too. It has the CLA, a fair amount of protein, lots of saturated fat and all the micronutrients. Steak is awesome but very expensive.

0
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 13, 2011
at 07:06 AM

Do you have tastebuds? Because if you do that alone should tell you that something ain't right with McDonalds' burgers. They simply taste disgusting. I understand where you're coming from with this hack, and I've done a similar thing myself before while roadtripping (albeit at Wendy's, which, IMO, uses far better meat), but it's not something I'd want to do more than once in a blue moon.

And why exactly do you actually believe McDonalds' ingredient lists? I'd better dollars to donuts they're grossly misleading.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:42 PM

McDs has a huge legal incentive to be honest about their ingredients.

0
E46c729d18071082805378654a2020c5

(186)

on October 13, 2011
at 05:07 AM

Dude, at least do it at BK where the beef is actually cooked over a grill.. Maybe a little healthier?

In my opinion, def a lot tastier.

My 2 cents.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on November 10, 2011
at 04:42 PM

But can you get 2 patties per $1? Sometimes. Sometimes not. Whereas McDs offers this as an everyday value.

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