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Shocking: Fast Food Hamburgers Could be as Little as 2 Percent ACTUAL Meat

Mike Barrett
Natural Society / News Report
Published: Friday 2 August 2013
Avoid fast food; you don’t know what you’re getting into.
Article image

Here at NaturalSociety we’ve covered countless reasons to avoid fast food at all costs. This cheaply-processed food fuels illness and disease due to containing numerous harmful ingredients – some of which are actually banned in other countries. But if you need yet another reason to avoid the junk, here it is: According to a study published in the journal Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, some fast food hamburgers may contain as little as 2% actual meat.

For the study, researchers analyzed the content of 8 fast food hamburger brands. To ensure that there was no bias in the results, they assigned each hamburger with an anonymously designated name, ranging from H1 to H8. While it would only logical to assume that hamburgers are made up primarily of meat, much of the 5 billion hamburgers consumed by Americans annually actual contain very little meat (and could contain a whole host of other ingredients.

Study Breakdown

Here is a breakdown of what you might find in a fast food hamburger according to the study’s findings:

  • Water content by weight ranged from 37.7% to 62.4% (mean of 49%).
  • Meat content in the hamburgers ranged from 2.1% to 14.8% (median of 12.1%).
  • The cost per gram of hamburger ranged from $0.02 to $0.16 (median of $0.03).
  • Relatively preserved skeletal muscle was observed.
  • A variety of tissue types besides skeletal muscle were observed including connective tissue, blood vessels, peripheral nerve, adipose tissue, plant material, cartilage, and bone.

The study concludes with:

“Fast food hamburgers are comprised of little meat (median, 12.1%). Approximately half of their weight is made up of water. Unexpected tissue types found in some hamburgers included bone, cartilage, and plant material; no brain tissue was present. Sarcocystis parasites were discovered in 2 hamburgers.”

Unfortunately, the study abstract nor the 4 pages of the study (you can sign up for free to view the study for 5 minutes) reveal where the 8 hamburgers came from, which most individuals will be upset about (including myself). But the study most likely involved at least some popular fast food hamburgers, leaving you to make your own educated conclusion.

In the end, the research simply backs the notion that fast food is questionable at best and health-compromising at worst. The junk food may cost very little, but you truly don’t know what you’re paying for with conventional food this day and age. Fast food hamburgers contain numerous health-damaging ingredients, and is the complete opposite of healthful organic beef coming from grass-fed cows. Avoid fast food; you don’t know what you’re getting into.



Erm. Roughly 55-60% of

Erm. Roughly 55-60% of ground beef, after cooking, IS naturally-occurring water. (Before cooking, it's closer to 75%.) A waterless burger would be inedible. Blood vessels and peripheral nerves run THROUGH all tissues, including skeletal muscle, so there's no way you're going to get meat without some of that.

"Adipose tissue" is otherwise known as fat; it would also be virtually impossible to elimate entirely, and you wouldn't want to, because fat is what gives beef its flavor.

Connective tissue (gristle) you'd want minimized, but once again, it's closely attached to the muscle, and getting rid of it entirely would be very difficult. As long as you're not getting noticeable chunks that are unpleasant to chew, it's not hurting anything. Bone chips are unpleasant, but they are occasionally going to happen and (at least in my experience, YMMV) aren't that common or that big a deal.

Vegetable matter could be (probably is) soy or other fillers. It could also include herbs or spices added for flavor.

The only thing in the article that's really troublesome is the "parasites." I put it in quotes because, though technically accurate, I suspect the term was chosen rather than "bacteria" or "micro-organisms" because of the visceral reaction it gets. They're not talking about worms, but a wide variety of different single-celled organisms including salmonella and listeria. Everyone already knows these things are an ever-present risk whether eating out or at home, in beef and other foods, and the article doesn't say whether they were present in great enough quantities to actually present a significant risk of illness. It doesn't even say whether they were alive!

All this article is basically saying is "Yeah, fast food hamburgers are made from ground-up cows and vegetables, and there's some germs in some of them." This is a shocking revelation?

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