How Much Actual Hamburger Is in Your Big Mac? Frighteningly Little

DiscoblogBy Melissa LafskyJun 4, 2009 11:55 PM


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In case the shock value from Super Size Me is starting to wear off, here's an excerpt from the abstract of a paper in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology. It was published last year, but the point is no less revolting today:

The purpose of this study is to assess the content of 8 fast food hamburger brands using histologic methods. Eight different brands of hamburgers were evaluated for water content by weight and microscopically for recognizable tissue types...Water content by weight ranged from 37.7% to 62.4% (mean, 49%)...The cost per gram of hamburger ranged from $0.02 to $0.16 (median, $0.03) and did not correlate with meat content. Electron microscopy showed relatively preserved skeletal muscle...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.

Hungry, anyone? Related Content: Discoblog: So Is It a Disease? United Airlines to Double-Charge Obese FliersImage: iStockphoto

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