The Happy Meal the day it was bought. Photo: Sally Davis PhotographyThis is a photo of a McDonald's Happy Meal that, after being left sitting in a living room for 180 days, looks almost exactly the same as the freshly bought product.
American artist Sally Davies photographed the Happy Meal every day for about six months, documenting the changes that she expected to occur.
Only, there don't seem to be many changes at all. No evidence of mould. No decomposition.
The Happy Meal on day 180 of sitting in Sally Davies' living room. Photo: Sally Davies Photography
"Very little has changed," Ms Davies admitted to WAtoday.com.au.
"The meat has shrank a little as it dried out. But other than that, it looks pretty much like when I bought it."
Ms Davies said she chose a McDonald's product for her project simply because it was the closest fast food chain to her New York home.
Sally Davies decided to test the rumor that a fast food burger could last months or years without decomposing.
She decided to embark on the unusual photography idea after reading that a school teacher had kept a burger which failed to decompose for 12 years and used it in her classroom as an example to students. She planned to photograph the decomposing burger every day to monitor the progress, expecting it to rot within a few days.
But she discovered little difference between the photographs from day one through to day 180.
Ms Davies, who insists she has not tampered with the Happy Meal, said her photographic evidence of the lack of decomposition said a lot about the dangers of eating fast food.
While the experiment was conducted in the US, a McDonald's Australia spokeswoman said the outcome of Ms Davies project seemed "virtually impossible".
"McDonald's Australia sources its ingredients from the same producers that supply the bread, meat, cheese and vegetables that are available on Australian supermarket shelves," company spokeswoman Laura Keith said.
"Under normal conditions, most foods will deteriorate and certainly our food is no different. So without knowing the full detail of Sally's project, this outcome seems virtually impossible."
But Ms Davies defended the integrity of her project.
"I heard they are defending their food and saying it is 100 per cent biodegradable. And that I have tampered with this food somehow to achieve this end," Ms Davies said.
"I am an artist, not a scientist. I do not claim to know what is in this food. I can only show you photographs of what it looks like in my living room after 180 days. And you can make your own conclusion."
Ms Davies said McDonald's was in the business of making money, and she would not argue with their freedom to sell what they do.
"It all depends on how much control you want to have over your own life," she said.
"I prefer to cook at home and eat organic fresh fruits and vegetables, and stay out of the doctor's office. When I am an old person, my goal is to be healthy and not be on any medication for anything. And so far, my diet is working."
wow!!! this amazed me alot. I like their food and stuff but after reading this article, hmmmm I will think about it if I still want to go there. No wonder people who always eat there is obese or most of them has medical problems. It's better to cook your own burger, aside that it is fresh and you know what's in it. Much more healthier and SAFE!!!!