Need some food to store away in an emergency? Forget those hermatically sealed mean freeze-dried food packets. Consider a McDonald's hamburger ... or any hamburger of a similar size.
The Serious Eats (SE) site did a controlled test to see how true were the reports that a McDonald's burger may be the new Twinkie ... that is, it will last forever. If that was true, SE wanted to know why.
There is teacher who carries around a 14 year old McDonald's hamburger which looks almost the same as the day she bought it, no rot, no decay, no mold. She uses it as an illustration of why junk food is bad. She has never refrigerated the thing and it hs survived all types of weather.
There are a number of reports on the web of the McDonald's ever-lasting burger with many concluding it is chemical laden junk. SE had a problem with that thinking. "that kind of conclusion is both sensationalistic and specious, and has no place in any of the respectable academic circles which A Hamburger Today would like to consider itself an upstanding member of."
So off SE goes to do a month long controled test using nine burgers: 2 plain McDonald's hamburgers (one wrapped, one unwrapped), a home ground burger on a store bun the exact size of the McD's burger, home made burger on a McDonald's bun, a McDonald;s patty on a store bought bun, a McDonalds burger made without salt, a McDonald's, Quarter Pounder, a homemade burger the size fo a quarter pounder, plain McDonald's Angus Third Pounder.
It is a hilarious read "it's been 25 days, 23 calm, cool, and collected discussions with my wife about whether that smell in the apartment is coming from the burgers or from the dog, and 16 nights spent sleeping on the couch in the aftermath of those calm, cool, and collected discussions"
Seriously, SE, if your wife leaves you, marry me. Anyone who has followed my strawberries in a jar experiment, knows this is a kindred spirit and probably my soul mate (BTW, thankfully SE reports that another experiment to keep burgers in a jar produced molded burgers. Wonderful. You KNOW I was considering that)
Anyway ... bottom line ... size matters.
The larger burgers, McDonalds or home-made, molded. The smaller size resulted in the other burgers dehydrating, so no mold could grow. In effect, burger jerky.
Here's the original report