Seriously. I can't think of a single thing at a fast food place that I would feel completely safe putting in my mouth. Here is the beginning of the article:
THURSDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that many fast-food meals begin with a single ingredient: corn.
Researchers uncovered signs of corn in food items from Wendy's, McDonald's and Burger King.
"We found that corn is not just a grain used in the production of fast food, it is the basis of all fast food," said study author A. Hope Jahren, a professor of geography and geophysics at the University of Hawaii. "Of the hundreds of fast-food meals we purchased across the country, there were only about 12 servings of food that could potentially be traced back to something besides corn."
I guess those 12 were the dressing free salad options. I assume the citric acid wash, which contaminates the salad with corn for the corn allergic, does not count as the basis of a meal for most folks. The dressings, of course are full of corn.
I found myself continuing to talk to the Mac while I read the rest of the article. (Please note, I usually don't talk to inanimate objects. I'm chalking this up to having spent a lot of time at home by myself for the last few weeks while I've been sick. Or this virus has gone to my brain and I am finally cracking up. Hard to say.) For the most part, I wound up imitating that old Grey Poupon commercial and saying "But of course!"
The researchers analyzed the food to look at how corn is used in the production of fast food and to the results are not surprising to those of us who try to avoid the stuff on a daily basis. The exceptions in their finding were what kept surprising me. "12 Burger King burgers bought on the West Coast came from cows that didn't exclusively eat corn-based diets." I assume the reporter mean finished on corn. Cows do not naturally eat corn, they don't have the digestive system for it, but it does fatten them up quickly. In CAFOs they are fed corn in high amounts in the last few months of their life, along with large amounts of antibiotics to deal with the concomitant problems. For a good overview on the US food system that supplies our fast food and unsettling details on CAFO system, check out Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan's NYT article Power Steer.
While I was reading, I couldn't help thinking that the corn allergy group could tell the researchers what does and does not contain corn quite quickly. Of course we are not lab instruments, so what can report is going to get anyone published in a science journal. I feel more like the human analogue to the truffle hunting pigs, I can detect corn with a high degree of sensitivity but I do NOT want to eat it.
With the scientific research in, now maybe no one will want to eat it. But of course, that could just be the virus talking.