Daniel G. J.
August 7, 2013
It looks like an old urban legend about fast food hamburgers might
actually be true. The burgers may actually contain little or no meat,
with results showing some burgers containing only 2.1% actual meat.
When a team of scientists analyzed eight fast food burgers for their report in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, they discovered that meat composed only a tiny percentage of the patty. The burger with the most meat contained just 14.8% beef, while another burger contained just 2.1% meat. The study is available online from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.
The scientists, Brigid Prayson, James T. McHahon PhD, and Richard A.
Prayson MD, found that the average burger contained just 12.1% meat. As a
substitute, the main ingredient in the burger patties was found to be
The researchers also discovered other kinds of animal tissue inside the ‘burgers’, including bone and cartilage.
Fortunately, no brain tissue was found in the burgers, which mostly
rules out the danger of mad cow disease. Some of the burgers also
contained plant-based materials.
Unfortunately, the chains selling the burgers were not identified in the study.
It simply listed eight different burgers. The main results of the study
indicate that meat used to make them seems to be deliberately injected
with water to make it heavier.
PARASITES IN THE ‘BURGERS’
The researchers at the Laurel School in Ohio didn’t find much meat, but they did find something else: At least two of the burgers contained Sarcocystis parasites. These parasites have been found to cause a deadly disease in some species of animals.