Artificial Ingredients Have Been Removed From McDonald's Classic Burgers

iStock.com/Johnnieshin
iStock.com/Johnnieshin

McDonald's burgers just got more "real." The fast food giant has already been using fresh beef for its quarter-pound burgers, and it just went one step further by removing artificial preservatives, flavors, and coloring from two-thirds of its menu. The changes affect McDonald's seven classic burgers: the hamburger, McDouble, Big Mac, single and double cheeseburgers, and single and double Quarter Pounders with cheese.

As CNN reports, calcium propionate (a preservative often used in bread) was removed from the burger buns, and sorbic acid (another preservative) was removed from the American cheese that McDonald's used. The Big Mac Special Sauce has also been revamped, and ingredients like potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA were removed "without sacrificing that signature taste," McDonald's said in a statement. As for the beef, it has always been "100 percent pure," meaning that it contains no additives, preservatives, or fillers, and it has been seasoned with just a pinch of salt and pepper. 

One notable exception to the new rule are the pickles, which still contain an artificial preservative. This move from McDonald's recognizes "that now more than ever, people care about their food—where it comes from, what goes into it, and how it is prepared," the company said. A spokesperson for McDonald's told Forbes that individual franchises set their own prices, but the company isn't anticipating any significant price increases as a result of the menu changes.

Previously, McDonald's removed artificial preservatives from its Chicken McNuggets, announced plans to only use coffee from sustainable sources by 2020, and to only use cage-free eggs in the U.S. and Canada by 2025. As CNN notes, this is part of an industry-wide trend that has seen fast food chains like Taco Bell, Subway, and Panera remove artificial ingredients from their food offerings.

[h/t CNN]

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that McDonalds recently switched the brand's beef patties to "pure beef." That is not a new change. The story has been updated to correct this error.

How Microwaving Food Affects Its Nutritional Value

iStock/grzymkiewicz
iStock/grzymkiewicz

There’s probably no household appliance that sees more use than a microwave. For people who don’t have the time or inclination to prepare dinners from scratch or heat meals in a conventional oven, zapping food has become the ultimate method of time management in the kitchen.

Some people harbor the belief that a price has to be paid for that convenience—specifically, that food loses nutritional value by being subjected to a quick nuking.

The truth? Microwaving doesn’t harm a food’s nutrients. In fact, it may preserve them more than some slow-cook methods do.

The reason is found in how microwaves work. The appliances heat food by blasting it with waves of energy not unlike radio waves. These waves target water and other molecules in the food. Thermal energy quickly builds up, and dishes come out heated in a relatively short period of time. This process avoids two of the factors that can lead to nutrient loss: cooking duration and high temperatures. Typically, the longer and hotter food is cooked, the more its nutritional value dissipates.

The other advantage is that microwaves don’t require water for heating. If you boil broccoli, for example, the hot water allows nutrients to leach out of the vegetable. (While that makes for a good stock, your broccoli may be robbed of some of its healthy benefits.) A quick steam in the microwave leaves broccoli relatively intact.

That’s not to say that microwave cooking is superior to a stovetop. Cooking foods at reasonable temperatures and durations shouldn’t result in significant nutrient loss, though some is inevitable for any manner of cooking. But microwaving isn’t going to erase nutrients via some mysterious microwave alchemy, either.

[h/t CNN]

Golden Girls Cereal Has Arrived

NBC
NBC

Fans of The Golden Girls can now spend their mornings with Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia, and Rose. The ladies of the beloved sitcom now have their own cereal—and it's only available for a limited time, Today reports.

Funko—the toy company known for its vinyl Pop! dolls depicting nearly every character in pop culture (including, of course, The Golden Girls)—rolled out the special-edition cereal in Target stores on September 30. The box is decorated with Funko-fied versions of the four leading ladies, and the multi-grain loops themselves are a shade of deep blue that would look great on one of Rose's dresses.

At $8 a box, the product is more expensive than your average breakfast cereal, but that price includes a little something extra. Each box of Golden Girls cereal comes with its own version of a prize inside: a Funko Pop! figurine of one of the four women.

The cereal won't remain on shelves forever, so collect all the dolls while you still can.

[h/t Today]

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