The picture you're looking at above isn't of just any Happy Meal. It's a Happy Meal that's an entire year old. Yes, author Joann Bruso decided to undertake a little experiment with McDonald's most recognizable icon (besides that bizarre man-clown, that is). So she bought a Happy Meal, took out the hamburger, and plopped down in her office. For a year. This is what happened. Here's the one-year State of the Happy Meal Address--Bruso's update on how the food fared after a full year sitting in an office cubicle:
My Happy Meal is one year old today and it looks pretty good. It NEVER smelled bad. The food did NOT decompose. It did NOT get moldy, at all.And here's a picture of the Happy Meal, one year ago:
This morning, I took it off my shelf to take a birthday photo. The first year is always a milestone. I gave it one of my world famous nonna hugs as we've been office mates for a year now! (Okay, maybe my sanity is in question.)
Bearing in mind the sagely exhortation of Michael Pollan to always "eat food" as opposed to food-like substances, this should be reason enough to think a while longer about that meal that can evidently stay happy for a lot longer than anyone thought.
As Bruso notes, food should go bad--in the natural world, food molds, decomposes, stinks. Whatever it is that composes the McDonald's Happy Meal does not--judging from the report thus far, they may very well be invincible.
Note: this post has been updated to include both pictures
See also: Why Won't McDonald's Accept a Requirement for Even Just 5% Cage-Free Eggs?
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