One of the more-enduring urban legends about McDonald's is that their hamburgers contain cow eyeballs. While this has not proven to be the case, their Baked Hot Apple Pie does contain duck feathers, or at least an ingredient commonly derived from such. Truth can be just as strange as fiction.
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Eight-syllable ingredients make sense for Silly Putty, but French fries? Sure enough, dimethylpolysiloxane, a form of silicone used in cosmetics and Silly Putty, is also found in many a fast-food fried thing. It is the secret ingredient that keeps fryer oil from foaming. McDonald's Filet-O-Fish and French fries have it, as do Wendy's Natural-Cut Fries With Sea Salt. In fact, most fast-food items that bathe in a deep-fat fryer are imbued with a hint of dimethylpolysiloxane. Should you be concerned? The World Health Organization found no adverse health effects associated with dimethylpolysiloxane, but come on - what's wrong with using potatoes, oil, and salt for fries?
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These four little words seem to have become the FDA mantra when it comes to food additives; all of the above ingredients, and an expansive array of other chemical additives, have been generally recognized as safe in scientific studies. Taken out of context and looked at individually, maybe a little ammonium sulfate here and a petroleum product there aren't going to cause quantitative damage to lab animals. But if you were to add up all of the chemical ingredients consumed during a life of a fast-food fueled western diet, what would that look like? Would it look like an epidemic ofobesity,diabetes or cancer?