1. The Chicken McNuggets conspiracy. What is this strange pink sludge, you wonder? A large intestine? Silly putty? Strawberry fro-yo, perhaps? No, this pink goop is (allegedly) what McDonald’s chicken nuggets look like during the processing stage. Apparently, the goo is a mixture of mechanically separated meat (a whole chicken, bones and all, that has been smashed and pressed through a sieve) and treated with ammonia hydroxide.
After this infamous “pink goo” pic went viral in 2010, Mickey D’s attempted to dispel some of the notoriety surrounding the image by releasing a commercial that showed how McNuggets are really made. As you can see from the video screenshot below, though, it’s not any more appetizing.
2. Fountain soda machines contain fecal bacteria. Wait, wait, wait–say what?! Yep, it’s true: studies have shown that 48 percent of fountain drink dispensers have traces of fecal bacteria on them. Brb, I’m gonna go barf in my drink now.
3. Subway bread contains an ingredient found in yoga mats. The offending ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is widely used as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner in food. But it’s also used to increase elasticity in products including yoga mats, shoe rubber, and synthetic leather. Although Subway has pledged to ultimately phase out this controversial ingredient, azodicarbonamide is still ubiquitous in fast food and store-bought bread products.
4. Fast food salads contain lube (yes, that type of lube). A side salad seems like a safe bet compared to other fast food temptations, but sadly many fast food joints dust their salads with propylene glycol—also found in antifreeze and sexual lubricants—to keep the leaves crisp.
5. Sandy chili. As if the infamous 2005 Wendy’s chili finger hoax wasn’t enough to turn you off from fast food chili forever, here’s another gross tidbit: the chain’s famous chili contains a strange chemical called silicon dioxide to keep it looking fresh. Also known as silica, silicon dioxide can be found in quartz or sand. Because who doesn’t love sandy chili, after all?
6. McDonald’s indestructible meat. In the event of an apocalypse, Mickey D’s hamburgers are extremely likely to survive. The picture below shows what a McDonald’s hamburger looks like…14 years later. Apparently, all of those preservatives and chemicals were enough to retain its appearance for more than a decade.
7. Coke doubles as toilet bowl cleaner. Would you like a large Coke with that? Turns out, Coca-Cola isn’t any old soft drink; it’s also an all-purpose cleaner! Here’s a practical use for the soda: To clean a toilet, pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china. Now just imagine what Coca-Cola is doing to your insides!
8. Taco Bell’s pseudo-beef. According to its website, Taco Bell’s taco beef is “88 percent beef.” This begs the question: what the heck is the remaining 12 percent? The list of ingredients for the Taco Bell’s “beef” include things like trehalose, cellulose, potassium chloride, torula yeast and caramel color.