When something is as hugely popular as the fast food industry is, lots of controversy and rumors surrounding it are inevitable. That doesn't mean you have to believe them, though! Here are some frequently-mentioned myths about fast food chains that really have no merit to them at all.
Taco Bell’s beef is only 35 percent meat.
We've all heard that rumor that the meat from Taco Bell is only 35 percent real seasoned beef. This isn't true, though. The seasoned beef from Taco Bell is 88 percent genuine beef and 12 percent filler ingredients— though that still might raise eyebrows from some, it's actually pretty good for a fast food market. The filler ingredients are used for sweeting purposes and are all very safe and edible.
McDonald’s burgers never decay.
You've probably seen Internet content that explains how McDonald's hamburger patties never decay after being intentionally left out for days at a time. While it's true that they don't really rot as you'd expect, it isn't because they're not real meat. Since the burgers don't have a lot of moisture in them after being cooked, they tend to simply dry out when left in open air. Also, an independent study found that McDonald's burgers rot at the same rate as a homemade patty would. So go ahead and eat that McDouble with no shame.
Dine-in places are healthier than a drive-thru.
People tend to think of dine-in places being healthier alternatives to the greasy food that's become synonymous with drive thru places. However, studies show that places the whole family can sit down at aren't always the better option. A Drexel study found that combo meals at full service, sit-down restaurants tend to have more calories than the daily recommendation. This is because of the free bread and many appetizers that a lot of restaurants offer. Long story short: if you're looking for health options, you might need to cook your meal yourself.
Fast food salads are healthy.
Look, we all know what we're getting when we shell out for fast food. But don't get fooled over the healthy salad campaigns that a lot of places like to do now. With cheese, dressing and meat on a lot of them, fast food salads are just as bad health-wise than anything else on the menu. They also tend to have substantially more fat, sugar and sodium.
The darker the coffee, the more caffeine.
Think that getting a super black coffee from Starbucks or McDonald's will get you the morning buzz you crave? Well, turns out that lighter roasted coffee produces a way bigger caffeine surge. This is because coffee beans start out green but become darker during the roasting process. The darker a bean gets, the more caffeine is lost in the process. Thus, lighter roasts still carry more of their original caffeine content.
The egg patties from McDonald’s are packaged that way.
Don't worry, McDonald's has integrity. The perfect egg shape you see on items like the McMuffins are achieved by using a ring mold that creates a uniform shape each time. Contrary to popular belief, the eggs aren't artificial substances that arrive in prepackaged shapes. They're real!
The roast beef from Arby’s comes from a gel.
You've probably heard the stories of how the beef from Arby's comes to the store in a liquid gel form and is heated until it resembles meat. This is FAR from the truth. The meat arrives in real meat form inside airtight plastic bags, with a thin layer of basting solution that resembles a gel on top of it. It looks unappetizing, to be sure, but it's actually a shipment method that keeps the true nature of the roast beef intact.
White Castle doesn’t really use onions.
It's a myth that the onions famously found on White Castle burgers are actually pieces of cabbage just soaked in onion juice. White Castle debunked this themselves with a statement on their website, saying they 100 percent use real onions. So now you can go get that Crave Case you've been dreaming of.
Fast food is the cheapest option out there.
Definitely not the case. While dollar and value menus have some great prices, most full price, speciality items are actually pretty pricey. For example, the average McDonald's combo meal will run you around six or seven dollars. A family of four would thus spend about thirty dollars eating out at McDonald's. A home cooked, gourmet chicken dinner prepared by yourself would likely run you half the cost of that. Fast food is definitely more accessible and less time-consuming, but it's not the cheapest!
Frozen treats from McDonald’s aren’t actually dairy products.
Some people claim that milkshakes from McDonald's aren't actually milkshakes, and thus can't be labeled as a true dairy product if milk isn't involved. While it's true that they don't use real ice cream, the pre-made mix they use DOES have dairy in it — it's just that using real ice cream everyday would be too impossible logistically. They're still not the healthiest thing out there, but they should nonetheless be rightfully labeled as a dairy product.
Long-term consumption of fast food leads to addiction.
A lot of theorists and debaters have taken to claiming that fast food is so addicting because chains put addictive chemicals and compounds in their food. While most people can probably see through this outlandish claim, it's worth noting that fast food chains do NOT do this. That's not to say that people can't become easily addicted to fast food — but it's more likely due to the convenience and delicious fried taste, not some imaginary chemical.
KFC stopped going by “Kentucky Fried Chicken” because it stopped using actual chicken meat.
Again, this might seem outrageous to some, but it's a myth that's been going around for a while now. KFC used to outright be called "Kentucky Fried Chicken" by most, but the chain intentionally changed their name to just the abbreviation. It's not because they stopped using real chicken, though — it's because they didn't like the negative connotation that comes along with the word "fried." Even though the food is most certainly fried, you have to look at it from a marketing perspective!
Fast food = obesity.
This is a common generalization but it's an incorrect assumption. It's a myth that fast food is the only contributing factor to someone's obesity. Levels of obesity should be properly attributed to many lifestyle factors, from the amount of exercise you get to your metabolic rate and family history. Fast food doesn't automatically make you fat — it's all about moderation and making smart lifestyle choices!