What exactly is in McDonald’s french fries?
July 17th, 2014
09:15 AM ET
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Potatoes
Mickey D's uses varieties like the Russet Burbank, which have a nice oval shape and just the right balance of starch and sugar. Excess sugar can cause a fry to have brown spots where it's over-caramelized, leaving a burnt taste and deviating from the uniform yellow-arches color. Just in case, the spuds are blanched after slicing, removing surplus sugar.

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
Taters can turn a nasty hue even after they're fried—iron in the spud reacts with the potato's phenolic compounds, discoloring the tissue. The phosphate ions in SAPP trap the iron ions, stalling the reaction and keeping the potatoes nice and white throughout the process.

Vegetable Oil
In the good old days, McDonald's fries were cooked in beef tallow. But customer demand for less saturated fat prompted a switch to vegetable oil in the early '90s. Here, that means oils of varying saturations combined into something reminiscent of beef tallow. There's canola (about 8 percent saturated fat), soybean oil (16 percent), and hydrogenated soybean oil (94 percent). And to replace the essence of beef tallow? “Natural beef flavor,” which contains hydrolyzed wheat and milk proteins that could be a source of meaty-tasting amino acids.

More Vegetable Oil
That's right, the fries get two batches of vegetable oil—one for par-frying at the factory and another for the frying bath on location. The second one adds corn oil and an additive called TBHQ, or tertbutylhydroquinone, which at high doses can cause nasty side effects in rats (mmmm … stomach tumors). McDonald's uses this oil for all its frying, so the stuff usually sits around in big vats, which means it can go rancid as oxygen plucks hydrogens from lipids. TBHQ acts as an antioxidant, replacing those pilfered hydrogens with its own supply.

Dextrose
A brief dip in a corn-based sugar solution replaces just enough of the natural sweet stuff that was removed by blanching. The result is a homogeneous outer layer that caramelizes evenly. You'll add more sugar later when you squirt on the ketchup.

Salt
Sprinkled on just after frying, the crystals are a uniform diameter—just big enough to get absorbed quickly by crackling-hot oil. Now add ketchup and you've achieved the hedonistic trifecta: fat, salt, and sugar.
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Filed under: French Fries • McDonald's • What's In That Dish • Wired


soundoff (680 Responses)
  1. sobit

    Mmmm fries and gravy. I just wanted to post something.

    September 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  2. Soggy Crouton

    How are fries, considering the ultimate goal of nutritious diets geared toward the records of late any way indicate the numbers described below and thereafter? Things need for this getting better as for the way this in here goes. Life are an tree. Feel it to believe if am are the way to crest.

    September 25, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • StevieDee

      Could you say that again in English?

      September 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  3. jonasl

    why does this article pop up every few months as a headline story?

    September 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  4. IndridCold

    Stay away from McDonalds fries people. However, you are free to pop any pill your doctor prescribes because everybody understands the ingredients and reactions within the human body...right? Hypocrites...

    September 8, 2014 at 5:00 am | Reply
    • idiotusmaximus

      The 2 P's are not really good for you........... greasy salt encrusted potatoes and dry salt-less pills.

      September 8, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Yochanan

      Great point

      September 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  5. Andy

    I thought trans fats were banned – hydrogenated fats and oils ARE trans fats.

    September 4, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  6. Steve

    If I ever ate McDonalds, their French fries would be the least of my worries. Thanks for the "big scoop". Next time you have no ideas for a story, work harder than the ingredients to the French fries you ate for lunch

    September 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  7. Jessica

    Disgusting! I wouldn't eat McDonald's fries for $100.

    September 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • john cena

      Nobody cares

      September 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • ojay

      Duly noted, Jessica...now GFY.

      September 21, 2014 at 12:32 am | Reply
    • Zack

      Me either i agree they r so gross

      September 28, 2014 at 1:08 am | Reply
    • Prowling Clown

      Do tell...WHAT would you eat for that $100? Heh heh heh

      September 29, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  8. john catao

    I have heard that our bathroom shower is connected to the Coca-Cola bottling plant. Is that true?

    September 1, 2014 at 1:18 am | Reply
  9. Trenton

    Who cares? They taste good!

    August 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  10. bankkiller1

    Fast but not food. Just because you can put it in your mouth...

    August 2, 2014 at 8:23 am | Reply
    • AleeD from home sweet home

      True. But there are things you put in your mouth that feed things other than your stomach. ~_~

      August 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Reply
      • Prowling Clown

        Heh heh heh

        September 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  11. 210

    How fkin long is this gonna be on their website

    July 26, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  12. Christie

    Can I just point out that "natural beef flavor" ALSO includes actual beef, and that the fries are consequently not vegetarian?

    July 23, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Arif

      Hey Christie,

      I've also heard of McDonald's fries having beef flavouring injected before they even arrive at the restaurant. Do you have a source for this I can use to quote?

      Thanks.

      July 24, 2014 at 12:48 am | Reply
      • TheDudeAbides

        First, Are you phuccking stupid? Injected? Phukc you idiot. Second, for all you other haters out there, what McDonald's does to their fries (or any of their items for that matter) is no different than what all restaurant chains do to their food. So, quit picking in McDonald's just because theirs taste better, go phukc yourself, and eat somewhere else. Better yet, move to phukcing China.

        July 27, 2014 at 7:51 pm | Reply
        • Raiden

          Watch out everyone! We have a BADASS over here! Mr. Internet Tough guy, probably Ronald McDonald himself!

          July 30, 2014 at 9:52 am |
        • RealTalk

          Haters of companies putting garbage in their products just to get customers addicted through making it taste good. The targets are mostly children too which is causing many health problems worldwide because people have no clue what chemicals such as azodicarbonamide, tertiary butylhydroquinone, dimethylpolysiloxane, etc... are. Even Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which is crops grown with pesticides in them are sold at McDonalds. Do you think it's safe to eat food with pesticides grown in them? Pesticides is poison genus.

          August 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • DawnDonuts

        "flavours" eh

        September 23, 2014 at 10:39 am | Reply
        • wow

          why would you call someone a "genus" when you can't even spell genius or use the correct tenses in your comment?

          September 28, 2014 at 6:51 am |
  13. mood

    Who cares? if you eat them every day, thats your business.. articles like this are nothing more than food nazis trying to tell scary ghost stories around the food banning campfire.

    July 23, 2014 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • Ron MacDonald

      Umm…I think it's just and article stating facts.

      July 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  14. Jake from State Farm

    "What's in McDonald's Fries?"

    Uhm, khakis?

    July 22, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  15. Josh Strike

    This is what happens when one snake oil salesman shows up with a better way of preventing oil from going rancid - suddenly you have another one showing up with another chemical to put the flavor back to normal, and another to fix the texture, and now you're eating stuff that's mostly made of chemicals which started life as some kind of industrial waste that some clever misanthropist decided could be useful as a food preservative.

    A very similar thing is happening, unnoticed, with cigarettes in America. Those of us who still persist in smoking woke up one morning to find that all packaged cigarettes had become "fire safe". Several dozen lives a year, supposedly, will be saved by making cigarettes go out by themselves, and several dozen people who fall asleep drunk with a lit cigarette in their hand will now be denied a Darwin Award. Unfortunately, cigarettes are already adulturated heavily to make them burn faster and stay lit - because natural tobacco goes out by itself if you don't puff on it for awhile. So rather than take out the additives that keep a cigarette burning (and make you smoke more, faster), the method for stopping the combustion of a cigarette under the new laws in America is to add a form of wood glue to the paper, in bands around the sides of it. This does as advertised - it makes the cigarette go out. It also is completely untested on humans or animals, and is, well, forcing everyone who smokes to start smoking wood glue. Do the math. These things cause sore throats, nausea and sinus headaches almost immediately. Smokers, who remember are addicted to something that used to be completely legal and taken for granted, are basically being killed as subhuman creatures *under law* in a way you wouldn't do to a stray dog. The law itself, pushed forward by the American Lung Association, will ensure that lung cancer keeps rising even as more and more people quit, because a higher and higher percentage of the smokers remaining will get cancer, and get it much sooner. It's a fantastic way to keep themselves in business.
    So while you worry about what's in those fries, have a care for the 20% of people who are hooked on something the government and lobbyists, and snake oil salesmen like these, have literally forced them to choke into their lungs to get their legal fix.

    July 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • Marc

      Did you really just write a thesis on smoking after reading an article on fries??? Most of you people replying to this article need to be more self-conscious of yourselves since EVERYONE alive is irresponsible and especially when what others do (like eat fries from a fastfood restaurant) has NO effect or bearing on YOU. There is only one Judge and it certainly is NOT you or anyone else replying to this article. So let those of us eat and drink what we want. Thousands die each year from drinking and driving and overdosing on prescription medications while you people actually care what most people (with knowledge of what they are doing) want to ingest??? Worry about your own selves... because none of you are perfect.

      July 23, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Reply
      • TheDudeAbides

        I'm lovin it

        July 27, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply
      • Jane

        But it's not about being perfect it's about being ignorant to what you're putting your mouth. Oh but it's okay to eat things i can't even pronounce dipped in sugar because nobody's perfect. That's pure ignorance and it's horribly naive and the problem is that when you have 4 year olds who are 300 pounds, people want to go sue McDonalds as if the statistics aren't literally right in front of them. But it's okay because nobody's perfect. Do you guys realize that most o this stuff is illegal in the UK. But no not in America because no one is fricking perfect.

        August 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Reply
        • Mike

          Chemical makeup of a strawberry.

          http://tribalscientist.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/how-to-make-a-strawberry/

          September 11, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
      • Johnny

        Actually obesity in America cost billions, which affects our insurance rates....plus obesity kills millions!

        August 31, 2014 at 11:51 pm | Reply
        • john cena

          who cares. I'll eat whatever I want

          September 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
  16. superf88

    http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/usnutritionexchange/ingredientslist.pdf

    FRENCH FRIES:
    Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. Prepared in Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness), Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

    July 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Nick

      more like Di-methamphetamine :D

      July 23, 2014 at 7:26 am | Reply
  17. michelle

    Well let me start by saying I got a tea from them and it had some chemical in it and it made me sick. .I'm . five . months pregnant im devastated and will.never Drink another tea.. I haven't ate from no McDonald's since them. Its a shame when you are scared to drink another sweet tea.
    . My experience is done with McDonald's and I hope yall take precautions

    July 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Hope?

      I hope you take an English course – for your child's sake.

      July 23, 2014 at 6:54 am | Reply
      • HBIC

        Ha! Spot on.

        July 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Carn E. Vore

      I hope that you and your first cousin have a healthy child.

      July 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • TheDudeAbides

      You're stupid. You got sick, and automatically assume it's because of a chemical in their tea? Get over yourself you stupid idiot. Is that was the doctor prognosis was? "Mamm, it looks like you've been poisoned by a strange unidentified tea chemical. Since we don't know what it is, we're going to have to give you three weeks or less to live. In the meantime, stay away from tea chemicals."

      July 27, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Reply
      • TheDudeAbides

        In other news, birth defects due to tea chemicals is on the rise. Heath professionals have yet to identify the chemical, but had this to say, "We can't find it, we don't know what it is, but we are pretty sure it's there. There is no other explanation for this birth defect and sickness outbreak."

        July 27, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  18. No way jose

    that's not exactly what is in mcdonalds fries. you left out hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk, and a bunch more chemicals. don't forget that this processing essentially yields MSG!!!

    July 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • A E

      And not a single ill health effect has EVER been linked to MSG. Stop being afraid of your own shadow.

      July 30, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  19. Missiles With Fries

    If it's not good enough for Kim Jong Un and North Korea, then it's not good enough for me.

    July 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  20. Miss Melene

    AND MILK <- off their nutrition ingredients list. Check it out for your self. It landed me in the hospital.

    July 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  21. dave.

    funny how everyone acts like Mc donalds is crap, but in reality all of you have had it and liked it, is it fine dining?, no. but it is a fairly cheap source of tasty food that reminds you of your childhood because it was a treat back then.

    July 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • goatsandgreens

      Nope, McD's wasn't a treat when I was a kid because the parents didn't like it. When i got to trying it, I didn't like this stuff either, just based on taste alone. Real home-formed thick burgers made with real ground meat, with onions and seasonings tucked inside - or thick steak fries - now, THOSE were treats!

      July 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Josh

      thats actually not right.... I think mcdonalds fries are FULL of MSG. AND I don't think its fine.... heres what I got for you: **** (stars)

      July 22, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Reply
      • A E

        Better watch out, Josh, them scary chinamen are gonna turn you into a communist with their MSG!

        July 30, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Dave's Right

      Dave described my upbringing, too, somewhat. McD's was a treat for us kids, but my parents never ate it because they thought it was "kid food."

      July 23, 2014 at 6:56 am | Reply
    • Bobby Balkram

      Their burgers have the texture of cardboard, I have no idea how they survive selling that crap

      July 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        Because most people don't know what cardboard tastes like.

        August 3, 2014 at 6:47 am | Reply
  22. William Miller

    I like them French fried potaters. I was thinkin', I'm gonna take me some of these taters home with me.
    Karl Childers

    July 22, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • JellyBean

      Awesome flick.

      July 22, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  23. TC5551212

    "But customer demand for less saturated fat prompted a switch to vegetable oil in the early '90s. "

    Revisionist. McD's fries were pushed to Vegetable Oil because of the Vegans and vegetarians. McD lies as said they were cooked in Vegie oil and got caught and then bowed to pressure. The taste has never been the same and the product slipped. This was a change not due to health but to stop litigation.

    July 22, 2014 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • Scott

      That was exactly what I was thinking. Also, everyone i know disliked the switch and would like them to go back.

      July 22, 2014 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • Carn E. Vore

      Yep. That's why it's important for people to completely ignore vegans. I also recommend shunning them.

      July 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  24. ditdahdit

    Air. They forgot to mention the 'billions and billions' of tiny air bubbles that cost McD nothing to add and allow one potato to make a mound of pricey ff's and the most expensive air you will ever consume.

    July 22, 2014 at 5:46 am | Reply
    • Josh Strike

      but the burps afterwards are so beefy...

      July 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  25. An Atheist

    "“Natural beef flavor,” which contains hydrolyzed wheat and milk proteins that could be a source of meaty-tasting amino acids."

    As a vegetarian, I am still confused as to whether there is any meat in the "natural beef flavor." That's a key issue here, but this sentence in the article is vague. Does it contain anything other than hydrolyzed wheat and milk proteins?

    I'm breaking my policy about not commenting on non-NPR articles in order to post this, so any sourced response would be appreciated.

    July 22, 2014 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • tony

      An athiest, vegan who only listens to NPR but wants to eat McDonald's french fries. I don't buy it. All the Athiest, vegan, NPR people I know – and let me tell you it's a lot! – disdain McDonalds, Walmart and any other nasty business for the "masses" except for Starbucks, they are OK. I'm not against Athiests, vegans or NPR. It just seems strange that you want McDonalds.

      July 22, 2014 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • different tony

        He clearly states he's a vegetarian and never says he's a vegan. If he was a vegan, I'm sure he'd be concerned about the milk proteins.

        July 22, 2014 at 10:21 am | Reply
      • robt55

        @ Tony
        All the Athiest, vegan, NPR people I know – and let me tell you it's a lot! – disdain McDonalds, Walmart and any other nasty business for the "masses" except for Starbucks, they are OK. I'm not against Athiests, vegans or NPR. It just seems strange that you want McDonalds.

        Having worked in advertising for the Fortune 50 I can tell you the ONLY reason "Starbucks is OK" in your mind is a guy like me packaged it solely to make people exactly like you think it was OK. Keep buying that $5 a cup coffee. Their investors love you (lemming).

        July 22, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply
        • There's a Troll in Every Patroller

          Starbucks coffee isn't $5 unless you buy one of their specialty drinks. If you are spending that much on coffee, then you aren't drinking coffee. You're drinking a hot cream & sweetener-filled beverage to keep up appearances with the foo-foo people. I drink it black and pay 10 cents an oz for it. Thanks for chewing up and re-spitting out internet propaganda. Lemming yourself.

          July 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • Josh Strike

          Like all companies, Starbucks originally had some kind of ethics. At some point in time they tried to crystalize those into a three ring binder, somewhere, and then got on with the business of pumping garbage into the masses. But I'm writing because your personal sense of guilt shines through in this comment. Working in advertising doesn't have to be unethical, you just have to be willing to tell clients you disagree with that you won't work for them. That their buck is not almighty. And take the pay cut, and take the anger, and you'll find that ethical businesses appreciate it. There's nothing I'm prouder of than telling Fox to take a $300k contract and shove it, so I could spend the rest of the year working for a dog boarding / rescue organization. I can't think of a Fortune 50 I'd be willing to work for.
          It's easy to disdain the market, because you're paid to manipulate people's emotions with color and light and sound and design. But if you have no respect for the people you're selling your client's product to, then you really can't do a good job. If you have no respect for your client's product, and you think they're greasy hucksters selling garbage to suckers, then you're going to end up being a huckster too, and you can't live with yourself like that. You sound, to me, like the kind of person I'd want to work with, whatever road you took to get there. The bitterness though is - it's counterproductive.

          July 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
      • Marc

        You disdain nasty walmart for the "masses" but will buy a $5 coffee from starbucks?? That makes alot of sense. You probably drive a prius and voted for obama and blame guns for killing people instead of the actual person that commited that murder. Im sure the only reason you go to starbucks is to act like you are a somebody that actually is a nobody that lives in your parents basement and mooches off them constantly. Maybe when you actually have to be responsible you will understand, but i doubt it.

        July 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • Nick

      I'd just say that anything with "natural beef flavor" means that an animal died for your fast food fries :D

      July 23, 2014 at 7:29 am | Reply
  26. Donna

    McDonald is toxic. And their ice cream is made from Clay.

    July 21, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • tony

      McDonalds allows poor people to eat food. Walmart allows poor people to eat food. Pink slime allows poor people to eat food. Industrial processes allow poor people to eat food. Conagra and Monsanto allow poor people to eat food. And all these companies and processes allow America to eat food on a daily basis.

      I used to live in Dallas. Every day at noon about 6 million people need to eat food at the same time. This is true of any large city. The arteries of production, supply, processing, cooking and feeding 6 million people in 90 minutes are almost science fiction. I live on a farm. I can grow my own meat, eggs, veggies, fruit. However, my processes are massively inefficient, expensive and incapable of meeting the calorie needs of 300 million people. There is literally no way to do that without industrial production and processes. So, we can all have "clean, natural, organic, Earth friendly food" and die from starvation, or we can realize that McDonalds (and others like it) serve an important role in feeding a modern nation.

      July 22, 2014 at 10:04 am | Reply
      • Midwest2

        Hmm, seems that you have been brainwashed by the Farm Bureau, yes it is easier to grow, and make processed foods, but it is also just a fact that some day the GMO'S and all the processing will deplete our resources and it will be back to square one. For the soil will be depleted and the GMO'S will become bug resistant and the chemicals,pesticides,fungicides and fertilizers will have to be applied more. Then the water becomes more polluted and our food supply becomes nothing but chemicals. Best to start now to start research and clean up the growing, producing foods that have nutrients and natural resistance to drought and disease. Mother Nature always wins.

        July 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Reply
      • Charlie

        The tiffin lunch box system in Mumbai, India is done without industrial processes and they deliver around a quarter million home cooked lunches per day without using throwaway boxes.

        July 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  27. Bob

    Illegals should deported immediately, and all Hispanics should be sent home. Mexicans, Central Americans, and South Americans. I don't care if they are american now, or not. They should all be sent home where they came from.

    July 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Reply
    • windyspirit

      And where do you come from Bob? England? Deport all the Europeans!

      July 22, 2014 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • waffles091

      Instead of deporting people based on how they got here, we should deport shitty people like this guy. It would actually make America a better place.

      July 22, 2014 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • Chris

      You're absolutely right Bob, lets send them all to California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona....after all, geographically speaking, that's where a lot of Mexicans and their ancestors lived before they "came over here" when we got those countries.
      So they'll get the vast majority of domestic oil fields, silicone valley, the Dallas cowboys..though that might not be a big loss..

      July 22, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Reply
      • Chris

        #states, not countries (fail)

        July 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  28. Bob

    Yeah, the illegals are responsible for a lot of the fat that we eat, and should be deported NOW!!

    July 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • AnotherBob

      You know they ignored you? And you also know it won't happen, right? I mean, it will never happen. But I like you rant. It is really amusing. Keep up the insults too. How is your heartburn doing?

      August 16, 2014 at 4:15 am | Reply
  29. M

    I understood that salt does not dissolve in oil, so how is it that "Sprinkled on just after frying, the crystals are a uniform diameter—just big enough to get absorbed quickly by crackling-hot oil"? Can something be absorbed if it doesn't dissolve?

    July 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      " Can something be absorbed if it doesn't dissolve?"
      Perhaps the word 'adsorbed' is more fitting...kind of like how the sprinkles on a doughnut get stuck onto the surface of the frosting.

      July 22, 2014 at 8:40 am | Reply
      • M

        Thank you.

        July 23, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  30. jason rogers

    I'm not certain, but I don't think that Mcdonalds fries are "sliced" from a whole potato. I believe they are extruded from a slurry of potato mash and then blanched, then fozen. thanks

    July 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • dergecko

      Unless they've changed in the last 20 years or so, McD fries are processed from whole potatoes. I've been on a plant tour. They want mismatched lengths, so the box seems fuller that it is, but otherwise nothing nefarious.

      At the plant I went to, there was a slurry, but it was from pressurizing the vessel holding the potatoes with steam then releasing pressure. The potato skins left the vessel as a slurry and the skinless whole potatoes went down the conveyor.

      July 21, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • Lesley

      I think it was an episode of "how it's made" that showed whole potatoes being shot through a slicer in a water-cannon-type device to make those skinny fries.

      July 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  31. notyouraverageblackbird

    I remember how good they were, but had to give them up when I went pescetarian...

    July 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Reply
    • truth

      your god is fake. grow up already.

      July 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • Me

        And you're an as_shole. Grow up already.

        July 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Reply
      • LOL

        LOL, you dumbass. Pescetarian is a certain type of diet, not a religion. Hahahahah

        July 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Reply
        • timothy c

          It is a religion. They worship Fishnu.

          September 3, 2014 at 7:32 am |
  32. JCLDFW

    Isn't the central point of the article to provide information...and once you have the information, one can decide whether or not McD's is in the meal plan? Yes, the fries, shakes, burgers are not" top of the menu" items for health conscious individuals, vegans etc.
    Hey, it's fast, it's cheap and (for many) tastes great. They do not position themselves as the alternative to a healthy diet. They position themselves as predictable, consistent and happy. It's a buyer beware model and many of the customers could care less about health. I say, it's the ultimate in freedom of choice. Go there if you want, or don't. Totally your call.

    July 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  33. Don't Love it But Will Eat It

    So if you actually look at it from an economics point of view and get rid of the various prejudices I think you'll come to a different conclusion.
    McDouble is 'cheapest and most nutritious food in human history'
    Describing the McDonald’s double cheeseburger as “the cheapest, most nutritious, and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” might seem beyond fanciful, but according to the author of Freakonomics, it is not as absurd a suggestion as it appears.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10210327/McDouble-is-cheapest-and-most-nutritious-food-in-human-history.html

    July 21, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • douche

      I like French fried taters...

      July 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  34. kaadian

    You forgot a lot of ingredients, including the "natural beef flavor".
    Warning! McDonalds French Fries are NOT vegetarian.

    http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf

    FRENCH FRIES:
    Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. Prepared in Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness), Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

    July 21, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Sara Marie Brenner

      "Natural beef flavor" IS in the article, unless they added it after your post.

      July 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • wastenotwantnotwithwic

      http://animalrights.about.com/b/2011/10/26/mcdonalds-french-fries-still-not-vegetarian.htm, I saw that some people did not think that the fries stil contain beef. McDonalds paid out in a lawsuit because of the beef content of their fries and the fries still contain beef, though now they are upfront about it in theory under the 'natural beef flavoring' which contains 'tiny' amounts of beef. But for a real vegetarian beef=beef.

      July 22, 2014 at 1:30 am | Reply
  35. Vikram

    Next up, what exactly is in a CNN news article?

    July 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Don't be a Dick, Dick

      You know you clicked on a link to a food blog, right?

      July 21, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Don't be a D!ck, D!ck

      You know you clicked on a food blog, right sport?

      July 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • mike

        Repeaters are eaters Dick................

        July 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Carn E. Vore

      One part ignorance, one part lefty bias, and one part stupidity.

      July 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • MMorgan

        So then....why are you here?

        July 21, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Reply
        • Syrup Halen

          If you eat nothing but McDonalds french fries, your brain will turn into a SYRUP HALEN brain.

          July 22, 2014 at 2:22 am |
        • Derpus Amerkus

          Is that the same thing as a Maple Eddie?

          July 22, 2014 at 6:50 am |
        • Carn E. Vore

          If there were a better place to discuss awesome french fries I'd go there.

          July 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
  36. Truelitistnot

    McDonald's is food for people who hate themselves and don't care. Their fries are nasty tasting. That why they cover them in salt, otherwise they end up tasting like Styrofoam.

    July 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Carn E. Vore

      Everyone dislikes you and thinks you smell like diesel spilled on to a fresh pile of horse dung.

      July 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Joanne Ransing

      Yes, the French fries are most certainly hideous. But if you think that's bad, try looking at the ingredients in the milk shake. Not a drop of milk and 25 or more chemicals. It's a frozen chemical stew.

      July 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Reply
      • soulxlight

        The Milk Shake does include milk . . .

        July 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • Teo

        Umm not that I'm a fan of McDonalds at all but I'm less of a fan of people being completely full of crap, which Joanne you clearly are, as the first ingredient in their milkshake is well big surprise milk. That being said don't try to source the milk as I'm sure its from the lowest bidder. But stop trying to make things up as it dilutes what this article is trying to do which is provide some truth about the processed foods at these fast food restaurants.

        July 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • randoid1234

        In the words of Bob Uecker in Major League "Juuuuuuuuuuuust a bit outside". According to McDonald's website the number one ingredient in shakes is lowfat vanilla ice cream. The number one ingredient in lowfat vanilla ice cream is milk.

        July 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  37. john

    We have never ate at Mickey d's. Glade we never did and won't in the near future.

    July 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Reply
    • Carn E. Vore

      How can you be glad of something when you don't know what that something is? That's about as dumb as your writing. Wait, let me put that in a way you might understand: "Thats about as dum as you're righting."

      July 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • Hontai

        Carn E Vore... Really? That's your argument?

        A few examples... I'm glad I've never:

        – had a part of my body amputated
        – seriously wrecked my car
        – gone home with a dude I thought was a lady
        – spent time in the demilitarized zone
        – eaten live worms

        Is that enough to prove how stupid your point is yet?

        July 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
        • Hontai

          No dipshit. I'm not comparing those things to food at McD's. Only a true idiot would actually think that's what I did. That's your "fail."

          Carn asked "How can you be glad of something when you don't know what that something is?"

          He didn't specify McD's food... just generally "something." I submit his premise was poorly thought out, citing some obvious examples that have nothing to do with food.

          On top of that... yes, you can totally be happy not experiencing McD's food, if you insist on a more direct response.

          My point stands... now sit on it, assh**e.

          July 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Hontai

          No, Juan. I’m not comparing those things to food at McD’s. Only a true idiot would actually think that’s what I did. That’s your “fail.”

          Carn asked “How can you be glad of something when you don’t know what that something is?”

          He didn’t specify McD’s food… just generally “something.” I submit his premise was poorly thought out, citing some obvious examples that have nothing to do with food.

          On top of that… yes, you can totally be happy not experiencing McD’s food, if you insist on a more direct response.

          My point still stands as relevant… now sit on it.

          July 21, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Teo

          Lol look who is talking Juan...

          July 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • Carn E. Vore

          Yes, Hontai, you are correct, I should have qualified my statement because I should have known that folks like you (you know, humorless internet dbags) would go into an article about friggin' french fries and posit absolute worst-case scenario situations in response to my glib statement.

          July 21, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
    • Hernan

      That's because in the part of Bolivia where you learned English there are no McDonalds just yet.

      July 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Reply
      • Durfus

        Pithy-canthropus.

        July 23, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  38. Harry Kuheim

    None of you Fools at CNN could make a decent batch of French Fries and sell them for a Profit if your lives depended on it. Anybody who says an order of McDonalds Fries and a Coke doesn't taste good is a pathetic liar and should get their heads out of Obama's Rectum.

    July 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Joanne Ransing

      I'm a Republican and I swear I haven't eaten a McDonalds French Fry in 15 years. Just the smell of them takes away my appetite and I would never set foot inside a McDonalds restaurant. I ate it occasionally when I was a kid, but I would never eat it now. I don't care if they give it away for free.

      July 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Reply
      • randoid1234

        You tell it sister. Did you know that their milkshakes don't contain any milk and are actually a 25 ingredient frozen chemical stew?

        July 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  39. josh

    One thought: In-n-out

    July 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  40. Sherm

    McDonald's used vegetable shortening in the 80's.
    It was Wendy's that switched from real tallow to a vegetable product in the early 90's.

    July 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  41. Adrienne

    Is it bad that I read this and though, "That's it?"

    July 21, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Adrienne

      *THOUGHT

      July 21, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • soulxlight

      I know right ? Usually the list of ingredients in anything is longer than I am tall. This was very short by comparison.

      July 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  42. CascadeCin

    Too bad the oils they are using now are even worse than the beef tallow of old . . . certainly gmo, and hydrogenated is the worst of all. A switch to coconut oil might help.

    July 21, 2014 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • soulxlight

      MDs is trying to turn a profit with items that the vast majority of people find taste pretty good. Eat MDs in moderation and you'll be fine regardless of the less than healthy ingredients in it. I know this might come as a shock to people who blame everybody but themselves these days . . . but there is a such thing as self responsibility.

      July 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Reply
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