What exactly is in McDonald’s french fries?
July 17th, 2014
09:15 AM ET
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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.

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.

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 (685 Responses)
  1. Joe

    And here I feel silly for slicing up potatoes, brushing them with olive oil, rosemary, and a little bit of cayenne and just baking.

    July 18, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • thatguy

      Not silly at all! That's a wonderful way to enjoy potatoes.

      July 18, 2014 at 11:57 am |
    • Carn E. Vore

      I love making oven-roasted fries. Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, tasty as can be. My rosemary plant gets a workout during the winter with all of the potatoes I roast.

      July 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
  2. The Enlightened Restauranteer

    "Now add ketchup ... " ... effectively ruing the fries... SMH.

    July 18, 2014 at 9:26 am |
  3. AndyCap

    hydrogenated soybean oil – worse than beef tallow.

    July 18, 2014 at 9:19 am |
    • joe

      agree. and they have tasted bas since they made that change, what a bummer..

      July 18, 2014 at 9:50 am |
  4. Zach

    You forgot the beef flavoring, containing real beef. The type of thing that is the only real reason a vegetarian or vegan would read this article. Disappointing.

    July 18, 2014 at 9:13 am |
    • TheDude

      I was wondering about the same thing. McD had to settle a law suite for about 10mil I think because they didn't mention the beef flavoring in their frys, advertising them as vegetarian.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:41 am |
  5. Jen

    Well, there goes the only thing I USED TO be able to eat at McDs. They put wheat in their fries. I can't have wheat. Who puts WHEAT in fries?

    July 18, 2014 at 8:50 am |
    • BS

      It has modified wheat protiens, not wheat. If you've been eating them, you can probably keep eating them.

      July 18, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • bfpiercelk

      "hydrolyzed wheat and milk proteins "

      Look up the word 'protein', they don't put WHEAT in the fries, they put proteins FROM wheat in the fries. If your problem is Gluten you probably don't have a problem (since apparently you were already eating them)

      July 18, 2014 at 8:59 am |
      • pluscachange

        please note definition of gluten – Gluten (from Latin gluten, "glue") is a protein composite found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye - pls note especially 'protein' in the def

        July 18, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • font9b

          Chemistry much?

          July 18, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • John Weeks

          Your statement rebuttle to the fact of what,as defined a protien is, is contradictory. Glutein is a wheat protien. He said he won't eat the wheat product in the fries. You pointed out the protien, then gave the definition of glutien -a protien. Your rebuttle does not make since.

          July 18, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • Leigh

        Gluten IS a wheat protein.

        July 18, 2014 at 9:10 am |
    • emintey

      Perhaps you really CAN eat wheat?

      July 18, 2014 at 9:09 am |
    • williamjpate

      If you've been eating them just fine, nothing is going to change unless your issue is psychological rather than physiological.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:18 am |
  6. Monger(as in fish)

    McDonalds should be charged with willful production of toxic waste, particularly when they put McRibs on their menu. As to their grease sticks and slime patties, how anyone can bear to put that lukewarm garbage in their body is beyond all comprehension.

    July 18, 2014 at 8:17 am |
    • BS

      We get it. You're a snob. In poorer countries, they eat pretty much every part of the animal. It's called not being wasteful. And that's more or less what the McRib is. It's not necessarily healthy, but it's not toxic, either. Get off your high horse.

      As for the fries, there is nothing in them that you don't already eat on a regular basis. So your snobbery here is asinine.

      July 18, 2014 at 8:53 am |
      • Kellie H

        Why would anyone be considered a snob for eating healthy?! My husband has cancer and had to go on a low iodine diet to receive treatment. This meant no processed foods at all, no condiments, no dairy, no eating out. I went on the diet with him and let me tell you I never felt better! Physically and emotionally. After a while you stop craving these horrible foods. The very fact that your body craves them should be a sign of danger!

        July 18, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • Jamie

          Eating healthy doesn't make someone a snob. Acting like you're better than everyone else because they might eat an occasional McDonald's meal does.

          July 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
  7. Robyn Kord

    McDonald's in moderation is fine.

    You should see what's in your frozen foods you buy at the stores.

    Refined like a petroleum product, HFCS has been indicated in a whole host of health problems including insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome), weight gain, and fatty liver disease.

    Polysorbate 80 emulsifies oils in frozen foods so they don’t separate into a gloppy mess when you nuke them. It’s also found in cosmetics. It has been implicated in a number of health complications including tumor growth, headaches, heart problems, and gastrointestinal issues.

    Propylene Glycolsalt. Also a common ingredient in lots of skincare products. It is an ingredient that is closely related to antifreeze. It’s used as an emulsifier in a manner similar to polysorbate 80. It is a form of mineral oil, refined oil made from petroleum products. If you look at the Material Safety Data Sheet, you’ll see exposure is dangerous if ingested, inhaled, or in contact with skin.

    Yeast Extract...By any other name, this is known as MSG, which is a highly neurotoxic substance. MSG has been cited in some research as an excitotoxin. Ingesting it can stimulate brain cells to the point of cell death. Dinner…or brain cells?

    Who want's some McDonald's now??

    July 18, 2014 at 8:14 am |
    • JT


      Moderation is the key. McDonald's should be a rare treat, not a significant part of your nutrition.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:46 am |
  8. Floyd Schrodinger

    I was wondering what was in the middle of the salt and grease, potatoes!! Who knew? Now I wonder how McDonalds managed to remove all the potato flavor from their fries and still get people to buy them.

    July 18, 2014 at 7:29 am |
  9. Al

    McDonald's, a wonderful company with great food. Upp there with Chick Fil-A. Wal-Mart another great company.

    July 18, 2014 at 4:57 am |
    • Derpus Amerkus

      ay *snicker* men

      July 18, 2014 at 6:35 am |
  10. jdoe

    It's no coincidence that the spread of American fast food stores worldwide correlates with worldwide increase in obesity.

    July 18, 2014 at 2:06 am |
    • nodat1

      so your saying the world is filled with brain dead morons that cant control themselves

      July 18, 2014 at 8:29 am |
      • AndyCap

        Their food is carefully engineered to make you want to eat and more of it, not to be healthy. Most poor people can't afford to shop at Trader Joes.

        July 18, 2014 at 9:22 am |
  11. xfiler93

    Whatever it is...they are good!

    July 18, 2014 at 12:38 am |
  12. John Weeks

    I'd eat the fries if they would pass the kosher requirements of my religious denomination, but preliminarily it won't with the beef and dairy ingredients in the oil the fries are cooked in.

    July 18, 2014 at 12:29 am |
  13. ZK

    Everything at McDonald's is garbage and unfit for human consumption.

    July 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
    • pluscachange

      thanks for yor intelligent insight – care to enlighten us on 1) why it is unfit and 2) whaat is fit – some facts, please besides rhetoric

      July 18, 2014 at 9:11 am |
  14. Stewart

    Mcdonalds Recipies

    1 cup mayo
    1/3 cup French dressing
    4TB sweet pickle relish
    1. TB sugar
    1. tsp terrichilli blk pepper
    2 tsp dried minced onions
    ( makes 2 cups)

    -Original cooking oil: (seven percent cottonseed oil and 93 percent beef tallow). Now canola.

    Ingredients, serves four.

    2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch fries (keep potatoes stored in a bowl of water)
    -2 tablespoons distilled
    -white vinegar
    -Kosher salt
    -2 quarts veg oil / lard


    STEP 1:
    Place potatoes and vinegar in saucepan and add 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for approx 10 minutes. Potatoes should be fully tender, but not falling apart. Drain and spread on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Allow to dry for five minutes.

    STEP 2:
    Meanwhile, heat oil in 5-quart Dutch oven or large wok over high heat to 400°F. Add 1/3 of fries to oil (oil temperature should drop to around 360°F). Cook for 50 seconds, agitating occasionally with wire mesh spider, then remove to second paper-towel lined rimmed baking sheet.
    Repeat with remaining potatoes (working in two more batches), allowing oil to return to 400°F after each addition. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Continue with step 3, or for best results, freeze potatoes at least over night, or up to 2 months.

    STEP 3:
    Return oil to 400°F over high heat. Fry half of potatoes until crisp and light golden brown, about 3 1/2 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain at around 360°F. Drain in a bowl lined with paper towels and season immediately with kosher salt. Cooked fries can be kept hot and crisp on a wire rack set on a sheet tray in a 200°F oven while second batch is cooked. Serve immediately.

    July 17, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
    • Shills

      Thanks! I'm hungry.

      July 18, 2014 at 7:51 am |
    • pluscachange

      please note canola these days is largely GMO –

      July 18, 2014 at 9:12 am |
      • JT


        July 18, 2014 at 9:47 am |
      • Carn E. Vore

        Good, I'll buy more of it. I'll pour out what I currently have just so I need to buy more.

        July 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
  15. Nogods

    I was surprised to read that there are actually potatoes in the fries.

    July 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
    • Michael


      July 18, 2014 at 1:42 am |
  16. Deborah Bates

    I was excited to see this article after having so many years ago first hearing about Acrylamide in McDonald's French Fries.

    Unfortunately as so often happens the news reports and there is usually no follow up. Except in this case there was a rebuttal that said that all foods heated to 300 degrees or higher creates a natural formation of Acrylamide in the heating process.

    Let me disclose that I am no scientist, however I do have some interesting information to except or reject as you please.

    You may wish to refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for specific information on Acrylamide or consult your local Chemist.

    A brief history and correlation deviation to Acrylamide in Fries tying onto this fitting article, Just Exactly What Is In McDonald's French Fries?

    When I was fourteen years old, I worked my first tax paying job for Popeyes Fast Food. We added a bag of white crystals to the grease the fries were cooked in that made the debris left from frying coagulate and sink to the bottom for easy straining and cleaning content ingredient was undisclosed to me.

    Later in life I took my children with me to tour the County Water Authority since I homeschooled them and taught them about the water process getting to us.

    It was an impressive tour and seemed very simple but I did notice a facility with chemicals that they did not include as part of the tour.

    They did however say they added a coagulant to the water that was treated so that it could be strained the rest contained a bio animal to eat the rest of the ingredients.

    It made me wonder if this was what was used and I put all the information together consulted with my local chemist and read that Acrylamide is used in the water treatment process. I followed up with my Water Authority to confirm that.

    It turns out that it is common practice to use Acrylamide in the water treatment process and that the additive is water soluble it does cause cancer and the parts per billion (PPB's) are allowed at a certain level however there have been no definitive safe levels established.

    I believe this to be a greater concern of what is in our drinking water, than what is in our french fries?

    July 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
    • Xiao Bing

      Very glad to read this.

      July 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
    • M

      Because it would ruin the economy. If people don't become sick or get cancer, then how can the heath industry, cancer treatment industry and big pharma make their money? Nope, gotta keep the economy going by keeping as many people disease ridden as possible. Yep, that's the American way. (>.<)

      July 18, 2014 at 5:10 am |
    • JT

      You definitely got one thing right. You're no scientist.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:50 am |
  17. Fred Garvin

    I ate at a new 5 guys in AZ last year – felt like I had betrayed In-n-Out – will never 5 guys it again.......

    July 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
  18. todd

    Havent had a hot crispy order of fries from McDonalds in ages. No matter when I seem to go they are limp and room temperature at best... Best fries I have had recently were at Red Robin. Sorry Mc D.

    July 17, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • John

      I have a friend that has a trick, works at all fast food places. So you want no salt on your fries. They salt them right away so they make a fresh batch, then ask for some salt packets. 100% fresh every time.

      July 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
  19. Thinking things through

    I a-salt any potato except Yukon golds... the rest are kinda cardboard-y without at least some salt.

    July 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
  20. Carn E. Vore

    "...dont frequent McDs anymore. too expensive." Tim probably typed this on his iPhone.

    July 17, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
    • Amy Gacob

      Perhaps he can afford his iPhone because he doesn't eat at McDonalds. As a stay-at-home mother of three young children, trying to live off of 20K a year, I agree that fries are too expensive. 1) They fail to fill you up and leave you hungry later. 2) They offer no nutritional value. They therefore are not worth the 99 cents you pay for them. I

      July 18, 2014 at 8:04 am |
      • Carn E. Vore

        They're worth the 99 cent I pay for them. Totally worth it. But then again, I decided not to bless the world with my insanely awesome genetic material...i.e. no kids. Seems silly to keep squeezing out puppies when you can barely afford them. But what do I know, I'm only awesome.

        July 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
  21. Eddie T

    I still LOVE them. And so does the rest of America and multiple east Asian countries. We appreciate your research, but mission failed. I'm sorry. -America and other multiple east Asian countries

    July 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Well, I'm from America and I've always disliked them, even back in the 80's when I never considered what was going into my food. They came either dried out, or overly wet and droopy, nothing like a seriously GOOD steak fry. They tasted like something one would only consider eating if starving. Never thought much of their burgers, either. (I did, however, like the brief appearance of that epitome of "health" – the McRib sandwhich.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • catsup

        steak fries are disgusting, too much potato to catsup ratio

        July 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • Leigh

          You mean, too much food:sugar ratio, since that's why people really love catsup/ketchup ... all that delicious high fructose corn syrup that makes it so sweet.

          July 18, 2014 at 9:15 am |
    • The Truth

      Yep, reading the article I got hungry for some McDonald's fries. Also even though they are great they were even better back before they switched to the "healthier" oil. It's been around 20 years or so, but I still remember how they tasted compared to now.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
    • NastyFries

      Sorry...research has worked...I haven't eaten fries in years. You can go get as fat as a hog if you want.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • Mr. Potatohead @ Kim

        What do have fries have to do with being fat? What does frying food have to do with being fat? Absolutely nothing. Be fat is mainly a function of consuming more calories than you burn, the unburned calories go into reserve as fat. Maintaining a healthy weight is all about balancing calories, exercise and lifestyle, it has nothing to do with eating healthy – that is completely different subject..

        July 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • rlj

          It's also how different people metabolize food.

          July 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • jdm1316

          Because typically when a person consumes fried food they are eating over the normal caloric intake a person of their height and weight should eat. Yes, you can have fried foods in a day but your remaining meals should be limited. Do most people do that? No. Therefore it's easy to equate "fries" and "fried food" with being fat.

          July 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • jdm1316

          Because typically when a person consumes fried food they are eating over the normal caloric intake a person of their height and weight should eat. Yes, you can have fried foods in a day but your remaining meals should be limited. Do most people do that? No. Therefore it's easy to equate "fries" and "fried food" with being fat.

          July 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • BS

          rjl, you said the same thing as the other person. Weight gain is simply a mass balance where calories not metabolized and used to fuel the body are stored as fat.

          July 18, 2014 at 9:00 am |
  22. straightup

    Steak fries from the oven,cant beat em.

    July 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • NastyFries

      Fresh cut steak fries....even better. Add some Tabasco....maybe some BBQ.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • straightup

        Craft fries,maybe a new beginning.

        July 17, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Derpus Amerkus

          Sure would beat the sh!t out of this stupid cupcake fad.

          July 18, 2014 at 6:36 am |
    • Ally

      Ehhh....I think they're two completely different foods that you can't compare. Steak fries to me are just baked potatoes. I'm not a fan. The thin-cut crispy fries should be compared with each other.

      July 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
  23. Cornelius

    Ray Kroc and McDonalds bought potatoes from farmers in Idaho, The same potato farmers supply McDonalds, Wendy's and Burger king. along with grocery store potatoes. The plant that cuts and processes for all these restaurants and grocery stores buys from thousand of farmers ranging in size from 100 acres to 1000 acres.

    McDonalds always had high standards, if their standards were in doubt, the FDA or other us government agencies would have taken notice. McDonalds uses only 100 percent United States department of Agriculture inspected beef.

    People have been eating Egg McMuffins for years; they are healthy. Farmers produce the eggs, the english muffins are baked fresh and local every day, and the cheese and Canadian bacon.

    Why do so many people critique McDonalds food but gives a free pass to Five Guys, Or Panera, or Chipotle. Magianno's: all these other restaurants have way more fattening foods and higher in sodium and calories, yet these critics pick on McDonalds. The Grilled Cheese restaurants and the craft beers, and craft burger restaurants are more fattening and higher calories and higher sodium. Americans needs a discussion on food fairness, and looking and examining all the restaurants, this is not about picking only on McDonalds. The critics are so dis-ingenuine.

    The real discussion should be about all the other restaurant choices and how they might all be way worse than eating at McDonalds.
    I see people carts at grocery stores full of crap, its not McDonald's fault.
    I see people eating large burgers at Craft gourmet burger bars and washing it all down with craft beer and onion rings at triple the calories and triple the sodium than at McDonald's. It is not McDonalds fault.

    I see people eating 3000 calorie dinners at Flemings steak house and at Cheesecake Factory,, Don't Blame McDonald's

    I hope some rational journalist will see the hypocrisy and start writing an objective piece on foods and not just vilify McDonalds.

    Millions of people have eaten at McDonalds for decades and how people age will be more based on their individual DNA and genetics than the quality of the nutrition. McDonalds is a high quality fast casual restaurant chain with high standards to ensure consistency and safety.

    You have to be a lunatic to just single out McDonalds as being at fault, when every other choice in America can be way worse.

    Just live and let live, Eat drink and be happy. you don't have to cut someone else down.

    You don't need to single out and cut any one restaurant down. I hope a journalist will see the hypocrisy of this whole fast food bashing.

    July 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
    • Sausage

      I take it from your post that you really like writing at lot.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • NastyFries

      Sounds like a Micky D's shill....and people don't eat Cheesecake Factory daily like they do McD's...or feed it to ravenous kids who will eat until they are blue in the face. McD's also loves to associate food with fun so eating more is more "fun" like a heart attack.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • rlj

      It's not just the fat – it's the additives that we should not be eating.

      July 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • Name*

        What's wrong with frog legs?

        July 17, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
      • Aaarrgggh

        ...and if you can't spell it, you shouldn't post it.

        July 18, 2014 at 12:52 am |
    • JXM

      Those people you see are probably the same people that eat at McDonald's so what is your point exactly? Craft burgers are likely ground from whole pieces of organic, grass-fed beef on the premises. Where as a McDonald's patty can contain a multitude of different animal parts from...well, different animals. How many cows make up a McD patty? I'm guessing 20 or more! Not to mention the fillers and preservatives that go into the product. I'd take 3000 wholesome calories than 3000 who knows what calories any day!

      July 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • JT

        The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Say what you will about healthfulness of McD food, but it is an incontrovertible fact that their patties are 100% beef. It may have too much fat, but it's beef fat. There are no "other animals."

        July 18, 2014 at 9:59 am |
    • Mark Morant

      "how people age will be more based on their individual DNA and genetics than the quality of the nutrition"

      I have to say from everything I have seen that is completely wrong. Nutrition is a much bigger factor then DNA/Genetics when it comes to how long you will live. Ever seen Super Size me? If not go watch it, then go watch Forks over Knives.

      Nutrition is THE most imported thing we should focus on for long and healthy life, not our DNA.

      July 17, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
      • Aaarrgggh

        I'm sure you are aware that Super Size Me has been thoroughly debunked by a number of reputable sources, yes?

        July 18, 2014 at 12:56 am |
    • catsup


      July 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
      • OMG

        ...that made me laugh!!

        July 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
  24. catsup

    so what is in their catsup? The catsup is bitter and gross, and the catsup is a little grainy, definitely not normal catsup like Heinz catsup

    July 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
    • mike

      All ketchup is disgusting.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
      • catsup

        you spelled catsup wrong

        July 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • Hungry Hungry Hippos

          Maybe he's not an inbred southern redneck and knows how to properly spell words.

          July 20, 2014 at 1:08 am |
    • Sausage

      I love dipping my sausage in catsup.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • Ketchup


      July 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
    • Horsey Sauce

      Can I come too?

      July 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
    • NastyFries

      I use BBQ sauce & Tabasco. No HFCS either.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
  25. cpc65

    Thanks for the advertisement

    July 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
  26. jon

    I don't like fries.

    July 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • cpc65

      They're doing rice cakes next

      July 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • NastyFries

      I DON'T LIKE SPAM!!!

      July 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
  27. cj

    Cut the fresh potato, fry it and eat it at home. Not all that hard or time consuming and while still junk food its a lot better for you.

    July 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • mike

      Except that it's really not that much better for you. This "DIY = better" thing is a logical fallacy.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • Thinking things through

        Depends on HOW you DIY !! If you pay attention to quality ingredients, it's an improvement.

        July 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • BS

          McDonalds uses quality ingredients in their fries. The article just listed them.

          July 18, 2014 at 9:02 am |
      • rlj

        It's a lot better without all the harmful additives.

        July 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
  28. xlsdx

    McD fries give me a sore throat. No other fries do that. Coincidence?

    July 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
    • Carn E. Vore

      You're supposed to chew them before swallowing them.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • catsup

      not enough catsup

      July 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
  29. JoscaLA

    Ray Kroc wrote in "Grinding it Out' that he loved the fries he had at the original McDonald brother's restaurant in San Bernadino and tried to replicate them at his first franchise in Illinois. He had the same potatoes, equipment, oil/tallow as they did but the fries were horrible.

    He brought in a food chemist who discovered that in San Bernadino the potatoes were stored in an outside bin that allowed air to circulate through them. The dry desert air caused changes in the starches which is what made the fries so delicious.

    Initially Kroc spread the potatoes out in the basement of the Illinois store and had fans blowing over them. He joked they had the most pampered potatoes in the world. They eventually figured out if they par cooked the fries, let them cool, then finished the frying they could replicate the taste.

    July 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
    • Derpus Amerkus

      WTH?! Reason and logic have no place here. Haven't you been reading the comments? Pure troll fodder – and we're eating like pigs.

      July 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
      • Twerkus McDerkus

        You need to extract your cranium from your gluteus maximus.

        July 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Derpus Amerkus

          Learn to recognize sarcasm when you read it. It's part of your remedial reading comp course.

          July 18, 2014 at 6:41 am |
      • Derpus Amerkus

        Awww, did I strike a cord? Good.

        July 18, 2014 at 6:40 am |
    • Sausage

      "Grinding it Out'

      I'm picking up what Ray was throwing down. Oh yeah.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
  30. dike

    A lot of self control is needed to keep away from super tasty cheap and bad for health food. If you have that discipline you probably have a healthy life already.

    July 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • tasty?

      super tasty? what fries have you been eating?

      July 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • mnbska

        The same fries that millions of people really enjoy. Bar for tasty = exceeded.

        July 18, 2014 at 9:10 am |
    • Carn E. Vore

      Read all about it in Drew Carey's book "Eat Right, Exercise, and Die Anyway".

      July 17, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
  31. Ethan Richards

    I love McDonald's fries. Do I know they have some questionable ingredients in them, and are overall an unhealthy food? Yes. Do I think they taste good? Yes. Put those together, and that's why I eat them maybe once every few weeks, and thoroughly enjoy them when I do.

    July 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  32. Mike

    McDonalds is one of the few places that still have decent French fries other than the places that serve steak fries.

    July 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
  33. tb63

    They were probably better for you when they were fried in beef tallow.

    July 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
  34. Josh

    "... tertbutylhydroquinone, which at high doses can cause nasty side effects in rats (mmmm … stomach tumors). "

    McD should come out with a line of cartoon characters with these names so that the kids would associated the names with "fun" instead of "cancer".

    July 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
    • mnbska

      At high doses nearly everything will kill you. This line of "social media food logic" is fast becoming very tiresome.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:11 am |
  35. Ally

    I have to admit that I still splurge occasionally on fast food. And McDonalds fries are the one thing I have to have.

    July 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  36. Surf

    JT – Are you SEC bashing? You must be talking about Auburn fans!

    July 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
  37. Yakobi

    Everyone knows In-N-Out has the best fries.

    July 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • dike

      They make them from potatoes that are cut in front of you, so a little more healthier

      July 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
      • mike

        How is cutting them in front of you necessarily healthier? What kind of logic is that?

        July 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Horsey Sauce

          They use gloves, hello?

          July 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
      • Lenny

        They never cut them in front of me

        July 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • Lenny

        They never cut them in front of me.

        July 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
    • Derpus Amerkus

      Everyone? Oh, you must live out West. "Everyone" lives there. Good thing no one lives East of Texas or they wouldn't know what you're talking about.

      July 18, 2014 at 6:45 am |
  38. JT

    Yeah, on my way to Micky D's at the moment, gonna get me a large french fry and some oatmeal. Gotta balance the good with the bad as they say.

    July 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • pluscachange

      Hey – they cancel each other out, so no worries (just as a diet coke cancels out the cokkies and fudgee

      July 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Hungry Hungry Hippos

      Mcdonalds probably puts lard in the oatmeal

      July 20, 2014 at 1:11 am |
  39. frank t ward

    Why ae people so against gmo,s? Plants naturally cross pollinate and form new and better plants, just like gmo,s are created, New plants and foods are being naturally created all the time and we all still eat them

    July 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • No GMO

      Plant do cross pollinate, but in order to take two cells such as an Alaskan halibut and a tomato.. (So that tomatoes are more resistant to cold temperatures) They have to add a third factor which is commonly Ecoli. The reason being that neither the halibut nor the tomato will take over one another because that's not in their genetic coding, so you inject A nasty mix of fish cells infected w the Ecoli virus into the tomato cell and viola the whole population gets Ecoli from tomatoes and spinach

      July 18, 2014 at 12:17 am |
      • VladT

        2 instances of no credibility:

        1) No citations

        2) E. coli is a bacteria.....not a virus

        July 18, 2014 at 3:04 am |
  40. lulany

    I've never understood the fuss with McDonald's fries. Take away the bucket of salt and they essentially taste like cardboard. Let them sit for 15 minutes and you'll get the texture too.

    July 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
    • Todd

      Nostalgia mostly.
      When you are a kid, when you go to a restaurant it is usually McDonald's. Mostly because fast food restaurants are the few places where it is suitable for kids, diners and fancier places, the kid has to sit there and wait for the food to come, giving time for them to get board and frustrated. So McDonald's being the #1 fast food place, most kids went there.

      With every meal combination you always got fries, The fries may not be the best, but they are not bad. As well this is the kids first experience with fries. So as they get older, they want comfort food they go with McDonald's Fries as it is what they remembered as a kid.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • nmatney353

        Yeah, we all eat McD fries because of nostalgia. Right.... No, we eat them because they are good. Compare them to any other fast food fries and they are the best hands down.

        Note: I live in the Midwest where we do not have In-and-Out burgers or any other you guys are talking about. Our options: Arby's Burger King, Dairy Queen, and your occasional no name place that tries to compete, but gets dominated.

        July 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Ally

          I grew up in the Midwest and now that I live a little to the south I can add experience with Five Guys, White Castle, Rally's, Culvers, Hardees, Steak n Shake.... None can hold a candle to the taste of good, hot McDonald's fries.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • Brian

          I grew up in the Midwest too! My very first bj was from a girl named Ally in the parking lot of our local DQ.

          July 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
  41. MrBojangles

    Cocaine. They have cocaine.

    July 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
  42. Connoiseur

    Unless you are eating Five Guys fries, you are eating garbage.

    July 17, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • Howard

      I love Five Guys burgers, but their fries? Yuck! They might as well give you a cup of the frying grease and a soda straw to sip it with.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
      • burf

        five guys fries are soggy garbage. They do NOT cook their fries right. Youre supposed to cut them, blanch, par-fry, then chill, they just par-fry for no where near long enough and let them sit over the warm fryer. What you end up with is a floppy but still burnt greasy awful fry, I frequently get fries from them that arent even fully cooked (and I always order well done fries because I could lace up my shoes with their normal fries).

        July 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jerry

      Five Guys fries were way to salty for my taste

      July 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • Mr. Potatohead

      Five Guys in our town never fry the fries long enough. They are always pale floppy strings. I guess that's the way that manager grew up with fries because complaining hasn't changed a thing.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • no guys

        all of them are like that because they dont freeze the fries after the initial blanch fry, for fries to get a crispy exterior they need to be cold or frozen to create a barrier against the hot oil

        July 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Ally

      I tried 5 guys for the first time last year. The fries were greasy and underdone...and the burger was just as greasy. So not worth it and more expensive than other fast food places.

      July 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      • Sapphire

        I found 5 Guys to be that way as well. Been to two, both the same. Don't need to go back. Quality over quant!ty.

        July 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • Sapphire

        I found 5 Guys food to be that way as well. Been to two, both the same. Don't need to go back. Quality over quant!ty.

        July 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • Kim

      Unless you have a peanut allergy, in which case just walking into a Five Guys will give you anaphylactic shock with all their buckets of peanuts lining the waiting area. Then there's the peanut oil used in everything...

      July 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
      • Mr. Potatohead @ Kim

        Peanut oil does not have any of the compounds that can cause peanut allergies and has been proven safe for cooking and consumption for those that do have peanut allergies. The compounds they are allergic to are in the nut meal itself and not in the oil.

        July 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • Horsey Sauce

      Five Guys' fries are floppier than an old man running nude down the beach.

      July 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
  43. Old Salt

    Bull, the secret ingredient is soylent green.

    July 17, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • ser

      i guess someone had to mention it....smh

      July 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
      • VladT

        Soylent Green....is peopel!!!!!!

        July 18, 2014 at 2:57 am |
  44. jonasmcgreggor

    potato genocide

    July 17, 2014 at 11:27 am |
  45. Miguel

    USA is a great country, the best one, but it is nasty that many americans don´t know how to eat well, and they are hooked to pure junk processed food, only good for the big companies that produces those unhealthy things ( they are not real food, just fillers).
    I think that americans are now starting to understand that they have a problem with their foods and habits and they are trying to improve on that, but just putting the "Organic" brand everywhere and doubling prices woun´t be the solution.

    Food is culture, is a cultural issue, and you can´t change or improve it in a couple of days, it will take time and a lot of effort and social and government support.

    July 17, 2014 at 11:19 am |
    • JT

      French fries are popular all over the world, not just in the US.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • Todd

        But over there they are called Chips.

        July 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • Bill

          Yes but the point is that Americans continue to eat unhealthy. I completely agree with the fact that it is a cultural issue. People are just not willing to give up their fast food..and well others just dont care about thier bodies one bit.

          July 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • mnbska

      Why does everyone have to eat well? Some of us don't care. As long as the health numbers are in the acceptable range and the environment isn't horribly worse off, I don't care what I eat.

      Food is the new religion. You can never be holy enough.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:14 am |
  46. NeoCon

    I am pretty sure the ingredient is potatoes. Did that ugly hag michelle obama write this piece?

    July 17, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • Aunt Eesemmah Teak

      'twas yo momma

      July 17, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • JT

      Doesn't say much for your intellect. You have to be pretty stupid to think it's just potatoes.

      July 17, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • pluscachange

      why does the physical appearance matter? Its the ideas that count – not whether you like or dislike the appearance of the person – DUH

      July 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Mr. Potatohead

      Of course, don't read the article or state the facts.
      You are mostly made of water and have fish for brains.

      July 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  47. John

    Don't forget the toxic chemicals that they spray the potato fields with the keep the potatoes completely spotless. The farmers of those potatoes do not venture out into the fields for 6 weeks after spraying because it is so toxic, and then after harvest the potatoes are kept in a barn for several months so that the toxins can ooze out. On top of that, all the corn oil is most likely GMO, since nearly 100% of corn in the U.S. is GMO. Lastly, tert-butylhydroquinone in higher doses cause cancer and damage to DNA, and since many people eat at McDonald every day, and even several times a day, it would not be hard to get to toxic levels.

    July 17, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • JellyBean


      July 17, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • kai

      Don't forget they store the potatoes (for approximately 30 days) in the pig and cow pens for the animal's entertainment before it is shipped to the other side of the farm where they soak it in a chemical bath that extract's the 'milk' from the potato to be added as a filler to the cartons of McDonald's milk.

      July 17, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      • mnbska


        July 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • Chris

      John, I believe you may be slightly misinforme. I've worked on a farm for five years now and almost none of what you said is true about farming potatoes (or any crop for that matter). Yes, they are sprayed with chemicals, but not chemicals that affect humans. Chemicals that are safe and approved by the FDA. And six weeks? From where are you pulling out these numbers. The chemicals these farmers use (which kill things like bugs and fungi that are harmful to your own health) do not affect humans. There are more than a few studies that could tell you this.
      Kept in a barn for several months? So the toxins can ooze out? Where do you get your information? Never have I seen any farmer keep his potatoes in a barn, much less in any place for months so the toxins can 'ooze out'. A helpful hint: any information from websites of non-credible sources (i.e. anything with the works 'organic' or 'healthy living' is not credible).
      And if crops were not genetically modified, you would be paying a lot more for your food. And we would be using millions of acres more land just to grow the same amount. Personally, I'm grateful for the advances in agricultural research, but to each his own. You would be surprised how much we've been able to do by manipulating genes in food. One example: Monsanto (yes, that inherently evil corporation that wants to crush kitten skulls for fun) noticed many Asians had a very low iron diet (which causes anemia) because of the rice they ate, so Monsanto genetically modified rice to produce those few missing ingredients from Asia"s diet. I'd be happy to give you information about the success of drastically lowering the cases of anemia among Asians (and yes, thanks to Monsanto).

      July 17, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • VladT

        Monsanto only crushes genetically modified kitten skulls

        July 18, 2014 at 2:56 am |
    • AJM

      John, would you sign my petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide? Its everywhere, it affects the food we feed our kids and in large volumes can kill humans!!

      July 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • VladT

        I hate that stuff......

        I hear they even put that stuff in Diet Coke and some inferior beer products

        July 18, 2014 at 2:55 am |
      • mnbska

        They put it in antifreeze, for pete's sake!

        July 18, 2014 at 9:15 am |
      • DiHyMonOx

        It's everywhere!

        July 18, 2014 at 9:18 am |
  48. LaUnika

    The fries are the only thing I get at McDonald's. Once a month I splurge and gobble them quickly because once they're cold they're disgusting.

    July 17, 2014 at 10:45 am |
  49. Debbie Spivey

    Reblogged this on The Mountain Kitchen and commented:
    McDonald's French Fries were the only french fries I could eat without ketchup... Were... we don't go to McDonald's anymore. Once you stop taking the bad things out, you do NOT miss them!

    July 17, 2014 at 10:40 am |
  50. Tim

    dont frequent McDs anymore. too expensive.

    July 17, 2014 at 10:39 am |
    • Sam

      point for bogart.

      July 17, 2014 at 11:24 am |
    • JT

      It's considered fine dining for people in the South.

      July 17, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • pluscachange

        nothing like a little cultural stereotyping and inplied putdowns to add intelligence and useful insight ito the discussion – thanks so much

        July 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • Mr. Potatohead @ JT

        No, the McDonald's cuisine is a product of California, that makes it a West coast favorite.

        July 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • yo momma

      If .99 cents is too expensive how do you get on the internet?

      That being said how is it that a MCD's french fry can sit on the floor of your car for years (you know what i mean) and not mold and everyone here is happy to put that crap in your body?

      July 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
      • lol

        Maybe because the cooked potato itself has so little nutritional value in it that even mold can't feed on it? ;) But let's stuff it down our precious children's gullet anyway...that'll keep 'em quiet! But seriously, I never liked those fries even when I was a kid and sure as heck wouldn't eat them now if I knew they weren't just potatoes fried in oil (which they aren't). I guess the typical "Mericun" McDonald's eater has had his/her taste buds and palate destroyed enough by years of unhealthy fast food eating and smoking a pack a day to actually think those tater sticks are awesome. Eat up Dumins!

        July 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Carn E. Vore

          Ella, you can't be him because they used up their quota of pretentious d-bag when they made him.

          July 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • Carn E. Vore

        Because it tastes good. Period.

        July 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • Joe Lake

      did you mean too rich in flavor?

      July 18, 2014 at 2:05 am |
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