If you look forward to your side of fries with your meal at McDonald's you will consider swapping it for something else after reading this.
McDonald's uses only one type of potato for their fries: The Russet Burbank Potato. These potatoes are unusually long, so that's how they get the shoestring fries we all love.
“They’re always made from the same potato, the Russet Burbank potato… (it’s) unusually long, and difficult to grow,” explains Pollan. “But that’s what they want because, when you’re McDonald’s, you like those red boxes with a little bouquet or very long chips.”
Even though this particular type of potato is difficult to grow, the restaurant chain insists that their potatoes are free from blemishes.
So why are they putting your health at risk?
“There’s a very common defect of Russet Burbank potatoes, called net necrosis, and you’ve seen potatoes with little brown lines sometimes or spots that come through it,” Pollan says. “Well McDonald’s won’t buy them if your potatoes have that.”
This leads farmers to use a pesticide to prevent these imperfections.
After Methamidophos is sprayed on the crops, the farmers who grow these potatoes in Idaho won't venture into their fields for 5 days because it is highly dangerous to humans.
"When McDonald’s is ready to harvest their potatoes, they have to put them in giant atmospheric controlled sheds the size of football stadiums because they are not edible for six weeks," the YouTube description says.
The video presentation has been viewed on YouTube almost 4 million times.
Methamidophos, also known as Monitor pesticide, comes with many side-effects including:
- Lung irritation
- Bloody or runny nose
- Heavy breathing
- Numbness or weakness
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Speech problems
- Weak or no reflexes
- Disturbed heart rate
Want to see the whole process your fries go through? What this video below.
So next time they ask if you, if you'd like fries with that consider opting for something else instead.