9 Awful Ingredients Found In McDonald's Food

Two beef patties, sesame-seed bun, lettuce, pickles, cheese, special sauce - sounds good, right? As glorious as McDonalds' commercials make their Big Macs and McNuggets look, they’re leaving out a slew of unsettling details. Ronald McDonald and crew’s menu is about as unhealthy as it gets. Between the pickles and mustard lies a plethora of awful ingredients ol' Ronald doesn’t want you to know about - but you desperately need to.

Let’s take a look at nine of the worst hidden dangers lurking in these not-so-happy meals.

1. Ammonium Sulfate

David Wolfe

Ammonium sulfate is an inorganic salt that's not typically used in food. In fact, it's most commonly used as a fertilizer. Yum. This flame-retardant substance can disrupt hormones, making its place in any food recipe quite disturbing.

2. Silicone Oil


Also known as dimethylpolysiloxane, silicone oil is the same material used to make soft contact lenses. This substance is also used to make caulk, silly putty, lubricants, and - yikes - McNuggets!

The non-biodegradable goop has been known to harm marine life, but McDonalds thinks it's perfectly fine for their customers to ingest. Thanks, McDonalds! Good looking out.



TBHQ is found in many cosmetic substances such as lacquers and resins. While it is considered safe enough to be in food, the FDA imposes a strict limit on just how much TBHQ can be added. Studies have found that, over time, TBHQ can aggravate ADHD symptoms, damage DNA, and cause stomach cancer.

Are you willing to take that gamble? I don't think I am. Maybe it's time to change that FDA limit to an outright ban.


4. Propylene Glycol


What's good enough for your car is good enough for your body, right? I'm going to say, no. Absolutely not. 

McDonalds' grub and antifreeze share a common ingredient - propylene glycol. This substance is what allows antifreeze to absorb water. It can have toxic effects on the body and can cause central nervous system depression. Those with eye and skin conditions or allergies are especially susceptible to the effects of propylene glycol.

5. Carminic Acid


Did you know that a lot of food coloring is comprised of crushed up bugs? It's true. In fact, each pound of dye contains over 70,000 insects that have been grounded up and soaked in alcohol. Many of these bugs produce an agent called carminic acid, which is used to deter predators.

While it seems to be useless against humans predators, once consumed, carminic acid can lead to asthma and diarrhea.

6. Cellulose


Cellulose is what they call a "cheat ingredient." Food producers use it to make up a portion of the substance of low-carb foods. In case you don't know, cellulose is just processed wood pulp. It is found in cheese, salad dressing, and just about every other fast food item.

If given the option between extra carbs and wood ... I think I'd rather have the extra carbs!

7. Industrial Sand


Industrial. Sand. Have there ever been two more appetizing words in the English language?

More formally known as silica, industrial sand is used in the making of glass, optical fibers, and cement. You know, all the things you would never eat. It's not even safe to breathe, yet if you have ever eaten any meat at McDonalds, you've ingested this sand. I feel queasy.


8. Cysteine-L


McDonalds uses this ingredient to flavor their meat and soften their bread and pastries. Cysteine-L is an amino acid synthesized from human hair and duck feathers. Sounds delicious, right?

According to WebMD, this substance can cause vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, rashes, fever, headache, drowsiness, low blood pressure, and liver problems. 

Good thing fast food is so cheap, because it looks like you'll need to save up for some very important medicine. 

9. Prescription Medications

There's a reason certain medications require a prescription. Not everything is safe for everyone. Certain harmful drugs even get banned from consumption - for humans, at least.

According to a study from Johns Hopkins University, a shocking amount of these medications find their way into chicken feed, and these chickens find their way into our fast food meals. Once again, it looks like McDonalds is pushing the boundaries of safety.

Be sure to SHARE these alarming facts with your friends and family.

H/T: David Wolfe

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