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Fast Food Tested for Carcinogens

Chicken from seven fast food outlets were tested to see which had the highest levels of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines.

November 18, 2009 |
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Acknowledgements

Image thanks to uravms.

Transcript

OK, so it’s really the chicken, but which chicken? Researchers last year tested the levels of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines in chicken samples from McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick fil-A, Chili’s TGI Friday’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Applebee’s. Which was worse? You tell me.
One hundred samples of chicken were taken. Every single one of the hundred was contaminated, but which one took the cancer cake? Applebee’s has a grilled chicken salad. Burger king and Chick-fil-A both have chicken sandwiches, Chili’s has a “guiltless” chicken platter, MickyD’s has a grilled chicken salad, Outback has barbequed chicken and TGI Fridays a grilled chicken salad.
Which is worse? It was that… chicken salad from Friday’s. The researchers conclude: “Simple measures such as reducing or avoiding the consumption of grilled chicken products can be encouraged as a strategy to reduce one’s total intake of carcinogenic or mutagenic toxins.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on chicken and carcinogens. Also, there are 1,449 other subjectscovered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Vitamin B12: how much, how often?Estrogenic Chemicals in Meat, and Avoid Cooked Meat Carcinogens

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on chicken and carcinogens. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Vitamin B12: how much, how often?!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Vitamin B12: how much, how often?!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Vitamin B12: how much, how often?!

  • My-dy

    Dr. Greger,
    I have a question for you. First of all thank you so much for posting all your fantastic videos! They are so informative and entertaining. The way you speak is captivating and at times very humorous in the best possible way! Thank you for making all this information free! I watch at least 30 to 50 videos a week minimum.
    Now, back to my question. I myself am a raw vegan (I take supplements. Hopefully all the right ones.) but my fiancee is an omnivior. He says he will never stop eating animal products. At this point I have been able to get him to stop eating eggs, beef, and pork (for the most part). The pork he did on his own and giving up eggs wasn’t much of a sacrifice. The beef he gave up because I told him chicken and fish are healthier and his sweat is less offense when he sticks to chicken. Now, after watching numerous videos it seems like chicken may be killing him faster than the beef ever did! So, if he has to eat either chicken or beef which is better? Could you also talk a bit about why beef gives off a stronger body odor than chicken?

    Thank you so very much for all you do for this world,
    Myra

  • John

    Since chicken and beef are bad, should I switch to turkey? Is there a difference?

  • Natasha

    Hello,
    My partner and I are interested in doing a project about carcinogens for the school science fair. We would like to know if it is a very complicated process to test for the carcinogens, or if it is possible to do at home.
    Thank you.

    • Tommasina

      Hi Natasha! What a great idea for the science fair! I think the Ames test would be a good way to start looking at foods that might be mutagenic and potentially carcinogenic, but it might be too complicated to do at home unless you have microbiologists around who could offer some guidance.
      If you were still interested in testing out fast food, what about testing to see how long it takes for fast food to start decomposing? McDonald’s burgers have been notorious for not decomposing, but perhaps you could expand the sample size and look at the same type of food (like french fries) from five different fast food restaurants? I’d be interested to see what you find out! :)

      • Natasha

        Thank you so much for your help :) I looked into your fast food idea, and I discovered that McDonalds hamburgers DO rot when there is moisture, and even homemade burgers can withstand rotting when the conditions are right. @Tommasina1:disqus