Fast Food Tested for Carcinogens

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

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Okay, so it really is 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, and 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; Micky D’s has a grilled chicken salad; Outback has barbequed chicken; and TGI Friday’s a grilled chicken salad.

Which is worse? It was that chicken salad from Friday’s. The researchers conclude: “Simple steps, 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to uravms via Flickr.

Okay, so it really is 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, and 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; Micky D’s has a grilled chicken salad; Outback has barbequed chicken; and TGI Friday’s a grilled chicken salad.

Which is worse? It was that chicken salad from Friday’s. The researchers conclude: “Simple steps, 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to uravms via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

Check out these videos on meat carcinogens:
Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens
Carcinogens in the Smell of Frying Bacon
Meat Fumes: Dietary Secondhand Smoke
Heterocyclic Amines in Eggs, Cheese, and Creatine?
When Nitrites Go Bad

Also check out my other videos on chicken and carcinogens

For more context, see my associated blog posts: Estrogenic Chemicals in MeatAvoiding Cooked Meat Carcinogens; and Vitamin B12: how much, how often?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

10 responses to “Fast Food Tested for Carcinogens

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  1. 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




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  2. 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.




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    1. 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! :)




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      1. 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




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