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article imageStudy: Nearly 90 per cent of fast foods contain traces of corn

By Chris V. Thangham     Nov 16, 2008 in Health
University of Hawaii researchers have found that meats in most of fast food contain traces of corn, indicating a corn-based diet for animals that are butchered and sent to fast food outlets.
A research team led by A. Hope Jahren, professor of geography and geophysics at the University of Hawaii, bought fast food from Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Burger King.
They bought more than 480 servings of hamburgers, French fries and chicken sandwiches from fast food restaurants across the United States -- in Boston, California, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore and in San Francisco. They sent the food for analysis.
Out of all the meals tested, only about 12 servings could be attributed to something other than corn, Jahren said. The 12 servings that were not fed exclusively with corn-based diets came from Burger King burgers.
The main reason they found traces of corn is because most of the animals used in the meat preparation are fed heavily with a corn-based diet instead of a natural diet.
Cynthia Sass, a nutritionist in New York City, blames corn found in fast food for America's growing obesity problems. The study showed Americans spend more than $100 billion a year on fast foods.
Researchers found that 100 per cent of all cows used in hamburgers and 93 per cent of all chickens were fed corn-based diets exclusively.
All the three fast food companies -- Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s -- did not respond to this study.
The study didn’t include soft drinks, which also contain corn; the drinks have high-fructose corn syrup.
The study’s findings are published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
You can also read Scientific American's report on how corn-based diets affects cows' health.
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