Tale of the 24-Year-Old Burger & Why You May Want to Steer Clear of Processed Foods




By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder


The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly exposed some sobering truths about the United States. One of them being that there is a serious obesity epidemic in America.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that more than 40 percent of American adults are obese. On top of this, obesity affects one in five children and adolescents in the United States.

Being obese (or even just overweight) increases the risk of developing serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, depression, colorectal cancer and other types of cancer and more. Furthermore, obesity was recently determined to be one of the top risk factors for COVID-19 hospitalizations and critical illness from the virus.

The Western pattern diet (WPD), also called the standard American diet (SAD), is one of the major culprits behind America’s obesity problem. This diet is rich in “highly processed, convenience foods and sweetened beverages – all high in calories, sugars, trans fats and saturated fats, salt and other food additives,” (Cleveland Clinic).

It is usually void of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals like  magnesium and vitamin C, that we all need to maintain our overall health and help combat inflammation.

More than one in three Americans eat fast food in a given day.

According to recent research from the CDC, more than one in three Americans eat fast food in a given day. And since the pandemic hit, people have been turning to processed foods for comfort, convenience and a longer shelf life (a bag of chips or a frozen pizza is certainly going to have a longer life in your kitchen than fresh fruits and veggies).

And speaking of shelf life, recently a grandmother went viral for sharing with the world her shoe box time capsule labeled “hamburger.”

You can watch the shocking video here

She removes from a shoe box what she claims is a 24-year-old McDonald’s hamburger and fries. She unveils the classic American fast food meal from its original wrapper which is advertising a NASCAR race from 1996 (providing evidence which shows that the food really may be 24 years of age). 

The burger and fries are not rotted or decayed at all. The bread doesn’t even look the slightest bit moldy. This really puts into perspective how many additives and preservatives fast food and processed foods may contain, and this is definitely not something you want to put in your body on a regular basis. (You can read more about this here).

I hope this shocks people and they make wiser choices.

In all fairness, about two years ago McDonald claims to have removed artificial preservatives and artificial colors from its burgers, however, their food is still processed and not 100 percent natural (as are fresh fruits and vegetables).

I shared this story, because despite warnings about processed foods people still eat them in excess (even during a pandemic when we need to make sure that we are being as healthy as possible). My hope is that the shock value of the video will make people make wiser choices when it comes to food and address any health issues, such as obesity, if they have them.

I understand that sweets and fries may feel comforting at a time like this, but not all “comfort food” has to be unhealthy.

To learn about healthier alternatives, check out this pH Labs blog.

Along with maintaining a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, move your body regularly. I also highly recommend taking routine nutrient tests in order to identify any nutritional imbalances or deficiencies that you may have. If you are not nutritionally balanced, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on making the necessary dietary changes and recommend quality supplements if necessary.

It is also good to get plenty of quality sleep, hydrate, avoid smoking and drink alcohol in moderation (if at all).

Enjoy your healthy life!


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation. 


The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here. 


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