Posted on Mon, 18 Jun 12
You might assume that a hamburger patty is made of pure meat, but an analysis of what is really in a burger might surprise you.
A study entitled “Fast food hamburgers: what are we really eating?” assessed the content of 8 American fast food hamburgers and this is some of their findings:
Meat content in the hamburgers ranged from 2.1% to 14.8%.
Water content by weight ranged from 37.7% to 62.4%.
A variety of tissue types besides skeletal muscle were observed including connective tissue, blood vessels, peripheral nerve, adipose tissue, plant material, cartilage, and bone.
In 2 hamburgers, intracellular parasites (Sarcocystis) were identified.
In summary it appears fast food burgers are mostly water and contain an average of 12.1% meat, not very much. Also they may contain some unexpected bone, cartilage, and plant material and in some cases parasites.
Prayson B, McMahon JT, Prayson RA. Fast food hamburgers: what are we really eating? Ann Diagn Pathol. 2008 Dec;12(6):406-9.