No mystery here…


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Why McDonald’s uses 9 ingredients to make french fries

This post by Craig Good originally appeared as an answer to the Quora thread: Why does McDonald’s use 14 different ingredients to make French fries?

The ingredients, taken from McDonald’s web site (Page on are:

canola oil
hydrogenated soybean oil
safflower oil
natural flavor (vegetable source)
sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain colour)
citric acid (preservative)
dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent)

Since you asked about 14 ingredients, I assume you’ve been reading one of those anti-science, scare-mongering food woo sites where they’re frightened of things they can’t pronounce and, clearly, can’t even count. (I’ll bet they double-counted the oils by not reading carefully.)

What we have here are potatoes fried in a vegetable oil blend. They have been treated with a mild acid to keep them from turning brown, some vegetable based flavoring, and a natural preservative. The ooh-scary dimethylpolysiloxane is also known as simethicone. It’s commonly used in pharmaceuticals, particularly to relieve bloating and belching. Note that means it’s safe to eat in doses far higher than you could ever get in French fries.

So why do they use 14? They don’t. And the ingredients they use are pretty clearly to provide a consistent product in a fast food environment and allow prepped fries to be transported and stored.

Gourmet? No. Scary? Hardly.

From now on I’d steer clear of wherever you read about 14 ingredients.
Read more:

Belgium frites are crisp and wonderful


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Belgians unite in UNESCO bid to reclaim ‘French’ fries

© Kris Van Exel, Belga/AFP | Belgian humorist Herr Seele poses next to the ‘winning cornet’ during a potato fries contest in Antwerp in 2006
Text by FRANCE 24
Latest update : 2014-12-03
Belgians seldom agree about anything, but they all know their country’s unity hangs by a potato thread.

The thread is in fact one centimetre thick, rectangular and fried twice, most often in beef fat. People around the world call it “French fry”. But that, the Belgians say, is a “misnomer”.

The origin of potato fries – or chips, as the British call them – has long been a matter of dispute. Belgians say they invented them, but so do people in northern France. For both, they are a national treasure.

Belgium blames American soldiers stationed in French-speaking Wallonia during World War I for first referring to the Belgian national dish as “French fries”.

Americans later infamously renamed them “Freedom fries”, albeit only briefly, in protest at France’s refusal to back the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Last year, the Flemish community of Flanders launched a bid to gain UNESCO world heritage status for the greasy potato sticks. Their French- and German-speaking compatriots have now lent their support.

Historians say they may have difficulty proving parentage of the beloved “frites”.

“Potato fries belong to the realm of street food for the poor, which is why it’s so difficult to establish a birth certificate,” French historian Madeleine Ferrières told Le Point magazine.

According to one theory, fries were invented in the 17th century by the people of Namur, in southern Belgium, when the town’s river froze and fish were replaced with potato slices.

Another folk tale claims they first appeared on the Pont Neuf in Paris during the French Revolution. Neither hypothesis is popular with historians.

French and Belgians also disagree over how to eat them.

In France, “frites” are generally served with a piece of meat and eaten with a knife and fork, whereas Belgians tend to eat them in cones and with their fingers.

Except people in northern France also eat them in cones – which may explain why La Voix du Nord, a local daily, wants the region to join the Belgian bid.

Wallonia’s Agriculture Mininster René Collin has said he would welcome his French neighbours, though adding: “Belgian fries remain the world’s best”

Date created : 2014-12-03

Only in Belgium – Prime Minister Attacked With Fries


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The Belgian Prime Minister was pelted with fries and mayonnaise, in a precedent-setting attack on Monday by protestors against a new austerity program. Belgian fried potatoes, more widely known as French fries, are a national dish in this country which claims their invention. Fries are most often served with mayonnaise in Belgium and 95% of Belgians patronize a Friekot stand where they are widely sold, at least once a year.

Where McDonald’s, and those famous fries, got started…




The first photo is from 1948, when Dick and Mac McDonald remodeled their highly successful barbeque restaurant in San Bernardino, CA into the prototype of the modern era McDonald’s, with a simplified menu, high speed food preparation, and walk-up service. The second photo is during the rededication of the site of that first McDonald’s in the 1990s, then a location for the San Bernardino Civic Light Opera. The dedication plaque at the site, which I wrote, appears in the third photo.