Glancing at the two McDonald's Happy Meals pictured here, you may feel they look pretty much identical.
Astonishingly, however, this is the same meal, photographed 12 months apart. Where any other food might be a mouldy, decomposing mess after a year, the McDonald's meal shows few signs of going off apart from the beef patty shrivelling and the stale burger bun cracking.Proof, says the American nutritionist who took these photographs, that it contains so many preservatives that it is bad for the children it is aimed at.
Joann Bruso said: 'Food is supposed to decompose, go bad and smell foul eventually. The fact that it has not decomposed shows you how unhealthy it is for children.'
Mrs Bruso left the Happy Meal uncovered on a shelf at her home near Denver, Colorado, to see what would happen. She has revealed the results on her blog, in which she gives healthy eating advice to parents.
The 62-year-old, who has eight grandchildren, admitted that the arid temperature of her home near the Rocky Mountains meant there was little moisture in the air with which to speed decomposition.
But she added that during the year-long experiment, no flies or other insects were attracted to the food.