My Big Mac did not look like this on TV...


| 4 Comments
Watching TV when you're hungry is a very bad idea considering most of the commercials we see are for fast food restaurants. The food looks so delicious, so the anticipation for a good meal builds up until you get to the restaurant, only to unwrap a Big Mac that is half the size of what you saw, and the whole sandwich is falling apart. TV commercials do an amazing job at making food look mouthwatering. So why is it that when you go to the restaurant, the same food looks so much different? Advertisers have perfected techniques to make food look good. Some of these techniques are not even edible. There are actually professional food make-up artists that earn their living by trying to deceive millions of viewers as sneakily as possible. Here are some common techniques:

-Because milk makes cereal become soggy, commercials instead fill their bowls with glue, yogurt, or shampoo.
-Because meat becomes smaller and dries out when cooked, commercials give it the "grilled look" by using blow torches, branding irons, and shoe polish. 
-Because syrup seeps through pancakes, they use motor oil instead.
-Some hamburger buns have their sesame seeds glued on by hand with tweezers.
-Salad leaves and beer bottles are covered in glycerin to make them look cold and moist.
-Mashed potatoes are injected into meat to plump it up. Mashed potatoes also take the place of ice cream in many commercials.

These are just some of MANY techniques. Please watch this video that shows a food makeup artist going to work on a burger and french fries. It's hilarious but appalling at the same time.

Obviously companies do this in order to draw attention from viewers and make money on their "gorgeous" food. But, what irritates me the most is that it is false advertising. We expect to walk into McDonalds, and receive a tall, juicy, perfect burger. But we get the complete opposite. I find it funny that most advertised sandwiches would not even fit into the paper boxes that they are served in. It's not just fast-food restaurants that do this. Not that these places are gourmet, but restaurants such as IHOP and Denny's do the same thing.

An anonymous researcher did a study which he compared the advertised food to the actual food that he purchased from the restaurant. The pictures below are just a few of the comparisons he made. Keep in mind: the actual picture of the food was taken at an angle at which he thought made the food look the best.  Even doing so does not do these foods any justice.  
01 Taco Bell - Taco 1.jpg
08 Burger King - Whopper_A1.jpg

I get it, McDonalds and Taco Bell only have one goal: to attract customers. But why are they allowed to do so in a way that gives us false hope? These places need to either start advertising their products as what we actually get, or they need to improve the quality of the food in order to match the commercials. Either way, something needs to be done.  False advertising for many other products other than food is illegal, so why isn't this illegal?

Sources:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/30195/11-ways-advertisers-make-food-look-delicious
http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/12/08/how-food-stylists-make-fast-food-look-so-delicious-in-commercials/
http://www.alphaila.com/articles/failure/fast-food-false-advertising-vs-reality/

4 Comments

I really liked your blog post because it's so true! When my family sits down to watch tv we find ourselves laughing at the commercials because the food looks nothing like in the advertisement as it does in real life. It was very interesting in how they made ingredients to look thick. Some of the ingredients like motor oil for syrup or for milk they use glue etc. is disgusting. Companies should not be allowed to false advertise because its lying to the faces of thousands of customers who really do believe in their products. I have found a website that lists fourteen items that were caught for false advertising and therefore were sued. http://www.businessinsider.com/false-advertising-scandals-2011-9#activia-yogurt-1

When I was in high school, the first job I ever had was working at McDonald's and the sights and smells of working behind the counter were not pretty. The way the food is made would make you never want to eat any type of fast food ever again! On television they glamorize their food to make you want it but when you walk in the burger looks like it's been sitting out for a while, truth is it has been. The food is so processed that it's really not even "real" food anymore and it's really gross. I took an anatomy class a couple of years ago and my teacher did an entire segment on fast food so we watched Supersize Me and she also showed us this video from a man who kept a McDonald's hamburger for 14 years and it looks the same as it did as they day he bought it! http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/04/25/mcdonalds-burger-looks-the-same-14-years-later/

I think people need to realize that fast food commercials are just making their food look pretty to appeal to the viewer and in reality, you're going to get a processed fake burger that looks like plastic and in no way is healthy for you! Here's the McDonald's menu with how many calories things are and some are just disgusting! http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/full_menu_explorer.html

The truth of the matter is that food doesn't always look as glorious as television makes it seem. Think about it in comparison to humans. They all look wonderful on high definition screens, dolled up and airbrushed, but real life always disappoints. It's all a game to get customers, a marketing ploy. Not to mention, employees are often stacked with orders, having no time to perfect your burger to your standards. The burger commercials can be replaced with any other product, such as skin products, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. All the products are completely faked to perfection. It's all advertising, there is no reason why your pancakes look soggy except for the fact that they didn't use motor oil. http://www.culinaryarts360.com/index.php/why-fast-food-looks-better-in-commercials-17658/ In this article, the man explains why and how fake foods end up being used in the limelight, versus actual edible treats.

What role do you think the massive amount of preservatives play in what the final product looks like? A man in Utah claims that his burger he saved for 14 years looks exactly the same today as when he bought it in 1999 because of the preservatives.

This is how McDonald's responded to the claim: In the example of a McDonald’s hamburger, the patty loses water in the form of steam during the cooking process. The bun, of course, is made out of bread. Toasting it reduces the amount of moisture. This means that after preparation, the hamburger is fairly dry. When left out open in the room, there is further water loss as the humidity within most buildings is around 40%. So in the absence of moisture or high humidity, the hamburger simply dries out, rather than rot.

http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/04/25/mcdonalds-burger-looks-the-same-14-years-later/#ixzz2maSWOWI4

Seriously, McDonald's ... ?????

Side note: the man continues to hold on to the famous burger to show his grandchildren in hopes of encouraging them to eat healthy.

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