Saturday, June 23, 2012

The 1930s' burger experiment - A man eating only burgers for THREE MONTHS, without health problems

Jesse McClendon, Ph.D., a well known biochemist was hired to come up with an experiment which would prove that burgers were indeed safe.
So, White Castle commissioned an experiment in which a man was to eat up to 30 burgers a day for three months to prove they were safe to eat.

Bernard Flesche ate burgers three times a day and this great experiment was called the 'White Castle Project'.

This 1932 scheme was the idea of White Castle owner Edgar Waldo 'Billy' Ingram, the father of fast-food burgers in the United States.

One of the anti-burger people at the time was going around saying that burgers were 'about as safe as getting your meat out of a garbage can standing in the hot sun. For beyond all doubt, the garbage can is where the chopped meat sold my most butchers belongs, as well as a large percentage of all the hamburger that goes into sandwiches.'

As a result McClendon convinced White Castle to endorse his study, feeding a human subject only White Castle burgers, bun, onion, pickles and all, plus water for 13 straight weeks.
Bernard Flesche, a University of Minnesota medical student stepped forward as a willing participant.
'He started out very enthusiastic eating about 10 burgers at a sitting, but a couple of weeks into it, he was losing his enthusiasm,' wrote his daughter almost 75 years later. (that would never happen to us) 
His sister even tried to tempt him with fresh vegetables during his three month burger commitment, but he stuck to his burgers.

Flesche, who had spent 13-weeks eating burgers ended the burgerfest with no apparent effect on his health.

Well, all is well that ends well.
Speaking of ending, Flesche died from heart problems at the age of 54.
But that's just a small detail, and we can't let that ruin a good burger story.