I follow Pollan on Twitter, and he recently posted the following photo essay, from New York photographer Sally Davies:
When you think about it, that kind of preservation is a really remarkable scientific feat ... But it's completely and utterly creepy, as you flip through the photos, watching the days and weeks go by as the burger remains unchanged.
Remember back in the 90s, when there was that urban legend about Twinkies being one molecule different from pantyhose? I don't think that is actually true (and Snopes seems to agree), but this photo project suggests something similar about the Happy Meal. We put so much non-food in our food, it may as well actually be the plastic versions that kids play with in their EZBake Ovens. It certainly seems to last as long.