A Canadian mom has taken an unusual step to deter her children from eating fast food.
Melanie Hesketh, a nutritionist and mother of two teenagers, bought a cheeseburger from McDonald's, unwrapped it, and set it on the kitchen counter.
A year later, the cheeseburger is still there, pretty much the same as when it came off the grill, Canada's Postmedia News reported. The meat patty has shrunk slightly, but otherwise it doesn't look much different, Hesketh said.
According to Postmedia News:
Mold, maggots, fungi, bacteria — all have avoided the tempting meal that sits in plain view.
Hesketh isn't the first to try this trick.
Sally Davies, an artist and photographer from New York, took photos of a McDonald's Happy Meal sitting on her coffee table every day for six months. Davies said the meal showed no signs of decomposition or mold growth.
More from GlobalPost: McDonald's egg supplier accused of animal abuse
But Hesketh has a very different motivation — as a professional nutritionist in Windsor, Ontario, she wanted teach her children, ages 13 and 15, about making healthy food choices.
The "zombie cheeseburger" trick has "worked marvelously," Postmedia News reported.
Despite peer pressure to hang out at the cheap and fast burger chain outlets popular with young people, Ms. Hesketh said her oldest son has been back “maybe twice” to McDonald’s over the past year.
McDonald's didn't respond to this story, but says on the McDonald's Canada website, "Despite the myths out there, our meat is very real!"
"Our beef patties are made with only 100% pure Canadian beef and sprinkled with salt and pepper at the restaurant during cooking. That’s it. No additives, fillers or binding agents," the website said.
More from GlobalPost: Woman dies after inhaling toxic fumes at McDonald's