What 12 Fast Food Advertisements Look Like Compared to the Real Thing

iStock.com/skhoward
iStock.com/skhoward

That perfectly seared, sizzling burger you just saw in a fast food commercial probably isn’t the same one you’ll end up eating. There's a good chance the bun will be squished, with the condiments spilling out and the meat looking significantly less beefy than it appeared on TV. By now, it’s common knowledge that food photographers use fake “ingredients” (like glue and motor oil) to achieve the perfect shot, but that doesn’t stop us from falling prey to food advertisements every now and then.

According to surveys conducted by custom signage company Signs.com, the worst offenders of unrealistic advertisements are Chik-fil-A, Burger King, and McDonald’s. Respondents said an advertisement of Chik-fil-A’s original chicken sandwich looked 108 percent more appetizing than the real deal, and they’d be willing to pay $2.76 more for the advertised version.

A Chik-fil-A sandwich
Signs.com

Signs.com polled more than 500 people and asked them to compare food advertisement photos with images of the real deal, which were purchased and photographed by their team members. The actual food photos were designed to resemble the advertised ones as closely as possible, but the site acknowledged that the images of real food items may vary from location to location.

Survey participants preferred photos of the actual food over the advertised one in only two cases—when real pictures of Papa John’s and Domino’s pizzas were shown. All the other foods were considered to look less desirable in real life than they did in the advertisements.

Keep scrolling to see more food comparisons, and check out Signs.com for a detailed breakdown of the survey results.

A Whopper from Burger King
Signs.com

A Quiznos sub
Signs.com

A Carl's Junior burger
Signs.com

A bucket of KFC chicken
Signs.com

A McDonald's Big Mac
Signs.com

A Taco Bell taco
Signs.com

A Wendy's burger
Signs.com

Arby's gyros
Signs.com

A Five Guys burger
Signs.com

A Jimmy John's Italian sub
Signs.com

A Moe's burrito
Signs.com

UK Burger King Restaurants Will Stop Giving Plastic Toys With Kids' Meals

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Fast food companies don't have a reputation for being eco-friendly, but through small changes made in recent years, some of the biggest names in the industry are working to reduce their environmental impact. Just a few weeks after introducing the meat-free Impossible Whopper, Burger King announced a new policy for its United Kingdom locations. As CNN reports, UK restaurants will no long include plastic toys with kids' meals.

The change comes after two sisters from the UK started a petition on Change.org calling on McDonald's and Burger King to stop distributing plastic toys with kids' meals. Ella and and Caitlin McEwan, who were 9 and 7 respectively when the petition launched this summer, wrote, “children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea." They went on to say: "It’s not enough to make recyclable plastic toys—big, rich companies shouldn’t be making toys out of plastic at all." Their online petition has received more than 530,000 signatures.

By cutting plastic from kids' meals, Burger King estimates it will avoid wasting 350 tons of single-use plastic a year. The chain has also installed containers in its UK stores for collecting old plastic toys from customers, so the material can be recycled to make playgrounds. The UK represents just a fraction of Burger King's market, but according to the company, non-biodegradable plastic toys will be phased out of all locations by 2025.

McDonald's has had a different response to the McEwan sister's petition. Instead of doing away with plastic toys completely, UK restaurants will give customers the option to swap toys for fruit with their Happy Meals later this year, and then allow them to opt for books instead for a period in early 2020. Meanwhile, in Canada and Germany, some McDonald's restaurants are experimenting with going totally plastic-free. The more sustainable restaurants feature paper straws, waffle cone condiment cups, and burger wrappers made from grass.

[h/t CNN]

How to Make 3 Delicious Fall Cocktails

Mental Floss Video
Mental Floss Video

As the leaves start to change color, it’s time to put away the White Claw and the rosé …OK, sure, you can drink whatever you like whenever you like. But if you live in a temperate climate, part of the fun of changing seasons is falling in love with new beverages and meals that complement the weather. That’s why we asked Eamon Rockey, the Director of Beverage Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, to craft three cocktails that are perfect for fall. 

Pumpkin Spice Flip Recipe

Ingredients:

Blended Scotch
Maple Syrup
Pumpkin Puree
One Whole Egg
Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Add 2 ounces of blended scotch to a cocktail shaker
  2. Add 3/4 of an ounce of good maple syrup
  3. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin puree
  4. Crack 1 egg and add to mixture
  5. Add one piece of ice and shake vigorously, to emulsify the ingredients
  6. Add ice to the top of your shaker and shake again, to chill and dilute the drink
  7. Double-strain into a cocktail glass. You want all of the volume and richness of the egg, without any solid matter or shards of ice. 
  8. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and serve

Four Apples a Day Recipe

Ingredients:

Calvados
Rockey’s Milk Punch
Hard Apple Cider
One Granny Smith Apple

Instructions:

  1. Add 1.5 ounces of calvados to a mixing glass
  2. Add 2 ounces of Rockey’s Milk Punch
  3. Stir with ice to chill
  4. Strain into a wine glass
  5. Top with 3 ounces of hard apple cider
  6. Garnish with fresh apple in any style you like

Old Fashioned Recipe

Ingredients:

Bourbon
Angostura Bitters
Simple Syrup

Instructions:

  1. Add 2.5 ounces of bourbon to a mixing glass
  2. Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  3. Add 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup (50% sugar, 50% water)
  4. Add ice and stir, to chill and dilute the drink
  5. Strain into a rocks glass containing a large cube of ice
  6. Finish with a freshly cut twist of orange peel

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