On October 11, 2007, a Florida science teacher named Graig Smith decided to keep a fast-food cheeseburger on display.
He wanted to see how it would naturally break down. He began the project while still in college, for a final presentation.
“My strength and conditioning coach in college was actually the one who recommended it to me — in order to have a visual aid,” he told LittleThings.
Instead of tossing the burger after graduating college, Graig decided to hang onto it. He was intrigued to see how it would transform over the years. He has since moved the cheeseburger to his classroom. And it has become the center of attention.
“It mostly started as a joke, because I knew that — unlike fish — it was something that wouldn’t die,” he told LittleThings. “Most of the students didn’t believe me — that it was from 2007.”
Now, 10 years later, the teacher still has his cheeseburger on display. He celebrated its “birthday” by posting photos of the cheeseburger to his Facebook account.
Surprisingly, the fast-food item is still intact and has zero mold growing on it.
Keep scrolling to see the photos, and please SHARE with family and friends!
Graig Smith is a biology and principals of biomedical science teacher in Florida. He has students in both the ninth and tenth grade.
For 10 years now, Graig has held onto a cheeseburger that he bought at a fast-food restaurant to see what it would look like.
“The original project actually started when I was in college at Florida Gulf Coast University,” he told LittleThings. “We had to do a final presentation on something related to our field of study and, being a health major, I decided to do mine on the dangers of fast food.”
Once he started teaching, he brought the burger to his classroom. “I was having a difficult time keeping fish alive in class, so I decided to bring in my cheeseburger and put it in a fish tank,” he told LittleThings.
Most cheeseburgers look like this when you first buy them. But one looks quite different after a decade!
Graig posted photos of the burger on the 10-year anniversary of buying it: October 11, 2017.
He uploaded photos of the burger to his Facebook page to show friends and family what a 10-year-old cheeseburger looks like.
Well my oldest cheeseburger was purchased on 10/11/07 and just turned 10 today. Has the same smell and oily feeling as if it was brand new, just a little dehydrated.
“When I started this project, it was before all of the food ingredients… were brought to light,” he told LittleThings. “It was a few years after Super Size Me came out, so everyone was just starting to question what kinds of things were actually in their food.”
The teacher didn’t seal the cheeseburger in the fish tank. Instead, he let it get air naturally. As you can see, everything is basically still intact!
“I wanted to see how it would naturally break down, so it is in a wide-open fish tank,” Graig told LittleThings. “I tried to simulate what would happen if I just left it sitting out on a counter in someone’s home.”
Since Graig teaches science, all of his students are amazed by the burger.
“It has become something of an attraction,” he told LittleThings. “Many students come back to visit the cheeseburgers because their older brothers and sisters have told them about it.”
Surprisingly, there is no mold on the 10-year-old cheeseburger.
“The meat, cheese, and bread have zero mold,” he explained to LittleThings. “They’re pretty much just dehydrated (like beef jerky), but there’s so much salt, preservatives, and ‘others’ in it that it has essentially mummified itself.”
The only item that hasn’t survived is the pickle. Other than that, the meat, cheese, and bun aren’t in terrible shape after a decade.
“It almost feels like that toy play-food, but much more greasy. You can still run your finger across the burger, and a shine will come off from the oil,” he told LittleThings. “Minus the pickle area breaking down, the bread looks pretty much the same. Everything is pretty dried out though — like it was dehydrated. I plan on keeping it as long as I can.”
After this experiment, Graig said that his students have thought differently about what they put into their bodies.
“Many students tell me they have started looking for healthier options rather than just running through the drive-thru like they always have,” he told LittleThings. “Even if I can help a couple of students start making healthier choices, it was all worth it.”
Here, you can see the burger in the fish tank with a date label.
Graig has also started collecting other items that his students have brought in.
“My first year teaching, we bought a new burger to go along with the cheeseburger from 2007,” he told LittleThings. “From there, students kept bringing in other kinds of fast food, and it just sort of grew.”
Along with the burgers, the teacher has fries, hash browns and chicken nuggets on display from different years.
“The question I get most often is what would happen if someone was to eat it, but many of them are freaked out about it,” he told LittleThings.
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