Some say we are what we eat. If that's true, many of those who eat fast food are full of — let's just say — waste. That's what a study in the U.S. Annals of Diagnostic Pathology finds. The scientific publication investigated hamburgers, or croquettes in Creole, from the country's eight main fast food chains.

The results were grim, as they proved that the 5 billion hamburgers digested by Americans barely contain any meat. The meat content varies from a minimum of just 2.1 percent to a maximum of 14.8 percent. The average among the eight chains was 12.1 percent. If the ever-popular American hamburger has no meat, what's it made of? Water is the main ingredient, accounting for almost half the weight. The rest is an entanglement of cartilage, bones, nerves, veins, fats and tissue. Intracellular parasites were even found in two of the chains' products. This in a country like the United States, where the public is so picky when it comes to questions of hygiene.

The study explains the accusations made by British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who said McDonald's washes its ingredients with toxic substances. This is clear now that we know the diverse contents of the hamburgers, whose ingredients require the use of antimicrobial agents. Oliver said that McDonald's used ammonia hydroxide, which is hazardous to one's health, to disinfect its "premium ingredients." In his words, “Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold at the cheapest form for dogs and after this process we can give it to humans.”

They say you should never visit a sausage factory as you'll quickly lose your appetite. Sausages are produced with many of the same elements as hamburgers. Any consumer knows that the price of meat, rightfully so, has increased. And so it's obvious that hamburgers and sausages would have a higher price if they truly contained meat. Quality varies in all industries and it is often evident through changes in product price.

The European Union stands out for the way it protects its citizens in dietary matters. They've defined what percentage of cacao a chocolate must contain to be called a chocolate. A soy paste with added flavors and colorings is not chocolate. The same goes for sausages and hamburgers. It is the job of the state to safeguard the health of its citizens and alert consumers as to what they are receiving for their money. For this to happen, it's necessary that a product's ingredients are described clearly and explicitly, and not in some incomprehensible science formula. In any case, the ingredients in mayonnaise aren't changing anytime soon.

A complete lunch calls for a drink, and the most-consumed is Coca-Cola. The company has tried to cover the wounds before they show. They've started a campaign to promote exercise in light of the many accusations that their product is harmful to your health. The American Heart Association states that women should not consume more than six teaspoons of sugar per day and men shouldn't exceed 10. It turns out that one can of Coca-Cola contains 10 teaspoons. The company gets around public health regulations in the U.S. by giving out jump ropes and exercise instructions. This in a country where hamburgers and soda have been key in unleashing an obesity epidemic. Oh, what a developed nation!