If you’ve ever fried french fries then you know that you don’t need many ingredients: potatoes, spices, and oil is all you need. But have you ever stopped and wondered why your homemade french fries are so different from the ones at fast food restaurants like McDonalds? Actually, not all french fries are made the same way. McDonalds actually uses 14 ingredients in their famous french fry recipe.

But are McDonald’s french fries really potatoes?

The person who discovered the answer to this question was Grant Imahara from the television show Mythbusters. When they visited the factory in Idaho where McDonalds makes their french fries, he used reverse engineering to find out what they were really made of.

In this long list of ingredients, three of them stand out.

Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
TBHQ
Dimethylpolysiloxane

Since the first publication of this troubling data on the ingredients contained in its french fries, McDonalds has manifested itself by creating an interactive platform on its website with a FAQ clarifying doubts about its manufacturing process. This is good news as it shows they are willing to be more transparent about what they put in their food. On the other hand, nothing has yet been changed in its original recipe for French fries.

The lesson we can learn from this is that we always need to pay attention to what we eat, and remember that not all food is prepared the same way. Being aware of the benefits and risks certain foods can bring us, puts us in a better position to decide what is best for our health.