Burger retains original shape, image after 14 years

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It’s always nice to find something lost years ago in an unexpected place, but this was not the case for a St. George man who found a burger he had purchased years ago in a coat pocket.

Dave Whipple, a sophomore general education major from St. George, purchased the hamburger for 79 cents at a McDonald’s in Logan on July 7, 1999, for an experiment on enzymes and how they work.

“I bought it to show that the bun would grow mold and thought it would be a good example of how enzymes work,” he said.

The burger proved not to be the example anticipated because the bun was hard with no mold, and the patty was petrified two weeks later. The specimen refused to spoil. The theory is that if it’s dead to begin with, there’s nothing there to perish.

After the experiment, the hamburger was put back in the sack with the receipt in David Whipple’s jacket pocket. The family then moved to St. George in 2004.

Beverlee Whipple, David Whipple’s wife, found the burger after seven years and thought it was some kind of joke.

“I asked him what I should do with it, and we agreed to set it back on the shelf in the closet,” she said.

Over time it became such a hot topic with the family they didn’t want to get rid of it.

The burger made a brief appearance on eBay Inc. when David Whipple’s daughter discovered that odd things sell for high prices. At one point the highest bid was close to $2,000, but David Whipple and his family decided not to sell because its value may be greater in educating others about fast food.

The burger is now 14 years old and has gotten a lot of attention in the last 30 days after making an appearance on “The Doctors” on The CW, which aired in March.

Possession of a burger that is older than the average teenager is novel, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that people around the world consume a significant amount of this seemingly dead food every year.

David Whipple’s family sees the burger as an opportunity to eat better, which definitely includes less fast food.

“The only time we eat fast food is if we are on a long trek and there is nothing else in sight,” Beverlee Whipple said.

David Whipple himself admitted to indulging in foods that would have been better for his health.

“Having a non-perishable fast food item sheds a lot of light on what we put in our body,” he said. “Our bodies are living organisms, and we need live food to nourish them.”

David Whipple has no intention of getting rid of his 14-year-old hamburger. In fact, he has started a collection from several other burger places, such as Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box and Arctic Circle.

David Whipple recently took the family burger on a trip to Disneyland. He introduced the burger to Mickey and Pluto.

“The burger is a member of the family now,” he said.

No one can be sure the future of the burger; however, David Whipple is eager to share it with anyone who is interested.

“I haven’t made a dime off off this guy,” he said. “I will keep it in hopes that it will have a positive impact on folks seeking better eating habits.”