Burger King Wants You to See How Moldy This Whopper Can Get Thanks to the March of Time

2 minute read

After years of selling hungry customers Whoppers filled with artificial preservatives, Burger King is changing direction. They are now making the decision to roll out a burger that is free from artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors—and the fast food chain has the moldy burger to prove it.

Through the wonders of time-lapse photography, Burger King’s new ad campaign shows the chain’s new preservative free Whopper in all its moldering glory. The ad starts with the traditional Whopper topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and its special sauce with a chyron declaring that it’s Day One. The camera keeps rolling and through the inexorable march of time, the burger sits, the lettuce wilts, the tomato droops, and mold grows on the burger. The white fluff both proves that Burger King has opted to remove preservatives from its beef, while also serving as a dire warning to potential customers not to leave a burger unattended for too long lest it sprout a new topping.

Come Day 34, the burger, its bun and toppings are all coated in a natural, if wildly unappetizing, green fuzz. The chain touts this moldy development as a sign that their burger is “real food” that is beautiful because “it gets ugly,” according to the YouTube caption, whether customers will bite is still to be seen. It does make a good counterpoint to those possibly apocryphal tales of fast food burgers that survive for weeks unscathed by the passage of time, making it through the apocalypse for the cockroaches to feast on. Whether customers will bite is still to be seen, though. In a tweet, Burger King says the Whopper free of preservatives, colors, or flavors from artificial sources will be available at all restaurants by the end of 2020.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com