If the bulk of fast food chicken nuggets is not actually chicken meat, what’s in them?
Images thanks to Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. Thanks to Ellen Reid for her image-finding expertise and Jeff Thomas for his Keynote help.
In a scathing expose of the USDA’s new meat inspection program, the Washington Post quoted a representative from the inspector’s union, who said pig processing lines may be moving too quickly to catch tainted meat. “Tremendous amounts of fecal matter remain on the carcasses,” he said. “Not small bits, but chunks.”
What about the other white meat? The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine created this infographic to highlight what they consider to be the five worst contaminants in chicken products. In their investigation of retail chicken products in 10 U.S. cities they found fecal contamination in about half the chicken they bought at the store. But with all the focus on what’s in chicken products, we may have lost sight on what may be missing, like actual chicken.
Researchers recently published an “autopsy” of chicken nuggets in the American Journal of Medicine. The purpose was to determine the contents of chicken nuggets from two national food chains. Because chicken nuggets are a favorite of children, and the obesity epidemic now extends to them as well, they thought knowing a bit more about the content of the contemporary chicken nugget could be important. The nugget from the first restaurant was composed of approximately 50% skeletal muscle, with the remainder composed primarily of fat, with some blood vessels and nerve present, along with generous quantities of skin or gut lining and associated supportive tissue. The nugget from the second restaurant was composed of approximately 40% skeletal muscle with lots of other tissues including bone.
“I was floored,” said the lead investigator, ”I had read what other reports have said is in them and I didn’t believe it. I was astonished actually seeing it under the microscope.”
They conclude that actual chicken meat was not the predominant component of either nugget—it was mostly other tissues, concluding the term chicken nugget is really a misnomer.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ariel Levitsky.
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More on fecal contamination from chicken in Fecal Bacteria Survey, fish in Fecal Contamination of Sushi, and pigs in Yersinia in Pork. How can that be legal? See Salmonella in Chicken & Turkey: Deadly But Not Illegal.
More on the preservatives in chicken in Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola and antibiotic contamination in Drug Residues in Meat. Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens also build up in poultry in particular, something the Physicians Committee also tested for previously: Fast Food Tested for Carcinogens.
If we’re going to eat something chickenish that isn’t chicken meat, why not truly boneless chicken: Chicken vs. Veggie Chicken.
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