Anatomy of a Chicken Nugget

Lisa Lacy
21

Which came first: The chicken nugget or the pink goo?

We may never solve the age-old chicken/egg question, but this one is easy: It's the pink goo.

It looks like some sort of innocent strawberry frozen yogurt, doesn't it? But it's not. That horrible pink image above, my friends, is what happens when an entire chicken is smushed through a sieve, according to the folks at Inquisitr.

Why would someone do that? It's because he or she is making chicken nuggets.

Read on -- if you dare! -- to learn about what ELSE goes in to those cute little nuggets.

Nugget-making doesn't stop there! Because there's so much bacteria in this smushed chicken mess -- also known as "mechanically separated chicken" -- the pink goo has to be soaked in ammonia. But who would want to eat pink, ammonia-soaked chicken goo? Nugget-makers accurately assume no one, so they add artificial flavoring and coloring.

So, how do you tell if your nuggets contain this disgusting pink stuff? Simply check the ingredient list: The USDA now requires foods with mechanically separated poultry to be labeled as containing "mechanically separated chicken or turkey."

McDonald's McNuggets no longer contain mechanically separated poultry; however, their ingredient list is still nothing to brag about: Water, modified food starch, salt, seasoning, safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary and sodium phosphates. (Surely I can't be the only one slightly taken aback that McNuggets are flavored with rosemary?)

And they are battered and breaded with: Water, flours, modified food starch, OTHER starches, salt, leavening, spices, and whey. And they are prepared in vegetable oil. And dimethylpolysiloxane is added as an antifoaming agent. Whatever that means.

In case you think I'm being mean to McDonald's, consider this -- Perdue Dinosaur Shapes Chicken Breast Nuggets contain: boneless chicken breast with rib meat, water, potassium lactate, sodium lactate, salt, sodium phosphates, sodium diacetate, and flavoring.

They are breaded with: flours, yellow corn meal, dextrose, dried whey, salt, sugar, potassium sorbate, spice, soybean oil, calcium propionate, guar gum, flavoring, extractives of paprika, and spice extractive.

Hard to tell if that's any better, isn't it?

But it's also hard to forget the pink goo, no matter how much you like chicken nuggets.

*Editor's note: This story has been modified from the original version to make it clear that nuggets made by McDonald's and Perdue do not contain mechanically separated poultry.

Is this an appetite killer or what?


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