McNuggets? Macabre.

You thought meat glue was gross? Miriam ventures further into the dark world of food industry.

An article in the Huffington Post by Dr. Joseph Mercola caught my attention recently. It was about McNuggets, the chicken-based fried food that caused a drunken woman to riot when denied her nugget fix last year. Those amused by irrational behavior can watch the surveillance video. It seems that those little fried chunks are addictive. Yet the ingredients listed on their packaging makes me want to head right out to the local farmer’s market, right now.

So what’s really in McNuggets? Although the McDonalds chain has thankfully taken mechanically separated chicken (a paste created out of bones and the scraps clinging to them) out of its kitchens since April of 2010 , the nuggets purportedly contain dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone and tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a highly toxic  chemical preservative.

But those chemicals are strong enough to make up only a small percentage of the ingredients. According to Dr. Mercola,

“Only 50 percent of a McNugget is actually chicken. The other half includes corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.”

And consider this: the label on your chicken nuggets may say “white meat,” but it may be dark meat denatured by being washed and spun through a centrifuge to resemble white. The process (read more about making it white meat it here) is the creation of Dr. Daniel Fletcher, professor at the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture and National Resources. He says that the fake white meat isn’t meant to rival the real thing, but that “… it’s a filler that can be used to add protein and amino acids to something else, such as chicken nuggets.”

I ponder the larger implications. Why should chicken need a filler to make it nutritious and worth eating? Surely chicken is tasty and filling all on its own – if it’s real chicken. This article from the  Poultry Science Association, read carefully, betrays the food industry’s interest in using additives”…such as starches (regular, modified), carrageenans, and enzymes” to compensate for inferior-looking chicken meat.

Starches – like genetically modified corn?

Carrageenans – a thickener known to be carcinogenic?

And what are those enzymes – transglutaminase, perhaps – otherwise known as meat glue?

It’s enough to make me go home to Mama. At her table, chicken is the real thing.

More on synthetically modified foods from Green Prophet:

:: Huffington Post

Photo by  Fritz Saalfeld via Wikimedia Commons.

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2 thoughts on “McNuggets? Macabre.”

  1. Manu Costa says:

    They are been washing and spun scraps of chicken (yack!) and dish it out for happy customers !

  2. Total fan of Dr. Mercola. Won’t touch a nugget again in my life. Thanks for more thorough reporting. Blech!

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