Chicken nuggets… (what ARE they anyhow?)

chix nugThe idea of chicken nuggets turns my stomach. I know they have (somehow) become a staple of American kids’ diets, but for my entire life, I have found them disgusting.

Recently there has been a bunch of hub-bub about what’s really in those chicken nuggets… and patties too (and I really wonder if they are worth of having “chicken” in the name at all!).

My kids, like me, consider them fairly gross.  Have you SEEN this photo? Yes, that pink stuff right there (that looks like strawberry soft-serve ice cream) IS the stuff those nuggets are made of.chix nuggs

Want to know what’s in them? It’s called “mechanically separated chicken”.  A machine actually removes all of the disgusting leftovers after the quality parts are removed… it removes the tendons, tissue, cartilage, organs, and other chicken extras, and grinds them into a fine poultry paste. An ammonia wash is used to kill the bacteria and, because it looks (and now tastes!) horrible, artificial colors and flavors need to be added to make them edible.  In reality, with all of the other additives, only about 50% is even some chicken “part”… and that doesn’t even get into the nutritional side of the story. The sodium and fat content is appalling.

I tried to show this to my kids and my daughter said, emphatically, “No… Mom! I can’t watch!” If you want your kids to break-the-habit, try to get them to take a look. (I actually have two videos… this one shows the kids rejecting the nuggets, but I will warn you… the embedded video below shows kids STILL willing to eat the grossness they saw… a testament to how we’ve allowed this “food item” to become acceptable!)

Just like any other food item, not all chicken nuggets and patties are created equal.  There are some semi-decent products out there but, buyer beware. If it says “mechanically separated chicken” on the package, throw the box and RUN! … because that icky pink stuff is what you’re buying.

Instead, pack up some healthy food (in reusable containers!) when you’re on the go… or serve up a rainbow of healthy foods in a muffin pan when you’re at home.  Just reconsider chicken nuggets.

Truly, there are so many better, healthier, nutritious options… chicken nuggets are not really chicken nuggets.

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5 thoughts on “Chicken nuggets… (what ARE they anyhow?)

  1. Thankfully I am on my ipad right now and can’t see the movie myself, or I would probably gag. I thought I was doing a semi-good job limiting my kid’s chicken nugget intake and going with the Purdue Whole Wheat Breaded Baked Nuggets made with all white meat, but now I’m not so sure. When I get home, I’m definitely going to check out the package!

  2. Missy – oh, you WILL gag! I’m not sure if I should recommend that you watch the video before or after you check the package!!! 🙂

  3. Jenn – thanks for the reference but actually it doesn’t bebunk ANY portion or the video. It clarifies some of the more outrageous facts that have been stated elsewhere, but nothing that I mentioned in my post above or nothing in the video is overstated either. Jamie Oliver does state that his demonstration isn’t exactly how it’s “done” since, in reality, the process is done by machines and he is doing it all manually… but the content of chicken nuggets is exactly as he states. Unfortunately, doesn’t make me feel better at all. 🙁

  4. Pingback: » Mom Goes Green is THREE YEARS OLD!!! - Mom Goes Green

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