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Ugly Facts About The Popular Chicken Nuggets That You Wish Didn’t Know, But Have To Know

Chicken nugget, as we all know, is a popular item in the American diet. However, according to studies, chicken nuggets contain meat which is not exactly good for our health; as the chickens are being processed with low standards with regards to food safety.

The other ugly fact of chicken nugget is that the meat in the chicken nugget is not “mostly breast meat” as claimed by all and sundry. Chicken nugget contains not only the meat, but also the muscle fibers, bones, nerves, tendons and basically the entire chicken is grounded into a pulp to be used for meat in chicken nuggets and other things. (Squeamish much?)

Ugly Facts About The Popular Chicken Nuggets

According to American Journal of Medicine, chicken nuggets mostly contain fat and its name is misleading. If you are wondering, why this sudden interest in chicken nuggets, then let us tell you that the chicken nuggets was chosen for dissection because of its huge consumption by the Americans; especially children.

The Origin of Chicken Nugget

The chicken nugget was invented by a Mr. Robert Baker, who was a food science professor, in the 1950s. The poor guy had no idea how popular and misleading his invention would be. After that, a lot of studies have been carried out regarding this fascinating shaped finger food.

A recent study has shown that processed meats, such as seen in chicken nuggets, contains 30 percent fat, which is very bad for your health; especially your heart health.

Diving Deep to Look For the Actual “Nugget” in the Chicken Nugget

If you ask anyone from National Chicken Council about the meat in the chicken nugget, the answer would be chicken and mostly chicken breasts. McDonald’s also tell us that chicken breast meat is used in the Chicken McNuggets. However, Researchers from the University of Mississippi state that all this is false advertising and the “meat” in the chicken nuggets consists of, along with the striated muscle, bone, fat, connective tissue, nerves and epithelium in equal or larger amounts than the chicken meat. This actually resembles meat slurry, a term used in the food industry, that is, emulsified chicken meat made for dog food, chicken nuggets and such.

In the recent past, the ban on Chinese chicken imports was lifted, which means that higher numbers of American chickens can be processed in China(4). A chicken would be killed in the States or Canada, then transported to China for processing and again shipped back to America to be served in different forms(4).

According to the critics, the main problem lays in the low food safety standards in china(5). According to the South China Morning Post, since china is a developing nation, it would not be using the international food safety standards and instead would go with the “national conditions.”

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has generated a report that links the contaminated chicken present in the dog treats being processed in China to deaths of more than 500 dogs along with the illnesses of around 2,500 animals(3, 6, 7). (Ewww, right?)

According to the new trade agreement, there will be no food and safety inspector present at the facilities during the processing in China. As the chicken is only processed in China, it doesn’t need label mentioning any point-of-origin, and the consumers will never know where and what their chicken went through. (I know. It’s sad).

However, now thanks to all the research and studies being undertaken, the American consumer will become wiser; and thanks to this “nugget” of information, will opt for better and healthier food choices in the future.


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 28, 2020

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