See what a chicken nugget looks like under the microscope: Still enjoying that 'super glue' of cartilage, blood vessels and fat?
- Researchers in Mississippi examined chicken nuggets at two different fast-food chains and found that only about half of the nuggets were made of muscle meat
- The rest of the nuggets were made of other chicken parts like fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones and cartilage
- A representative for the National Chicken Council said it's no mystery what's in chicken nuggets since nutritional information is often available online or on the packaging
To the naked eye, a chicken nugget may seem like a relatively healthy and wholesome treat, but under the glare of a microscope the offal truth is revealed.
Dr Richard D. deShazo, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at University of Mississippi Medical Center, said that he was 'floored' and 'astounded' when he took a closer look at the make-up of the ubiquitous all-American meal.
When Dr deShazo and pathologist Steven Bigler sliced into a pair of randomly selected nuggets - bought from two different fast-foot chains - they discovered a jumble of blood vessels, fat, cartilage, but not a whole lot of actual chicken meat.
The nutritional breakdown was 56 per cent fat, 25 per cent carbs and 19 per cent protein, according to The Atlantic.
The nugget from the second restaurant was 40 per cent skeletal muscle, a mix of fat and connective and organ tissue, as well as bone debris.
Dr DeShazo compared nuggets served in some national franchises to ‘super glue’, comprised of bits of poultry leftovers mashed up with fatty ‘goo’ and fried in salty batter.
The scientist insisted that calling the product 'chicken nuggets' is misleading, because they are mostly fat tissue rather than actual poultry meat.
'What has happened is that some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it and still call it chicken,' Dr deShazo said.
'It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them.'
The National Chicken Council, a non-profit group that represents America's poultry producers, has dismissed Dr deShazo's finding, arguing that nuggets are 'an excellent source of protein' - especially for children who tend to be finicky eaters.
But according to Dr deShazo and healthy-eating advocate and renowned chef Jamie Oliver, that is part of the problem.
According to Oliver, America’s kids have been 'brainwashed' to such a degree that even if they know that nuggets are mostly made of goo and bone bits, they would still happily eat them.
The problem is especially acute in Dr deShazo's home state of Mississippi, which has the highest rate of childhood obesity in the country.
By 2030, Mississippi is projected to have the highest obesity rate at 66.7 per cent.
Ashley Peterson, a representative of the NCC, pointed out that nutritional information for most fast food chains is available online, and that anything for sale at the grocery store has a list of ingredients.
'Chicken nuggets tend to have an elevated fat content because they are breaded and fried. But it's no secret what is in a chicken nugget,' she said.
To counter claims similar to the ones laid out in D deSahzo's study, KFC and Chick-fil-A have been running ads touting their chicken nuggets as made entirely of breast meat.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2470623/A-look-chicken-nuggets-microscope-reveals-tissue-bone.html#ixzz2islPMIQn
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