Chicken nuggets contain bone, organ parts, study finds
Let’s talk frankly — chicken nuggets have become a standard component of the American diet. After all, white chicken meat has long been touted as a great source of lean protein. But what really goes into your favorite breaded and fried chicken pieces?
In a new study published in The American Journal of Medicine, researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson sought to determine the exact contents of the highly processed food.
Lead author Dr. Richard D. deShazo and his team bought a box of chicken nuggets from two national food chains (the names of which, they won’t disclose) and chose one chicken nugget from each box to be preserved, dissected and stained, then examined under a microscope.
Here’s what they found, according to Reuters.com:
The first nugget was about half muscle (the breast or thigh meat that comes to mind when a customer thinks of chicken), with the rest a mix of fat, blood vessels and nerves. Close inspection revealed cells that line the skin and internal organs of the bird. The second nugget was only 40 percent muscle, and the remainder was fat, cartilage and pieces of bone.
Let’s recap, shall we? Skin, blood vessels, nerves, cartilage and bone were found in their sampling of the fast food staple and could very well be found in your box of nuggets, too.
“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," deShazo told Kathryn Doyle of Reuters Health. "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 study sampling is, of course, too small to serve as a generalization of the chicken or fast food industries. DeShazo stated the study was instead meant to remind consumers that "not everything that tastes good is good for you.”
Read the full story on Reuters.com.