Why Aren’t Chicken Nuggets Pink?

So this morning I noticed that this attractive picture has been zinging around social networks largely thanks to the blog Early Onset of Night.

Since this stuff is teeming with bacteria it is soaked in ammonia before it is breaded then frozen then deep fried. But wait! A delicious McNugget is not pink and it does not taste like ammonia! That’s because it is artificially flavored and dyed white. Why? Because who would believe that REAL chicken is pink and tastes like ammonia right?

This process has many other highly technical terms such as: Mechanically recovered/reclaimed meat, Advanced meat recovery, etc. I’m not sure about you but I think that we could have let the part of the chicken or turkey that turns pink and is loaded with bacteria when you mash it up go unclaimed.

The US Food Safety Inspection Service requires that this goop be labeled as “Mechanically Separated Meat” and not simply as “Meat”. (phew) At least you’d be able to know if this is what your food is made of right? There is a good reason for requiring this labeling. You may remember about 10-15 years a worldwide scare surrounding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy AKA Mad Cow Disease. This was a problem where brain and spinal cord matter from slaughtered cows was entering the food supply and causing serious illness in cattle and people. Advanced Mechanical 21st Century High-Tech Laser Powered Time Travel Meat Recovery/Reconstitution/Regurgitation techniques were largely to blame for these problems. If you accidentally chucked a spine into the machine then the spinal cord matter became one with the pink goo and impossible to keep out of these processed meat-like products.

I guess the bottom line of this all is simple:


Photo of a 20-piece box of McDonald's Chicken ...
Image via Wikipedia

Ninety-Seven | You Had Me At Mechanically Sepa...
Image by Ben de Jesus via Flickr
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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Turner

    Dear Body of Health Attn your owner.
    Did you know that Mcdonalds now offers a 50 piece nugget meal. This article made me hungry for it.

  2. Jason Young, DC

    Wow… 50 pieces?!? All together that may amount to a single chicken drumstick worth of real chicken meat! (and a 64 oz cup of ammonia and dye)

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