- 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
PUBLISHED: 08:24 EST, 5 October 2013 | UPDATED: 10:21 EST, 5 October 2013
Chicken nuggets are definitely made of chicken – just maybe not the parts you want to eat.
Researchers in Mississippi conducted an ‘autopsy’ of chicken nuggets from two fast food chains in Jackson and confirmed what we all suspected about the mystery-meat medallions: they aren’t too meaty.
The first chicken nugget tested was made up of about 50 per cent muscle tissue from the breast or thigh and the rest was made up of unpalatable parts: fat, blood vessels, and nerves.
What’s in a nugget? Researchers in Mississippi examined two fast-food chains’ chicken nuggets and found that half or less than half of the nuggets were made of meat. The rest was made of high-fat chicken parts
The second chicken nugget was even worse with out 40 per cent muscle, with the rest being made up of fat cartilage and bone.
The researchers decided not to name the fast food chains.
Dr Richard D deShazo, the study’s lead researcher, encourages his patients to eat white chicken meat and while chicken nuggets may look white on the inside, looks can be deceiving.
‘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 told Reuters. ‘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.’
While it’s OK to indulge in the junk food every so often, the problem for deShazo is that some people eat them multiple times a week.
Don’t make it a habit: Dr deShazo, the lead researcher of the study, said it’s OK to eat chicken nuggets every once in a while but he’s concerned for the people who eat them multiple times a week
Ashley Peterson, a representative of the National Chicken Council, a non-profit trade group which represents the U.S. chicken industry, argued that consumers weren’t being mislead.
She 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.