Do you believe in chicken nugget magic?

Posted: October 4, 2010 in How It's Made, Kid's Meals, School Lunches

So you love to feed y0ur kids those cheapo chicken nuggets that are in the frozen section of your grocer’s freezer?

I bet you see chicken patties on the ‘healthy’ school lunch menu’s too.

Oh, what about hot dogs and bologna?

Sandwiches with salami?

Well, here’s how those tasty treats are made.

Read on…

Meet “mechanically separated chicken” of the “mechanically reclaimed meat” family. Basically the part of the animal that is left over after pulling off all of the quality meat is sprayed off with a powerful hose and sent to a machine that “makes sure” that there aren’t any bones included in the product. Then it’s turned into a paste, sprayed with an anti-bacterial mixture, injected with artificial flavors, and turned into lovely nuggets, patties, lunch meat, and more!

According to this comment from a Gizmodo commenter:

“After the chicken is deboned and you have removed the breasts, drums, wings and so on you are left with the chicken carcass, which is just a bunch of bone with tiny pieces of meat attached. That is thrown into a special machine that grinds it up and separates the meat from the bone fragments.”

If you were interested in seeing this “special machine” looks like, feel free to watch the following video which has an oddly touching musical overlay.

Keep in mind that mechanically reclaimed meat is what they think led to the mad cow disease outbreak, and the reason that beef can no longer be used as MRM.

Let me also point out that while McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc. all use “all white meat chicken” now, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still get ground up into this paste in order to make their chicken nuggets, it’s just made from breast meat rather than a mixture or meats.

Enjoy your lunch!

(Gizmodo, originally from Early Onset of the Night with information from Wikipedia and the skeptic blog post from Greg In the Desert)

  1. Keith Harris says:


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