Chicken nuggets are only 50% meat
The rest is fat, gristle, organs and filler. And probably sawdust.
Chicken nuggets remain a source of mystery for many fast food customers (who often don’t hesitate to chow down after briefly pondering why that one piece looks like a boot), as they generally don’t come from unprocessed cuts of white or dark meat. And so researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center performed an “autopsy” on some nuggets to see what they came up with.
For their paper, published in the American Journal of Medicine, the doctors bought some nuggets from area fast food chains (they do not identify which ones, though they did describe chains as “national”), dissected and stained the materials contained therein to see if they could tell muscle from fat, blood vessels, internal organs, skin, cartilage, bones, and nerves.
One chain’s nugget contained about 50% muscle tissue, the other had even less meat, at only 40% muscle.
“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,” one of the researchers tells 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.”