Mississippi researchers have conducted tests and found out that less than half of what makes up a chicken nugget is actually the meat of a chicken. The researchers examined two types of chicken nuggets and they contain fifty percent or less chicken muscle tissue.
Researchers conducted their study using nuggets that came from two fast food chains in Jackson, Mississippi. They kept the names of the restaurants anonymous. To conduct the study, a nugget was taken from each box and preserved. The preserved nuggets were then dissected and stained and placed under a microscope for close observation.
After observing the two samples carefully, researchers recorded the findings in the American Journal of Medicine. According to the journal, the first nugget was approximately half chicken muscle (includes chicken breasts and thighs), while the rest is a mix of fat, blood vessels, and nerves. The cells that line the skin and internal organs of the chicken were present in the sample as well.
The second chicken nugget was only forty percent chicken muscle. The rest of it was comprised of fat, cartilage, and pieces of bone.
Dr. Richard D. deShazo, lead author of the American Journal of Medicine of the University of Medicine in Jackson, said the nuggets he examined would be okay to eat occasionally, but not too often.
“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; 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,” deShazo said.
deShazo added that this experiment wasn’t done to expose fast food restaurants, but instead remind consumers that not everything that tastes good is good for you.
I’ve always thought it was obvious that chicken nuggets from various fast food chains are not all natural chicken meat. There are also fast food chains that make chicken nuggets using all white meat chicken such as Chick-fil-A. Their chicken nuggets taste much different than those from Burger King and McDonald’s.