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Posts tagged ‘“pink slime”’

Even if it is Chicken…

Most of the time, I get inspired to write based on what I read, and this is no exception. I saw this article about “What is in a chicken nugget?” and it raised some good points. Some researchers picked two random food chains and sampled their nuggets. Spoiler alert, there’s no smoking gun here. They found processed chicken, i.e. not cubes of white meat, but ground up bits of stuff, including bone, gut and skin. We all know about the “pink slime” by now, the process by which they take all the usable bits of meat, including mechanically separating the meat and adding some nasty disinfectants so we don’t get sick from eating it. This mixture is formed and cooked to make nuggets, but it is no worse or different than modern hot dog or sausage preparation. No, I don’t eat any of those things for the most part. I eat our own venison sausage, but that’s about it.

The article was very good in the points it raised, and it’s even handedness. They mentioned small sample sizes aren’t representative of the whole. That’s why anecdotal evidence is so bad- just because one person had an experience, doesn’t mean you can extrapolate it to everyone. Just because Nick Walenda can walk across Niagara falls doesn’t mean we all can. This is important when we talk about science.

They mentioned that even if some food places are using real white meat chicken, it is still breaded and fried. This is important because you don’t need a hideous chemical cocktail to have something be bad for you. Breading and frying leads to those round tummies we all despise. Just because something isn’t awful for you doesn’t mean it is good for you. Weight control is important on many levels.

The last point they made that piqued my interest is how enticing the nuggets are. One of the huge problems with our modern diet is that some of the worst foods for you are so very, very attractive. Large companies are employing researchers to design foods to make them as desirable as possible. From an enjoyment perspective it’s hard to see why that’s a bad thing, until you are trying to watch your weight and finding resisting them so very, very hard. Even if they improve the quality of the nuggets, they are still going to be a high calorie item that entices you to over eat. People love to say “everything in moderation”, but what is moderation? Once a week? A month? And if you moderate the nuggets to once a month, what does the rest of your month look like? Are you having this or that “only once in awhile”, but there is another this or that every day?

Anyway, this was a good article, fun to poke at the food industry and take a look at what makes good science at the same time.

I Give Up, if This Doesn’t Make you Move to Cooking/Growing your own, Nothing Will.

Jamie Oliver superimposed on a McDonalds sign.

Thank you Jamie.

I stumbled on this in another blog, then had to go look for it myself. This yahoo article has a link to the original news post, but also has some other common chemicals found in food. That pink paste picture we’ve all been seeing of the chicken nugget production is really the “pink slime” they’ve created of “mechanically separated meat” treated with ammonium hydroxide. The article states that it is part of the production of mechanically separated meat. Can you say “hot dogs”? Do you still think that our government is taking care of the safety of our food and that anything you buy off the shelf or in a supermarket is safe? Can you imagine the board meeting where they decided this was a good idea? “Hey guys, we can use the scraps off the floor if we soak them in disinfectant first. This will up our profit margin two points. The FDA approved it after we reminded them what would happen to the American economy if we don’t grow.”  What kind of corporate culture creates a aura where this is considerate a good way to treat customers?

Here is a list of what is in a Big Mac, from McDonalds website: Big Mac®:
100% Beef Patty, Big Mac Bun, Pasteurized Process American Cheese, Big Mac Sauce, Lettuce, Pickle Slices, Onions. Sounds ok, right? What is the bun made of? Processed cheese has a number of chemicals, what are they?

Here is the same list I got from “Vegan World News

Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate riboflavin, folic acid, enzymes), water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar Lettuce, Pickle Slices, Onions, minced beef and fat, Vegetarian Cheddar (51%), Water, Butter, Vegetarian Cheese (9%), Whey Powder, Milk Proteins, Emulsifying Salts (Trisodium Citrate, Citric Acid), Natural Cheese Flavouring, Salt, Preservative (Sorbic Acid), Colour (Natural Carotenes, Paprika Extract), Anti-caking Agent (Soya Lecithin)., soybean oil and/or partially hydrog- enated soybean oil, Salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, sodium stearoyl lactylate , datem, ascorbic acid, Azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides , monocalcium phosphate enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide, soy flour, calcium propionate (preservative), sodium propionate , soy lecithin, sesame seed., oil, diced pickles, high fructose corn syrup , sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, calcium chloride, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, spice extractives, polysorbate 80, distilled vinegar, water, egg yolks, high fructose corn syrup, onion powder, mustard seed, salt, spices, propylene glycol alginate, sodium benzoate (preservative), mustard bran, sugar,garlic powder, Mono Sodium glutamate, caramel colour, extractives of paprika, soy lecithin, turmeric, calcium disodium EDTA

I can’t verify that their list is accurate, but it does demonstrate the difference of “full disclosure”. If you doubt the real list of ingredients is that long, just check out your average loaf of bread. Try Hawaiian Punch.

Repeat after me: “Eat real food.” Please! If it takes too long, see some of my articles on making it easier, but also, if it that hard to make your own food, how much time are you watching tv/on the computer/playing video games. Turn them off and get in the kitchen. Sounds counter intuitive, doesn’t it?

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