On mechanically separated chicken

posted by Jason Kottke Oct 05, 2010

And as long as we're on the subject of factory food, this post has been making the rounds lately.

Chicken paste

Say hello to mechanically separated chicken. It's what all fast-food chicken is made from-things like chicken nuggets and patties. Also, the processed frozen chicken in the stores is made from it.

Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve — bones, eyes, guts, and all. it comes out looking like this.

There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.

1. That stuff might not even be chicken. But even if it is:

2. The entire chicken is not ground up to make that paste; the bones and such are removed.

3. The meat is not "soaked" in ammonia. Ammonia is not an approved food additive. (However, a South Dakota processing plant had been injecting ammonia into their hamburger "meat" with USDA approval, but that approval has since been withdrawn.)

I wish the person who wrote the original entry would correct it because I'm tired of seeing it popping up everywhere. The truth is strange enough without having to say that chicken nuggets contain eyeballs, bones, and large quantities of ammonia.