If you were still under the illusion that chicken nuggets served up by the fast-food industry were actual nuggets of chicken meat, Mississippi researchers have some tragic news: At best, you're only half right. They examined two nuggets from two unnamed national chains and found that one had only 50% meat and the other 40%, reports Reuters. What's in the rest of the nugget? Fat, blood vessels, nerves, cartilage, and bone pieces were among the tasty ingredients listed.
"In other words, chicken nuggets are mostly chicken fat and body parts," writes Jennifer Abel at Consumer Affairs. The lead researcher from the University of Mississippi Medical Center tells Reuters that chains are apparently mixing all this stuff together with some batter and calling it chicken. "It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar, and fat that is a very unhealthy choice," he says. "Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them." The story quotes an industry rep who faults the small sample used in the study, though the Consumerist thinks it might be OK given chains' push for uniformity. (In other not-so-appetizing food news, click to read about a bizarre source of vanilla flavoring.)