Chicken Nuggets Are Only Half 'Chicken'
Researchers find that meat makes up 40% to 50% of nugget
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2013 9:05 AM CDT
Updated Oct 5, 2013 2:08 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – 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.)

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Showing 3 of 71 comments
spookiewon
Oct 19, 2013 8:38 PM CDT
I wasn't "under the illusion." I wasn't under the IMPRESSION they were "actual nuggets of chicken meat" either. As the story points out, they taste good.
793tango
Oct 6, 2013 1:46 PM CDT
I sometimes get chicken at BK and I have yet to see anything that resembles what they're saying. The pieces I've had appear to be chunks of breast meat, primarily. I think the difference is what you see in the grocery store labelled as 'nugget shaped chicken'. which is basically ground chicken parts covered in grease and bread crumbs. I won't eat or buy 'nugget shaped ground chicken'. If I can afford to buy real chicken I will and make my own nuggets.
CharlesP
Oct 6, 2013 10:58 AM CDT
I STILL do NOT think that you are getting what they are saying. They are NOT complaining about the various chicken parts being used. This IS MEAT! They are saying AFTER you take out this "MEAT" parts, the REST IS OTHER THINGS!