October 6, 2010

It Appears That Chicken McNuggets Are Hot Dogs.


Yeah, so this single photo of mechanically separated chicken is now entrenched in the web as the apparently freakout-inducing answer to "what are Chicken McNuggets made from?"

Ever the Internet statesman, Kottke calls for calm, or at least a little context:

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.
Glad to lend a hand:

First, remember that the McDonald's in the Madrid airport has a McNugget extrusion mold plate displayed on the wall.

Now take a look at this educational film from the delightful children's program [1], Wonder Showzen, where the kids visit a slaughterhouse and hot dog factory.

There! At 1:17! Did you see that?


It's a little softer, but I'm sure that in the 30 years since this film was made, McDonald's chefs and food scientists have been able to figure out how to firm it up so that McNuggets can keep one of their four trademark shapes.

Just swap out the pigs for some chickens and there you have it, McNuggets are hot dogs.

[1] Wonder Showzen, not actually for kids.

UPDATE There is some controversy in the comments about the use of utterly context-less Internet pictures and Wonder Showzen as authoritative information sources. I have made an attempt to "get my facts straight" in a separate post.


I'm just surprised anyone with half a mind still eats at Mickey D's or any other mega fast food chain. The general food processing practices in these mass food manufacturing establishments have gone beyond surreal. You would cry if you saw what the meat in those hamburgers consisted of. People turn a blind eye, and eat there still because it's cheap and arguably tasty.
ABC did a show with Jamie Oliver a few months ago. In that show Jamie made a chicken nugget similar to the way they manufacture it in the mass manufacturing kitchens (i.e. using everything but the feather), yet the kids who watched all these inedible ingredients go into the concoction still wanted to eat the nuggets once they were fried.
They firm up the McNuggets goo with xanthan gum. (No, xanthan gum is NOT something horrible. It's a natural-ish thickening agent. But they wouldn't need extra ingredients if their food was actual food.)

new poster: "arguably tasty"

old poster: "sarcasm"

Please get your facts straight. You are spreading false info. McDonald's is gross for many reasons, but they use real all white chicken for their nuggets.


But of course!
Note to self: "From this point forward, check with snopes.com after you see and right before you believe what you have seen."

My "facts" don't need checking because they are not facts. They are first hand observations. I visited a few food manufacturing plants this year and saw some things and learned about mass food manufacturing practices. However, you are right. I am neither a snopes.com reader nor contributor, nor have I graduated from University of Phoenix online. Therefore, I should be discredited and burned at stake.

I retract my false accusations in regards to McDonald's food. Mickey D's food practices are phenomenal. They use nothing but the best ingredients for their food. (they never buy artificial taste enhancers from chemical food enhancer factories in New Jersey.) They hand pick the best chicken from farms where hens roam freely on 10,000 acre lands and little chicks are fed with nothing other than grade A grains and luscious earthworms. And the processing plants are amazing places. SO amazing, you want to eat the chicken goop raw off the floor. Sorry. No goop. All white meat. They pluck each chicken by hand, and process the all white meat with great care (because any other color meat and we'd be dwelving in dangerous territory) and cut it to little pieces by hand and then a grandmother comes and dips the little pieces ever so delicately into a batter she has prepared while she was watching her soaps in her country kitchen right after she bakes the apple pies. Then she uses a small pan to fry the all white chicken meat. Then she puts it in her freezer. The next morning her oldest grandson comes and picks the frozen chicken nuggets up in his cherry red 1967 chevy pick-up truck (which he bought from his grandpapa with the money he saved up from delivering milk in his high school years) and delivers it to the local MickeyD's. Then he goes and has lunch with his his grandma and grandpapa. Totally how it works. Cross my heart.

now that's more like what Mr McFeely showed me on Picture, Picture. Thanks for clearing that up.

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