Body, Nourish, Nutrition Advice, Nutrition Bits

McWhat's in that Nugget?

January 4, 2011
300776-Chicken-Nuggets-with-Parmesan-Cheese

We usually don’t put a brand or company in a negative spotlight, but when I had a discussion with a friend on “Are the Chicken Nuggets McDonalds really that bad” I had to point out just a few things that have come out in the news regarding the actual ingredients of those beloved Chicken Nuggets, which as the McDonalds website states are: made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter.

For the record, we don’t have a problem with these bite-sized deep-fried snacks/meals, as long as they are really made of sustainably-raised, hormone-free, chicken. However, only 50 percent of the nuggets from the golden arches is chicken (I’m surprised it’s that high). The other 50 percent includes corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.

In an interesting article comparing the difference between nuggets sold in the UK vs. USA (UK was healthier) CNN reported that “McNuggets” in the US contain dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone and used in silly putty, as well as tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you, and one gram can make you horribly ill.

For an even deeper look at the McNugget, Organic Authority an eco-minded website, helpfully transcribed the full ingredients list provided by McDonalds:

“White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary).

Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch.

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.”

So back to that conversation Dawn, Yes, I would say that those nuggets really are that bad.

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