Frankenstein chicken beast breasts
This BBC news video has been making its way around the internets. Just in case you don't have time to watch the video, the gist is this:
In the UK, multi-needle water injections are used to plump up supermarket chicken breasts. Protein powder is added to the breasts to seal the water inside of the chicken breast.
It turns out that some protein powder suppliers have sold powder labeled as chicken based but which actually contains mammalian proteins like beef or pork. Obviously this has ethical implications in terms of product mislabeling and deception, but also brings up cultural and religious concerns since beef and pork are not acceptable meats for all consumers. Not to mention that it is just icky and gross, sort of a frankenstein water filled mixed animal protein beast breast...why couldn't it just be a thin, water free, natural breast? Are chicken breasts really so much more visually appealing when filled with water, and is this about getting consumers to pay more less per pound?
I find that chicken which throws off a lot of water when cooking (which I guess means it must have been injected) is pretty flavorless.
I am just curious...does anyone know if supermarket chicken in the US is processed in the same way as shown in this video on the UK? If so, I wonder if the mammalian protein powders are used on it and chicken breast like this is being sold to us here, too.
In the U.S.,chicken is marked on packages by percentage of water added (at least in the NYC area). I don't think this is required but one often sees 5% and at better quality selections, 0 % retained water labeled. In practice, when I purchase chicken from a butcher, the retained water is negligible after boiling/steaming. Murray's brand is very good on this score as are the better quality Whole Foods line (the ones labeled air dried.)
What's the date of this video? I deduce from this bbc link that it is from 2003
New study highlights undeclared ingredients in chicken products
is a 2009 report by a UK government agency that did DNA tests on chicken products and protein powders.
I suspect the topic overlaps with this about 'meat glue' ( Transglutaminase
Yuck! I don't know about the US, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was happening there too. This just illustrates a lot of what is "wrong with the world." I guess too many people still think bigger means better. Bigger breasts, bigger tomatoes, bigger steaks, bigger, bigger, bigger...