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Oct 6, 2013 10:12 AM

What's in a chicken nugget?

From the American Journal of Medicine
"The Autopsy of Chicken Nuggets Reads 'Chicken Little'

To determine the contents of chicken nuggets from 2 national food chains.

Chicken nuggets have become a major component of the American diet. We sought to determine the current composition of this highly processed food.

Randomly selected nuggets from 2 different national fast food chains were fixed in formalin, sectioned and stained for microscopic analysis.

Striated muscle (chicken meat) was not the predominate component in either nugget. Fat was present in equal or greater quantities along with epithelium, bone, nerve, and connective tissue.

Chicken nuggets are mostly fat, and their name is a misnomer."

The American Journal of Medicine is a legitimate but not prestigious journal. I'm surprised they published the article with this title because it's not an "autopsy" (that term is used only when the subject is a human -- when it's a non-human, it's called a necropsy).

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  1. Saw that yesterday, wish they would have identified the restaurants

    1. Did anyone ever believe chicken nuggets are all muscle meat?

      To my knowledge they've always been compressed / formed chicken parts. I don't recall the industry ever claiming differently.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Clams047

        I agree... I never thought it was all meat. But also I had not expected that more than 50% would be "fat, skin, connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves and bone fragments" (mostly the fat, according to the article).

        Here's the article:

        1. re: drongo

          I have to admit I didn't realize they contained so much in "fragments", I was under the impression they were where the industry dumped all the chicken skin.

      2. Worse than I suspected. I don't eat them.

        1. I was kinda hoping they'd find horse or kangaroo in them thar nuggets.

          3 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              That made me laugh. A friend of mine won a super trifecta at the dog track and I got a free fishing trip out of it. Dog.

          1. I had a freind tell me that Mcnuggets were made from chicken buttholes. He arrived at this because he had eatin every part of a chicken but the butthole,and they didn't taste like any part he'd eatin before.
            I'm on board with this.