I should first start this post by stating this is not for the faint of heart. A while back, I came across an article about how chicken nuggets are made and had to share it as so many kids are eating this stuff. Notice I used the word “stuff”, NOT food. In other words, what not to feed to children!
Let me state some of you may find this makes you queasy in the stomach but I think it is worth reading!
This is a photo that you can find on many websites of Meat Paste that shows up in processed foods!
You can see other similar pictures at this link – none of them are pretty! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/mechanically-separated-meat-chicken-mcnugget-photo_n_749893.html
Quick Summary on How Chicken Nuggets are Really Made (i.e. What Not to feed to Children!)
While there is some controversy and rebuttal from processed food manufacturers about how processed meat-based foods are created, many foods including chicken nuggets are made from meat “pastes” similar to the picture shown above. This paste is used in many processed chicken products and includes ALL parts of the chicken. (similar meat pastes are made from other meats using the leftover scraps and are used in products such as processed lunch meats such as bologna and hot dogs). While processes vary by manufacturer, it has been reported that some use a process which involves ammonia (YES -AMMONIA!!) and then lots of artificial junk is added to make it taste and look like real food. It really is revolting when you read the article above.
Chicken nuggets and other processed foods seem innocent enough sitting in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores and is cleverly marketed to time-strapped parents who just want their kids to eat dinner, and of course kids often love them.
Most parents probably have no idea this is what they are feeding their kids. I find it interesting that the FDA determined that the beef equivalent of this process is inedible for human consumption but poultry products are ok??? I am going to share this photo with my kids as future insurance they will never want to put this stuff in their mouths!
Telling your kids chicken nuggets are for dinner is usually met with smiles I know. However, this picture says it all and is one of the best visuals as to why cooking healthy dinners for our families with whole REAL food is so important. A very good rule of thumb is that the more processed the food is, the less nutritious it is.
What not to feed to children?
Anything that is highly processed. Michael Pollan, a professor at U Cal Berkley and author of the well-known book The Ominvore’s Dilemma has written some simple rules for eating. One his rules is “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food“. Certainly your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize anything made from meat pastes! Another of his rules is “Don’t eat foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce.” While we are all in a rush and want to get the shopping done quickly, it is important to look at the ingredients lists on things we buy and understand what we are putting into our, and our childrens’ bodies.
This is why all of The Dinner Daily’s recipes are created to be easy to make but use simple, fresh ingredients. One of our most common comments from new Dinner Daily members is that they feel so much better buying the fresh ingredients at the store and being able to put together a delicious dinner with those ingredients without stress or lots of time. It will pay huge dividends in their long-term health.
So before you pick up another bag of frozen chicken nuggets to take home, turn the package over and see whats inside. And if you’re interested in an easy organized plan for weekly dinners using fresh, simple ingredients and healthier recipe options for your kids, sign up for a free two week trial of The Dinner Daily. We’ll do the thinking and planning around dinner, so you won’t have to.