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The real main ingredient in Chicken Nuggets? Hint, it ain't 'meat'

The Journal of American Medicine found some surprising, dangerous and gross ingredients in fast food chicken nuggets.
The Journal of American Medicine found some surprising, dangerous and gross ingredients in fast food chicken nuggets.
(Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Ever wanted to know what's really in those tempting fast food chicken nuggets? Researchers have determined the ingredients in chicken nuggets, and it ain't pretty.

Of course you know the "tempura battered and cooked to golden perfection" tender, crispy morsels" are not health food but "fun" food. But now we know what kind of "fun" are the actual ingredients in fast food chicken nuggets.

Pass the fat, feathers, skin, bone, nerve and connective tissue please

Researchers at The American Journal of Medicine, recently tested the contents of chicken nuggets from two national chains, which they refused to name. To protect the innocent? A lawsuit?

Anyhoo, the results. What are the real ingredients in chicken nuggets?

Those chicken nuggets were found by the research to be mostly fat. 56% and 58%. The rest? A combination of feathers, skin and corn with chemicals, preservatives, hydrogenated fats and petroleum-based additives to preserve freshness and enhance taste. Yum.

The researchers bought chicken nuggets at the restaurant and picked one randomly to study. They found it was "composed primarily of fat, with some blood vessels and nerve present." And that "striated muscle (actual chicken meat) was not the predominate component in either nugget."

The Journal report recommends; "Medical professionals should advise patients of the limited nutritional value of many processed foods, including this product."

But those chicken nuggets are so tasty

Yeah, they better be for the price you pay and I'm not talking 99 cents. 6 nuggets, without sauce, contain about a quarter of your daily salt and fat intake. Want dipping sauce with that? It bumps your intake to about a third.

Still, I must admit, the more I research McDonald's brand Chicken McNuggets and all the ammonia, bleach and excito-toxins it contains, I still want to go out now and eat some. Must be the MSG and all those excito-toxins which fires up the taste buds. Either that or it's the dimethylpolysiloxene I can't do without.

Ingredients in McDonald's Chicken McNuggets as of 2010

Chicken, water, salt, sodium phosphates. Battered and breaded with bleached wheat flour, water, modified food starch, salt, spices, wheat gluten, paprika, dextrose (sugar), yeast, garlic powder, rosemary, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil with mono- and diglycerides, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), natural flavor (plant source) with extractives of paprika. Fried in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid). Dimethylpolysiloxane is added as an antifoaming agent.[6] McDonald's ingredients can vary outside of the US.

Mom's homemade fried chicken recipe

By contrast I looked up a homemade fried chicken recipe (which is what chicken nuggets are after all, aren't they?)

Here the ingredients in the homemade fried chicken recipe:

Bone-in chicken pieces, egg, milk, flour, canola oil, salt & pepper.

What, no hydrolyzed soy protein!?

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