The truth about mechanically separated chicken »
I want to leave the second person plural a minute and talk to you all, editor-to-readers, about this mechanically separated chicken monstrosity Laura posted on Wednesday. You remember; it was pink and beautiful, before the realization that it was made of chickens. And then we all wanted to barf for about 10 years? Most of us did, anyway. It appears that some of you readers don’t believe that that photo is accurate; some doubt both the photo’s veracity and the facts we included from the original post about mechanically separated chicken.
That’s fair. I can understand not wanting to believe such a process exists, or that companies like McDonald’s don’t serve such a substance to their customers. Unfortunately, it’s real and true.
This is an image of mechanically separated chicken that has been divided according to the part of the chicken it came from. Note that while two of the three raw globs are quite pink, all three of the cooked globs have turned white or nearly white. This image comes from an article written in 2005 about University of Georgia professor Daniel Fletcher, who is “highly regarded and respected by poultry instructors and researchers in industry, government, and academia,” according to the World’s Poultry Science Association, which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2008. Professor Fletcher had used a centrifuge to help separate the meats.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Services Poultry Slaughter and Inspection Training publication called "Plant Familiarization: Characteristics and Manufacturing—Poultry" [.pdf], “Often, the industry searches for ways to yield the maximum edible, wholesome product from the meat or poultry carcass. The mechanical separation process is a technology that industry uses to obtain more usable product from bones from which the muscle has been removed.”
The USDS FSIS glossary defines mechanically separated chicken (and turkey) as “a paste-like and batter-like product…intended for use in the formulation of other poultry products…. Mechanically separated chicken and turkey are used in products such as chicken and turkey franks, bologna, nuggets, and patties.” National Geographic's video of processing hot dogs rather graphically illustrates the meat-slurry creation process.
One final note: Should anyone seriously doubt any claims made by any Vegansaurus contributor again, please contact us (me or Laura) about such matters. We will take you seriously. However, no writer would deliberately post something untrue, and we always do our research; we respect you and ourselves too much to lie.
(Besides, we aren’t your confused great-uncle sending warnings about deserted highways where scary strange man drivers flash their headlights at lady drivers who drive faster to get away when it turns out the man driver was trying to warn the lady that the scary strange man is in her backseat so when she drives really fast to get away from the flashing-lights guy she’s actually driving faster toward her imminent RAPE and DEATH, LADIES DON’T EVER DRIVE ALONE AND ALWAYS LISTEN TO MEN!!! Seriously.)
Say hello to mechanically separated chicken. It’s what all fast-food chicken is made from—things like chicken nuggets and patties. Also, the processed frozen chicken in the stores is made from it.
Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve—bones, eyes, guts, and all. it comes out looking like this.
There’s more: because it’s crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.
High five, America!