McDonald's Canada aired a Super Bowl commercial Sunday night that seeks to debunk the widespread belief that Chicken McNuggets are made from the infamous "pink slime."
The video shows that Canada's McNuggets are actually made from chicken breast meat, breading and mysterious "seasoning." While the process is significantly less disgusting than the images of pink goop that are regularly circulated on the internet, the "seasoning" does make for a fairly lengthy list of ingredients.
Here's what's in those McNuggets, according to the McDonald's website:
White Meat Chicken McNuggets®: Chicken breast, water, modified corn starch, salt, seasoning [yeast extract, salt,
wheat starch, natural flavour (vegetable source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary], natural extractives of rosemary, breaded with: water, wheat flour, yellow corn flour, modified corn starch, spices, salt, baking powder,
dextrose, wheat starch, corn starch, modified hydrogenated soybean oil, cooked in 100% vegetable oil [canola oil,
corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil (TBHQ), citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane]. CONTAINS: WHEAT.
Wondering what dimethylpolysiloxane is? It's a silicone-based product used to emulsify food and prevent caking and foaming. It's also used in cosmetics, shampoo and silly putty.
How about TBHQ? That thing that appears in brackets after the soybean oil? It's a petroleum-based preservative
So, not pink slime, but not exactly all-natural organic either.
The pink slime controversy got going as a result of British chef Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" TV program aired in 2010. Oliver exposed how many food companies take trimmings from beef and run them through centrifuges to separate meat from fat. The resulting meat is then treated with ammonium hydroxide to disinfect it. In the industry, it's called lean finely textured beef.
McDonald's in the United States stopped using the product in its hamburgers after the show triggered a wave of public backlash. McDonald's Canada stated at the time that it has never used the textured beef in its products.
So the pink slime many people think is in chicken nuggets is actually made from beef. But there is an equally controversial process used for many brands of nuggets.
Many of the processed chicken and meat products in fast food outlets and grocery stores is "mechanically separated." The process extracts every last scrap of meat from bones by pushing bits of an animal through a sieve at high pressure.
A recent study from the University of Mississippi Medical Center found that nuggets bought at two fast food chains contained about 50 per cent of what we would regularly call meat. The rest was fat, blood vessels, nerves cartilage and bone.
So, while McDonald's McNuggets in Canada may be made primarily from chicken breast, that doesn't mean all nuggets are created equal.
As for the nutritional value of Chicken McNuggets, a 10 piece meal comes in at 490 calories before dipping sauce and contains 46 per cent of the daily value for fat and 40 per cent for sodium. So, not health food, but not Baconator either.