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Chicken Nuggets: Made From Pink Goo

Have you ever seen one of those dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and wondered, how do they do that? I personally imagined some kind of cookie-cutter shaped blade on a big machine.

Wrong. Apparently, this is what chicken nuggets look like before they’re cooked. The chicken is mechanically separated and de-boned, then the remaining meat is ground-down into this unappetizing paste. According to Michael Kindt, the goop is then disinfected, re-flavored and bleached back to the whitish color we all associate with cooked chicken breast. And of course, shaped along the way.

While I’m not sure what background Kindt has in food science, the image alone is compelling enough.

According to McDonald’s, a four-piece serving of McNuggets contains 190 calories, 100 of which come from trans fat. They also contain 400 milligrams of sodium, and along with modified food starch, dextrose and citric acid. However, there’s no reason to target McDonald’s, this image could be from any of a number of nugget producers. Jamie Oliver once whipped up a batch of nugget-goo for a class of elementary school children on his show. He was quite dismayed that the American children were willing to eat the nuggets even after seeing how they were made, whereas British children in the same situation were sufficiently disgusted to decline a taste-test.

We hope this image will give you another reason to skip the fast-food drive-through and prepare some healthier fare at home.

Also Read:

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Recap: Chicken Nuggets

Consumer Reports Gives Chicken Nuggets Failing Grades

What Keeps a McDonald’s Burger from Rotting

October 4th, 2010

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(Page 1 of 1, 31 total comments)


Come on, guys. If you really want arguments that fast food is bad for you, I can come up with way better reasons than this. This is nothing new. You guys do realize that sausage is made this same, exact way, and so is ground beef, just with larger pieces intact? The paste is still chicken. Nothing about grinding it up causes any sort of chemical change that makes the chicken paste poisonous; the only change is physical. All the people saying how "gross" this is are ignoring this convenient fact that it is still chicken, just highly chopped up and processed chicken. Again, you are eating the same type of product when you eat ground beef, hot dogs, or sausage, and yet you don't complain about how "gross" that is despite the fact that there is nothing at all different about the process used to make those meat products. Not a single word. Way to cherry-pick about what you eat, guys.

To that one person that mentioned how 1% of bone meal is allowed in the chicken paste, statistics and data, or it didn't happen. It's not that I don't believe it doesn't occur, because not all the bones can get picked out and there's always room for error, it's just that I want the raw data and stats about it so I can make my own opinions. You know why 1% of bone meal is allowed in the product? Because they can't possibly make everything error-free. Nothing is error-free. If you ground the same chicken at home, it still wouldn't be error-free. And bone meal is not dangerous to the diet in any way - if anything, bone meal is good for your body, since it contains extra calcium in the same way that eating sardines from a tin necessitates crunching up and swallowing their tiny little bones, which contain calcium. So actually, by including 1% bone meal due to error, the people making this are doing us an accidental favor. Yeah it's not enough calcium to make a difference, but it's not harming us either, so what's the problem?

Now, you wanna talk about what IS harmful to us? The grease they cook the nuggets in. The trans-fats. The astronomical levels of salt in the final product. The HFCS they put in the sauces. The large soda and fries we eat these nuggets with. I love me some McNuggets (with Sweet n' Sour or Sweet Chili sauce, if you must know) as much as the next person, and this article isn't stopping me from eating them, but that doesn't mean I'm going to eat these diet disasters a lot, and anyone fool enough to do so deserves to become obese.

posted Jun 17th, 2012 7:41 pm

Kevin Schooler

I don't understand what is so revolting about this. It isn't unsanitary, and while it is not advisable to eat too many chicken nuggets over a short period of time (or anything else, for that matter), they are generally fine. It is true that a 17 year old in the UK was taken to hospital for anemia after eating nothing but chicken nuggets...after FIFTEEN YEARS. I don't know anything that could sustain a person, however imbalanced, for over a decade, but apparently Chicken Nuggets can.

posted Jun 15th, 2012 11:01 pm


Smells like chicken....TASTES like chicken.....MADE OUT OF CHICKEN. Not plastic or dog. UH oh!...not toxic or poisonous, either. Huh. Lol! Give me a ten piece please! Barbeque sauce with extra high-fructose corn syrup with that. You mean corn syrup is a natural product made from...CORN?? GASP! And your own body makes fructose, by the way. Lolol!! So much ado over so much nothing.

posted Jun 14th, 2012 7:39 pm


i kinda think that is gross of how it looks right now . lol ,,, & mcdonalds is the one who makes the chicken nuggets have alot of grease .

posted Jun 7th, 2012 8:45 pm


thank you {: sadly i imagined the cookie cutter thingie to and i was quite sad to find out the nuggets where slimed they where my little brothers favorite kind of nuggets :(

posted Jun 7th, 2012 2:32 am


I hope all you people realize that this stuff has been in food for years and years... it's absolutely nothing new. It doesn't harm you and cause cancer. You people are so gullible. Whatta joke.

posted Jun 5th, 2012 1:31 am


gross n wonder later life diseases mushroom in abundance

posted May 26th, 2012 7:34 pm

eddie pie

Who cares..They taste good..I want a bone separator at home so I can make nuggetts..people need to realize all fast food and drink are prepared in such a fashion that is unappealing behind The what happens to a cow b4 your fillet at a 5 star rest..its gross too but u eat it

posted Mar 14th, 2012 9:44 pm


The pink paste in the picture is coming from a mechanical deboner which looks like a meat grinder. The shells that is left after the breast meat is removed is the product that goes into the mechanical deboner & they are allowed 1% bone in the paste like product which comes out the front of the machine & a few rib bones come out the side. This product is frozen immediately to prevent spoilage as it has a high bacteria count & spoils rapidly. It is used in chicken nuggets, chicken rolls & frankfurters containing chicken. The sliced turkey you get at the deli counter has the texture and smoothness of bologna which means is is processed & containes mechanical deboned turkey that is a paste. Real turkey breast has muscle bundles that look like fibers & peel off easily. The term mechanical deboner is misleading as it is should be called a paste maker.

posted Feb 2nd, 2012 8:08 am


I'll be happy when the internet is cleaned up of rubbish like this story. McNuggets are the yummiest little tasty treats on Planet Earth. Ever since the aliens brought them down to feed the aliens who came here in flying saucers to build the ancient mayan temples and Egyptian pyramids McNuggets are the best. Ronald McDonald is a direct descendant of those first aliens who brought us delicious yummy McNuggets.

posted Jan 28th, 2012 4:40 am

Olivia F

I don't care if its made of donkey crap those are possibly the best tasting things mankind has graced upon this planet

posted Jan 24th, 2012 2:51 am


American kids will eat it, because we are taught to eat what we are given, and not act like whiny, spoiled rich idiots who don't care that there are people that would love to have just half of one of those nuggets just to get themselves through the day.

Most of us are also taught moderation, contrary to what you hear in media. We know you don't eat fast food every day, but everyone seems to think we do.

posted Jan 21st, 2012 1:08 am


Does anybody realize that this is still meat? they just take the chicken meat, grind it to this weird goo, shape it to the shapes they want, and then fry it. It's not like McDonald's is feeding us toxic waste (although it is very fattening and bad for you)

posted Nov 20th, 2011 2:07 am


McDonald's nuggets haven't been made from MSP since 2003. FWIW.

posted Jun 24th, 2011 2:57 pm

a fat guy

Next time I go to Mcdonald's, I will get chicken nuggets.

posted Feb 7th, 2011 5:58 pm

Dan Rather

This picture seems to be floating around the internet a lot. Is there a verified source to this picture?

posted Dec 31st, 2010 11:46 pm

Vickie VanDress

Anyone who believes this piece of sheer stupidity is dumber than the pink goop pictured. I worked at a processing facility that makes McNuggets - I have no idea what cheap drugs the article's author is on - but they need to change their dealer. And learn how to do proper research before writing moronic crap like this. Duh.

posted Nov 11th, 2010 12:51 pm

Nate Get a Clue

Nate... at what point did she throw McD's under a bus here? In fact she actually says "However, thereâ??s no reason to target McDonaldâ??s, this image could be from any of a number of nugget producers." If anything she defended them.

And white meat my arse! Even with their big campaign, that horrifying crap is still grey, and I've yet to once find grey meat once in my life. If I did, I didn't eat it. And I don't eat chicken nuggets.

Also, if you've ever had a real chicken nugget, like the way Monica describes making, (which is how I do it), you'll notice how the chicken meat breaks apart in strings if you tear it in half or take a bite. Clearly a McD's McNugget doesn't do anything close to that.

Whichever company uses that goo to produce food for human consumption should be ashamed. And people who consider eating it should be more mindful of the food they put in their bodies.

posted Nov 11th, 2010 12:45 pm


The primary source for this is a BLOG?
If I blog that McNuggets are made from the replicated meat of aliens from Roswell will you link it too? Heck, I may just blog that anyway, because once it's on the internet it MUST be true.

posted Nov 11th, 2010 2:28 am


OMG this article is so wrong! That is not how McDonald's McNuggets are made. Yes it is how Dinosour, or star, or animal or crown nuggets are made. Why would this article even mention McDonald's, who uses 100% white meat? As it is Burger King and those cheap nuggets in the grocery store that make them this way. [EDITED]

posted Nov 11th, 2010 2:00 am


I tried to make my own healthy nuggets from a recipe at Cooks Corner. They are unbelievable. Cut fresh chicken cutlets, marinate in water, salt and Worcestershire, pat dry, dredge in eggs, flour and Panko mix, REDIP in flour/Panko mix! fry in oil.

posted Nov 11th, 2010 12:31 am


i just wonder how many people eat hot dogs they start out as meat then pink goo to so what still taste good

posted Nov 11th, 2010 12:05 am


This is a complete lie. Snopes' website, among others have exposed it as a COMPLETE LIE. Even the Jamie Oliver show ran a disclaimer at the start of the segment saying that McNuggets aren't made this way - watch it on YouTube.

McNuggets may not be the healthiest things you can eat, but they are made from white meat chicken.

The publisher of these lies should be ashamed.

posted Oct 31st, 2010 4:16 pm


Has anyone considered that possibly it is BLOOD which is coloring this meat???

posted Oct 28th, 2010 4:04 pm


"Think carefully about your food choices,
with every bite you are impacting the health of your body and the health of our earth."
Please consider being fast food free for two weeks.
More information at my website.
Fast Food Free

posted Oct 10th, 2010 11:37 pm

Tom Super


Yes -- it's true. Poultry is sometimes mechanically separated and when it is, the resulting product is called mechanically separated poultry (MSP). It is NOT true, however, that this is how chicken nuggets are commonly made. The vast majority do not contain MSP. Nuggets are usually made from pieces of white meat and sometimes from a combination of white and dark meat.

Some processed meat products, like hot dogs and lunch meat, do contain MSP and this is stated on the ingredient label by law. This process is regulated and inspected by USDA, and if used, is included in the ingredient statement.

Using technologies like this helps prevent the waste food, plain and simple. It is just a more technolgoical and economical way of cutting the remaining chicken meat off of the bone.

I feed my kids a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables... and yes, chicken nuggets.

Tom Super, American Meat Institute, Washington, DC

posted Oct 7th, 2010 11:01 am


realy its soooo disgusting ,,,its not a food its a junk ,,,wl never eat it again

posted Oct 5th, 2010 4:20 pm


I don't think I can ever look a McNugget in the face again! Not that I was a big fan before, but now I'm swearing off forever! Wonder if Trader Joe's nuggets are prepared in a more healthful way. I hope so....will have to look into it.

posted Oct 5th, 2010 12:21 pm


We had chicken nuggets for dinner tonight. I want to help my parents with their grocery bills and my friend next door has some baby chicks.

posted Oct 5th, 2010 6:31 am

Kelly Turner

OMG- i can't even....WHY DO PEOPLE EAT THESE?!

posted Oct 4th, 2010 8:56 pm


This is completely horrifying... which is why I'll never touch another chicken nugget as long as I live. I actually cried during that episode of Jamie Oliver's show. I knew it was bad, but didn't know how bad. Chicken breast chopped in bite-sized nuggets coated in panko is easy, incredibly healthy and tastes much better.

posted Oct 4th, 2010 3:37 pm


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