When I decided to start this blog, I really did not intend for my first post to be about McDonald’s. I know, I know, everyone goes after McDonald’s, but as I was driving to my friend Joel’s birthday party last night I just happened to drive past the big golden arches of nutritional doom and see their advertisement for 50 Chicken McNuggets for $9.99. Yeah, think about that for a second. That is just about 20 cents per McNugget, a very tempting offer to many. I decided to look up what is in a McNugget. Here, courtesy of The McDonald’s Corporation website is the list of ingredients: “White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.”
Does anyone else notice that more than half of those ingredients aren’t actually food? Antifoaming agent?!?! What is this, a bad chemistry experiment? Unfortunately yes! If you were to make your own chicken nuggets at home, all you need is some chicken, bread crumbs, an egg, and some cooking oil. Four simple ingredients. The ingredients in the McDonald’s Chicken McNugget are all there to cover for the fact that the main ingredient, chicken, isn’t really chicken. Oh, and if that 20 cents per McNugget seemed to good to be true… it is…we’ll all be making it up in healthcare costs. Both the fast food and healthcare industries are betting on it.