McNugget Secret Ingredient: Molded Chicken Mush

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Admit it: You've eaten a McDonald's Chicken McNugget. And if you have, you've wondered exactly what it's made of. The texture isn't anything like you'd expect from your Aunt Amy's deep fryer, and the four available shapes are ... odd for chicken.

So in the context of battered domestic sales and negative rumors about its products, McDonald's decided to create a video of how McNuggests are actually made, just as the company previously created a video about its popular McRib sandwich, Today reported. Whether it soothes the concerns of consumers is yet to be seen.

The background for the onslaught of forthcoming candor is the financial performance of McDonald's. It reported steeper-than-expected falls in same store sales, according to USA Today. Same store sales is a retail measure of how popular a company remains with consumers. On Monday, the company noted the biggest same store drops in a decade. That was even more than the biggest-in-a-decade drops reported in October, as Daily Finance reported.

Franchise owners--the people who run 80 percent of the locations--have blamed the problems on the central company for lack of leadership and not offering something new that customers wanted. Then there has been the bad press, including the rumors of burgers made out of "pink slime", thanks to a picture that went viral.

In October, McDonald's ran a debunking video to show how its burgers are actually made. The video starred former Mythbusters host Grant Imahara to lend an air of credibility.

Now McDonald's has applied the same PR formula to the McNugget. Apparently the chicken parts that go in are breast meat, rib meat, and tenderloins -- not beaks and feet, as is sometimes claimed.

The video goes through the steps of McNugget preparation, from people cutting up chicken carcasses on an assembly line to the first grind of the meat and then a mix of that with the "chicken skin and the marination." The marinade has a whole list of its own ingredients, including dextrose (sugar), wheat starch, yeast extract, salt, sodium phosphates, and "food starch-modified."

Imahara compares the result to a pink slime picture popular on the Internet and pronounces that the pre-nugget mixture "looks like meat." Or, as Today characterized it: "Delicious, grey chicken ground into a slurry and poured into molds."

Maybe not grey. Most like an off-beige mush.

"Sales are declining because people are getting more health-conscious," Barbara Lippert, advertising expert and MediaPost Editor-at-Large, told Today. "So no matter how unappetizing the food looks in these videos, it's still better than pink slime and beaks, and then McDonald's gets to look like an open book, and a good corporate citizen."

Perhaps, but previous videos about the company's burgers and McRibs haven't seemed to help stop stemming the tide of falling sales. Maybe this time things will be different. After all, you can get a choice of barbecue, honey mustard, or sweet and sour dipping sauce.

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