Study Finds Chicken Nuggets Are Only Half Chicken

Study Finds Chicken Nuggets Are Only Half Chicken

Are you too chicken to find out what's in a nugget? Read on if not.

According to a new study published online by the American Journal of Medicine, the name "chicken nugget" is a bit misleading because, when dissected, the nugget proved to be approximately half of what most people would call chicken meat.

The title of the study says it all "The Autopsy of Chicken Nuggets Reads 'Chicken Little.'" Researchers preserved chicken nuggets from two fast food chains in Jackson, Mississippi. They then dissected and stained them before observing the content through a microscope.

The first nugget contained roughly 50 percent breast or thigh muscle tissues, which is typically what people consider chicken meat. However, fat, blood vessels and nerves made up the rest of the nugget.

The other nugget consisted of 40 percent muscle, but the rest was fat, cartilage and bone.

According to Dr. Richard D. DeShazo of the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, these mostly chicken byproducts make the nuggets highly caloric and filled with mostly sugar, salt and fat. Dr. DeShazo finds it worrisome that these cheap nuggets are often marketed to children.

"What has happened is that some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it and still call it chicken." Dr. DeShazo told Reuters.

Dr. DeShazo does acknowledge that their sample size of nuggets was very small and that some companies have altered their recipes to include only white meat in their chicken nuggets.