Say hello to mechanically separated chicken!


Say hello to mechanically separated chicken. It's what all fast-food chicken is made from--things like chicken nuggets and patties. Also, the processed frozen chicken in the stores is made from it.

Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve--bones, eyes, guts, and all. it comes out looking like this.

There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.

But, hey, at least it tastes good, right?

High five, America!


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23 Responses:

  1. scullin says:

    Sad, isn't it? In other cultures eating eyeballs is a delicacy - but here we don't even know what a good thing we've got, on the 99 cent menu, no less.

  2. And despite all that it still tastes ten times better than quorn.

  3. ekesobriquet says:

    Soft-serve chicken is the bestest! I like mine with sprinkles and chocolate syrup.

  4. endico says:

    I thought that photo looked bogus so I checked snopes. Here's what the forum has to say:

    There's a link to a video of Jamie Oliver making his own mystery meat in a Cuisinart and his result is about the same color as the photo. I expected the average color of a chicken to be a lot darker than a strawberry smoothie.

  5. vomitrocity says:

    Hey, one of my co-workers told me about this today!
    Thanks for posting it, she told me it looked like strawberry ice cream, and she was right!!!

  6. says:

    Mechanically separated poultry (not chicken) is "is a paste-like and batter-like poultry product produced by forcing bones with attached edible tissue through a sieve or similar device under high pressure to separate bone from the edible tissue."

    Note that meat produced via advanced mechanical recovery (AMR) "machinery cannot grind, crush or pulverize bones to remove edible meat tissue and bones must emerge essentially intact. The meat produced in this manner can contain no more than 150 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams product."

    It does not contain bone. It does not contain eyes. It does not contain the viscera, of course, since that would include feces into the final product.

    I don't eat meat, and neither should anyone, but it certainly does not help matters by lying about it.


    • nothings says:

      I, for one, thank you for the correction.

    • fnivramd says:

      What's interesting is that if you give (non-veggie) people a fresh whole roast chicken and no utensils, many of them will happily nibble away at little pieces of chicken meat stuck to the bones after consuming the larger pieces that came away easily, and quite a few will even gnaw at the bone absent mindedly like a dog.

      But take that process of stripping the last morsels away and put it in a factory to make chicken nuggets without wasting half the chicken, and suddenly it's monstrous.

    • radarski says:

      AMR is a different process from MSM. Your paragraph 3 is correct for AMR but irrelevant to the present discusion.

      From item 10 of your first link: "by first crushing the bone and then forcing bone and tissue through a sieve or a similar screening device". Contrast that with the quote from your paragraph 2 "machinery cannot grind, crush or pulverize bones".

      • rapier1 says:

        MSM still doesn't contain eyes, feathers, chicken anus, or lips. It may contain some small amount of bone but where do people think their 'natural' calcium supplements come from? The calcium mines? Usually its ground up oyster shells and coral. People are grossed out by this sort of thing because they don't think things through.

        If you are going to eat and animal eat as much of it as possible.

    • latemodel says:

      Yup. There's no good reason that you wouldn't take the intact pieces of meat first, and then do this with the remnants. Where by "no good reason", I mean because intact chicken pieces sell for considerably more money per pound than mechanically separated chicken. As one of the commenters on the snopes thread notes, MRM is often glued back together, given the illusion of having a grain, and sold as deli meat. You wouldn't fake the grain if it didn't sell for more money.

      I have no problem with this in principle; I do similar things myself. After I'm done with a chicken I process the remaining bones and carcass in boiling water for several hours with added flavorings, then force the resulting liquid through a strainer. I am also fond of butchery remnants that have been ground up, flavored, and packed into bits of intestine.

    • luserspaz says:

      I do love this quote from the second link:
      "The definition of "meat" was amended in December 1994 to include as "meat" product derived from advanced meat/bone separation machinery which is comparable in appearance, texture and composition to meat trimmings and similar meat products derived by hand."

  7. 2ce says:

    Film at eleven: (the kitchenette model) and (heavy duty). Beware of soundtrack in both cases.

  8. chuck_lw says:

    Maybe Dairy Queen can put some of that between two pieces of bread and sell it.