Monday, October 4, 2010

For All Those of You Who Make Fun of My Eating Habits

Mechanically Separated Chicken, from Fooducate, via Early Onset of Night

The following article is taken from Thanks, Lenny, for the link.
The photo above has been extensively passed around today, and for good reason: it's a peak into the rarely-seen world of mechanically separated meat, or Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR).

Fooducate writes:

Someone figured out in the 1960s that meat processors can eek out a few more percent of profit from chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows by scraping the bones 100% clean of meat. This is done by machines, not humans, by passing bones leftover after the initial cutting through a high pressure sieve. The paste you see in the picture above is the result.
Michael Kindt continues:

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?

The resulting paste goes on to become the main ingredient in many of America's favorite mass-produced and processed meat-like foods and snacks: bologna, hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, Slim Jim-like jerkys, and of course the ever-polarizing Chicken McNugget, where the paste from the photo above was likely destined.


Eli said...


Jonathan said...

actually they don't "soak" it in ammonia.

notElon said...

According to the USDA, any product made from mechanically separated chicken must say so on the package. Now, I don't own anything likely to be made from this stuff, so I cant check. But I have a feeling that if you go to the grocery store, you might find that it is not so prevalent as you might think.

Mechanically Separated Meat can't be sold, and isn't likely to be kosher, even were it. A lot of that stuff is Chelev.

Eli said...

No chelev on a bird. And USDA doesn't let MSM for beef - mad cow concerns. I've seen some kosher "Turkey Jerky" type things with MS turkey. I assume hot dogs probably have some, too.

notElon said...

I said meat, not bird. I listed it in a separate paragraph.