We don't eat chicken nuggets- or let me at least say it has been years since we've made nuggets at home and we don't eat them out. My kids don't recognize nuggets as chicken. (Though they also call chicken and fish "steak," so don't be too hard on us.)
We simply don't eat out often. The average American eats out 4-5 times a week and yet our family eats out together about three times a year.
Our reasons for eating at home are elementary: it costs too much for our family of seven. It seems so very wasteful to spend so much money on food that I could prepare at home for a fraction of the cost. We also know that eating together as a family is good for our children socially and provides emotional stability and a connecting place for each of us, building our family bonds. Plus, we know the quality and nutrition are lacking. When we eat out, I'm never quite sure that I know what I'm getting.
Here is proof:
Only 50 percent of a McNugget is actually chicken. The other 50 percent includes corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients. Yet, according to McDonald's, their chicken nuggets are "made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter."
Organic Authority helpfully transcribed the full ingredients list provided by McDonalds:
"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).Did you know that dimethylpolysiloxane is an anti-foaming agent made of silicone? Or that tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you?
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."
I think that is scary, and so did Federal Judge Robert Sweet. In a lawsuit against this restaurant chain back in 2003, he said:
"Chicken McNuggets, rather than being merely chicken fried in a pan, are a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook."At the time, Time Magazine reported that Judge Sweet "questioned whether customers understood the risks of eating McDonald's chicken over regular chicken."
There are RISKS to eating at McDonald's! (And it is not just that franchise, but all fast food that I know of.) Here is a great article on this by Dr. Mercola. The risk is not just from the nuggets alone, though.
When I speak on wellness, I often show a cheeseburger and french fries that I purchased at McDonald's . . . five years ago. I think most people have seen those shriveled fries (on the floors of mini vans!), but it is a bit of a shock to see the bun, meat, cheese and all still intact after five years. This is intended to drive home the point: this is not live food! Our bodies need live food to live. "If it doesn't rot or sprout, throw it out!" is a great mantra when it comes to food. Real bread should mold or attract insects. Why doesn't the McDonald's bun?
Here are just a few of the ingredients in the McDonald's hamburger bun:
- calcium sulfate (aka Plaster of Paris)
- calcium carbonate (Antacid medication)
- ammonium sulfate (According to MSDS,“harmful if swallowed”)
- ammonium chloride (Causes irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea)
- calcium propionate (Preservative)
- sodium propionate (Mold inhibitor)
Fast food can be so deceiving. I tell my kids, "It looks like food and smells like food and tastes like food. . . but it is NOT food!" It's hard to understand- even for me. When you are hungry and food is readily available that looks and smells good, it is hard to resist. Understanding some of these ingredients helps me, however. Fake food, and fast food in particular, has lost its appeal for me. Knowing what I know, my good sense can override my senses when it comes to choosing what I'll put in my mouth.