Some folks suffer from addictions to crack cocaine, black tar heroin or other illegal substances. Others develop dependencies on caffeine, tobacco, alcohol or prescription medications.
Stacey Irvine found herself addicted to McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.
The seventeen-year-old factory worker from Birmingham in the West Midlands of England was first introduced to the bite-sized chunks of processed meat when she was only two years old. She developed an insatiable appetite for the food and ate virtually nothing but Chicken McNuggets during the ensuing fifteen years. During that time, Stacey never once tasted fresh fruit or vegetables.
Unfortunately, Stacey has now learned that Chicken McNuggets are nearly the nutritional equivalent of dishwasher detergent. She recently collapsed after struggling to breathe and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors thereafter demanded that she change her diet or die.
This situation’s a bit extreme, but the concerns associated with the processed fast food are well-known, and even McDonald’s has published an exhaustive list of the ingredients used in the preparation of Chicken McNuggets. At one time, chicken only accounted for about half of a Chicken McNugget, while the remaining ingredients consisted largely of sugar, corn syrup, synthetic components and stuff that may have been engineered in a petroleum plant. United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet once considered a lawsuit involving the food and accurately summarized the dangers of the product:
Chicken McNuggets, rather than being merely chicken fried in a pan, are a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook. A Chicken McNugget is comprised of, in addition to chicken: water, salt, modified corn starch, sodium phosphates, chicken broth powder (chicken broth, salt and natural flavoring (chicken source) ), seasoning (vegetable oil, extracts of rosemary, mono, di- and triglycerides, lecithin). Battered and breaded with water, enriched bleached wheat flour (niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, modified corn starch, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dried whey, corn starch. Batter set in vegetable shortening. Cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, (may contain partially hydrogenated soybean oil and/or partially hydrogenated corn oil and/or partially hydrogenated canola oil and/or cottonseed oil and/or corn oil). TBHQ and citric acid added to help preserve freshness. Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an anti-foaming agent.
Of course, we’ve always been told that pictures are worth a thousand words. Well, this image of a pink intestinal-shaped substance used in the preparation of the food has gone viral. And it scares me.
Thankfully, McDonald’s is now pushing a new and improved form of processed chicken. The company refers to its latest discovery as Chicken McBites, and it describes the product as “poppable pieces of premium chicken breast seasoned to homestyle perfection. Tiny in size, huge in taste, they’ll bring a little joy to your day.”
At least one food critic is not impressed. Yesterday, Carey Polis, the Associate Food Editor at the Huffington Post, published her review of the new offering. She summarized the nutritional qualities of the product by writing:
Perhaps McBites were introduced just to be snacked on, as a “light” version of McNuggets if you just want a quick salty fix, however, the regular sized box of McBites are about as filling as a 6-piece McNuggets. And when you compare the calorie counts — 470 vs. 280 — you’ll see that McBites have about 68% more calories than their predecessor, a result of the starchy, oil-collecting batter outweighing its chicken counterpart.
This unflattering review likely won’t deter Khadijah Baseer. The thirty-one year old resident of Los Angeles, California, stands accused of approaching vehicles at a McDonald’s drive-thru and offering to perform oral sex on the passengers in exchange for Chicken McNuggets. Khadijah has yet to publicly offer her opinion about the new Chicken McBites, but her alleged actions suggest that she’ll almost definitely agree with McDonald’s that they’re “tiny in size, huge in taste, [and] they’ll bring a little joy to your day.”