Reading the small print: Chicken

by Marcy on May 20, 2008 · 0 comments

Last week I read a post on Mercedes’ blog about how much chicken broth is injected into the chicken that we buy at the store. Her post reminded me of an article* I had clipped from the newspaper in April that I meant to share, but had never gotten around to it.

I will admit that while I was annoyed when I read this article, I haven’t done anything about it yet. I suppose I should start reading the labels more closely at the store to see if I can find any chicken that hasn’t been pumped full of extra sodium. Take a peek and let me know what you think.

Chicken quiz reveals facts to cluck about
McClatchy Newspapers

Americans eat about 90 pounds of chicken per person every year. That’s a good thing, right? Or is it? Here’s a quiz to find out how much you know about the chicken you eat.

True or false?

1. All chickens labeled “100 percent natural” are just chicken, nothing added.

2. If you read the small print, about half of the chickens sold as “100 percent natural” have been injected with broth and salt.

3. USDA rules allow processors to inject chickens with water, broth and sodium, and still label them as natural.

4. Some enhanced chickens (broth-injected) contain as much as 330 mg of sodium.

5. A chicken that has not been enhanced generally contains 40 to 65 mg of sodium.

6. Some natural chickens have carrageenan on the ingredients list. Carrageenan is a seaweed product and therefore qualifies as natural.

7. Injections increase the weight of the chicken, so consumers end up paying more for protein they aren’t getting.

8. If the label on the chicken has a Heart Check symbol, the chicken has not been injected with sodium.

9. Consumers can tell if a chicken has any injected ingredients by reading the ingredients listed on the label.

Answers: 1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. True; 5. True; 6. True; 7. True; 8. False; 9. True

Sources: Nutrition Action Healthletter, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest; Truthful Labeling Coalition; California Poultry Federation

*I found this article online so that I didn’t have to retype it. My source for this article can be found here.

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