Chicken Plumping

About 1/3 of the chicken sold in supermarkets in this country has been injected with saltwater or seaweed extracts, in order to increase its weight and supposedly improve its appearance.  Despite the obvious fact that there is nothing natural about a chicken carcass “plumped” with saltwater or seaweed, the USDA allows this adulterated chicken to be labelled “all natural” or “100% natural.” 

The industrial food companies claim they “plump” the chickens because consumers prefer the salty taste, and because the supermarkets want uniform weights and prices for chickens.  No doubt profits are a major motivator as well.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported that American consumers spend an estimated $2 billion each year for added salt water in commerical grade chickens (sold by weight in grocery stores).

The practice tends to increase the sodium content in the chicken from about 45-60 mgs per 4 ounce serving (in natural “unplumped” chicken) to between 200-400 mgs of sodium per serving (roughly equivalent to the sodium content of an order of fast food French fries).

Americans have become so separated from real food that the vast majority have no idea what a plucked chicken is supposed to look like.  And because of that, they’ll pay billions of dollars for saltwater, thinking it’s chicken.

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