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An excellent source of happiness…

July 8, 2010

McDonald’s chicken nuggets: an excellent source of happiness.

It was raining like mad when I picked up Amelia from her sitter today. In a moment of regrettable weakness I pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru for milk shakes. I know…I know, seriously who possessed me? The kid sized shake only came with the “Happy Meal”. My stomach growling I ordered the 4 piece chicken nugget with (gasp) fries and a shake for myself. Seriously, I know!?! You would think I was still pregnant! Amelia gulped down her shake in the exclaiming about 15 times from the back seat, “Mmm…this is good mom…Mmm this is good. Thanks mom!” And I sneaked the fries and nuggets in the front seat (not wanting to share or have Amelia see me eating this junk). Disgusted yet satisfied, I found the nugget carton quite humorous. Especially after watching “Killer at Large” this weekend.  I showed the nugget carton (pictured above) to Guy and he said, “Did you know they (nuggets) are 4 percent lighter fluid?” “Whatever!” I said.  “Look it up, I am right.” I am sorry to say my husband was “partly” right.  According to the article, Want Some Lighter Fluid with Those Chicken McNuggets?!,  “McNuggets also contain several completely synthetic ingredients, quasi-edible substances that ultimately come not from a corn or soybean field but form a petroleum refinery or chemical plant. These chemicals are what make modern processed food possible, by keeping the organic materials in them from going bad or looking strange after months in the freezer or on the road. Listed first are the ‘leavening agents’: sodium aluminum phosphate, mono-calcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium lactate. These are antioxidants added to keep the various animal and vegetable fats involved in a nugget from turning rancid. Then there are ‘anti-foaming agents’ like dimethylpolysiloxene, added to the cooking oil to keep the starches from binding to air molecules, so as to produce foam during the fry. The problem is evidently grave enough to warrant adding a toxic chemical to the food: According to the Handbook of Food Additives, dimethylpolysiloxene is a suspected carcinogen and an established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive effector; it’s also flammable. But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to ‘help preserve freshness.’ According to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause ‘nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.’ Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.” 

Chicken Nuggets: an excellent source of happinessss….

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