June 25th, 2010
03:44 PM ET
All McNuggets not created equal
All McDonald’s nuggets are not created equal.
U.S. McNuggets not only contain more calories and fat than their British counterparts, but also chemicals not found across the Atlantic.
CNN investigated the differences after receiving a blog comment asking about them.
American McNuggets (190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat for 4 pieces) contain the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product. They also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, “an anti-foaming agent” also used in Silly Putty.
By contrast, British McNuggets (170 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat for 4 pieces) lists neither chemical among its ingredients.
“I would certainly choose the British nuggets over the American” says Ruth Winter, author of “A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives.”
McDonald’s says the differences are based on the local tastes: In the United States, McNuggets are coated and then cooked, in the United Kingdom, they are cooked and then coated. As a result, the British McNuggets absorb less oil and have less fat.
"You would find that if you looked at any of our core food items. You'd see little, regional differences," says Lisa McComb, who handles global media relations for McDonald's, which has more than 32,000 restaurants in 117 countries. "We do taste testing of all our food items on an ongoing basis."
One apparent difference is only a matter of labeling, according to McComb. U.K. McNuggets list ground celery and pepper, which are labeled simply as "spices" in the United States, she says.
Marion Nestle, a New York University professor and author of “What to Eat,” says the tertiary butylhydroquinone and dimethylpolysiloxane in the McNuggets probably pose no health risks. As a general rule, though, she advocates not eating any food with an ingredient you can’t pronounce.
Dimethylpolysiloxane is used as a matter of safety to keep the oil from foaming, McComb says. The chemical is a form of silicone also used in cosmetics and Silly Putty. A review of animal studies by The World Health Organization found no adverse health effects associated with dimethylpolysiloxane.
TBHQ is a preservative for vegetable oils and animal fats, limited to .02 percent of the oil in the nugget. One gram (one-thirtieth of an ounce) can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse," according to “A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives.”
In 2003, McDonald’s launched smaller, all-white-meat McNuggets after a federal judge dubbed the food “a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook." Among the ingredients that remained in the new McNuggets: tBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane.
Christopher Kimball, the founder and publisher of Cook’s Illustrated magazine and host of the syndicated cooking show America’s Test Kitchen, says he suspects these chemicals are required for the nuggets to hold their shape and texture after being extruded into nugget-shaped molds.
“The regulations in Europe, in general, around food are much stricter than the U.S.,” Kimball says.
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Based on your general rule, I guess I can eat just about anything. As a Chemist, I can pronounce most of those chemicals.
Congrats Ed. What's your point?
Aaron, his point is that that is a stupid general rule. (Duh)
I agree. I'm a certified nerd and can read and pronounce these words just fine. Guess I get a free pass to eat whatever I feel like.
In general, most people are not chemists. It is a general rule, not catered to specifics. Get a cookie, with any ingredients, I suppose j/k.
Hey Ed, I'm e-mailing this article to everyone I know so they can see how cool you are.
It's actually a pretty good general rule, since most people are NOT chemists. there is something to be said for eating whole foods and not processed garbage.
I guess an assumption in making this rule is that anyone smart enough to be able to pronounce these chemicals would also be smart enough to know that they shouldn't be eating them. But you know what they say about assumptions ...
I can pronounce it, but I sure as hell am not eating it.
So much for their 'natural' nuggets.
Let's boycott this company and put them out of business. It starts with ONE PERSON!
it's a concept, not meant to be taken literally. Scientists....sheesh
Cool story, bro.
Some of my neighbors are horrible at pronouncing words and would probably have to stay away from dihydrogen monoxide (and I'd be better off if some of them did). I should be staying away from mille-feuille and pho.
Geez, everyone is getting on Ed's case here. I, for one, thought your comment was hilarious, Ed.
I also found the comment hillarious. Berate away.
good job at reversing the conditions of the rule, Ned... you can't say from the rule that you can eat anything because you can pronounce everything... The rule shows only a sufficient condition for not eating the food, not necessary. DUH!
Well, who would eat those things in the first place??? No need to tell me what they have in them or on them. I'm not going to eat the greasy things!! You'd have to be nuts to eat them!
Ed, maybe she means if you can pronounce it, means you know what it is, so you are smart enough not to eat it. But that information is only for those who know.
Why does everyone get hung up on products that say "natural," like no harm can come from eating natural ingredients? Hemlock is natural too, that doesn't mean if I walk into an apothecary and see a container of the stuff with the label "all natural" that I'm going to eat it.
I think his point was that the *general rule* to not eat what you can't pronounce is silly, because it implies that a chemical with a longer name is somehow *more dangerous* than one with a shorter name. Make sense now?
I agree that is a ridiculous rule of thumb. I'm not a chemist but I can read. I've had McDonald's in the US, UK and France and I've gotta say, it tastes better over seas and the portions are better too. However, that being said, if you're eating at McDonald's you don't really care about your diet anyway.
Just because I can pronounce Horse S**t doesn't mean I'll eat it. You joke was self defeating.
Anyone that graduated the 9th grade SHOULD be able to pronounce "dimethylpolysiloxane" – so I'm guessing if you can't, you shouldn't be feeding your pre-high-school kids anything with this, in it... Have to admit, I agree 100% with "Jamie Oliver's FOOD REVOLUTION" (google it), if there are more ingredients in a food that you don't know what they are, than the ones you do, DON'T EAT IT.
"It's people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They're making our food out of people. Next thing they'll be breeding us like cattle for food. You've gotta tell them. You've gotta tell them! " (Soylent Green – 1973)
@PennWinslow-- You ask who would eat this stuff? People who can't afford anything else is the answer. Try living on a $700 per month disability check (The same no matter where u live-no consideration on cost of living, so you get the same in New York City as you would in rural Oklahoma). $700 a month does not pay a week's rent in New York. Not that it gives enough to live like a human being anywhere really. So if you can get your 'breakfast' or 'lunch' off a dollar meal, then it is better than starving. I think this stuff is gross, but sometimes I have to eat food i am not particularly pleased with because of my financial situation. Hope that answers your question!
Stay strong, Ed- you're having a battle of wits with the unarmed!
What you're seeing in the comments is the celebration of mediocrity & ignorance in America- where intelligence is derided and ignorance is socially acceptable.
Most of these folks need to EDUCATE themselves and learn how to run with a faster crowd- don't slow down for them!
Let them learn to pedal faster to keep up!
Eating this junk is really taking a chance. I hear the chickens have 2 right wings-cluck..cluck.
Just another way in which we Americans are killing ourselves.
Most people are not chemists. True.
Most people are not familiar with chemical names. True.
Most people do not deserve their news sources to treat them like illiterate idiots, even if they are. True.
"Don't eat foods with ingredients that sound like they belong in a chemistry class rather than on the shelf at a market." gets the message across without calling your audience stupid.
Maybe the rule is intended so that smart people can ingest the chemicals that they can pronounce and then they will progressively lose intelligence because of that until they can't anymore.
Or maybe it is just a "general" rule like she says.
Dr. Birnbaum is that you?
If not, anyways. I think we should leave these people in their mass hysteria. In case they didn't know, EVERYTHING has a chemical name. Have they read the back of their cereal boxes, or shampoos, or even body lotions lately? There is a whole lot on the back of those things the average person cannot pronounce, yet they are putting it on them or in them everyday.
So, yes let's continue to ingest these horrible chemicals.
Ed's point might be that that is the stupidest rule I've ever heard.
Ed, here's a word that you can probably pronounce too: TOOL.
@Joseph: Right on brother. It's the same for unemployment. You get a max of 450 per check - 900 a month. That's less than 50% of what your typical 1 bedroom apartment rent is here in San Francisco. I despise McDonalds food, Cup o Ramen, Burger King, etc. But when I was unemployed for 6 months, I had very few options. It is absolutely terrible for you though and if at all one can avoid eating Mickey Ds, they should do so with gusto!
Hey Ed (and his misguided defenders): while attaining your Chemistry expertise did you ever stumble across the definition for the word "general"?
Martini, you are right! That dihydrogen monoxide is some nasty stuff. I'm shocked it hasn't been outlawed, with as many people it's killed over the years.
I guess that's why George W Bush couldn't pronounce "nuclear"... he might accidentally eat it otherwise.
wow, a lot of people here need to lighten up.
Wow. Ed sure made a lot of people feel inferior. I haven't seen this much juvenile rage since the Asian kid with glasses one the spelling bee in third grade.
Ed's point, which most of you were too busy being butt-hurt to get, was that it's pretty moronic to base your eating decisions on how something is spelled. If you're the kind of person that thinks something is "dangerous" just because it has "too many syllables", then frankly, you're an idiot. But the real irony here is that most of you seem to be angry because you think Ed was trying to "act smart", when in fact that's exactly what YOU'RE trying to do. You're just upset that he did it first.
The responses to Ed's comment are the kind I would expect from people @ a tea party rally. As a frequent CNN viewer, I would like to believe that you people really are not so Ignorant that you felt insulted by his comment. As aforementioned in the above replies, anyone with a middle school education should be able to pronounce that chemical's name. Now, I feel insulted for getting my news from the same source as some these commenters.
"Exasperated" is right. Most of these people are ignorant McNugget eaters. There's no point in even trying to educate them. They don't want to learn anything or think beyond the literal words on the page. They think knowledge is "elitist" and therefore must be something to be made fun of. Then they complain about how they live on little money and live in trailer parks. Sucks to be you people, but I don't feel sorry for you.
I just like the made "WITH" white meat ...it's not made OF white meat.
Going by the general rule "you are what you eat," all the d*cks on here insulting Ed seem to already have their diet decided.
I can pronounce arsenic just fine but that doesn't mean I want to eat it.
Okay okay, poor.....poor Ed. Lets leave it like this Professor, any chemical that sounds like it can degrease an engine, or has more syllables than people have fingers, you shouldnt injest it. And good luck boycotting mr. "IT STARTS WITH ONE PERSON". Were a nation that still runs on oil and sells a product that has no other effects/results than producing cancer. Trust me, as long as cigarettes are still on shelves, the McObesity chain is not going to throw in the towel. Get off the soapbox.
hahaha. I am a chemist as well. I'm glad someone else agrees that that "general rule" is bullcrap to anyone with any sort of education. We learn to sound out words in 3rd grade people....anyone can pronounce those chemicals if they tried.
Ed – too funny! I can pronounce them too. 🙂
Good thing junk food is only part of my diet on extreme moments when I have not choice, cook at home and stop being fat lazy butts 😉
Good for you, Wonderboy!
Ed, your sense of humor is lost on these imbeciles.
"As a general rule, though, she advocates not eating any food with an ingredient you can’t pronounce."
Really? Because only "bad chemicals" have really complex chemical makeup names?
Hey Thor, how's that LSAT studying coming along? Bustin out the formal logic on the message boards haha
Oh boy, we're going to need a bigger net to clean this mess.
Illiterate people and anyone with an accent, will end up with very limited meal selections.
Of all the things wrong with McNuggets, they aren't greasy. There's nothing wrong with not liking them, but if someone says they are greasy, either their local mcdonalds is doing it wrong, or they haven't tried McNuggets. I don't particularly like the breading they use, and the meat is bland, but that's a different complaint. Bland is their middle name.
I think the point Ed is driving at is that there are hugely dangerous chemicals with simple and/or unintimidating names (you shouldn't drink Copper (II) sulfate solution), and harmless or beneficial chemicals with names a layperson would find very difficult to sight-read.
For example, an apple, genetically unmodified, grown locally and without the use of herbicides or pesticides, contains adenosine triphosphate, ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, aconitase, and succinyl-CoA synthetase.
Many people would find those words intimidating or "unpronounceable" if they saw them in a list of ingredients.
Does that mean we shouldn't eat apples?
Ease of pronunciation is a terrible basis for making eating decisions.
Say Ed, that's great. Now let's see if in a few years your diseased filled dead brain will be able to do it
all over again.
His point is, he is annoying and should stop talking.
Thanks God they didn't say, "....it doesn't take a rocket scientist." or I'd be outta here.
I guess some of y'all will no longer be eating "SAL-MON" or drinking "MER-LOT".
McDonalds is great!
I haven't eaten British McDonalds... But Im fine with Americas recipe!
Instead of all of America trying to ruin McDonalds, lets focus on cigarettes!
(Continuing the long chain of replies to your post.)
I've got this tee shirt with the McDonald golden arches on the front along with a message that says "It's all fun, Tubby, until you can't reach the seat belt." I'll purposely wear it into my local McDonalds where there's a Redbox video machine so I can rent DVDs. I just love the looks I get when folks read the shirt. 🙂
With 2/3 of Americans either overweight or obese I have no sympathy for people who eat garbage at fast food restaurants.
Agree with Flygirl, the burgers in McDonalds Japan and Hong Kong do have a better/ fresher taste than the stateside. To Ed, go ahead and eat your heart out since you can pronunce most of the chemicals 🙂
If you are so smart, Ed, then how come you completely miss the point of the rule???
The general rule is just another way of dumbing down America: eat the long-named chemical additives, develop health problems because of it, die early thereby weeding out the smart ones from the gene pool. Its a conspiracy I tell you!.
you and me both, ed.... you and me both.
People – it's a joke! Ed's comment is a joke – don't you get it?
He's mocking the "don't eat it if you can't pronounce it" logic – because the FDA is calling people idiots. They are saying that we, as a people aren't smart enough to say those words. He's not saying he eats the things, but that the logic behind their rule is stupid.
Chick Fil A sandwiches also contain TBHQ and dimethylpolysiloxane.I would postulate that they are in most fried chicken and/or fried fast food selections. People guzzle down Chick Fil A and hold it up on a pedastal for being healthy... where is the outrage on that and other foods? I wouldn't worry about chemicals in your food. It's relatively harmless. Far more important things to worry about.
Do you have any new recipes?
Hey ED, can you pronounce ASS, why don't you go eat some of that!
@ed, that was my first thought. apparently according to this author we are screwed for knowing science.
Man, I hate Ed.
Why is McDonalds trying to kill us? They are trying to make us big and chunky and lumpy and puffy!
Who cares what shape it is? Is there any other type of natural ingredients that they can use!
I think a better rule of thumb would be "if it tastes good, is inexpensive, or is easy to prepare, you shouldn't eat it."
...Ya lousy elitists.
Is ANY of the food in McDonald's chemical-free?
It's a funny string of messages. However, if you can not pronounce the bacteria in yogurt, you shouldn't eat it?
you should also be able to determine the general meaning of Ed's response, rather than taking it so literally. Look, I eat McDonalds and/or other fast food once every 3-4 months, and I eat out at a 'sit down' restaurant about once a week. I run 9 miles a week and cook traditional french recipes (LOTS of butter and heavy cream in every meal) on most days of the week. I enjoy chocolate and wine on a daily basis. However, I am in good health and have a healthy (21.6) BMI. Apparently, many Americans are doing something wrong in their diet, since I am consuming quite a lot of calories and fat and only exercising marginally, and can still maintain a healthy BMI. I would bet a weeks salary that fast food is a considerable issue in the "War against Weight Loss" that Americans tend to constantly be involved in. (and FYI, I am an American living in America–hating the fact that we spend billions on healthcare, while still allowing those with BMI's over 30 (and who are not bodybuilders with a much higher BMI) to eat fast food whenever they want).
Fresh nuggets are healthier than stale ones that does not even taste nice. So this tbhq can really keep food fresh?
I can't pronounce "deoxyribonucleic acid" (I have a verbal impediment), which is contained in all living organisms thus in all organic food (animals/vegetables), as well as other terms like eukaryotic, 5-methylcytosine, and supercoiling-topoisomerases, so I'm only going to eat simple-sounding chemicals like "cyanide".
But seriously, I confess I eat McDonalds' great $1 salad (incl. tomatos, carrots, all-natural Italian dressing). Is that not healthy AND a great value? Have that with water, use their free internet, you end up ahead hahahaha.
Mcdonalds- sugar, fat, and chemicals. did you know that thir letuce alone has 4 different chemicals in it? Their cinamin buns over 50!
Wow, that is gross! I remember reading that Subway uses coloring on some of their vegetables. I was like, "what!" Who puts more green coloring on their peppers? Most fast food places also have extremely high amounts of sodium in all of their products, even the bread! The bun alone on a fast food burger or chicken sandwich will ruin your diet for the whole day.
@ Kaylan-the sodium in the bread is the same as in any bread you'd buy in the supermarket, unless you specifically look for low sodium ones. OR make you own...but if you use baking soda in anything you are adding sodium as well.
@ Kaylan – Did you know that meat at the supermarket in the U.S. is colored? The red is not blood, it is dye. Also, some of your vegetables at the market are colored as well, such as tomatoes, to make them look ripe before they actually are. You might like to read Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma, or see the documentary Food, Inc.
Are the chemicals keeping us from getting E-Coli by eating tainted lettuce like Subway has? If so I say good.
dude, until you can correctly spell "cinnamon", your opinion doesn't count. yes, it is me that gets to decide that. why? because i remember my 2nd grade spelling bee and cinnamon was a word in the contest.
I just found out that Subway uses HFCS in their buns and if you think that you are eating healthy by choosing their 9 grain bun, keep thinking they make up less than 2% of the ingredients! They use ammonium sulfate in the 9 grain buns to turn them darker brown. If you don't recognize that chemical ammonium sulfate is also in plant fertilizer. YUMMY!!!
Did you know most recent outbreaks of e. coli have come from "organic" sources? You can find danger anywhere you look hard enough.
No, the chemicals do not keep you from getting e-Coli, and all these chemicals in our food are most certainly adding to health issues, such as cancer.
The sooner we stop buying all the chemical processed food the better – and then they will maybe get the message.
Kaylan, all of Subway's vegetables arrive in cardboard boxes, just like at the grocery store. The only exceptions are the pre-shredded lettuce, pickled veggies, and bagged spinach. Subway fresh slices bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes. And yes, the bread does contain stuff that any other processed bread does.
To Stephanie who is paranoid about Subway. The authors of the research that implicated HFCS as a cause of obesity, have after further review and further research, stated that HFCS does not cause obesity any more than regular sugar. The HFCS is in the bun since it will act as a humectant (holds moisture), act as a quick food source for the yeast that leaven the bun, and will also provide a reducing sugar that will brown the surface of the bread by the Maillard reaction during baking. Regarding the ammonium sulfate, it is a yeast food. The yeast consume it for better health and faster growth, they are not making fertilizer. Or bombs.
Yeah Don – Nevermind the staggering and growing curious number of children these days with juvenile diabetes, arthritis, and obesity these days. I can't even feed my kid an innocent little ice cream in most social environments without it being polluted with corn syrup, hydrogonated oils and chemicals I am unfamiliar with.
Princeton University researchers noted that high-fructose corn syrup fed to rats in their study generated more triglycerides, and more body fat, when compared with rats that were fed equal amonts of table sugar, though the reasons still remain unclear. Nevermind all the other studies linking it with diabetes.
The U.S. F.D.A. allows anything into the market place that doesn't cause immediate harm with no long term research backing up safety, subjecting all of us and our kids to being guinea pigs, and to fend for ourselves through class action law suits. Nice system.
I'd also be nice to feed my kid a strawberry without 50 trace pesticides on it (literally – you can google it) or a non-genetically modified corn on the cob that could potentially be affecting the fertility of our kids and grandkids. I hope more families start standing up for our rights to unadulterated food for our children and generations to come.
Hey Jimd, I believe in addition to spelling, we also learned how to capitalize the first word in sentences and the word "I" in the second grade. Since you're so hard on poor spellers perhaps you should check yourself a little better. A-hole!
Made-up hysterical factoids don't help at all. All food has chemicals in it. That's because organic matter is made of chemicals. Your body is made of chemicals, mostly di-hydrogen monoxide, a compound which can cause a slow lingering death with exposure less than 1oz of the stuff, is immediately lethal in quantities as small as 1 gallon, and which is completely unregulated. Not only that, every death row convict was found to have consumed di-hydrogen monoxide in some form within hours before comitting his or her crimes.
Connections between HFCS and health overall are uncertain. If I consume more than small amounts of the stuff, I get gas, headaches, acid reflux, and sleep disruptions. All the "benefits" of HFCS could be provided by indredients used for hundreds of years in bread, without any of the concerns that come from HFCS, but the american consumer prefers sweeter foods, and thanks to subsidies, HFCS is cheap, so it is added to everything.
Yeah, it's crazy that lettuce has chemicals in it!
It's got: BOTH alpha and beta Lactucerol, Lactucin, Lactucopicrin - gross!
Did you know that cyanide only has 1 chemical in it, and I can pronounce it!
Ewwww! We are not going to eat nuggets anymore! This is why so many people and children are now obese! It seems like these problems have been around so long and we are only discovering them these days now. We need to change this now!
You do realize that without the "processing" that you decry, it would be impossible to get many foods TO YOU without them being spoiled, or, they would cost so much that most would not be able to afford them.
That is a HUGE component in the obesity issue in the US, and probably elsewhere. HEALTHY food is generally MUCH more expensive than the over processed chemically laden foods that most choose.... out of necessity.
I just love those commercials that try to make corn syrup sound wonderful. Of course, they don't tell you how it is processed. It takes sulfuric and hydrochloric acid to turn those corn kernels into syrup. I'd much rather consume sugar which is closer to it's natural state than is corn syrup. All of our foods are so over-processed and chemical laden, it is no wonder why so many diseases are on the rise. I suffer from Fibromyalgia, and I believe it is the result of damage from all these chemicals in our foods, air, water and soil.
Oh man, I'm gonna sue!
God bless America!
"As a general rule, though, she advocates not eating any food with an ingredient you can’t pronounce."
"Reports of a pandemic of stutterers and mutes starving to death."
"Everybody in Boston is dead, they're all just... dead."
I love it. Folks in Boston can't pronounce a damn thing properly.
Hey; I resemble that remark!
Haha, Bofzton. Menino is a mumbling waste of space.
Best post ever 🙂
Propably pose no health risks...eat up there fatties! Why would you ever put this crap in your body...let alone feed it to your children? Goes to show you too that stricker government regulations on food is totally needed.
I think you were looking for "probably" and "stricter." Also, your final sentence would be grammatically correct if written "stricter government regulation of food is totally needed."
Your mistakes, I'm afraid, render your argument invalid, since they illustrate that the closest you'll ever get to wearing a lab coat is working at the Clinique counter.
No they are most certainly not needed! It's my liberty to eat McNuggets, and McDonalds liberty to sell them. I've been eating them for years and I haven't had any problems. They probably taste better in the US than in the UK because of their regulations.
No James, an argument where you attack the the person and not the argument is invalid. An argument that has correct logical form and incorrect data is unsound. I don't believe that spelling counts in either.
Sean, you're a sad, and uneducated person.
Sean7: Stop watching Glenn Beck, grow a brain and learn how to use it. Finally, don't brag about your "right" to fill your mouth will toxic waste (nor smoke, or drive without a seat belt). We might not have thought you an idiot until you removed all doubt.
I do agree with Winter. We need better food regulations in this country, especially with a lot of recalls on beef and vegetables (like the recent...and many...spinach recalls). There was one on romaine lettuce too. It is basically a gamble if you get food contaminated or not these days. I think we all need to do our own gardening (or do container gardening if you have the space).
I see a lot of readers commenting about eating what they want. And that is true. One can eat poorly if they desire but I do think that viewpoint changes once you have children. You want to feed your kids the best food you can and you want to eat well yourself so you are around to take care of them and see them grow up. Plus, giving money to McDonalds and other fast food places just encourages them to keep feeding people bad things. It would be nice if a boycott happened so they would use real food like they did in the past.
Bill, are you saying that Sean does not have a right to make an informed decision? Glenn Beck did not invent free market economics as you also imply. Finally, in the U.S. a person always has the right to choose to patronize a legally operated business.
@Bill Excuse me? For one thing, I haven't seen one episode of Glenn Beck. I also don't care what you say. I don't care what foods you decide other people shouldn't eat. It doesn't make it not their liberty.
yep, just what we need. big brother telling us what we can and cant eat now. whatever happened to personal responsibilty? who doesnt know mcdonalds is bad for you? geez, mcdonalds made me fat. no, you eating a supersized meal 5 times a week made you fat. put the fork down already–problem solved.
There is a lot to be said for personal responsibility, but what access does the average person have to the potential health risks of chemicals used in heavily processed foods? As the average person isn't a scientist and doesn't have access to the wealth of scientific research (nor could understand it if they did) are we to assume that everything put in food is safe because the company says so? Or perhaps should we leave it to those who are trained in assessing scientific research (FDA) to be the watchdogs of society and limit the chemicals that can be used?
We may have a right to put what we want into our bodies, but that doesn't mean that manufacturers have the right to poison us.
Bill – You're the only idiot here, as displayed by your childish personal attacks to something with an opinion other than yours. With that said... the solution isn't regulation, it's education. Give citizens the tools to make informed decisions, don't make the decisions for them.
The best govt regulation would be to get the agencies out from the political control of the companies. Then they could do their job. I don't support forbidding people to do or eat something, just because someone else doesn't like it. But these companies should be forced into full disclosure- screw their money! Then we could START to have intelligent discussions on what you want to do, and what you don't, based on facts. How many of you knew about the anti-foaming agents and preservatives? You can't make a choice unless you have the knowledge. And these companies, time and time again, have been shown that they cannot be trusted to tell the truth unless there is someone who has a really big stick to make them.
as is "stricter" gov't regulations that somewhere during during elementary school everyone learns how to spell "stricter"??
Laura, in this day and age, information is readily available to anyone willing to look for it. Are you trying to say Google is too complicated for people and they need the nanny government to look out for them?
@a thing about liberty:
One person's liberty can not force other person to lose his liberty. If I am listening to music too loud in my home, my neighbor might suffer. Similarly, if McDonalds is using soem bad chemicals and producing tasty food that is cheap to buy, then all other businesses are forced to use the bad chemicals too bcaz majority of people do not know or mind about eating 'chemical food'. Then, if any person is looking for a clean food, he/she might find it extremely difficult to find it, which is a loss of liberty. There might be situations where one is out of town and can not cook at home. One can not argue stupid for liberty: 1) why should I only drive on the left on teh road? 2) why can't I drive at 120 miles/hr? You might think a father is liberty to do cocaine and ruin his life, but about the kids he brought into this world?
Previously, I would have absolutely supported the 'eat whatever you want' idea...
Now that we're on the verge of National Health Care – I'll be paying for the adverse effects of what you consume.. Expect me to start telling you what you can and can't....
@James Hawk III
As someone wearing a lab coat right and reading this at work. I almost fell out of my chair laughing!
@David we aren't talking about lead paint we're talking about chicken nuggets. They might have some stuff that sounds weird in them, but they aren't harming anyone.
How many times has the FDA, the people trained to assess products as you say, missed something and allowed a poorly tested or bad product on the market? I don't necessarily trust these companies but I don't put blind faith in government agencies to do a good job either.
I hate it when people call others out for misspellings,grammar mistakes. Language is alive, people! The written word is merely a representation of the spoken.
Samir, Glenn Beck did not invent the free market, true. He also doesn't support it when he opposes different controls on what carp goes into our bodies. Fighting for trans fats and HFCS is not "free market" those products are strongly encouraged by current policy and by subsidies. All Glenn is fighting for is status quo, complete with big government and earmarks for big business. In a real free market, HFCS and many other common food addatives and ingredients would cost more, and be less attractive to food manufacturers. They would also have been studied more strongly before being released on the market.
Politics as usual is fine when it benefits "us" and terrible when it benefits "them".
Because it tastes good. And we all die sometime. Might as well be fat and happy rather than skinny with a stick up our butt.
Not eating something because you can't pronounce it is just plain stupid. Basically, all matter is made up of chemicals and all of those chemicals have a chemical name. Deoxyribonucleic Acid?!!??! That's DNA, and I'm pretty sure everyone wants that in their body. Ascorbic Acid?!?! That's vitamin C. Using the pronunciation rule is just preposterous and spreads unnecessary fear
I was unaware of the presense of vitamin C in chicken nuggets. The article is trying to raise the awareness of the amount of lab created food in our society. Well enough of this, I need to go find my bunsen burner; I have some cooking to do!
Wow, right on! Dimethylpolysiloxane is a chemical used to manufacture Silly Putty, so we don't have to eat Silly Putty anymore.
I think we might all step back and acknowledge that the point Nestle was TRYING to make was that we would all be better off if we tried to eat more *whole* foods and fewer processed ones. The nitpicking is on high-beam tonight. Sheesh.
@ Samir – All of McDonald's nutrition information is readily available on their website. So while you may not have been aware that McNuggets contain Vitamin C, had you checked, you would have realized that they do.
@ Lettie – It isn't nitpicking. It is combatting fearmongering. Just search through the comments and you won't have to search far to find someone who says all chemicals are bad... because this is the message they've been fed. This is beyond ignorant. The problem is, the entire universe (what isn't empty space) is composed entirely of chemicals. The periodic table is a list of chemicals. Everything that exists is made up of various combinations of the chemicals on that list.
@Alex: You say the information is "readily available," yet there have been quite a few exposés revealing that, gasp, just because a company makes claims as to its products' ingredients, nutritional information, or health benefits, that doesn't make them true. To think otherwise is pure and simple naiveté.
@ Robert – The main point is that Samir's jib was meaningless. If you told people to drink orange juice because it contains Vitamin C, they'd chug it down. Tell them to stop because it contains Ascorbic Acid, and they'd do that, too. The original poster never claimed McNuggets contained Vitamin C, but Samir made an effort to discredit the post with a comment that was irrelevant and misinformed.
However, as for your remarks, if you understood Vitamin C and how common it is and it's functionality, then you'd also understand that it is definitely there. McDonald's isn't adding it (or lying about adding it) so they can make an arbitrary nutritional claim, it is simply the reality of their cooking process and protein source.
All I can say is if you eat chicken nuggets at a fast food restaurant you are taking your life into your own hands.
Everything in moderation, but it does scare me that parents feed this to their kids everyday. Maybe once a month is OK.
True. Everything in moderation, but how are children supposed to moderate if their parents don't? I'm all in favor of healthy food, but sometimes I do find these kind of new reports silly. Because a chemical is found in a certain type of food doesn't mean the situation is that bad. I mean, chicken nuggets won't be very healthy any way you look at them. Eating too much of them will have adverse effect on your health. So, who really cares if the 6 McNuggets you eat every month have dimethylpolysiloxane in them?
See it this way: what would be the worse: eating only very healthy chicken nuggets for a month, or eating very sparse portions of McNuggets during the same month? At the end, you'd probably be better off with the latter.
I just recently came from London and you can definitely taste a difference between the way American food brands taste over there. They have quite a few McDonalds, KFCs, and Subways and the food sold there tastes a lot different/better than what we get here in the States. I wondered if that is because they have different food regulations than what we have in the States.
It would have been nice if you'd actually mentioned what the difference in taste was like. Nice omission, lady.
welcome to the US where regulations only happen if a substance will drop you dead on consumption. Fat people want a right to poison themselves and their kids then sue the fast food industry for letting them buy fatty food. This is the land of entitlement. People that work pay for people that WON"T. Their momma's didn't and they are not gonna. Middle class sucks when you know where your taxes go...
@ Bonni – the difference I noticed is that fast food abroad tasts fresher. In (hurried) weak moments I've had McDs in UK and in Amsterdam. In both cases, the food tasted fresher (the lettuce was crispy, not wilted, the bread wasn't dry, etc). I also noticed in the UK that the choices were way more varied. Better (& more than one choice) fruit juices for the kids, not just apple or soda. More side choices (not just apples vs fries). We were only getting food for the kids but I had to try one of their adult meals because it looked so good! Don't remember what it was, but remember it did NOT taste like McD's.
McDonald's is correct when stating that the different ingredients are based on local taste preferences. As an American, I know that my kids won't even look at their dinner if I don't add the tertiary butylhydroquinone and dimethylpolysiloxane to it. We Americans are very fussy eaters - and McDonald's is just catering to our needs. Thanks Mickey D's!
My kids don't LOVE the chemicals, but given the incentive of a toy, they will eat it. Thank goodness. It's not like I'm going to procure and bread my own chicken...this isn't the 3rd world!
I just don't understand why Americans like to eat fat and salt. I cook every day and home cooked food is to die for. I never went to cooking school, but I know what I like. I love making slow cooked cornish hen in tomato sauce and capers, barbecued lamb on baked polenta, a nice home cooked chicken soup with little stars etc... why would people chose to eat synthetic crap when real food is not only readily available but easy to prepare. It takes longer to wait in line for refuse not even a Nigerian would put in his mouth than to put in 10-20 minutes to cook something. Every time I do try to eat some fast food I quickly put it down after the first bite and cook dinner. It's not worth the stomach pains, diarrhea, and unhealthy side effects. Cooking isn't magic, it's something everyone should know how to do and there isn't an excuse in the world to prevent anyone from being able to feed themselves. My grandmother and grandfather worked full time taking care of 8 children and they still had home cooked meals every day. Feed yourself and your kids garbage, and you'll be garbage. Embarrassing.
Gotta love how you espouse cooking for oneself at home considering how fast (10-20 minutes?) you claim it is, but the dishes you list as examples of your "superior" food are slow-cooked cornish hens, barbecued lamb, and homemade soup....none of which are quick. Perhaps the soup if you're using broth from a box (the horror!). Not all of us are stay-at-home moms.
@ Bonni – My husband & I work full time, self-employed and have 2 kids. We sometimes don't get home until after 6PM. Which means our kids don't eat until 7 or 7:30. Which means immediately after eating, it's bed time (prolly not real healthy to go to bed w/ a full stomach). And these are nights where we DON'T have other stuff to do like baseball, gardening, late work meetings, etc. We TRY to do home cooked every night, but even then, sometimes part of that dinner was frozen first. I try to limit my kids' fast food intake to once a week or less – but sometimes that doesn't work out. It's sometimes better to feed them something, than it is to have them not eat at all! Don't judge us all based on some sterotype that you THINK you know. We're not even one of the overly busy families I know (my son only plays 1 sport at a time). But it's still hard to cook each night on top of everything else. I would love to have the dream 50's era family life – out of work by 5, dinner early, family time before bedtime, but alas, the American way is work, work, work.
The majority of US States add fluoride to their drinking water and yet fluoride is a proven carcinogenic (and appears to pose the greatest threat to those less than 2 years old). Continental Europe does not add fluoride to its water. We do to prevent teeth decay . . . at what expense? Fortunately, I reside in NJ – home to Big Pharma – and yet NJ does not add fluoride to its water. Makes me wonder what those Ph.D.s in research know about this substance. So keep cooking & drinking your water but worry about McD's . . . ?
It is scary how Americans let these big corporations slowly kill them. If big corporations told Americans that eating radioactive waste was good for them they would. Sometimes I wonder if there's a limit to American ignorance and servitude.
The dose makes the poison. Repeat until it sinks in. And I'll drink my fluoride-laced water, and brush with my fluoride toothpaste, and get my kid fluoride treatments at the dentist. And enjoy not having cavities.
Hit em where it hurts Momo.
Kaen, according to the most accurate research I could find, one would have to consume nearly an entire tube of toothpaste in one sitting in order to reach the minimal level need for toxicity. If someone is dumb enough to eat an entire tube of toothpaste in one sitting, I don't want them diluting the gene pool any more than it already is.
Karen, are you really using Europe as an example? Have you seen their teeth?
Karen – Ethanol is toxic. How many beers or glasses of wine did you have before coming to the asinine conclusion that water is what was going to kill you?
Seriously, reading this has made me hungry for what??? McNuggets!!! I need my McSilly-putty now
Rob...you're killing me here... 🙂
CNN please check out what is in a McDonald's burger. They say 100% beef, but I suspect they mean 50% meat and 50% organs/glands/etc... I am curious becuase I know MD's uses some South American beef in the US. South America has virtually no oversight into their beef industry. I would really be curious to see if neurol tissue occasionally finds its wat into a Micky D's burger. Check it out CNN/Anderson Cooper.
gross. Good idea. I second that thought! They need to check that out!
WTF is neurol tissue??? can't find it in my anatomy/physiology book. please enlighten me....
Their burgers are mostly beef lung. McDonalds is the number one purchaser of beef lung in the world. Nice, eh?
Now there's something wrong with beef lung? It's the best part! Well, that's what my mom always told me anyway.
As much as McDonalds is a disservice to the human race, they do use all beef for the burgers, not organ meats. And good beef to. They are able to sell quality beef at such a low price because they buy such huge volumes . Ive seen these places myself.
Still, McDonalds owes its existance to hangovers, kids, and people in a rush.
Any person who eats at McDonalds, typically has much more to worry about than the chemicals in the food.
haha true that
I never eat at McPoison's in the States. But since I'm going to the U.K. next month I might try their Chicken McNuggets just for the hell of it.
the differences are according to taste... of course! I should have known. In the United States we love eating silly putty and wood varnish... um, wait a second, no we don't. What the hell, McDonalds?!?!
M C D onalds
a o i
d w s
Creepy, huh? lol
that didn't print right, but whatever... lol
M _ C _ Donalds
A _ O _ I
D _ W _S
I get worried when someone mentions government regulation of people's choice of food. I'd understand if it was a case of false advertising or something along those lines, but if people choose to eat tasty unhealthy food with ingredients they can't pronounce, then let it be! (I'm sure that's all just a huge run on sentence lol)
I disagree. I think businesses should not have the right to fill their foods with questionable chemicals (and they are questionable in the long run, especially with kids eating them). McDonalds put out this "health" face awhile back and on their site they have "moms who condone them"...in effort to make the public think they are eating healthy. It is garbage after reading what they put in their foods. In the past, McDonalds had wholesome ingredients. I don't see why it is so hard to bring that back.
Not only that but this kind of self centered selfishness is what makes affordable health care unobtainable. As long as people keep thinking they have the right to kill themselves with food and then put the burden on our tax dollars we'll keep going down as a world power. Funny that it's legal to commit suicide by pseudo-foodstuff ingestion but it's illegal to want to get euthanasia if you're terminally ill. You can't just have it your way when you want it, unless of course you're at Burger King and then they'll sell you your poison however way you wish.
We need to get tougher regulations here in the US, if this is what they are serving Americans. No wonder Americans have weight problems given all the junk out there (and in the supermarket).
After reading this, I will have to stop eating McNuggets. They were my favorite McD food but not anymore. Yuck!
I would rather eat dog $hit than McDonald's chicken nuggets.
OK, I'll take the nuggets.
I have two dogs, where do I send the sh*t?
Thanks DMaN, for explaining my point so well. We should all watch what we eat, but whether or not we can pronounce it, has nothing to do with its nutrition. Fast food has lots of extra salt, fat and sugar (we can all pronounce those). Our bodies learned to crave these long ago when they were hard to come by. Now they are inexpensive and abundant and we eat too much of them. A little common sense can go a long way.
I think that's just an excuse to allow people to have a defense when they're caught eating this garbage. "Oh, nature made me do it". That's just great. I've never craved sweet, fatty, sugary stuff mostly because my parents would not feed me this junk and my mother always cooked healthy balanced meals, but then again, we're Italian so I guess we haven't been brainwashed by the American media and 'food' industry. It's sad that Americans don't respect food. By eating this garbage you disrespect the animals that died to become trash, and your own body and taste buds. Why would you purposefully destroy the only body you have for something that tastes like crap?
I can't believe there are parents actually defending McD. "This isn't a third world country" is your excuse for not breading your own chicken? Parents like you are the reason there are so many overweight children in this country.
Jason, I'm almost 100% positive that the person who wrote that comment was being sarcastic.
chicken mcnuggets are actually made of cats. why didn't they mention that?
they didn't mention that because it 1) isn't true 2) it is silly 3) you are off your meds (again)
solution = don't eat at mcdonald's no matter where in the world they are. end of story.
For the past 25 years I've been reading labels and staying away from foods that were reported to be bad. I don't know why would anyone want to feed their children McNuggets. It's been widely reported for several years that they contain chemicals and chicken parts that people wouldn't normally eat. I read every label before I buy the product. If I see more than 2 additives or ingredients that I can't pronounce, I put it back. It's not hard to find wholesome, safe foods if you know what to look for. It's better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your children. The bottom line: our parents and grandparents were not exposed to all of the foods additives (over 4,000 different additives are used by the food industry), growth hormones, pesticides and poisons, etc. that we are exposed to in our food supply today. With the epidemic obesity rate this country and other health concerns related to food, people need to think about what they're eating before they buy it.
Hmm. McDonalds does not force me to eat their food. Why would you want to force your choice of foods on me? I forgot you are smarter than I am.
M C D onalds
a o i
d w s
Creepy, huh? lol
hahaha y a r
wow youre truly a great representation of americans...nut jobs
Those European socialists eat better food than we do because their food regulations are much stronger than the USA's. French women never get fat because they don't eat food stuffed with preservatives, corn syrup, flavoring and trans fats like we do. Obviously they're all wrong and we're right.
After reading this article I am running right out and getting me some Chickin Mc Nug GUTS with extra, I will then coat them in loads of goopy sugar and citric acid sounds delious mm mm
I am heading out for another 10 piece......
Why would you eat fast food if you wanted to eat healthy?
THE BOOT SHAPED ONE!!!!!!!!!
come on people.. live a little.. eat some chicken nuggets.. crap anything anymore will kill u.. "live life to the greatest,for tomorrow u may die"
"American McNuggets (190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat for 4 pieces) contain the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product. They also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, “an anti-foaming agent” also used in Silly Putty."
Yeah, yeah... and they also contain dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical used in nuclear reactors.
Enjoying a BIG glass of Dihydrogen Monoxide right now 😉
The chemicals are also addictive. If you think for one second that fast food companies are any less evil then tobacco companies you are out of your mind.
What evidence do you have that these 2 particular chemicals are addictive? Are you just assuming that they are, that it is a vast conspiracy, because you like them?
So all you chem-o-phobic posters, guess you won't be reacting for those prescription drugs (who's chemical names you probably can't pronounce) when you come down with some illness? How many of you know whats in Tylenol? How it works? Where it came from? How it's made? Cuz I sure don't, but that's not stopping me from using it when I need it.
You can take just about any food product and extract some chemical component that "OMG" most people don't know what it is. It doesn't mean it's bad for you (or good). And anything in the wrong quantity is bad for you. Your digestive system was built to take in lots of random stuff and break it down, those are chemical reactions that are sustaining you right this very second. So please stop freaking out every time some chemical name is thrown at you.
The only thing you should get out of this article is that the British get slightly healthier McNuggets then their US cousins. But hey, it's still McDonald's people, lets not lose sight of that. I don't go there to lose weight.
Why even worry about all of this? the simple fact: Don't eat at McDonalds! There is no point complaining. Even if the chemicals are gone, it's still going to taste bad and be unhealthy. It's like a cigarette. It'll never be healthy.
200 Chicken McNuggets just isn't a big order to this McDonald's worker in Sylva, NC...
I need me some McNuggets, NOW! Who cares, you wanna live forever? They taste good don't they?
How many of you cook at home?
How many use a teflon coated pan or skillet?
Teflon or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene. A residue left behind while a chemist was trying to invent a new refridgerant.
Dont worry about McNuggets. Just worry about what you are consumeing at home.
True but Teflon is also a molecule that doesn't bind well. This is how you're able to have a "Non Stick" surface on your pans. The only real danger in teflon is when you heat it to extreme temperatures and start to break it down.
If you're truly concerned with all the chemicals why don't you start with air quality, It is the most important when it comes to health because you have absolutely no defense whenever you take a breath.
I'm really getting tired of all these people on here that rage about certain things and do Nothing about it. The reason McDonald's doesn't use "Wholesome foods" Is because it really does not exist anymore. Those vegetables you grew in your garden are surging with chemichals they extracted from the air and the ground. The water you wash them off with has been chemichally treated and/or processed at one time or another. Even that keyboard you're typing on is emmiting chain molecules that have been proven to cause cancer. If you're able to post on this thread you're exposing yourself just as much as the next person you're just ill educated.
you spell teflon's chemical name correct, but misspell "refrigerant"? what is up with that?
To be honest, Its not the foods I'm really worried about.
McDonald's just had a major recall on their promotional glasses stating that the paint on the glasses contain extremely high levels of chemichals known to cause various types of cancer/birth defects/reactions (look it up and go read their recall)
It's amazing how easily some of you just fall for this sensationalist type of journalism. I love CNN, don't get me wrong, but you have to realize they have to make these stories to fill these pages. The oil and carbs in the nuggets are MUCH more dangerous than the minute amount of TBHQ you are ingesting. In moderation, there is nothing wrong with eating some McNuggets. Try not taking health advice from a reporter, will you?
More regulation = more taxes that come out of our pockets to highly pay people who turn the other cheek, will deem mcdonalds organic green and clean, and not change a thing other than the amount of money we bring home.
Bonni- when mom and dad together are both bringing home a total of 35k (ish) together.. Working 60 hours a week, there's no time to cook. Kids have to go to bed before 830. In my home.
Don't get me wrong... It's obvious to me that mcdonalds solidifies your insides. This also doesn't mean I like pulling back on restrictions. I just don't trust the govt. Do you really want the MVA to handle our health? They already suck at cars!
Lol... Hitler said yeah... More control.
I'd still choose MCD's over that recycling center everyone calls Chipotle. How do you not vomit at the sight and smell?
I'd still choose MCD's over that recycling center everyone calls Chipotle. How do you not vomit at the sight and smell? I'd rather stick my head in a vat of boiling asphault if that was a third option.
Note that most European nations will NOT allow the import of American chicken because of the chemicals used to preserve the raw or cooked meat: raw chickens are bleached here in a solution banned in the EU.
Oh, chemicals are sooo bad for you. Do you all realize that apples contain hundreds of chemicals?!?!?! Scary 😛
"They also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, “an anti-foaming agent” also used in Silly Putty."
Oh, yummy! So now I can play with my food?
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I stopped eating fast food years ago. Tastes great and it's cheap, but it really is the worst stuff in the world for you. The difference that the article notes between the fat and calories of the US and European versions is minimal. The British version is still way too high. No one should be eating this stuff. If you have doubts, watch the movie Muffin Man (www.MuffinManTheMovie.com)
Silly putty is non-toxic (as is play-doh). I don't recommend it for an entree, but just in case your 4 year old cooks you dinner