What's in a McNugget? Not the "pink slime" or "goop" you see on the internet, says McDonald's of Canada, and to prove it they've released a new video showing the entire nugget making process from inside the processing plant.
"Pink slime" is slang for "ammonia-treated lean beef trimmings." It's an industrial food process by which edible meat parts that stick to the bone but can't be stripped by a knife are recovered by mechanical means and turned into a substance that can beef up burgers and plump up chicken products at lower cost.
In one particular photo that went viral and seized the popular imagination, and is shown in the McDonald's video, the trimmings appear as thick batter coiling into a cardboard box like a pink anaconda.
McDonald's says it stopped using lean beef trimmings after 2011 and that its nuggets are made with white boneless meat.
"We don't know what it is, or where it came from, but it has nothing to do with our Chicken McNuggets," says Nicoletta Stefou, Supply Chain Manager for McDonald's Canada, in the video.
She then takes us on a tour of the entire Chicken McNugget process, showing in blunt detail how breasts are taken from whole chickens, blended, seasoned, and formed into nuggets.
At the key grinding stage, Stefou compares the mashed up chicken to the online photo.
"Here's the pink goo image, and here's what actually we have, so it's very different," says Stefou. "All we've got here is chicken breast that's been ground up, as well as seasoning, and natural proportion of skin for flavor, and as a binder."
The clip may be free of rosy goop, but it isn't exactly picturesque either. That's the point.
The video, which aired as an advertisement during the Canadian broadcast of the Super Bowl, is an example of a new "extreme transparency" trend where corporations, especially those who have been attacked for their business practices, bend over backwards to show customers how they work.
First published February 6 2014, 11:29 AM