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Has your chicken cheated on you? - Michael Kellner

January 28, 2010

Here another good article I receive via email:

In a society riddled with additives and preservatives in the foods we eat, consumers are desperately searching for a simpler, more honest diet with natural ingredients and whose health benefits are clear.

Fresh, natural chicken has always been thought of as a healthy, nutritious staple in our diets. A natural protein, low in fat and with traditionally perceived health benefits. So, what would consumers think if they knew that the chicken they were buying for their families actually contained massive amounts of additives, mechanically injected with sodium actually changing what’s inside of the chicken? Could you still call it chicken?

Enter “Franken-chicken.”

The “plumping” process which degrades the naturalness of chicken is inherently creepy and disturbing to many consumers aware of the fact that most poultry producers do in fact plump their chicken with saltwater, seaweed extract, carrageen and other decidedly unnatural additives.

At the very least “plumping” is bad for your health (since plumped chicken contains up to 700% more sodium than natural chicken!), bad for your budget (consumers pay upwards of $1.50 extra per package for plumped chicken) and at best works against the good consumers are trying to do for their family’s health, especially when most assume chicken is healthy.

Truly natural chicken should contain less than 70 mg of sodium per serving. Since “plumped” poultry may still be labeled as “All-Natural” or “100% Natural” it may be tough to spot the difference. How to be sure the chicken you’re prepping for the barbie isn’t “plumped?” Read the label: look for a sodium level of 70 mg or less per serving, steer clear of “salty” ingredients and keywords like carageenan, broth, enhanced, saltwater or “sodium solution”.

Foster Farms launched a comprehensive online resource - - which aims to educate consumers on the high sodium content in foods that appear to be healthy, even when they may contribute to serious health issues. The Web site features two new feathery characters, Betsy and Martha, who discuss the health and cost implications of plumping, a practice long employed by some major national poultry brands. The site also includes plumping facts and figures, how to detect a plumper, links to health resources and an interactive “Plumpinator” calculator to help site visitors calculate how much money they waste on saltwater from plumped chicken each year.

Let me know if this is of interest to you. Additional information that I can provide includes visuals, nutrition label comparisons, nutritionist interviews and additional stats about how this is impacting consumer’s health and budgets.

If you also have a good article to share, don't be shy, just share it here. You can send me your article via email:


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