We all know fast food is, by its very nature, more about convenience than nutrition. But when faced with the necessity of getting fast food, you may think opting for chicken is the lesser evil. Chicken, after all, is touted as a healthier type of meat. A recent study, however, shows that even chicken can be made unhealthy when it’s subjected to fast food’s “flavorizing" techniques.
Last month a CBC Marketplace investigation did DNA testing on the meat in a variety of fast food meals containing chicken. Amazingly, none had chicken that was 100% chicken DNA, and in one case the “chicken” was found to contain only about half chicken DNA. The restaurant in question is disputing these findings, but whether it was 50% chicken or 90% chicken isn’t the point of this post. The fact that it wasn’t 100% chicken is the point.
How does chicken end up not being 100% chicken? Well, it isn’t because they mix in other types of meat. No, what brings the percentage down is all the stuff they put in for flavor. As the article linked above says, “An unadulterated piece of chicken from the store should come in at 100% chicken DNA. Seasoning, marinating or processing meat would bring that number down, so fast food samples seasoned for taste wouldn't be expected to hit that 100% target.”
In other words, 10% or more of fast food chicken is usually made up of other ingredients that are added for taste. And they do add more taste, but they also add calories and carbs and lower nutritional value. To quote the CBC article: “Marketplace's testing revealed that once the ingredients are factored in, the fast food chicken had about a quarter less protein than you would get in its home-cooked equivalent. And overall, the sodium levels were between seven and 10 times what they would be in a piece of unadulterated chicken….Nutritionist and registered dietitian Christy Brissette notes that most [added] products…are simply variants on salt or sugar, the latter of which can elevate the carbohydrate level of a chicken breast to well above where it should be: zero percent.”
Why is it necessary to add all this stuff to chicken to make it taste good and be less healthy? Because, sadly, our food is no longer developed for taste or nutrition, but for commerce (e.g. low cost, fast production, ease of shipping and storage). It has no taste, so we add more seasonings, sugar and salt. The result is chicken that’s not really chicken, whether you get it from the local fast food place or your local grocery store and add all those things yourself.
That’s why we do what we do at Joyce Farms. We set out to produce the absolute best tasting chicken possible, and we have. Our Naked Chicken is the finest all-natural domestic chicken for sale in America, with the flavor nature intended (much more flavorful than factory-farmed commodity chickens). Our heritage Poulet Rouge FermierTM. chicken, meanwhile, raises the bar even higher – we believe it’s the best tasting chicken in the world.
So if you’re looking for chicken that you can cook and eat as it is, 100% chicken, not loaded down with stuff to give it some kind of taste, we have it. Don’t settle for “chicken” that’s not really chicken. The real thing is so much better!