|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
As I pointed out in this here post, we have accepted a dangerous principle here - that they're putting stuff in our food without us knowing what it is. It's a short step from 'improving' a natural product to 'adulterating' it. The industrialised production of food is all very well, but its when the principle of cutting corners becomes enshrined in business' approach to processing, you get horses or poo in your food. Or ground up bones.
One great example of this is chicken 'rib meat'. Take, for instance, the ingredients of a McDonald's Crispy Chicken Fillet:
Crispy Chicken Fillet: Chicken breast fillet with rib meat, water, seasoning [sugar, salt, sodium phosphates, modified tapioca starch, spice, autolyzed yeast extract, carrageenan, natural (vegetable and botanical source) and artificial flavors, maltodextrin, sunflower lecithin, gum arabic]. Battered and breaded with: bleached wheat flour, water, wheat flour, sugar, salt, food starch-modified, yellow corn flour, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium bicarbonate), wheat gluten, spices, corn starch, dextrose, xanthan gum, extractives of paprika. CONTAINS: WHEAT. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.Quite apart from containing an awful lot of scary-looking chemicals, the list begs the question, what IS 'rib meat'? You won't get far by Googling it - in fact, you'll get a highly mendacious article titled "What's really in that chicken nugget?' penned by the US National Chicken Council that avers, "Rib meat is simply a natural extension of the breast meat. It is NOT an additive or a filler."
Ah, no. Rib meat is, in fact, MSM - or mechanically separated meat. Also known as 'white slime'. The meat and bone from an already-stripped carcass are pushed through a sieve under high pressure and the resulting bone-enhanced white gloop can be moulded into star shapes or whatever you fancy - dinosaur shapes, from the example photographed above. McDonalds labels its chicken nuggets as containing 'White boneless chicken', which may or may not be another way of saying 'rib meat' which is, of course, another way of saying 'Mechanically Separated Meat' or even, more deliciously, 'meat slurry'.
Interestingly, there would appear to be a regulatory requirement to label MSM as such in ingredients lists, but the regulations aren't global, aren't easy to understand and, obviously from the above example, aren't being adhered to. A certain amount of ground-up bone is permissible in MSM, typically about 3% - and pieces no larger than 0.5mm. That's the US regulation. The EU and other bodies will have their own versions.
And yes, Dimethylpolysiloxane is what it sounds like. They're putting silicone in your food.