What a Chicken Nugget Looks Like Under the Microscope

There is no nugget on a chicken. There are breasts, there are wings, there are thighs, there are drumsticks. But there are no nuggets. So what is the chicken nugget made of then?

We've seen the alien pink goop but now it's time to see what the nugget looks like under the microscope. According to researchers from the University of Mississippi, it's barely chicken.

Well, that's unfair. It's still chicken. But it's nothing like the healthy lean white meat we've come to expect from chicken.

Taking two different chicken nugget samples from two different national fast food chain restaurants, Richard D. deShazo, MD, and his colleague Steven Bigler, MD, put them under the scope and found that the chicken nuggets were 56 percent fat, 25 percent carbohydrates, and 19 percent protein and 58 percent fat, 24 percent carbs, and 18 percent protein, respectively.

The microscope revealed blood vessels, nerves, skeletal muscle, the skin of visceral organs and so on in the nugget autopsy which, well, yeah, is all things you'd find in a chicken but not exactly friendly enough to place in a Family Feud survey.

Speaking to The Atlantic, deShazo described the institutional reduction of the chicken into a nugget as taking "a very healthy product—lean, white meat—and processed it, goo-ed it up with fat, sugar, and salt [in the breading]". But yeah, it's still totally chicken right!

DeShazo and Bigler published their finding in the American Journal of Medicine. You can also read more about what's inside a chicken nugget at The Atlantic. [The Atlantic]

What a Chicken Nugget Looks Like Under the Microscope