Chicken. The healthy alternative to beef. The original white meat. Raise your hand if you don’t have chicken at least once or twice a week, if not daily. And when you buy it unprepared, you’re getting an all natural product. NOT.
Turns out you are paying for a product with natural ingredients – Chicken, water, salt. Up to 15% salt water, injected into the chicken, and approved by the USDA! Consumer watchdog group CSPI has this to say
The practice of pumping up poultry with salt water is basically a hidden tax of up to 15 percent that extracts about $2 billion from American consumers each year. This isn’t about “enhancing” chicken, it’s about enhancing profits.
Think of it this way. You think you’re buying 7.5 pounds of chicken, if 15 percent is water weight; you’re really getting less than six and a half pounds of chicken and more than one pound of added water. read more…
What you need to know:
This is a double whammy for consumers – pay more-get less AND kill yourself with excess salt.
Raw chicken has very little sodium in it, only 50-75mg per 4 z serving. But the injected versions has as much as 550mg! That’s when the maximum recommended consumption should be 2400mg per day or 1500mg for adults over 45, certain ethnic groups, and people with high blood pressure. Most Americans are already consuming 4000mg per day, and this leads to various health complications that kill 100,000 people annually.
The Truthful Labeling Coalition, is a lobbying group of poultry producers that don’t enhance their products. They’ve been pushing the USDA to change its policy, currently allowing up to 15% of the product sold to us as chicken to be salty water.
Manufacturers who add sodium claim that this is what consumers want. Of course, clearer labeling would help consumers better understand and decide for themselves if they want this dubious “benefit”.
What to do at the supermarket:
Read the fine print on the label. If it says “enhanced with broth / marinade” or something similar, this means it could contain up to 15% water and a whole lot of sodium you don’t need. You get punished twice – paying for chicken and getting water, and the excess sodium.
New! Choose a better breakfast with CerealScan™ by Fooducate