“WOW! Those are the biggest chicken breasts I’ve ever seen!”
May 18, 2009
That may be because they’ve had the equivalent of a boob job. “Plumping”— or the injecting — of fresh, raw chicken with up to 15% saltwater is a practice employed by many chicken companies. Most consumer don’t realize it’s happening and are paying the price – more than $2 billion a year for such fresh chicken and getting salt water. The chicken is also unhealthy - containing up to eight times the amount of salt per serving — about 370 milligrams of sodium versus 45 milligrams, in a four-ounce serving of skinless, boneless chicken breast. And, because of a loophole in current USDA labelling laws, brands that plump their poultry may still label their chicken as “100% Natural” or “All-Natural”.
Buyer beware. Look at labels and compare. There are good companies out there. Foster Farms, a chicken processing company that doesn’t plump-up their chicken, has released the results of a new survey, indicating that 63.1% of consumers are largely unaware of the hidden salt in many poultry brands and felt deceived after learning about it.
Among the survey findings:
- Despite the fact that 71.3% of consumers try to watch their sodium intake at least some of the time, many consumers are still unaware of some of the “fine print” in product labels, even for USDA-labeled “100% Natural,” minimally-processed foods like chicken.
- 85.9% of consumers surveyed did not realize that a serving of some brands’ fresh, raw chicken could contain more salt per serving than a large order of french fries.
-74.5% of consumers believe fresh chicken labelled as “natural” should contain no additives or preservatives; 82.4% believe that fresh chicken carrying the “natural” label should not be injected with saltwater.
- Upon learning that the saltwater in injected chicken could cost them nearly $1.50 per package2, 69.2% of consumers felt deceived and 37.2% felt angry.
- After learning about “plumping,” 70.7% will change the way they shop for fresh chicken: 85.4% will read nutrition labels and avoid saltwater-injected chicken, while 71.7% vowed to warn a friend.
Foster Farms has launched a new online resource, where consumers can learn more about plumping and take action.