“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.



3 Responses to ““WOW! Those are the biggest chicken breasts I’ve ever seen!””

  1. James S. Says:

    Thank you for the info. I’ve been telling my wife for over a year that the chicken was too salty. She eats a lot of salt and was unable to taste it. We’ll both be buying Foster Farms from now on. James S.

  2. Lois Anderson Says:

    How much salt is Foster Farms putting in their Boneless Chicken Breasts, that are packaged in individual plastic, 6 per box, that are in the freezer section at store?

  3. Paul Cook Says:

    Proteus Industries of Gloucester MA has invented and developed a process for injecting chicken with an aqueous solution of chicken protein isolated from chicken meat. The object is to retain moisture in the chicken during cooking. This process accomplishes this better than any other known injecting process since the protein binds the water. The protein is “all natural” because the protein is exactly the same protein as in the chicken. Also, the process does not add any sodium to the chicken. The process is patented and is currently being used commercially.

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