WTFood: McNuggets have a little too much in common with Silly Putty
Photo: fuxoft via FlickrMoms across the nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief every time their toddlers pop Silly Putty in their mouths with the news that that childhood mainstay is not completely unlike another one: McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. As it turns out, these two amorphous items share the yummy-sounding chemical ingredient, dimethylpolysiloxane, which acts as an “anti-foaming agent.”
Why does your chicken need an anti-foaming agent? To keep all that delicious deep-frying oil from getting too frothy, of course!
“The chemical is a form of silicone also used in cosmetics and Silly Putty. A review of animal studies by The World Health Organization found no adverse health effects associated with dimethylpolysiloxane,” reports CNN.
Neither this nor the petroleum-based chemical preservative tBHQ are found in British McNuggets, due to the differences in preparation to account for regional tastes. As a result, U.K. McNuggets are less fattening (but are they more foamy?).
Either way, these things aren’t food so much as Michael Pollan’s oft-derided “food-like substances.” No wonder some kids can’t tell the difference between food and Silly Putty.
Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this, sent out every Friday.
Get Grist in your inbox