It’s Okay To Eat The Chicken Nugget Paste

01 Nov

You heard me, and yes, I’m serious.  As long as our weird-ass factory food system is producing the pink, mechanically separated All Purpose Chicken Non-Bone Substance, well, there’s no sense letting it go to waste.

I’m not saying you should have to eat it.  If you think it’s gross and you don’t want to eat it, then I think you’re right and I’m probably not going to eat it, either. 

But if it doesn’t bother you, I can also see why – we eat all sorts of gross things, and eating itself is gross, and also we have a rear end, which our body uses to get rid of whatever it thinks is gross. 

The system’s not perfect, but by and large, it works.  And if you’re going to eat chicken at all, well, then by the time it’s  on its way to your stomach, it’s going to have the consistency of a gross, pink, paste anyway.  That’s what chewing and swallowing and your esophagus is all about.

Like hamburger.  That’s paste, you know, and it’s even pink before you cook it, a gross, pink paste that comes out of a grinder.  That’s how we can make patties and balls and loaves out of it.  I always assumed that it must have been in Hamburg where someone first realized that they could make meat paste out of leftover cow, and then they quickly realized that meat paste sounded gross.  Hamburger sounds pretty good, though.

I used try to buy my meat from the Amish, but I don’t live around them anymore, and you know, they’re not exactly anti-food paste, either.  The Amish are all for sausage, for instance – and that’s just paste in a casing made of stomach lining or something.  It’s some tasty paste, too, if you cook it right – don’t knock it.

So then okay, I eat a lot of Raising Cane’s, and it’s not organic or anything, but at least that’s all white meat, it’s never frozen, tastyriffic.  Definitely not paste.  But what are we supposed to do throw the rest of the chicken away?  Just yank out the chicken breasts and toss the rest of it over our shoulders?

That’s a crock of soup or a stack of chicken salad sandwiches right there, and even then they can probably wring a few chicken nuggets out of what’s left.  Yes, that definitely sounds gross to me but if there’s anyone out there at all who will eat it – and there are millions – well, then have at it.

Kind of weirdly Native American, don’t you think?  How they utilize the entire animal for the good of the tribe?  Makes you wonder what they do with the bones, since I’m pretty sure it’s not tools or jewelry – what do you want a bet there’s an answer for that?

I’m going to say it gets ground up into pet food.  Mixed with sawdust and fish heads and whatnot – that’s just a guess.

Yes, just like a planet-wide tribe of Cherokee Indians, our approach to the animals we eat is highly, eerily efficient, but I’m afraid the similarity ends there.  We just get rid of the things that slowed down the actual Cherokee’s production levels, things like concern for the environment, spirituality, honor and reverence for the life being consumed.

We streamlined that process a little bit, like we do with everything.  The good news is, you can get from coast to coast in a few hours.  The bad news is, everything is really gross now and nobody cares. 

But entrepreneurs have been coming up with uses for meat byproducts and turning them into popular snacks for a while now.  Chicken wings for instance.  Whoever thought of deepfrying them and putting sauce on them was probably improving on the existing custom of throwing them the hell away.

Also there was the guy who realized you could take hooves and big knuckle bones and bovine shins, and soak them in something and then sell them for six bucks a pop as dog treats – what a ghastly image that is.  A man with too many knucklebones and hooves, in a great big pile in his warehouse maybe, or out in the parking lot, wondering, what am I going to do with all these?

Then we show up and buy them.  Sure, lots of people think they’re gross.  But lots of people buy them.  And at the end of that ghastly equation are a hundred million happy crappy puppy dogs, just absolutely digging it.

I guess what I am saying – and yes, it does seem a little difficult on this one, at this point, to figure that out – is that eating deep-fried chicken nugget paste is about exactly as gross as eating any other animal product out there, if you catch the product at the right time.  Crispy bacon is yummy, the giant lake of boiling pig crap that you’ll find on any industrial hog farm – not so much.

And now, in attempting to wrap this up, I’m realizing that I seem to be building an argument for becoming a vegetarian, and a pretty good one, too, if your goal is to avoid food that seems gross.  I can think of lots of vegetables that taste gross, but none that actually seem horrific to think about. 

I guess maybe mushrooms grow out of poop, and a lot of fertilizer is made of poop, so vegetables must be partially made out of poop.  That’s gross.

Soy milk is gross, too.  Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not.  Chewing’s gross, farting’s gross, everything in between is gross.  Eating’s gross.

So if you want to eat the deep fried chicken paste, knock yourself out.


Posted by on November 1, 2010 in Food/Cooking, Future Tom Grab Bag


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

6 responses to “It’s Okay To Eat The Chicken Nugget Paste

  1. Kami

    November 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    YOU are gross.

  2. Andrew

    April 19, 2012 at 6:17 am

    I really enjoyed reading this.


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