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Chicken Nuggets: The New Drug of Choice

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.


Some people can’t get enough of them. Those golden-brown nuggets lure people of all ages in and keeps them coming back for more. These instant, processed meals are so prevalent that some nutritionists are calling them an epidemic!

Well, actually, that’s a bit of stretch; there are no nutritionist on record calling the popularity of chicken nuggets something akin to illicit drug use (at least, not yet). Still, one can’t deny that people are extremely obsessed with these over-processed globs of fried chicken parts. So much so that they would commit crimes just to get their fix. And, that’s not an exaggeration!

Sounds ludicrous? Keep this in mind: nearly every fast food chain around the world has chicken nugget meals on their menu. In addition, they can be found in the frozen food section of nearly every major supermarket chain in the developed world. Even stores like Trader Joe's – which tends to be more selective in what they sell – have them.

Nutritional values (or lack of) aside, this white meat disaster has a nation addicted.

From YouTube video entitled "World Record 300 McNuggets!!!"

From YouTube video entitled "World Record 300 McNuggets!!!"

The Consequences of Chicken Nugget Addiction

There are many examples of, high crimes and misdemeanors (and health concerns) committed in the name of chicken nuggets. And many go well beyond stealing a nugget or two from somebody's cardboard holder.

These are merely a few stories found throughout the world’s media:

  • In two separate incidents, girls in England had to be hospitalized due to malnutrition. It had been reported that they lived primarily off of Chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s. In at least one case, the girl (a teenager) believed that the nuggets "support all her nutritional needs."
  • In Toledo, video surveillance showed a woman assaulting a McDonald’s employee working the Drive-Thru. The reason was that the employee "made the mistake" of informing the woman that they don't serve Chicken McNuggets before10:30 a.m.
  • In California, a woman was arrested outside McDonald’s for soliciting sex. She wasn’t doing it for money. It was for the McNuggets… as her hand-made sign she had on her indicated.
  • In Orlando, 2013, a man attacked his pregnant sister after she accused him of eating her nuggets (not clear whether it took place at a restaurant or at home).
  • Also in Florida, a man got so upset that his nephew cooked too many chicken nuggets that he “knocked his sister to the floor.”

As mentioned, these were only a few examples. A quick Google search indicated that there were volumes upon volumes of incidents involving these bite-sized morsels. Even a search on YouTube turned up a Happy Meal’s worth of incidents.

In all honesty, many of these were incidental. The violence may have been a product of something else rather than just the nuggets. Sill, one can’t deny that nuggets played a crucial role in these incidents.

...the nuggets contained blood vessels, bone fragments, fat, and nerve cells. Another portion of these golden nuggets consisted of inordinate amounts of salt and sugar.

What’s in Those Chicken Nuggets?

The big question in this matter is “why?” Is there something in the ingredient that causes people to want more? And if there is a mystery ingredient, is it enough to make people so desperate that they’d commit serious crimes for these grease-soaked chicken parts? Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at them.

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A story from the American Journal of Medicine’s September 2013 issue – and widely circulated throughout various major news outlets – reported on a study in which startling and disturbing ingredients were found in the most popular brand, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.

According to the article, the nuggets contained blood vessels, bone fragments, fat, and nerve cells. Another portion of these golden nuggets consisted of inordinate amounts of salt and sugar. About 50% of the “meat” used came from the breast and thighs of the chickens.

The report also indicated that McDonald’s heavily marketed them to children and their parents. As an example, it’s a popular choice is the children-only Happy Meal special, which usually comes in a large box full of fries, apple slices, and toys. By far, chicken nuggets are often requested with these meals.

Other Than Mc Donald’s

Versions from other restaurants -- as well as the store-bought variety -- are not any better. Like the McNuggets, they are marketed to children as fun, nutritious food. Many store-bought brands come in shapes of stars and animals. In addition, They appealed to adults who are looking for a quick meal.

And the results are almost always the same: children push away real nutritious meals for products either labeled, “Chicken Fingers” or “Chicken Stars”. Adults replace their own lunch and dinner (and sometimes breakfast) with high-calorie products that may do drastic harm to their health.

And the results are almost always the same: children push away real nutritious meals for products either labeled, “Chicken Fingers” or “Chicken Stars”.

The Addiction is Real!

There’s no denying it; people are addicted to them. Worst yet, this addiction starts early. It doesn’t matter what’s in them or how they are marketed, if people find them edible they’ll eat it if nothing else is available. Most importantly, they will eat them if they tastes good…especially if there’s some BBQ sauce nearby to dip them in.

As for this writer? Let’s just say he’s not immune to them. He’s had his bouts with them and went through many benders, despite knowing what they’re made of.

Lately, he stays away from them…with one exception. The grilled chicken nuggets from Chick Fil A is to die for!

Yes, it's come to this.

Yes, it's come to this.

© 2018 Dean Traylor


Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 02, 2018:

I have to admit, Dean that I love chicken nuggets. I am not addicted though. I only eat them a couple of times a month.My favorite is the ones from Chik fil A. To me they are much better quality. I was just a young boy before the fast food culture came into being. I used to eat a lot of fast food way back. At one point I weighed 248 pounds and I knew it was time to do something. I quit drinking soda, I used to drink 6 to 8 cans of coke a day. I gave up fast food and I lost 45 pounds in about 6 months. Now my fast food stops happen maybe twice a month.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 26, 2018:

I can't believe that such addiction is getting violent. I have no idea. I don't even know how it tastes. Maybe, I'm missing something.

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