PORTLAND -- Most people know that chicken nuggets aren’t the healthiest food around, but according to one researcher they’re hardly even chicken.
KGW spoke with local parents about what they would expect to find in the deep fried meat treat that so many kids love.
“I would think chicken, breading, flour, eggs,” said local parent Kayla Eversmeyer. “Hopefully that's it.”
In a perfect world that might be all you'd find. But Dr. Richard deShazo of the University of Mississippi recently did a laboratory analysis of chicken nuggets from two major fast food chains. He found some chicken and some surprises.
According to the findings, only 40 to 50 percent of the nuggets were meat and the rest was fat, skin, connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves and bone fragments.
“What we didn't know we would find was so many chicken body parts,” said deShazo. “Chicken intestine, chicken cartilage and lord knows what else was mixed up in there.”
The study said the term ‘chicken nugget’ was a misnomer because the items were mostly made of fat.
“These aren't chicken nuggets because the predominate component in them isn’t chicken,” deShazo said.
But does that mean you and your kids shouldn't eat them?
Tara Jones is a pediatric dietitian from Randall Children's Hospital and said you don't need to go that far.
“I think there's room for all types of foods once in a while,” Jones said. “But I wouldn't make it the staple of your child's diet by any means.”
Parents that KGW spoke with were not pleased but not entirely surprised when they heard the news.
“They’re kind of gross,” said Michelle Henderson. ”But a lot like hotdogs. Hotdogs have everything in them, too.”
Eversmeyer was less forgiving.
“Thinking of it that way it's kind of ‘eww’-- not spiffy,” Eversmeyer said.
These and other parents said they'll steer their kids away from chicken nuggets but probably won't ban them all together.