Over the course of McDonald’s 76-year history, the Chicken McNugget has existed as one of the company’s most iconic and controversial menu items. Though the Golden Arches sells millions of those bite-sized morsels each day, promising that that its poultry contains 100 percent white meat chicken and no artificial additives, discovering how the proverbial sausage gets made used to be enough to put customers off the McNugget for life.
As the McDonald’s continues to re-brand itself as a healthier, more transparent restaurant chain, the myth of the “pink slime” has been one of the hardest rumors for McDonald’s to shake—the image of salmon-colored goop falling out of a meat grinder seemingly burned into customers' retinas.
The company has long sought to dispel the authenticity of pink slime photos circulating online, shrugging the theory off as an urban legend, and now a video from Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame seems to corroborate McDonald’s story.
“My initial reaction is that there’s a lot of people here,” Imahara says. “Because, you know, people think that you just come to this giant factory, you have a bin of chickens that you put into a grinder, and you grind them up and you pour that in a bowl, and that’s what you use to make a Chicken McNugget.”
Imahara is shown the parts of the chicken that go into the McNugget (only breast meat, rib meat, tenderloin, and skin, according to the video), and then watches as the mixture gets put in the grinder. The result doesn’t exactly look appetizing, but it’s also not completely repulsive.
“It’s got a completely different texture,” Imahara says, comparing the meat to the picture on his iPad. “That still looks like meat.”
While “that still looks like meat” might not be the gold-standard for food safety, hey, it’s better than "that looks like pink slime," right?