Fowl Play: Pumped and Plumped Meat

The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund just updated their front page today (they are doing a super job at posting valuable and interesting information). I liked this one from Kaayla Daniel on the chicken schemes.–Augie

Fowl Play: Pumped and Plumped Meat
By Dr. Kaayla Daniel, Ph.D., CCN | October 12, 2010

Ever wonder about those plump well-endowed DD cup chickens at the supermarket? Yes, chickens today are bred to be mostly breasts, but that’s not all. Such chickens — or at least their parts — could well be examples of “reformed meat technology” also known as “pumped meat.” Same might be true of supermarket turkeys, hams, beef and even fish.

To create simulated “whole cuts,” food processors start with pieces of real meat, poultry or fish, then mix in — or inject — some form of soy protein along with soy or another vegetable oil, food colorings, salt, phosphates, flavorings (including MSG) and other additives. These are then massaged, shaped and bound into familiar meat-like shapes — such as chicken nuggets. After fabrication, these products may be sliced, ground or dried. [1,2]

Such products sell poorly in supermarkets — where ingredient labels are required–but briskly at fast food establishments where customers rarely ask nosy questions about what’s in those meaty nuggets and nobody is required to tell them. In 1990 Clyde Boismenue, a longtime distributor for Archer Daniels Midland, said in an interview with William Shurtleff of the Soyfoods Center [now named the Soyinfo Center] in Lafayette, California, that one of the main obstacles in the U.S. to gaining consumer acceptance for his products was the “obnoxious meat labeling requirement.” [3] Specifically, he was upset that “if isolates are injected into ham, it must be sold as ‘smoked pork ham with soy protein isolate product’.”  [4]  Seems the soy industry has been hot and bothered by such labeling requirements for years. Back in 1969 Soybean Digest reviewed the regulatory problems and complained that “new product concepts” would be canceled because of “standard of identity” problems as well as failure to secure prompt government approvals. [5]  Pity.

So what about those plump chickens at the supermarket? If they look like chickens, they are probably not reformulated, but they might well be plumped — meaning pumped up with a broth-like liquid containing sodium, water and other solutions and then sold as “all natural chicken.” These additives can legally make up fifteen percent of “all natural” chicken, a situation that Dr. William Campbell Douglass II has described as “the most clucked up nonsense I’ve ever heard!” [6]

Dr. Douglass goes on to say such “bizarre logic” could only be found in Washington because anyone with “even a bird-sized brain knows that broth and sodium solutions are no more a ‘natural’ part of a chicken than a McNugget.” [7] Even Perdue — a major purveyor of low-quality, factory-farmed chickens — has asked the USDA to change this regulation.

Interesting that Perdue, a company whose founder claimed “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken,” has decided to take a tough stance against the USDA and protest the unnatural ways its competitors tenderize chickens. As for Perdue, the best thing that can be said about its factory-farming operation is that its famous slogan has been hysterically mangled in translation, leading to laughter heard around the world. Billboards in Mexico for a brief time said, “It takes a hard man to make a chicken aroused.” In other countries, it was translated into “It takes a virile man to make a chicken pregnant.” Meanwhile, Kentucky Fried Chicken has had its own translation problems. In China, the slogan “finger-lickin’ good” came out as “eat your fingers off.” Hopefully, such advertising scared people into buying locally!

ENDNOTES – All citations are included in the book, The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food (New Trends, 2005) [see chapter/note references].

1.  Visser A, Thomas A.   Review: Soya protein products — their processing, functionality and application aspects. Food Reviews International, 1987, vol. 3; 1&2, 20, 21.  [ch.8/note14]

2.  Lusas EW, Rhee KC.   Soy protein processing and utilization.  In Practical Handbook of Soybean Processing and Utilization.  David R. Erickson ed. (AOCS Press, 1995); 145-155. [ch.8/ note15]

3.  Boismenue, Clyde.  The market for soy protein isolates, concentrates, textured soy protein products and soy flour in America today.  Interview with William Shurtleff, SoyaScan Notes.  November 12 1990.   Summarized by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi in Bibliography and Sourcebook on Seventh Day Adventists, 1866-1192 (Lafayette, CA; Soyfoods Center); Entry #1495.  [ch.8/note16]

4.  Ibid.

5.  Martin, RE.  Legal problems faced by soy proteins on state and national levels.  Soybean Digest, November 1969; 19, 51.  [ch.8/note17]

6.  Douglass II, WC.  Unnatural debate over natural chicken.  The Douglass Report,  Posted 21 August 2010 at

7.  Ibid.

Dr. Daniel provides a deeper view into commercial chicken processing and even more reason for consumers to seek out pastured poultry at local farms.  Related Video – CAFO vs Pastured Poultry Nutrients

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN 

Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN
earned her PhD in Nutritional Sciences and Anti-Aging Therapies from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, is board certified as a clinical nutritionist (CCN) by the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists in Dallas and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Weston A. Price Foundation and Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. As a clinical nutritionist, she specializes in digestive disorders, women’s reproductive health issues, infertility, and recovery from vegetarian and soy-based diets.

Dr. Daniel is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food (New Trends, March 2005), which has been endorsed by leading health professionals, including Kilmer McCully, MD, Doris J. Rapp, MD, Jonathan V. Wright, MD, Russell Blaylock, MD, Larrian Gillespie, MD, Joseph Mercola, OD, Debra Lynn Dadd and others. Larry Dossey, MD, called it “science writing at its best” and William Campbell Douglass, II,MD called it “the most important nutritional book of the decade.”

Dr. Daniel has been extensively quoted in major newspapers and magazines, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Toronto Globe & Mail, Glamour, Oxygen and Alternative Medicine, and has appeared as a guest on NPR’s People’s Pharmacy, the Discovery Channel’s Medical Hotseat and ABC’s View from the Bay. Online her book has been featured prominently on, the world’s leading natural health and dietary website. She has also appeared as an expert witness before the California Public Safety Committee and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.

The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food

2 responses to “Fowl Play: Pumped and Plumped Meat

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Fowl Play: Pumped and Plumped Meat | Journal of Living Food and Healing --

  2. I read Kaayla’s book and it is extremely informative, as well as entertaining, in that style only Kaayla can do… she does such a good job at presenting all the facts, not just the rosy, happy, soy is good for you face that the USDA and registered dietitians paint. The chapter on soy formula should be read by every mom to be. Soy should not be given to babies, ever. What made a bean intended only for enriching the soil, a prime ingredient in baby formula!!!

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