Wednesday, January 9, 2008

My Bologna Has an Ingredient, It's Mechanically Separated Poultry

Foodgoat didn't like bologna before, and he disliked it even more after learning (from the excellent episode of Modern Marvels about cold cuts) that one of the key ingredients was "mechanically separated chicken. "

You can figure out what this means. But maybe you can't, and if that's the case, it is:
... paste-like and batter-like poultry product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible tissue, through a sieve or similar device under high pressure to separate bone from the edible tissue.

Bologna, according to the USDA, is a hot dog (I take issue with that, but that's beside the point). So, according to the USDA, bologna can contain any amount of mechanically separated chicken or turkey but no more than 20% mechanically separated pork.

Fortunately, mechanically separated meat (MSM) must be labeled as such in the ingredients statement.

Not for fortunately, mechanically separated meat probably contains lower-quality protein than that found in meat from muscle tissue, and bone marrow, so it's higher in fat and cholesterol. Not to mention that it's just plain old gross-sounding.

Makes you want to go out and try that bologna bubble gum, doesn't it?


  1. Anonymous8:58 AM

    I've known about this for a while now, but it makes me so sad, because German Bologna is one of my favorite childhood foods.

  2. I knew cold cuts were gross...but that's super-gross. I usually try to buy the Applewood Farms brand, but come to think of it, I don't think they even make bologna.

  3. To enjoy this kind of thing, one must embrace the grossness-- allow your natural suspicion and disgust to become a flavorful sauce, and munch away with reckless bravado.

    Or not.

  4. Anonymous11:19 AM

    I really like your blog. I'm interested to know exactly why you take issue with the claim that bologna is the same as a hotdog.

  5. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Wait... meat close to the bone is tastier, so logically MSM should be really tasty!