You’d Be “Silly” to Eat This Food

Would you break open one of those red plastic eggs and take a big ole bite out of a lump of Silly Putty?

I may be going out on a limb here, but I’m going to guess that your answer to that question is an unconditional no. And that being the case, you certainly don’t want to chow down on an order of Chicken McNuggets from the world’s most popular fast-food (or fast track-to-death) restaurant.

What do the two things have to do with each other? Sadly, according to a CNN investigation, it turns out plenty.

After a reader inquired on a CNN blog about the contents of McDonald’s McNuggets, the news organization decided to find out the answer.

Not surprisingly, the nuggets of pressed chicken by-products are heavy on the fat and calories. In just four pieces, you rack up 190 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat.

But it’s the chemicals that you’ll find in this fast-food favorite that will truly give you pause. McNuggets contain the petroleum-based preservative tertiary butylkyroquinone (tBHQ) and the same antifoaming agent found in Silly Putty, dimethylpolysiloxane.

Dimethylpolysiloxane is a form of silicone that’s used to prevent foaming and spattering of oil when it’s heated to high temperatures. It’s found in cosmetics, Silly Putty. of course, and…it turns out…some foodlike products like McNuggets.

According to animal studies done by the World Health Organization, the dimethylpolysiloxane is probably not toxic…well, at least not in the quantities that were found in the nuggets. (But, honestly, who wants to eat the type of silicone that people put in face paint and rubbery balls of bouncy goo anyway?)

The preservative tBHQ, however, is a chemical of a different color. According to one source, a gram (one-thirtieth of an ounce) of tHBQ can lead to serious side effects like nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, and most frightening of all, a feeling of suffocation.

Now in consumables, like the oils and fats used in McNuggets, the preservative is limited to .02 percent. But looking at the list of frightening potential side effects, I’d say this is one bad-news chemical that shouldn’t ever be passing our lips.

Besides, if you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

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Alice Wessendorf

An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.

She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on  Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.

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  1. vikingstork says

    Curiously enough, their claim they need to use those chemicals shows what kind liars they are.
    They don’t use these chemicals at McDonalds in GB, and have no problem frying theirs.

  2. says

    So that means that McNuggets contain ingredients used in a bouncy toy, a furniture coating and a bathtub sealant. Fortunately, my daughter never cared much for McNuggets. On the other hand, she is neither athletic, shiny or waterproof. Coincidence? (more at

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