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Sustainable Food Guide
Environmental Practice at Work © 2005 Link:EP@W Ltd Web Site


 Chickens and water...

Over a 1000 tonnes of frozen chicken are imported from Holland each week. It goes into schools, hospitals, restaurants - it's everywhere.

However much of this chicken has water injected into the meat - sometimes up to 50% of the total weight. To hold the water there and keep the meat all 'glued' together, further proteins are added.

The glue used is made from animal proteins, but not just chicken (e.g skin) proteins. Some use the ground up leftover of pigs and cows. There is no indication on the label that these proteins have been used, making it difficult for people who have cultural reasons for not eating pigs and cows.

To make matters worse, there are further chemicals added to break down the pig/cow DNA into chunks that are not detectable by usually test procedures - such as Identigen.

The BBC programme Panorama "Chicken Run" followed clues us across Europe to a German additive plant that's outwitting the watchdogs and going to great lengths to conceal what's going into your food.

As a result of the programme the Food Standard Agency is going to press the EU Commission (more) for:

  • A ban on the use of non-poultry proteins in poultry products of this sort; and
  • A maximum limit of 15% on the total amount of water that may be added to poultry.
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