What do you think has the most sodium- a piece of pizza, a bag of chips, a serving of canned soup, or a piece of broiled chicken breast? Shockingly, it is the chicken breast. But how can that be? Despite the fact that 1 in 3 Americans suffers from high blood pressure, and heart disease being the leading cause of death in the U.S., the poultry industry injects so much salt into chicken, a practice known as plumping, that a typical serving can have as much as a whopping 500 milligrams of sodium.
The practice of injecting salt water, and other additives, into poultry, and other meats, began in the 1970’s, and our sodium intake and blood pressures have been soaring ever since. Not only has plumping been contributing to an increase in our sodium intake, but the practice has been robbing poultry purchasing consumers blind. Plumping makes up 15%-30% of the weight of the chicken you buy. In other words, plumping costs U.S. shoppers at least $2 billion dollars a year at the cash register. While the industry says that plumping makes chicken taste better, internally it is well known that besides boosting profits, plumping is also done to remove the chlorine taste. Yes, your chicken most likely got a chlorine soak-down on the way to your mouth to remove all the pathogens that form in the often unsanitary conditions of our chicken plants. “Would you like a glass of pool water with your chicken tonight?”
For decades, lowering our salt intake has been a rallying cry of doctors nationwide and highly esteemed organizations such as the American Heart Association, and yet plumping has gone widely unchecked. If this isn’t enough to make you cry foul, let’s also consider the way that the unscrupulous factory chicken farms have gotten away with this. They have lobbied to ensure that even if they are plumping us to death, plumped chicken can still legally labelled as “Natural” and “100% All Natural”. When it is labelled as plumped, the label may have language such as being “Enhanced with Chicken Broth”, or similar “smoke and mirrors” wording.
Salt water and chlorine isn’t the only thing going into your chicken. Phosphate additives are also injected into poultry as a preservative. Evidence-based medical studies (see nutritionfacts.org video below) have found that not only are the phosphates a probably arterial toxin, but they also seem to encourage bacterial growth that causes food poisoning. Nasty, and people wonder why there is an increasing demand for more food transparency.