Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Are Natural Chickens Plumped with Sodium?


Plumping is the practice of injecting saltwater, chicken stock, seaweed extract or some combination thereof into chicken to increase its weight and price. What that means is when you buy a package of chicken you can be spending 15% more on salt water.

More importantly, a plumped chicken has up to 700% more sodium than a chicken that hasn’t been plumped. The result: hundreds of thousands of consumers are ponying up extra cash (about $1.50 per package of chicken) to unwittingly feed themselves and their families a dangerously unhealthy amount of salt.

Consumers apparently are quite unaware of this practice, despite being concerned about their sodium intake:

–Even though 71.3% of consumers try to watch their sodium intake at least some of the time, many consumers are still unaware of some of the fine print in product labels, even for USDA-labeled “100% natural” minimally processed foods.

89% of consumers surveyed did not realize that a serving of some brands of fresh raw chicken could contain more salt per serving than a large order of french fries.

–Upon learning how much money they could be paying for saltwater, 70% of the consumers felt deceived and 37% felt angry. Once they learned about the common practice, 85.4% of these consumers said they would now read nutrition labels and avoid saltwater-injected chicken.

–74.5% of consumers believe fresh chicken labeled as “natural” should contain no additives or preservatives.

–82.4% believe that fresh chicken carrying the “natural” label should not be injected with saltwater.

Say no to plumping.

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