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[flagged] Tyson chicken nuggets might contain rubber, USDA warns (theweek.com)
40 points by spking 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 37 comments

The vegetable lobby needs to step its game up. When a small batch of Romain lettuce was contaminated, the nation was advised to throw it all away. Somehow chicken nuggets escaped the same fate.

I would naively think the vegetable lobby must've done a decent job, to get everyone to rebuy all of their producers' lettuce ;)

I'd like to suggest changing the URL to https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and...

For one thing, the current URL has an auto-playing video, and it's managing to confuse even Safari reader mode.


This should be the correct link (instead of flagging the submission).

Rubber chickens are best used as ammunition:


Netflix seems to be on a campaign via documentaries to educate people about the food industry in America and how efficiency and margins are driving some of the practices around raising cows, chickens, pigs. these are really really biased documentaries, but scared me enough to not eat meat anymore. My anecdote is that since i've stopped eating meat, my skin has a lot less breakouts.

I'm fairly certain Netflix just realizes that there is a very vocal group that is very active on social media about food and nutrition.

Nutrition articles even here on HN bring out the most extreme and vocal commenters.

They just understand modern marketing and use of the social media marketing channel.

This isn't a recent occurrence. Over 5+ years ago, Netflix had dozens of popular food documentaries, notably "Food, Inc."

Not sure how large of a recall this is, as they are a monster in the chicken nugget world as they acquired McDonald's supplier this year.

This also isn't there first recall.


If it comes in a package or from a factory farm, you generally don’t want to eat it.

I'm not sure why you got downvoted. This is like 99% correct and good advice.

No. It's really not. If anything your local small scale food is more likely to have their screw ups make it all the way to market because the quality control at their is either less mature or doesn't exist.

The food industry has some evil things about it but large players quality control is not one of those things. Margins at their level are too thin for them to exist without pretty good quality control.

I've noticed that certain topics attract downvotes. So far, my personal list is critiquing Bertrand Russell, asking questions about Firefox's commitment to privacy, and, in this case, suggesting that people eat more traditional foods.

...and completely unfollowable by the vast majority of Americans.

You might have the luxury of spending $1000+/month on food, not everyone is so lucky.

Where I live, buying fresh is cheaper than packaged. What’s missing are basic cooking skills. And before you get into “urban” vs “rural” arguments, I live in South Philadelphia and travel regularly to rural MN. It’s true in both places.

> What’s missing are basic cooking skills Cooking is a form of art, and like other art forms, quite a few people are just no good at it.

The common advice of "learn to cook" comes across similar to "Don't bother consuming mass media produced music -- just make up a song, sing into a microphone and play back the tape. Isn't that good enough?" Yes, I can "survival cook", and follow recipes, but more often than not it just doesn't taste right, or I burn myself, or most commonly I get half way through and realize I'm missing key ingredients. And that is the big problem, many recipes are fairly detailed but a good home cook can easily formulate their own recipe only loosely based on an original (substituting or omitting spices as needed).

> The common advice of "learn to cook" comes across similar to "Don't bother consuming mass media produced music -- just make up a song, sing into a microphone and play back the tape.

Nobody is saying "make gourmet meals" or be the next Gordon Ramsay every time you step in the kitchen. It can be immensely cheaper to cook most of your meals than eating out or buying packaged food, even if that's just basic cooking.

I meal prep all my lunches for the week and they are not glamorous by any means, but I don't spend much, have a well balanced diet, and it doesn't take much effort.

Everyone in this comment thread is severely discounting how valuable the luxury of time is, both to actually do the cooking and to learn how to cook.

Not nearly as many people as you think have that kind of time.

1-2 hours (per week) of cooking (plus 1-2 hours of shopping) can make you enough for the week (depending on the size of your pot). Not all that time is spent actively either.

Then it takes 2-5 minutes every day to put on a plate and reheat in microwave. Orders of magnitude less time than going out and maybe even ordering in. Make a big pot of soup for dinner and big pot of something less liquid to take with you in a lunch box and you are set.

Learning to cook is one time investment that will save you huge amount of time.

> Learning to cook is one time investment

Right, an investment many people can't make.

Also you realize you're now suggestion an entirely lifestyle shift, not just a meal-based change.

Most meals that I make are easily prepared in less than 30 minutes. I finish eating in 15 minutes, unless it's a special occasion. 45 minutes for meal prep and eating doesn't seem that crazy.

I think the other problem is people expect their first few times cooking to be the equivalent of a restaurant meal.

For one thing, the restaurant meals are often loaded with salt, sugar, butter, or other things our biology makes taste so good, but aren't good for you at all.

For another, you gotta start small. Learn the basics, if you will. There's also a difference between, say, when me and my wife make fresh pasta on date night vs when we use dry pasta (or better yet, a chickpea/edamame pasta) for meal prep. The first takes longer (way longer), and is more indulgent, but the second is more practical.

> Where I live, buying fresh is cheaper than packaged. What’s missing are basic cooking skills

I'm not sure this argument holds. I cook most of my meals but even at the grocery store, things from the large farms are much cheaper than the smaller, local ones.

On the rare occasion I go to the butcher, it's significantly more expensive than going to a regular market, nearing the price of a meal at a restaurant.

Obviously the quality is way better but they don't really sell similar quality things, probably because they can't compete in that market.

As someone who lives in rural WI, and has lived in rural MN, it's certainly not true here, depending on the particular food items, and my wife and I are both competent cooks.

It's generally cheaper to spend the gas money to drive to the nearest large city and buy fresh foods from Aldi's or Cub foods than our local grocery store the 8-9 months of the year that farmers' markets aren't open.

Would that last if every one where you shopped stopped buying packaged and started buying fresh?

I don't see the need for anyone to shove themselves with trash meat daily. Organic quality meat maybe once a week is definitely affordable.

Indeed. We've been conditionned to think we need a lot of meat, every meal, every day. This has driven the need for the industry to produce more and cheaper.

I'm an omnivore but try to eat less meat, and find higher quality meats instead. It's not always convenient but in terms of taste alone, it's worth it. While I like to think there is some health benefit, I have no data to support that.

Affordable in what sense? The literal purchase price of the materials or the labor and skill required to turn the materials into an edible (and tasty, how dare poor people want flavor) meal?

Now I'm from Sweden but I do you really need $1000+ to be able to buy food you make yourself? We never buy chicken nuggets or similar and we're far from $1000.

Almost categorically no.

My wife and I eat vegan at home, we don't buy specifically organic but we buy pretty much always high quality, and we indulge plenty, and our grocery budget in a MCOL city only hits $500 for 2. And that's with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and buying things that are non-necessities, and including a couple of supplements for when we're not able to get enough of certain nutrients because of our dietary restrictions. We shop at a mix of Costco, Whole Foods, Aldi's, the local Farmer's Market, and the nearby chains like Food Lion or Wal-mart Neighborhood Market. I feel like with a little bit of sacrifice and a little bit of effort, we could easily cut that by $1-200, and if we went for the all out low end (different beans/legumes, nuts, rice, potatoes, and veggies) for all our calories, we could easily live on even less.

I'd consider myself an intermediate home cook at this point, but these numbers were still accurate when I first started cooking in college.

OP mentions 'factory farms', which are where most of the affordable meat in the US (and probably the world as well) comes from. Most people can't afford to buy free-range chicken, and are left with stuff like factory-farmed producers like Tyson and Purdue.

I would interpret rgrieselhuber's and diminoten's comments as not buying, for example, eggs or milk that come from "factory farms", and instead opting for only foods that come from organic farming which do tend to be more expensive.

I've purchased chicken nuggets in Sweden, so I'm not buying this "we never buy chicken nuggets" line...

I believe 'we' referred simply to himself and his familial unit.

But I'm making just as many assumptions as you are, so either could be the case. Based on his argument, though, I think it's not likely he was speaking for all of Sweden.

You're correct. I was only speaking for my family.

This sort of screw-up is hardly unique to large-scale processing.

I once bought a cookie at a local coffee shop where they hand make them from scratch on site, and it had pecan shells baked into it. Not just little pieces, but big solid ones. At least I hope it was pecan shells. Whatever it was, it was very hard, and I could have broken a tooth.

Another time, a deli counter at a grocery store tried to sell me a pre-made sandwich that very clearly had 2 or 3 bites taken out of it. There was something off about one of their employees, so I guess they must've felt like a snack and then put the partially-eaten sandwich back into the display case.

And another time, a member of my dining party found a large steel wool scrub pad floating in their big bowl of soup at a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant was normally very good, so I suppose it was probably some kind of relatively innocent mistake like a scrub pad falling off a shelf into the soup pot and nobody noticing.

Which reminds me, there was another local grocery store where people kept getting sick, and they finally figured out a mentally disturbed employee was intentionally putting mothballs in the soup.

Mistakes happen, and that's definitely not a good thing, but I'm not even convinced it's more common with larger food processing companies. Though there are some companies that seem to have a bad attitude and just don't care, Tyson being one that I'm not confident about.

Best to stick with eggs, milk and cereal

when your nuggets contain extraneous material

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