This mush is actually the main ingredient in the aforementioned products. When you give your kid that hot dog at the game, when you pick up those nuggets at the drive through, this is the nutrient that you are putting into their bodies.
So what exactly is it?
Its mechanically separated chicken, turkey or pork. As the original author states:
Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve—bones, eyes, guts, and all. it comes out looking like this. There’s more: because it’s crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color. Early Onset Of Night
You saw that, right? After its done it will be washed with ammonia and dyed. Hows that for your daily protein serving? Do you feel like this is one of the building blocks of good health and growth for your children (or yourselves for that matter)? I sure as hell don't.
In 2004, as a result of mad cow disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) ruled that beef could no longer be processed this way, because testing showed that parts of the bovine central nervous system ended up in the meat.
As for products using mechanically separated chicken and pork, FSIS ruled that they are safe to eat, but required them to be labeled as such.
So beef is off the menu here, its simply too dangerous to eat this way (I feel so safe).
Yet despite being so 'safe' FSIS states that no more than 20% of mechanically separated pork may be used in a hot dog, however any amount of mechanically separated chicken or turkey may be used. (ie mechanically separated chicken/turkey can make up 100% of the hot dog you eat, but only 20% of your hot dog can be make up of mechanically separated pork.)
So to parents especially, please think very carefully about what you are feeding your children. Personally I would consider a regular diet of hot dogs, nuggets and pepperoni akin to abuse, and I wont allow my son to eat them.
Applegate Farms are a brand I used to buy in the US when my son was desperate for a hot dog that are not made this way, and they also do not contain nitrates - another toxic no-no you don't want in your foods. They are easily found at most Whole Foods stores, Trader Joe's and the like.
Two books I own personally and that I highly recommend that discuss our foods in depth, in an easy to read interesting way are:
Food for thought.