Meat and Poultry Industry News / Chicken / Editors Viewpoint

From the Editor’s Desk – Oct. 2013

In this month's video, Andy Hanacek discusses a CBS News report that claims to report what's really in chicken nuggets.


In his monthly video column, Andy Hanacek, editor-in-chief of The National Provisioner, airs his frustrations while discussing a CBS News report claiming to educate consumers on ‘What’s really in chicken nuggets’. Find out what he believes the meat and poultry industry can do to counteract these types of negative news reports.

Complete transcript
Andy Hanacek: Why must the consumer media anger me so much?

Well, not surprisingly, it's happened again. We've had another unfounded attack on the industry from an uneducated consumer media outlet. This time, it's CBS News, who decided to run a story online with the following headline: Report: Chicken Nuggets: Not Just Meat, but Blood Vessels, Nerve Cells. Sounds pretty disgusting, right? I'm guessing that's what CBS News was hoping for.

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook, and that shows that, well, social media is doing just what the consumer media wants. It's spreading the news, however true or false it is.

This story reports on a study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, that claims two chicken nuggets from fast food restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi, contained only about half of what we would consider chicken meat. There are so many problems here. First, I'm not a scientist, but I do know that a sample size of two chicken nuggets, let alone two of anything, extrapolated to represent hundreds upon hundreds of thousands out in the supply chain is probably not a representative sample. Why this study even has credence based on two nuggets, I have no idea.

Second, shame on CBS News for manufacturing this study into a sensational headline. Did I mention that there were two nuggets in the sample? Only two. You might ask, "What's the point of this?" Well, it's simple. I've seen chicken nuggets being made, and you know what? It's chicken. There will always, always be a misguided or agenda-driven story in consumer news that's going to damage your business. Social media only extends the shelf life of these stories.

So, what could you possibly do? Well, start sharing the good news that the industry has to offer by any means possible. It's time to counter saturate the media stream with positive stories. My industry friends, you can't control the media. Not a chance. But you should join the conversation on social media now, and you're also going to help me from getting angry.

So what do you think? Email me, join our LinkedIn page, join our Facebook page. Look up our website. I'll see you next month on "From the Editor's Desk."

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