If a butcher puts his thumb on the scale, you wind up paying for meat you never actually receive.
Some chicken producers are now doing something similar when processing their chicken. On the left is a typical package of chicken you might find in any supermarket. It says “100% natural” breasts (with some rib meat). You expect there to be nothing but chicken in the package in all likelihood. However, look at the fine print disclosure:
*MOUSE PRINT: “with up to 15% natural chicken broth.” What’s that? Primarily salt and water. So you are really paying $3.99 a pound for the water that comprises 15% of the package weight.
Current labeling law still allows the chicken to be labeled “all natural” because water and salt are natural ingredients, irrespective of the fact that they are being injected into the birds to make them weigh more.
Makers of plumped chickens say the extra water and salt help make the chicken more moist and tender. While that may be true, they are not eager to tell you that a four-ounce serving of enhanced chicken may have eight times the chicken’s normal sodium content — equivalent to the salt in a large serving of fast food french fries.