Mechanically Recovered


Mechanically Recovered

“May Contain Nuts” said the sign clipped to the shelf of nuts and snacks in a store I was in recently. Really? I thought. I’d have been disappointed if I’d bought that packet of honey roasted cashews and peanuts and it hadn’t contained nuts.

I took a look at the selection of fresh sandwiches and pastries that would act as the pre-nut main course. Reading the small print on a chicken filled pie I recoiled at the line “Contains Mechanically Recovered Chicken”. Why would they need to do that?

Unless the chicken truck broke down on the way to the chicken preparation factory, and a helpful mechanic gave the chicken truck a tow, I didn’t see how “mechanically recovered” chicken could be a good thing. I’m not expecting them to lie to me – creating the impression that the chicken in the pastry was prepared by cheerful Oompa Loompas working at a factory where they tickle the chickens to death. Fact remains I’m eating a dead bird, so there’s no need to candy coat it for me. Although I do find myself wondering if that would be a tasty option!

Seriously, though; why would any food produce company interested in making a profit tell me that the chicken had been “mechanically recovered” in any shape or form?

Whatever that means, it’s hardly going to be nice. For me it conjures up images of whirling claws of metal tearing the very flesh from chickens that they didn’t have to kill first because the poor fuckers had heart attacks the second they set eyes upon on the mechanical recovery machine.

Actually, to answer my own question, it is only the quality food produce companies that do make a profit who tell you that kind of thing, albeit in small print, on the label.

Makes me wonder what the rest of them get up to. I mean, if they’ll admit to mechanical recovery, what macabre practices aren’t they telling us about? Mechanical recovery of anything sounds absolutely grim, but something like, say Electrically De-Sphinctered would have me running from the aforementioned food outlet with puke squirting between the fingers of a two handed attempt to keep the previous meal on the inside.

It’s Kieran who started all this label reading off. I mean, he’s a veggie, so he has to read the labels on things because they’ll sneak meat in any way they can, by the looks of it. Pork Gelatin, for example, ends up in loads of stuff. It never occured to me before what Bertie’s Allsorts were made from, but I was pretty sure that pigs had nothing to do with it. Now it turns out that they do, I find it kind of hard to face a Liquorice Allsort or its gummy neighbours on the sweet shelf.

Now I find myself wanting to know more about where the things I’m going to consume come from, so it’s probably just as well I’m not too squeemish. I only see this getting worse when we’re buying baby food, though.