Chicken has a higher fat content than red meat, which nutritionists have recommended as a better and healthier substitute. Although this is true, not all chicken flesh has the same level of fat as you may think. Despite the fact that some chicken breast still contains more fat than normal, it is lower than red meat.
The show goes on to explain that the reason you should pay more attention to those stripes is not that the meat is diseased or anything of that sort. It’s pretty easy to spot them, but they can be quite subtle. You might have noticed that some chicken breasts you bought in the past had white stripes on the flesh while dismissing them as regular in Channel 4’s food Unwrapped show.
Instead, chicken breast with stripes like this has too much fat in them.
According to Massimiliano Petracci, an associate professor in the department of agricultural and food sciences at the University of Bologna who revealed the cause of white striping in chicken meat to Matt Tebbutt co-host of food unwrapped, meat with white stripes has a higher fat content, thus if you want really lean meat, it’s not enough to just eat chicken; you should search for those that have little striping and less fat.
Massimiliano said: “It’s abnormal infiltration of fat inside the muscle in the chicken. Looking at the meat under a microscope, you can see that there are white cells – that means that these are a deposit, so the fat has accumulated inside”.
The stripes on these chickens indicate that they will have a higher fat content of 2 to 2.5 percent, as compared to the average 1% found in regular chicken meat.
He said: “In normal meat, the percentage [of fat] is around 1 percent, while in white striping [meat] the fat content is 2 or 2.5 percent”.
He felt that the additional fat was due to the process of raises chickens. Today, with modern factory farming, farmers raise genetically and chemically enhanced chickens in less than 40 days from eggs till they are ready to be sold. While this is a more economically viable means of raising chickens, it comes at a price; the white lines on meat are a result of how these birds have grown.
He stated: “This kind of abnormality is associated with growth rate, and it’s related to the genetic background of the bird.”
Due to the numerous benefits that factory farming offers, striped meat has seen a wild increase in popularity on the market. And even though it is abnormal, it has now become endemic. The key difference between organic free-range meat and farmed meat is that free-range chickens are allowed to roam freely, which means they are healthier to eat. However, this also makes them more expensive to raise. As a result, many farmers favor the Factory approach as it is more cost-effective.
However, be assured that despite the white stripes, chicken fat content is still considerably lower than red meat, which makes it a healthier choice without any doubt.