This #$!% Has Got to Stop: Part Three

[Barbra Walton, our first outside contributor to This #$!% Has Got to Stop, is a software engineer in a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. One of her grandmothers cooked at early 20th century logging camps, and the other started her local food co-op. She has cooking in her bones, and is expecting her dry-cured chorizo to be ready any minute. Meanwhile, she sent us this piece. – mb]

I couldn’t help but think of your two “This has got to stop” articles when I saw the current Wendy’s commercial for their “Spicy Chipotle Boneless Wings.”

The catch phrase at the end of the Wendy’s commercial for their Spicy Chipotle Boneless Wings is “You know when it’s real.” Well, yeah, I do. And I know that chicken wings aren’t made of white breast meat, nor are “real” chicken wings boneless. And, in reading over the ingredient list (below), I know that I don’t’ need to add “chicken flavor” to chicken to make it taste good, nor do I need to add the volume of salt, sugar, and flavorings to make “real” chicken.I don’t expect fast-food restaurants to make healthy, good food. But do I have to listen to them tell me it’s “real” food, when it’s anything but?


Spicy Chipotle Boneless Wings
Boneless Wings (chicken breast, water, chicken flavor [salt, flavor, autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, chicken flavor, chicken, gum arabic, sunflower oil, sugar, silicon dioxide, lactic acid, canola oil, modified corn starch, grill flavor {from canola oil}, citric acid, trisodium phosphate], modified food starch, sodium phosphates. Battered and Breaded with: wheat flour, water, modified corn starch, salt, sugar, leavening [sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate], spice, onion powder, garlic powder, dextrose, autolyzed yeast, natural and artificial flavor, extractives of paprika), Spicy Chipotle Sauce (water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, chipotle seasoning blend [onion {dehydrated}, spice {including chipotle chili pepper}, red and green bell peppers, paprika, sea salt, tomato powder, garlic {dehydrated}, cane juice solids, sun dried tomato, citric acid, salt, natural flavor], distilled white vinegar, chipotle in adobo [water, red jalapeno peppers {chipotle peppers}, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika, natural flavor, oleoresin capsicum], honey, soy oil, modified corn starch, xanthan gum, honey flavor [molasses, ethyl alcohol, natural flavoring], extractives of paprika, chili powder, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], canola oil). Cooked in Soy, Corn, Cottonseed, & Hydrogenated Soy Oil. Cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain Egg, Milk, and Fish (where available). CONTAINS: WHEAT.


10 thoughts on “This #$!% Has Got to Stop: Part Three

  1. I just had a turkey burger from AppleGate Farms for lunch. Two ingredients: organic turkey, rosemary. That’s real food! (Oops … wasn’t drive-thru.) What, no Wendy’s bacon!

  2. Amy,According to the FDA rules, it’s entirely the manufacturer’s discretion as to if the ingredients list is combined into one list showing the entire product or if they show sub-ingredients like here. A quiche I bought the other day from contained separate ingredients lists for the filling and the crust (both containing only things clearly recognizable as food), while a heavily-processed product like the "chicken wings" would not become any better if they sorted and combined all the ingredients lists into one big list.

  3. I love that one of the ingredients for chicken flavor is chicken flavor. It’s chicken flavor all the way down!

  4. "The ingredients have ingredients;" I love the way you said it! Also has: natural flavor, grill flavor, honey flavor and chicken flavor (which also has ‘flavor’ and ‘chicken’. Wonder what part of the chicken this refers to). Second ingredient is water which, at this point, seems refreshing. The mystery is why anyone would eat this. The fear is that we’ll export it and convince developing nations that this is edible. The horror is that they will begin eating it. The tragedy is that it will spread.

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