Broken Down into its Ingredients, a Chicken McNugget is Strangely Beautiful

  • 2016-02-09
  • Mother Jones News

I suddenly, inexplicably, find myself attracted to Chicken McNuggets, although I don't think I want to eat any.

When we look at the nutrition labels of processed or fast foods, there's all of this...stuff. It's a mystery. What the hell are carrageenan and caseinate and lycopene? Why are they there? What do they look like?

In Ingredients: A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives & 25 Food Products, photographer Dwight Eschliman and writer Steve Ettlinger (whose scores of books include Twinkie, Deconstructed) conspire to demystify common ingredients and products ranging from Kraft Singles to Red Bull. You might look at the deconstructed McNugget above and find yourself thinking, "How strangely beautiful. But do you really need 40 ingredients to batter and deep-fry a hunk of reconstituted chicken?"