So here’s a riddle for you: What do silly putty, McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, and cosmetics have in common? A gummy texture, unnatural colors, and off-putting smells would probably all be technically correct here, but it’s not the answer I’m looking for. The shocking similarity amongst these three items is that they all contain dimethylpolysiloxane, a form of silicone.
The fact that silicone is in silly putty (a child’s toy) and cosmetics (a substance most people cake on their faces every day) is disturbing enough. But put that chemical in a food item and I’m downright nauseated. According to a story on Grist, dimethylpolysiloxane is an anti-foaming agent. You know, to keep frying oil from getting too foamy when McDonald’s employees drop the nuggets into that piping hot vat of grease.
Dimethylpolysiloxane isn’t the only scary substance lurking in Happy Meals. According to CNN, Chicken McNuggets also contain tertiary butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), a petroleum-based preservative for vegetable oils and animal fats. Experts worry about oil making its way into Gulf seafood over the past couple months. Turns out the Golden Arches has been pumping petroleum-based goods into its McNuggets for years.