The next time you’re thinking about making chicken for dinner, there’s something important you should keep in mind. Compassion in World Farming just released a video teaching everyone about “white striping,” which is a muscle disorder found on chicken breasts.
White striping has become more and more common over the last few years, according to a 2016 study by University of Arkansas and Texas A&M, and seeing white stripes on your chicken means the fat content has increased by 224 percent and there is less protein in the meat. White striping also decreases the overall quality of your meat, so it takes longer to marinade and it doesn’t cook very well.
Here’s what it looks like:
To identify these stripes, look for white striations that run parallel to the natural muscle. Because chicken is one of the most popular meats found on American dinner tables — the average American eats more than 90 pounds of chicken a year — chicken farmers have to produce a lot more chicken in a lot less time. This ultimately has an effect on the quality of the meat you’re getting at the shop.
A spokesman for the National Chicken Council told Buzzfeed that this isn’t much to worry about since the white striping only affects a “small percentage of chicken meat and thus doesn’t cause “health or food safety concerns for people.” We can’t help but be a bit skeptical, though.
If you’re a chicken lover, just make sure you’re buying the kind of meat that’s going to do you good. Look for organic when you can, and definitely buy antibiotic free. Because as much as we eat chicken, we need to make sure it’s not wrecking our insides.