Courtney Smith
November 04, 2015 12:43 pm

When it comes to fast food, we understand it’s not the most amazing stuff to be putting into our bodies. It’s known to contain preservatives and it’s fatty and has little nutritional value —and these are all things we need to take in account if we decide to treat ourselves to a cheeseburger and fries. But as far as the exact (to the last detail) ingredients go? It’s kind of a mystery. Until now.

Dwight Eschliman and photographer Steve Ettlinger have a new book out called Ingredients that investigates exactly what goes into food. And what we’ve discovered goes into the Chicken McNugget especially has stunned us.

The pair don’t just tell you what’s in the food, but teamed up to visualize it. This photo, from the book, is what makes up a McNugget.

The list of ingredients, including batter, seasonings and what the McNugget is fried in includes (via Cosmo UK):
​1. White boneless chicken
2. Water
3. Food starch-modified
4. Salt
5. Autolyzed yeast
6. Salt
7. Wheat starch
8. Natural flavour (botanical source)
9. Safflower oil
10. Dextrose
11. Citric acid
12. Sodium phosphates
13. Natural flavour (botanical source)
14. Water
15. Bleached wheat flour
16. Niacin
17. Reduced iron
18. Thiamine mononitrate
19. Riboflavin
20. Folic acid
21. Yellow corn flour
22. Bleached wheat flour
23. Food starch-modified
24. Salt
25. Baking soda
26. Sodium acid pyrophosphate
27. Sodium aluminum phosphate
28. Monocalcium phosphate
29. Calcium lactate
30. Spices
31. Wheat starch
32. Dextrose
33. Corn starch
34. Canola oil
35. Corn oil
36. Soybean oil
37. Hydrogenated soybean oil
38.with TBHQ
39. and Citric Acid to preserve freshness of the oil
40. and Dimethylpolysiloxane to reduce oil splatter when cooking​

Ingredients, which also explains what exactly all of those things are (sure, you’ve got water down but what exactly is niacin?), also decodes what goes in to Cool Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips, Hostess Twinkies, Red Bull Energy Drink and Ocean Spray Cran-Grape Juice Drink, among others. We’re guessing the news is not great on many of them.

Yikes. Do we dare read? The book actually came out September 29th, so if you’re into exploring what goes into fast food and snacks, you can purchase it here. 

(Images via Simon & Schuster, McDonalds)