Mother posts repulsive image of chicken breast that resembles spaghetti strands.

Ever had a dinner plan derail in the most unexpected way? Well, imagine preparing poultry for dinner only to find it transforming into stringy pieces reminiscent of spaghetti.

That’s the bizarre scenario a Texas mother, Alesia Cooper, found herself in.

Sharing her perplexing experience on social media, Cooper’s post quickly went viral, sparking curiosity and concern among online users. But what exactly led to this poultry perplexity?

Keep reading to learn more about the stringy chicken!

In a now-famous Facebook post, Cooper shared a photo of a chicken breast disintegrating into spaghetti-like strands as she washed it. Expressing her astonishment, she pondered over the unusual phenomenon, suspecting it to be “fake meat.”

The mother of two writes: “I been debating on posting this but since I had to see it so do yall.” The post, which also shows an image of chicken shredding into spaghetti-like strands, continues: “I was cooking my kids dinner a couple of weeks ago and was cleaning my meat like I normally do and when I went back to start cooking it turned into this (SIC).”

Cooper, who shares she purchased the chicken breast from the budget supermarket Aldi, adds: “lol I think it’s that fake meat but I’m not sure anyways…I ain’t made chicken off the bone since.”

Accompanied by a candid caption, Cooper’s post invited a flurry of reactions, with netizens speculating wildly about the origins of the mysterious “spaghetti meat.” From lab-grown meat to GMO experiments, the theories were as varied as they were imaginative.

Some were suggesting the chicken was 3D printed or grown in a petri dish.

One of the users suggested a more logical explanation to the shredded chicken breast: “It’s not lab-grown meat or 3D printed meat. It comes from real chickens. The problem is when greedy chicken producers force-feed their chickens growth hormones so they grow way too fast.”

Bigger breasts

According to The Wall Street Journal, the emergence of meat termed as “woody breast” and “spaghetti meat” is reportedly linked to breeding practices aimed at accelerating the growth of chickens for higher meat yield and increased profit.

Dr. Massimiliano Petracci, a professor of agriculture and food science at the University of Bologna in Italy, asserts that these anomalies are indeed connected with the rapid growth of chickens.

Although the terms “woody breast” and “spaghetti meat” may sound unsettling, industry experts claim that consuming them poses no harm to humans. However, the accelerated growth can cause physical strain on the chickens, as their oversized bodies often exceed the capacity of their legs to support them.

Chubby chickens

According to data released by the National Chicken Council, broiler chickens, bred for meat production, are growing at a significantly faster rate compared to previous years. In 2000, the average bird reached market weight at 47 days old, weighing 5.03 pounds. By 2023, although the average age at market remained at 47 days, the chickens now weigh substantially more at 6.54 pounds.

This stark contrast is evident when compared to nearly a century ago when broilers took 112 days to reach a market weight of 2.5 pounds in 1925.

These shifts mirror the evolving preference for white meat over the past century, prompting the industry to prioritize chickens with “proportionally larger breasts.”

Dr. Michael Lilburn, a professor at Ohio State University’s Poultry Research Center, explains to the Washington Post, “If people continue consuming more chicken, chickens will likely need to grow even larger…We’ll also have to increase the proportion of breast meat in each bird.”

Lilburn emphasizes that consumer demand is the driving force behind these adjustments, citing the popularity of chicken nuggets, wings, sandwiches, and other affordable chicken products. He notes, “It’s a vocal minority raising legitimate questions, but the majority of the U.S. population still prioritizes affordability over the source of their food.”

While some fast-food chains and grocery stores have contributed to the demand for larger breast meat, The New York Times reports a counter-trend where certain companies are advocating for meat sourced from slower-growing chickens. They argue that allowing birds more time to mature before slaughter leads to a healthier, happier life for the animals and produces higher-quality meat.

‘I’ll go vegan’

In the online sphere, users are expressing their repulsion towards the appearance of “noodled chicken.”

One user expresses concern, stating, “It looks like worms! What are they feeding us?”

Another shares a similar experience, saying, “I received some like that recently. It had that appearance at the bottom. It’s unsettling how things have changed since our youth. Quality used to be much fresher.”

Several netizens recommend seeking alternatives, with one suggesting, “For ethically raised and higher-quality chicken, consider purchasing from a local butcher or co-op instead.”

Others are considering dietary changes, with one user declaring, “I’m going vegan! The prevalence of lab-grown food is too much,” while another mentions, “This is why my family is contemplating a pescatarian diet.”

The prevalence of factory farming and its impact on animal welfare is a concern echoed by many, highlighting the unfortunate suffering experienced by these creatures during their short lives.

Let us know what you think and then please share this story so we can hear what others have to say!

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