According to Mr. Max Bernstein, of Common Sense NMS:
What is PLUMPING?: The practice of injecting saltwater, chicken stock, seaweed extract or some combination thereof into chicken to increase its weight and price, meaning that when you buy a package of chicken you can be spending 15% more on SALT WATER. More importantly, a plumped chicken has up to 700% more sodium than a chicken that hasn't been plumped. The result: hundreds of thousands of consumers are ponying up extra cash (about $1.50 per package of chicken) to unwittingly feed themselves and their families a dangerously unhealthy amount of salt. Consumers apparently are quite unaware of this practice, despite being concerned about their sodium intake:
There's a cute video about all this at Chicken Plumping and much more info at SayNoToPlumping.
- Even though 71.3% of consumers try to watch their sodium intake at least some of the time, many consumers are still unaware of some of the fine print in product labels, even for USDA-labeled "100% natural" minimally processed foods.
- 89% of consumers surveyed did not realize that a serving of some brands' fresh raw chicken could contain more salt per serving than a large order of french fries.
- Upon learning how much money they could be paying for saltwater, 70% of the consumers felt deceived and 37% felt angry. Once they learned about the common practice, 85.4% of these consumers said they would now read nutrition labels and avoid saltwater-injected chicken.
- 74.5% of consumers believe fresh chicken labeled as "natural" should contain no additives or preservatives.
- 82.4% believe that fresh chicken carrying the "natural" label should not be injected with saltwater.