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(Toledo News Now) -
It turns out a lot of what you are paying for at the supermarket is not chicken, but water!
You work hard for your money. When you go grocery shopping, you want to make sure you get what you pay for. Investigators went to the supermarket, bought chicken and tested it to see if you are paying for chicken or water weight.
When you buy chicken, big packs of boneless breasts may look like a good deal. Look closely and you'll see most packages now say that they contain up to 15% added chicken broth. That's a fancy word for water.
15% is one thing but our consumer investigation found out you may be paying for even more water with some chicken. Over two days, we went into a Walmart Super Center and a supermarket to buy five brands of boneless breasts.
• a Walmart value pack
• Walmart extra thin breasts
• a supermarket value pack
Then 2 big national brands:
We weighed each on a digital scale. The good news is that each package weighed more than the label said, to allow for all the packaging. Tyson is generous: they give you 3.25 pounds, but only charge you for 3.
The good news ended there. With most, the absorbent pad underneath was saturated with water. The worst of the 5 samples was Walmart's thin chicken breasts. You pay for 1.82 pounds but weighed, we got just 1.59 pounds of chicken. More than a third of a pound was water in the pad. So, 18.7% of what you are buying is water you throw away before cooking.
The next worst was our supermarket value chicken. You pay for 4.01 pounds but get just 3.36. 18% is water in the pad. Walmart's value breasts were next: 16.2% water in the pad. Of the 5 pounds of chicken, almost a pound is water and packaging!
The brands with the least water were Tyson with just 11% water in the pad, and Purdue, which had no absorbent pad with its shrink wrapped chicken. Maybe it doesn't need one. We found just 10% was water, which is exactly what the label said: 10% added solution.
Do you want less water? Look for brands that say nothing added. Otherwise, you may be paying a dollar for salt water which may be a case of don't waste your money.
Walmart would not comment on the findings, but the store referred us to the chicken council, which said customers prefer enhanced chicken because it is more tender.