For the billionaires out there that can afford pre-cut, pre-cleaned Perdue Perfect Portions, stop reading right here. For those out there that buy their chicken breast from the store brand and painstakingly slice, excise, and pick apart the poultry to perfection, this is for you. Fresh out of the package, the surface area of the average chicken breast is particularly pristine, save for those little white particulates splashed across the surface. (Down an aisle or two, another question emerges. What’s the difference between white and brown eggs?)
But what exactly are those white stripes? They aren’t a dynamite rock duo that had a stellar run during the aughts. They’re actually pockets of fat which have popped up with greater frequency due to the proliferation factory-farmed chicken.
— Cass Anderson (@casspa) February 2, 2017
Compassion in World Farming explains that the process of “white striping” is based on the breeding processes that aim to produce bigger birds in larger numbers. The unnatural breeding conditions lead to the development of muscular tissue disorders in many of the chickens and sometimes, the disorders cause those white stripes that marble the meat.
When analyzed apart from the breast itself, the white stripes were revealed to be pretty bad for you. A 2013 University of Bologna study reported that chicken breast with those white stripes contains 224 percent more fat than usual. So if you’re looking to reap the lean benefits of a chicken-heavy diet, be sure to resect the opaque pockets of fat.
Now that you know to be wary of a white-striped chicken breast, it might also be best to skip the grocery store rotisserie chicken, too—there’s a reason why it’s often cheaper than a raw one!