Unless you lead a completely organic lifestyle, you've most likely come to expect those white lines on raw chicken when making your weekly grocery run. But as the Compassion in World Farming group points out in a new video, these lines are a sign of a strange muscular condition appropriately called "white striping."
This happens as a result of the mass production common to most chicken farms; the farmers use genetic enhancements to make the birds "larger and more hearty," reports Thrillist. "The unhealthy practice leads to muscular dysfunction, which manifests itself in white striation along the chicken breast."
As far as your health goes, these white lines are essentially an indication of more fat and less protein in the meat. The publication references a 2013 study from the Italian Journal of Animal Science, which found that "severe and moderate white-striped fillets had higher fat content, lower protein level, and decreased quality of protein as proven by higher collagen content," reads the abstract.
But before you inspect every chicken breast in the supermarket, the National Chicken Council recently addressed the concerns surrounding white striping in an interview with Buzzfeed, alleging that "only a small percentage of chicken meat" is affected by the condition. The stripes apparently "do not create any health or food safety concerns for people, and the welfare of the chicken itself is not negatively impacted."
What are your thoughts on the new study? Add your two cents in the comments below.