Slim Jim: the name alone is enough to make us queasy. But have you ever actually considered what's in a Slim Jim? Wired decided to find out what the infamous "meat stick" really contains -- and the results, while perhaps not so surprising, are certainly disheartening. In addition to the predictably high dose of salt (one sixth of your daily amount), Slim Jims contain soy, wheat and corn. You know, for all that meaty flavor.
Wired explains that most processed meats are made with the bottom three levels of beef: utility, cutter and canner. ConAgra Foods wouldn't tell Wired what meat filler they used, but Wired's video says that the beef base is made up of mechanically separated chicken -- the pink stuff that's used in some chicken nuggets. Yeah, you read that right. Mechanically separate chicken.
And then, of course, there's sodium nitrate (misidentified in the video above as sodium nitrate), which keeps the Slim Jim red, as opposed to gray. (Because the thought of a gray Slim Jim is enough to make us run for the hills and never look back.)
Watch the video for a full explanation of the ingredients in your "four inches of spicy, salty, processed goodness." Then let us know if it ruined your appetite, because Slim Jims were oh so appetizing before.
This article has been updated to note that the Wired video misidentifies the ingredient sodium nitrite in the video above. The site lists it correctly in an older article.