A muscle disorder called "white striping" is plaguing a lot the chicken we eat. You've probably seen many times on your chicken filet and just ignored it — the white stripes in breast meat that run parallel to to the muscle fibers — and researchers say it has become a more severe problem in recent years. Another defect called "woody breast" that results in tougher meat is also troubling producers, who are worried it will affect consumer demand.
A new report and campaign video by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), an animal welfare group, links these conditions to breeding chickens that grow too fast. "While the specific causes of muscular disorders like [white striping] are still being researched, the vast majority of studies conducted thus far have found a correlation between fast growth, heavier weights, higher breast yield, and the development of myopathies in broilers," the report states.
White striping, a meat quality issue, degrades the taste and nutritional value of chicken, according to the report, resulting in meat that is less tender, doesn't absorb marinade as readily, and contains more fat. CIWF also criticizes the suffering that animals experience from putting on weight too rapidly.