So, a few days after my return from the International Sweets and Snacks Show, in Chicago, an email pops up in my inbox with the header: “Get ready for real food ingredients!” Wow, I thought, lay it on me, I’m ready for real food ingredients, especially after the sugar shitstorm I’d just immersed myself in!!

This email was from one of the many food companies and ingredient suppliers and industry email lists that I’ve wound up on over the years, because when you register for a trade show, you suddenly start getting emails from all kinds of industry suppliers and companies. This email was from a company that makes chicken products. Not like nuggets and patties, or chicken jerky or even IQF parts, no. They make stuff like powdered chicken stock base, and freeze-dried chicken fat for enriching your institutional hospital-type cooking and hotel and airline food.

The “real food” ingredient they were promoting? Chicken Protein Powder. Get ready indeed! Dehydrated, powdered, chicken meat dust. For use as an additive to processed food products, to increase the protein level in them, because everybody has apparently gone insane about getting enough protein, even though most Americans get more than double the protein they need on a average day. But the food industry has latched on to our belief that we need hundreds of grams of protein, and has added it to all sorts of enhanced Foodiness products like cereals and drinks, and even bottled water.

Is chicken powder a real food ingredient? Chicken is real food, if you dry it into chicken jerky I guess it’s still real food, but is chicken powder dust real food? I don’t know. Something is not right, there’s a distasteful quality about it. It’s creepy. Too far removed from the actual animal. Too much of a disregarding of the fact that the chicken was a living breathing, featherered bird, before it was dehydrated and powdered and put into a vaccum sealed pouch. Too much like soylent green.

It’s chicken!! It’s chicken!! Chicken protein powder is chicken! Or am just (as usual) I overreacting to this? Do I need to just let go, and let dust?