I just love the fast-food commercials with lots of toned, active models enjoying the all-American staples; burgers, shakes, french fries and of course, fried chicken.
The latest KFC commercial for their new grilled chicken is a perfect example of this silliness.
KFC has made their grilled chicken their go-to item for “health-conscious” customers. Here’s what KFC writes on their website:
At KFC, we take great pride and care to provide you with the best food and dining experience in the quick service restaurant business. KFC offers a variety of menu items for those that want lower fat, lower calorie choices, including Tender Roast and Honey BBQ Sandwiches, corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans and green beans.
Wow. “Great pride” and “best food,” eh?
Hmmm… my “best food” list doesn’t include sodium phosphate, MSG, trans fats, more MSG, chicken fat, beef powder (eww), rendered beef fat (I’m getting nauseous now)… Yikes, I can’t continue. Here’s the ingredient list:
KFC® Grilled Chicken Fresh Chicken Marinated with: Salt, Sodium Phosphate, and Monosodium Glutamate Seasoned with: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Spices, Palm Oil, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast, Beef Powder, Rendered Beef Fat, Extractives of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, and Not More Than 2% Each of Calcium Silicate and Silicon Dioxide Added as Anticaking Agents. Contains Wheat and Soy.
On a good note, the nutrition stats look better for the grilled chicken than for the originial recipe chicken. The serving sizes for the grilled chicken choices are smaller, but when adjusted for this, you’ll save about 119 calories, 17 grams of fat and 610 mg of sodium by going with the grilled chicken breast (vs. the original recipe breast). You won’t save any cholesterol though. Find the KFC nutrition facts here.
Interestingly, KFC also has a few online health resources. The health websites are part of Yum! Brands (who also bring you Taco Bell, Long John Silvers A&W and Pizza Hut). Here’s what Yum! Brands believes:
We believe eating sensibly, combined with appropriate exercise, is the best solution for a healthy lifestyle.
Isn’t that nice? It fits perfectly with their health website, “KeepItBalanced.com”.
My favorite part of the Keep It Balanced website is the homepage. I love how the family is noshing on fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, coleslaw and soda. Hmmm… no vegetables in the picture though (mashed potatoes don’t count as a veggie and the KFC coleslaw with 180 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving doesn’t either). Wouldn’t “balanced” suggest a slice of tomato or a lettuce leaf at the very least?
YUM! Brands has also partnered with “eFit4Me”, which is an interactive online fitness and nutrition program. I’m not going to knock eFit4Me, because I really don’t know anything about it. But, I am going to knock YUM! Brands for being involved with it.
Here’s my message to YUM! Brands:
Dear YUM! Brands,
1. You are not a health and wellness company. If you truly take “great pride” in serving the “best food”, then take the dollars you waste on these health websites and spend them on improving the quality of your products.
Start by taking out the trans fats and MSG from your products (because they are in most of your items) and remove the propyl gallate (a possible carcinogen) from your rice.
Then, remove the sodium nitrite (another possible carcinogen) from the sausage, bacon, ham and “ham flavor” that go into your products. Don’t forget to get rid of the BHA (carcinogen and can cause liver and kidney problems) from your “Kentucky Nugget” and your rice.
Also, make sure to get rid of the 36 menu items that have high fructose corn syrup in them (that’s 36 food items, not including drinks).
Looks like I’m on a roll… get rid of the Blue 1 (a possible carcinogen) from your potato salad, stop offering salad dressings with yellow 6 in them (possibly associated with tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney), get rid of the sauces, desserts and the pot pie that contain red 40 (studies of safety have been flawed, may cause adverse health effects).
I’ll stop now. But, realize these are just a FEW of the crappy (and possibly dangerous) ingredients you put in your “best food” at KFC. I cringe at the thought of the junk that goes into the food at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, A&W and Long John Silvers…
2. I suppose this is a continuation to the above… I understand that the only way to justify such poor quality food is to overuse the cliché, “everything in balance.” But, I don’t think toxic food additives used by a company to save a buck should be considered in the “everything in balance” motto. You may want to go with a different motto… Perhaps something more truthful. Something like this maybe:
“A few chemicals shouldn’t hurt you. Plus, even if they did hurt you, your lawsuit against us would never hold up in court- there are too many variables. As a bonus, we’re making a killing selling you a cheaper food product than the kibble you scoop into your dog’s bowl! Seriously! Isn’t that brilliant?”
It’s a little rough now. Just rework the words a bit.
3. People don’t frequent your establishments because they are seeking out a healthy, balanced meal. Though it’s great that you have reduced fat and calories from menu items, you’re missing the point of “health-conscious”.
Health conscious consumers now have an expanded understanding of what “healthy” means. For example, consumers will look at the nutrition facts for the usual fat and calorie counts, but they also want to see an ingredient list that isn’t full of fake food. A healthy consumer will also want meat products sourced from ethical farms and a company who follows environmentally conscious business practices.
Helpin to “Keep it Balanced,”