It’s been a surreal week in the Fast Food Nation. KFC set a high bar in Corporate Social Irresponsibility with the introduction of the new KFC Double Down Chicken Sandwich, a nutrition bomb made of two boneless white fried or grilled chicken filets (the bun re-imagined), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and the Colonel's secret Sauce. The fried edition weighs in at 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. Miraculously its 460 calorie grilled twin contains even more sodium - 1,430 milligrams of it. Crazy when you consider that the recommended daily dose of sodium for American is 2400 milligrams, while a Brit is supposed to get by with 1600 milligrams – only sane if compared to Burger King’s Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch Sandwich, with its 990 Calories, 58 grams of fat, and, 2190 milligrams of sodium. Not wanting to be bested in the Fast-food Nation Corporate Social Irresponsibility table the Board of Directors of McDonald’s recommended earlier this week that the Company’s shareholders vote against the Humane Society’s modest proposal that 5% of the eggs purchased for its restaurants in the United States be the cage-free (the other 95% would still get to live in letter-paper sized filth). In justifying its decision the McDonald’s board dropped science: “As we have examined this issue over the years, we have determined that there is no agreement in the global scientific community about how to balance the advantages and disadvantages of laying hen housing systems,” said its proxy statement. What the McDonalds Board meant to say was that cage-free organic eggs are almost twice as expensive as the caged variety, because the huge environmental costs of factory farming (in poisoned well water, soil destruction and air pollution) are not paid by MacDonald’s, just as KFC off-loads the high cost of its sodium-witches (in heart disease, high blood pressure, and Osteoporosis) on our national health.
It’s been a surreal week in the Fast Food Nation.