Just when I thought KFC couldn’t possibly stoop any lower, the company started selling its carcinogenic chicken in pink buckets to raise money for breast cancer research. Seriously. I suppose next Phillip Morris will start donating a portion of the proceeds from its cigarette sales for lung cancer research.
I would’ve sworn KFC was already at rock bottom. It’s not as if it’s known to be a respectable company. It has a shameful history of cruelty to animals and its own advisors have resigned in frustration with the company for refusing to implement stronger animal welfare policies. It’s been criticized by Greenpeace for destroying more than 2.9 million acres of rainforest in the 2004-2005 crop season in order to grow crops that are used to feed chickens and other factory-farmed animals, and called out by Care2′s Beth Buczynski for destroying America’s Southern forests to produce its throw-away buckets.
KFC restaurants have made headlines for having some pretty foul hygienic issues, and the company has been sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for using startlingly high amounts of artery-clogging trans fats, and just about every health expert and sane individual in the world has balked at KFC’s vile new Double Down.
The company itself is vile, frankly. But selling its Kentucky Grilled Chicken and Original Recipe chicken in pink buckets? Only one word comes to mind: Hypocritical. (Well, a lot of words come to mind, but they’re not appropriate here.) KFC’s Kentucky Grilled Chicken contains PhIP and other chemicals known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have been linked to several types of cancer, including breast cancer.
A scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) visited six different KFC restaurants, obtained two samples from each location and sent them to an independent testing laboratory. All 12 samples contained PhIP and at least one additional type of HCA. These carcinogens don’t naturally exist in chicken flesh; they form when meat is cooked to high temperatures. (HCAs don’t form on grilled vegetables—even when they’re charred beyond recognition.)
Research from University of Texas scientists also shows that eating charred meats, as well as fried fish and chicken, can significantly raise one’s risk of bladder cancer. The findings even suggest that HCAs can raise cancer risk by more than two-and-a-half.
Because of the increased cancer risk, PCRM asked KFC to stop selling Kentucky Grilled Chicken, or at least warn consumers that it contained carcinogens. KFC refused. And now the company is concerned about fighting cancer? I don’t think so.
You might think that, since many people are going to buy the rot anyway, the proceeds may as well go to cancer research, but that’s sort of like paying a nominal carbon offset after taking a jumbo jet around the world. It’s a slap in the face to cancer survivors too. When I told my best friend — a breast cancer survivor who went vegan after having a mastectomy, and now staunchly encourages other women to eat healthy plant-based foods and support clinical research methods – about KFC’s new pink buckets, she was practically stunned. “OH MY GOD! DISGUSTING!” was all she could manage to reply.
As PCRM points out, whether it’s grilled, fried, baked, or otherwise, chicken is not a healthy food. If KFC cared at all about women, it would stop pushing cancer-causing food in the first place. Selling it in pink buckets is about as counterproductive as putting the brakes on a car after it rolls down a hill and smashes into a tree. Please don’t support KFC, and let them know why not. If you’re looking for a productive, humane way to help fight breast cancer, please support the Cancer Project, a run program by PCRM.