Curing Cancer With Fried Chicken?

By Robin Shreeves,

KFC wants to donate up $8.5 million to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and has already donated over $2.6 million. That’s a lot of money to help find a cure for breast cancer. How can anyone have a problem with that?

KFC’s “Buckets for the Cure” campaign has met with some skepticism because of the way KFC is raising the money. The fast food company is donating fifty cents from every pink bucket of grilled or fried chicken that is purchased through participating KFC restaurants.

The problem many people see is that fast food like fried chicken and even fatty grilled chicken may contribute to health problems, like obesity, that are considered cancer risks.

CNN reports that Barbara Brenner, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, has a problem with the pink buckets and calls them “pinkwashing.” Pinkwashing is a term used for unhealthy products that go pink for a short time, usually during breast cancer awareness month. The companies slap a pink ribbon on the product’s packaging and promise to donate a small fraction to breast cancer research.

Brenner also has a problem with the Komen Foundation.

Next: The Komen controversy

“This will keep them (Komen) in business for years. They talk about a cure, but this partnership will create more breast cancer. And Komen knows this,” said Brenner on the assumed relationship between fast food, excess weight and cancer risk.

She’s not the only one who sees a conflict of interest with Buckets for the Cure. Marion Nestle first reported on the incongruity of this campaign on her Food Politics blog last week. She sites the fact that The American Cancer Society’s first recommendation for preventing cancer has to do with maintaining a healthy weight.

The Think Before You Pink website is “deeply concerned about the implications of KFC’s and Komen for the Cure’s new ‘Buckets for the Cure’ campaign,” and says that KFC = Komen Fails Communities.

The Washington Post points out that consumers don’t even need to purchase the chicken in the pink buckets for the donation to be made. It’s actually not 50 cents from each consumer bought pink bucket. It’s 50 cents donated for each pink bucket that the franchises buy. So, technically, those pink buckets could sit in the KFC franchise without ever getting filled with chicken and the donation would still be made. So consumers who buy the pink buckets aren’t actually contributing to anything but perhaps their waistline.

The Washington Post also has a poll at the bottom of their piece that asks what readers think of the pink bucket idea. Fifty-six percent of those polled think that it’s misguided and makes both KFC and the Komen Foundation look bad. Thirty-one percent of those polled find the pairing strange, but still like the idea. The remainder of those polled think its fantastic and we should all run out and get a pink bucket of chicken.

What do you think? Do you think that KFC’s way of raising money to donate to breast cancer research is a valid one?

Robin Shreeves is the food blogger for the Mother Nature Network (

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Marianne Barto
Marianne B5 years ago

So, you are saying only obese women, or large breasted women can get breast cancer. Sorry, I disagree. I work in Hospice and see breast cancer patients daily. Many are thin and small breasted. What do you consider a "healthy" weight?

Michele Wilkinson

KFC fast food is not good for humans who eat it, or the animals who are so cruelly treated to provide it.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado6 years ago


Tammy Smith
T Zabel7 years ago

I am going to research into this a little further

Jewels S.
Jewels S7 years ago

KFC have a horrible animal rights record. The way they kill the chickens is a horrific process. I have not ate there since I read about KFC. This does give a false impression to the people that eat there that don't know the information behind the food. All we can do is try to educate as many of our friends if they eat there. Although I don't have many friends that would eat there, I would definitely bring up the subject to new friends I meet.

No S.
No Stef7 years ago

Vegetables will always be the best solution to prevent serious health problems like cancer, heath diseases etc.

BROCCOLI for example, should be considered a wonder vegetable as it has numerous health benefits.

Read all about the health benefits of broccoli here:

The Wonders of Broccoli

sandra d.
sandra d7 years ago

Totally agree, Charlotte B. There are actual cures for cancer--you are just not going to hear about them from the Susan G. Komen fund raising mega corporation. What a disgrace. But people who believe in this will buy into anything. I find most people who do are so busy, busy with their lives they do not take the time to delve very far into issues to find the truth.

The information about natural cures for cancer and how to eat to stay healthy, as you suggest is all over the place. I don't really have much sympathy for people who just want to buy something pink and feel like they are doing something to find a cure for cancer. What a scam!

Charlotte B.
Charlotte B7 years ago

I have never quite bought into the Komen foundation - the Race for the Cure got very commercial and since I am nearly 68 and have studied natural health/diet/vitamin/yoga etc. etc. it seems to me that by now we would have educated ourselves or at the very least found a cure. That does not seem to be happening - the Komen foundation is huge and I feel sure their CEOs make bukoo bucks. Many years ago while waitng for a friend in her chiropractors office, I browsed a pamphlet in the waiting room telling how vitamins, exercise, natural food could actually shrink cancer and how the industry of "curing" makes billions of dollars and will NEVER find a cure because it is no financially good for them to actually cure. The cancer industry is mega - fancy cancer centers everywhere so why cure it? Billions are making billions from this disease - KFC is full of MSG - this chemical alone is cancer causing and deadly for many of us. If we continue to eat this stuff and believe the hype I guess cancer is the big reward.

John O.
John O.7 years ago

It's a sicko world when people can't see that KFC and other major operators use marketing schemes like this to attract the gullible customers to buy their garbage, It all comes out of their TAX returns, the more they give to charity via their marketing strategies the less tax they pay, they couldnt give a stuff about cancer research or why don't they donate from their after tax profits?

Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons7 years ago

Well its certainly not healthy to eat, but at least they are doing something.