Food Is Not Your Enemy

Fighting Breast Cancer With Fried Chicken

The breast cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure has teamed up with none other than KFC in a national “Buckets for the Cure” campaign which will run until May 23. For every pink bucket of chicken purchased, the fast-food chain will donate 50 cents to the organization, according to ABC News.

This arrangement presents a real dilemma–greasy, fried fast food chicken is exactly the type of food that contributes to such chronic diseases as cancer. But on the other hand, raising awareness about breast cancer with the crowd that needs the education most–namely, regular consumers of KFC–is hardly a bad thing. Plus, the campaign raised $2 million in its first week alone.

A deal with the devil? Maybe. But in the end, the awareness and money raised is probably worth it. No matter how uncomfortable it makes health professionals feel.

Chicken: Safe or Scary?

We’ve been hearing for years that we should cut down on the amount of red meat we eat. Since these exhortations began, Americans have largely been plunging their forks into chicken instead — to the tune of 8 billion birds a year — because it’s healthier, right? Well, that depends. Read my latest column on AOL’s ParentDish to find out.

Deepak Chopra Defends Oprah

While I recently expressed concern on my blog about Oprah recommending that her viewers go get themselves some free KFC grilled chicken, which is marinated in trans-fats and MSG, in general I do believe that Oprah’s heart is in the right place when it comes to health and wellness.

Deepak Chopra writes a nice defense of Ms. Winfrey in the Huffington Post this week, which is worth checking out because he goes into some depth about what’s wrong with our health-care system and the critical role that nutrition plays in preventing illness. I believe so strongly in what he’s saying, and will, as I often do, point to this fact, which I think sums up our problem: studies have shown that following a Mediterranean-style diet reduces cholesterol levels much more effectively than statin drugs (Lipitor and the like), and yet doctors continue to prescribe these drugs rampantly. This is something that has got to change.

Free KFC, Oprah? No Thanks
May 6, 2009, 2:21 pm
Filed under: Meat, Oils, Restaurants | Tags: , ,

So Oprah is offering free KFC grilled chicken to everyone, touting it as a healthier alternative to the fried stuff. Don’t you believe it. Here’s the ingredient list, straight off the KFC Web site:

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.

Monosodium Glutamate, a.k.a. MSG, is a neurotoxin that damages our nerves. Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils are trans fats, which significantly raise your risk of heart disease. You may notice that KFC’s site says there’s zero trans fat in the grilled chicken. But remember, if there’s less than half a gram of it in a food, by law food companies can list it as being zero. But as the ingredient list shows, there is no doubt that there are trans fats in this chicken. Along with lots of other creepy artificial additives.

Given that Americans are facing a major health and obesity crisis, is it really a good idea to send them to a fast-food joint? You should know better, Oprah.