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Let them eat buns!

Posted May 07 2010 12:00am
Health fans everywhere are expressing disbelief at KFC’s over-the-top Double Down sandwich, consisting of bacon, melted cheese, and creamy sauce encased by two deep-fried or grilled chicken patties, instead of a bun.
This follows on the heels of another KFC promotion, “Buckets for the Cure,” in which 50 cents from the sale of every pink bucket of chicken goes to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer awareness organization. Don’t the two campaigns essentially cancel each other out? I'm just saying.
Anyway, from my perspective, the most outrageous aspect of the Double Down sandwich isn’t even the sandwich itself. Honestly, if you don't count its stratospheric sodium content (around 1,400 mg.), this sandwich sinks no lower, nutrition-wise, than plenty of other fast-food offerings on the market.
No, the really sad part is what KFC says it’s going to do with all the buns they won’t be needing: it plans to donate them to food banks across the country.
KFC also promises to make a financial contribution to go along with those surplus buns. Fine. I say, forget the bun part. Because if there’s one thing hungry people have plenty of, it’s processed white bread.
Cheap carbs as a building block of the diet are nothing new, of course. Ever since the dawn of agriculture, people all over the world have used grains -- which are abundant and filling -- to help stretch scarcer, more nutritious foods like meat, eggs, and vegetables. Look at any ethnic cuisine: you’ll find examples of dishes bulked up with carbs to help make precious ingredients go further. Pasta with meat sauce, stir-fried chicken and vegetables over rice, beef stew with noodles. French toast. Bread pudding. Hamburger Helper, so help me.
Right now, we’re living in a unique moment in human history. Most of us, in this country at least, have access to good-quality protein, fruits, and vegetables. No one needs to fill their stomach with empty carbs. (Many of us do nonetheless, but it’s not for lack of money.)
Poor people, on the other hand, are more dependent than ever on cheap, abundant grain products, like bread and pasta and corn syrup, to quell their hunger. But now these grains aren’t even real and whole, the way grains used to be. They’re processed until they’re completely devoid of nutrients. 
The last thing food charities need is fast-food sandwich buns. Thanks for nothing, KFC!
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