Want to help fight breast cancer? Then buy a bucket of them! Breasts, I mean. …Chicken breasts.
That’s the undercurrent of KFC’s new “Buckets for the Cure” campaign, where proceeds from meals served in pink versions of their iconic buckets will be donated to breast cancer research. The company is hoping enough poultry pounders will pitch in to amass the highest single donation ever made to this cause.
There’s a certain dichotomy in all this. There’s the spontaneous feel-good vibe of a large corporation making a commitment to fight a disease that has scuttled so many lives. Beneath that shiny pink packaging, however, lies the question of why a place that serves such unhealthy fare wishes to risk cries of hypocrisy by standing on a health-conscious pedestal. Studies have shown that high-fat diets may increase the risk of breast cancer in women, after all, and you’re never going to find a wing-thigh combo on any South Beach meal plan.
It all goes back to the uneasy truth that breast cancer sells. With widespread impact and instantly recognizable pink campaign, breast cancer is the PR darling of corporate humanitarianism. Going pink raises instant awareness for your brand, gets the media talking about you and, no matter what anyone says, the fact you are contributing to cancer research is unarguably commendable in itself.
Yet while corporations such as the NFL can harmlessly reap the benefits of making their players wear cotton candy-colored cleats, KFC is a different animal. It is, of course, one’s own choice of what they decide to slide down their esophagus, but KFC is implying that all the tender, moist, PETA-infuriating deliciousness of their fried chicken is an nonnegotiable item in your contract of philanthropy.
But hey, they’ve been making tiny steps toward healthier food, right? They don’t fry in trans fat, for one. And I think I’ve even seen some beans or corn there once. Just keep on that road and they sh
Oh, right. The Double Down. KFC’s new 540-calorie gorilla on a meat-girded motorcycle, 32 grams of fat riding shotgun in the sidecar. It’s not the deadliest fast food concoction out there, which should say something about us, but it’s nonetheless strange this was released shortly before the pink bucket campaign. The Double Down, too, built quite the media buzz around it, too, but in the opposite “Look at this tasty monstrosity of contemporary society!” vein.
It’s a scary juxtaposition: one company receiving attention in the same month both for fighting breast cancer and releasing a new contribution to the increase of moobs in our culture. The donation is still great, but the apparent cost of it in our health and diet throws a shadow of doubt upon its longstanding worth.