As a breast cancer survivor, I've seen many tasteless examples of "pinkwashing" over the years. But KFC's new "Buckets for the Cure" campaign takes the cake. The chicken chain is peddling pink buckets of chicken--available in stores through the end of May--ostensibly to raise funds for breast cancer research.
This is the same company that recently introduced the fat and sodium nightmare known as the Double Down sandwich--slices of bacon and cheese tucked between two chicken fillets.
Finding a cure for breast cancer is certainly a noble goal. But so is preventing cancer in the first place. And this won't happen if consumers are encouraged to eat unhealthy foods by the bucketful.
A Washington Post blog entry about Buckets for the Cure reminds us that according to the National Cancer Institute, "studies have shown that an increased risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer is associated with high intakes of well-done, fried, or barbecued meats." Researchers have long known that cooking certain meats--including chicken--at high temperatures can create carcinogenic chemicals.
Even KFC's supposedly healthier grilled chicken is problematic. When researchers tested samples of grilled chicken from six different KFC stores, they found PhIP, a chemical that's classified as a carcinogen by the federal government, in every single sample. PhIP has been linked to several forms of cancer, including breast cancer, in dozens of studies.
We also know that being overweight--a risk if you make too many trips through fast-food drive-throughs--can increase your chances of developing cancer. On its Web site, the American Cancer Society warns that being overweight or obese raises the risk of several types of cancer, including breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
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