This artery-clogging behemoth of a “sandwich” has been out for about a year, but since I don’t watch much television and certainly don’t eat fast food, I just found out about it today during a commercial while watching the Giants game yesterday.
What the heck is it? It’s two pieces of fried chicken with two pieces of bacon, two slices of cheese, and the Colonel’s special sauce piled high in between. You’ve got to be kidding me. Two pieces of deep-fried extra crispy chicken make up the “roll”. A quick ingredient search (right on KFC’s website) lists the 16 ingredients in KFC’s extra crispy chicken. Sixteen ingredients in a piece of fried chicken? That’s barely food. Add two slices of bacon (only 7 ingredients), two slices of cheese (4 ingredients), and of course the Colonel’s special sauce, a glorious concoction of 23 different ingredients, about half a dozen of which I can pronounce. What do you get when you add all of that up? A widow-maker of a sandwich that clocks in at 540 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 1,380 mg of sodium. You say 540 calories isn’t so bad? You’re right, 540 calories is a good amount of calories to eat for lunch for most people. But two things: 1. These aren’t food calories and therefore certainly aren’t healthy. Every single one of these ingredients is produced in a factory. There’s nothing natural here. And 2. I’m willing to bet that fewer than 5% of all people who eat this sandwich eat just the sandwich. An overwhelming majority, I bet, eat this with a side of fries and a soda, which will push them up into the 4-digit calorie range for sure.
It’s worth repeating: this is NOT food. It’s processed garbage made in factories. If your chicken has 16 different ingredients, there’s a problem. But the more serious problem is that people think a sandwich like this is okay. This sandwich, in a way, represents what is wrong with our society and represents exactly the type of food and type of eating that we have to get away from.
If the problem is a sandwich like this, then the solution is education. Educating people about what real food is, educating people about what fast food really is, educating people about the decisions they are able to make and the decisions they should make. Michael Pollan is doing it. So are Eric Schlosser and Dan Buettner. Get on board.
This is my goal, my passion, and the reason I got into the health coaching business. I want to educate as many people as possible. I want to help people live healthier lives. Healthier lives lead to better lives. I want to better people.
So what can you do? For starters, prevent your friends and loved ones from eating things like the Double Down. And not just the Double Down, but anything like it. Anything that doesn’t resemble real food. Anything with multiple ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Tell your friends to examine their eating choices and help them make better decisions.
There is an endless sea of information out there from which we can all learn. Let’s help each other during this process. Let’s help each other live healthier lives. What do you say?