KFC has recently begun advertising its Buckets for the Cure Campaign, where 50 cents out of every bucket goes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
"Help make the largest single donation to end breast cancer forever," the campaign urges. The suggestion is that KFC will donate money -- its goal is $8.5 million -- to the charity at a rate of 50 cents for every special pink bucket of chicken sold over the next month.
But bear in mind that the "F" in KFC stands for "fried." Here's a line from the National Cancer Institute's Web Site:
". . . studies have shown that an increased risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer is associated with high intakes of well-done, fried, or barbequed meats."
Beyond that, since obesity raises breast cancer risk, it's worth looking at some numbers: According to the KFC Website, an original-recipe fried chicken breast has 320 calories, 15 grams of total fat (including 3.5 grams of saturated fat); a thigh has 220 calories, 15 grams of total fat (4 of them saturated).
Even the grilled-chicken option, though less caloric and fat-laden (a breast has 190 calories, 6 grams total fat and 1.5 grams saturated fat; the thigh has 150 calories, 9 grams total fat and 2.5 grams saturated fat), still fits into that "barbequed" category noted above.
So maybe you're thinking, okay, I want to be supportive, so I'll buy the bucket and chuck the chicken. No need. The fine print at the foot of the Web page points out that "KFC restaurant operators have contributed 50 cents to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure for each Komen branded bucket purchased by the operators from April 5, 2010-May 9, 2010....Customer purchases of KFC buckets during the promotion will not directly increase the total contribution." (It's also noted that KFC has guaranteed the contribution will be at least $1million, which really is very nice.)
Notice that the promotions are careful not to mention that any purchase is necessary. They simply say that "for every pink bucket" -- not the sale of every bucket -- fifty cents goes to Komen. So we consumers are off the hook, really. Perhaps buying fried or barbecued chicken isnít the best way to promote the curing of breast cancer.