That isn’t a bun made from bread. It’s two slabs of deep fried chicken breast that hold cheese, a mysterious orange sauce that comes from unlabelled bottles and fresh-nuked bacon. It’s called a Double Down and it’s the latest hideous manifestation of the particularly American addiction to fast food now offered by Kentucky Fried Chicken—Colonel Sanders’ KFC.
This obscenity will clog your arteries with 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and an astounding 1,380 grams of sodium—as in salt, as in the stuff you’re eating too much of already and enough in this sandwich to cover four days’ requirements for the human body’s sodium needs. The only thing that doesn’t come with the new Double Down filet o’ death sandwich is a defibrillator and kidney stone extractor.
One of ESPRESSO’s lesser intellects actually bought one of these and brought it to the office for an appraisal. By the time the sandwich came to the office from the nearby KFC outlet, the bag was wet with hot grease off the bird fragments and the mysterious orange sauce that reminded some of us of fire retardant had congealed at the bottom of the sandwich into a scary, semi-solid mass. Our staffer admitted that he’d seen the several strips of industrial strength bacon come out of the microwave all flabby, greasy and limp—but paid the five and a half bucks plus tax for the sandwich anyway and took it with him. We watched as he bit into it with trepidation; someone held a trash can ready for the fountain of barf he thought would surely follow.
“I like it,” the idiot said. There’s just no accounting for taste with some people. None.
The published numbers for the Double Down say that it has less fat than a Big Mac. This like saying that the Great Lakes have less water in them than the Pacific Ocean does. What is really a killer here is the salt—our taster said it was salty and four days worth of it is simply insane. KFC must have experimental tasters who were weaned on salt pork rinds for them to recommend this kind of thing.
As for the sauce, God knows what it is. Our staffer said it tasted a bit harsh, and hot, and he could feel it in his stomach later. Thinking of the natural outcome of such a disaster, we opened a couple of windows and started a fan—after twenty minutes, staffer was sent home early and told not to show up again until his Double Down was flushed down. We even gave him some alka seltzer. Maybe it helped.
This thing is merely the latest outcropping in the fast food nation of addicts to fat, salt and empty calories. Far be it from us to rage against some people’s tastes usually, but something this ridiculous calls for an intervention of some kind. At least the Eskimo, who eat a diet that largely consists of whale fat exercise a lot; the average American thinks exercise is something that happens in movies about satanism. The least someone can do who eats one of these things is run a marathon or two between meals.
Americans like to look down their noses at those who engage in dirty, disgusting, filthy habits like smoking, unsafe sex and drinking and we’re slowly bringing prohibition of tobacco and booze back without a Constitutional amendment. So why not the same with our fatal attraction to fat-filled fast food? Of course, Civil Libertarians will argue that no one ought to have the power to tell us what we can eat, but please, it’s not like we don’t have laws like these on the books already. You can’t buy dolphin meat, for example and in California, Paté de Foie Gras is banned because of animal cruelty to the geese it’s derived from. If we are going to legislate for the futures of geese, what’s to stop us from making the Double Down, the Big Mac, the Frappuccino and extra fries a felony?
Recently, researchers at Scripps figured out that fatty foods trigger the same parts of the brain that are affected by a hit of heroin or a jigger of scotch or a cigarette. The results are astounding; the more fatty food you eat, say the researchers, the more addicted to the stuff you become—right up to the day they drag your dead carcass to the morgue from a heart attack, aka final overdose. If this is true, then why don’t we do something to limit the damage? We had a war on drugs for seventy years, maybe we learned something from it.
Of course, the reality is that no government is ever going to limit access to this kind of fried garbage—agribusiness and the fast food industry are too rich and powerful for the mere government to successfully combat. We’ll have to do it ourselves if we want to live out our normal threescore and ten. So before you pay five and a half bucks for two slabs of deep fried dead mystery bird, industrial strength pseudo-cheese, day-glo slick sauce and nuked fatty bacon strips with an oil slick on the side, ask yourself, “Is the joy I get from eating this sludge worth the health risk?” Grown ups might say no, and eat something else. Let’s hope they become a majority in the marketplace.