Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not that I'm saying I support KFC...

But I really like the new marketing campaign for their popcorn chicken. The whole thing is basically muckraking directed towards McDonalds (which I couldn't be happier about), and they attack the ambiguity of the chicken nuggett. "What part of the chicken is nugget?" the commercial asks. It goes on to let us know that KFC makes popcorn chicken; the latter being distinguished by the fact that it is off-the-bone breast meat as opposed to pressed, formed, nuggets. Given the fact that KFC is a massive fast-food corporation, I still don't trust their chicken; but this commercial speaks to a far bigger point in a really positive trend that is gaining ground in the way Americans eat.
Thanks to the efforts of people like Alice Waters, Anthony Bourdain, and even good, old Ermeril Lagasse, the spotlight has been shone on what real food is. People are actually starting to give a shit about what they eat for the first time in a long time. And I don't just mean people, I mean People. Like, all of them. Sure there's still a long way to go, but you can see it happening, very slowly, in commercials like this. You saw the same thing in recent Domino's commercials that surprised focus groups by suddenly revealing that they were actually at the farms where Domino's gets their tomatoes. People were shocked and delighted to find out that the pizzas they were eating had -gasp!- fresh tomatoes in the sauce. Just like people are going to be stoked to hear that the chicken they are eating is -gasp!- real chicken.
Ironic and potentially disturbing as these circumstances are, take faith in the fact that they are baby steps on the journey to America eating real again. The fact that people care about where there food comes from, even in these incredibly general terms, is a step in the right direction. As people all over the country, from Alice Waters to the high school lunch lady, continue to do their part in leading that march, maybe one day that McNugget will even cease to Mcbe...
But I'm getting dangerously close to sounding like a full-on picket-weilding idealist, and that wasn't my intention. Let me just say that it makes me happy to see the people who feed us being held accountable for how they do so, even in small and tragically ironic ways. Because for a very long time, they weren't. Which was bad.
So here's to you, KFC. Thanks for promising not to feed us fake chicken.

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