Why I Can’t Jump on the “Support Chick-Fil-A” Bandwagon

Yeah… I’m going to comment on it. Isn’t that what all the legitimate blogs have done recently? Chick-Fil-A’s president and COO Dan Cathy answered recently that he is “guilty as charged” when asked if the company was supportive of traditional marriage. I honestly don’t have much to say about this. People and the companies they run are perfectly allowed to have opinions and to be honest and authentic about what those opinions are. If you don’t agree with a company’s position, you can choose not to give that company your money. Simple as that. We don’t use Nestle products in our home because this is a company I refuse to support. My money. My choice.

I will not be dining at Chick-Fil-A on “Chick-Fil-A Day” either. But not for the reason you might think…

I find it frustrating that a company that espouses Christian values serves up such deplorable food. For some reason, I think Chick-Fil-A has got everyone thinking that their food is somehow healthier than other fast food restaurants. Their use of peanut oil is touted as a healthy alternative to the soybean oils used in most restaurants. However, they use fully refined peanut oil, which means it is highly chemically-processed. Additionally, peanut oil should not be consumed because it is high in omega 6 fatty acids. The American diet is already very saturated in omega 6s, and lacking in omega 3s, a disparity which contributes to a plethora of diseases that plague western societies today, including heart disease.  So, all of these polyunsaturated fats that mainstream health professionals would have you believe are good for your heart are actually terrible for you.

Furthermore, just a quick perusal of the ingredients listed on the Chick-Fil-A Web site should give you a pretty good idea of why you shouldn’t eat there.

A few examples:

The children’s grilled chicken (what parent doesn’t think grilled chicken is a healthy option?) is not only cooked in this toxic peanut oil, but it contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), consumption of which causes a number of health problems.  Serve that up with their waffle fries, which are cooked in canola oil (another unhealthy polyunsaturated oil) and contain some pretty nasty preservatives and other chemicals (TBHQ, disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate, dimethylpolysiloxane…) add some sugar-laden chocolate milk and you’ve got a cocktail for an extremely unhealthy meal for your child.

But wait- what will you eat while you serve this nastiness up to your child?

Say you want to go with something fairly “healthy” and choose a wrap.  You will be eating:

Peanut oil-cooked chicken, which also happens to contain a form of MSG, and the flatbread which contains a fair amount of soy, a bunch of other chemicals I couldn’t pronounce if I tried, and monoglycerides (trans fats).  And, oh yeah, some vegetables.  None of which are organic, but I digress.

And if you’re really trying to be good, you might get the Diet Lemonade, which contains, you guessed it, the artificial sweetener Splenda, a known neurotoxin.

While I can appreciate a company that supports biblical principals and tries to utilize business practices based on Christian values, I have to wonder where those “values” are in serving up some of America’s unhealthiest food, while promoting it as healthy and wholesome.  I don’t eat at fast food places because I know they are unhealthy.  I think everyone knows McDonalds serves truly unhealthy food.  But a company that serves up equally unhealthy fare and somehow spins it to convince a country that it is good to feed our kids really rubs me the wrong way.

So, no, you won’t catch me showing up to lend my support on Chick-Fil-A day.  Or any other day for that matter.


2 thoughts on “Why I Can’t Jump on the “Support Chick-Fil-A” Bandwagon

  1. I read this on my phone last night. I totally understand. It is sad that there aren’t more REAL drive-thrus. I would LOVE if someone got smart and opened a franchise that served real food. Stuff we’d actually give our kids at home.
    I was never a fast food person, But after our first baby and still working it was sometimes the only way i was able to eat. Of course I wasn’t actively seeking a whole foods diet and was severely ill-prepared.
    What would you recommend for those moms starting their journey with real food that DO still eat out and have husbands that don’t see a problem with it. Sometimes it all in making the better – not best choice at the beginning. Are their any better choices you know of for the overwhelmed family?

    • That’s a great question! Obviously, we can’t eat perfect all the time, and for busier families, home-cooked isn’t always going to be an option. My first choice for eating outside of the home would be to pack food to take along (pack your lunch with a sandwich, plenty of fresh produce, a salad, etc), or bring your own snacks along (again, produce is a great option and requires no preparation). If bringing food along isn’t an option, try to choose menu items that are as close to their original state as possible. Many fast food joints (Chick-Fil-A included) DO offer side items such as plain fruit. I wouldn’t pair it with, say the yogurt that might be offered along with it, but just plain fruit is a good option. Likewise, salads can be ok, too. If I were going to order a salad at Chick-Fil-A, for example, I would ask them to hold the chicken and get no dressing so that I would be eating only vegetables. It is possible to make good choices when eating outside the home, but you must be diligent and not fall into convenience traps!

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