Chick-Fil-A and Being an American

by JDH on August 4, 2012

As long time readers of this blog are aware, I’m a Canadian, so I am not an authority on what it’s like to be an American, but I’ll weigh in on the subject regardless of my first hand knowledge.

Economically, things aren’t looking great for America.  The unemployment rate remains at 8.3% (although the White House wants you to know that it’s really only 8.254%).  Since we all know that the government massages those numbers, the actual unemployment rate is probably much higher. Not to worry, though, since the numbers weren’t quite as bad as expected, the Dow staged a 200+ point rally on Friday.  All is good, apparently.

Of course it’s other, more bizzare stories that are interesting reading in America.

Apparently there is a fast food chain called Chick-Fil-A.  We don’t have them here in Canada, so I went to their website to see what they put in a standard chicken sandwich.  Apparently they fill it with a load of crap:

Chicken (100% natural whole breast filet, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached flour {bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, whole powdered egg and nonfat milk solids], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added]), bun (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, folic acid], water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, contains 2% or less of each of the following: liquid yeast, soybean oil, nonfat milk, salt, wheat gluten, soy flour, dough conditioners [may contain one or more of the following: mono- and diglycerides, calcium and sodium stearoyl lactylates, calcium peroxide], soy flour, amylase, yeast nutrients [monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate], calcium propionate added to retard spoilage, soy lecithin, cornstarch, butter oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ and citric acid added as preservatives, and artificial color]), pickle (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, lactic acid, calcium chloride, alum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).

Wow.  That’s a whole lotta crap, unless you are a big fan of monosodium glutamate, sodium aluminum phosphate, dimethylpolysiloxane (an anti-foaming chemical), high fructose corn syrup (a leading cause of obesity), ammonium sulfate, sodium benzoate, polysorbate 80, yellow 5 (sounds natural…..), blue 1 (to counter-balance the yellow 5?), and potassium sorbate.

So can you assume that there was an uproar in America because someone finally read the nutritional information on their food? Nope.  Nothing so obvious.

Apparently Chick-Fil-A is a “family values” based business, according to their website:

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

Aha!  Now we are getting close to the truth.  This is a company that applies “biblically-based principles”.  That’s fine, although I don’t know where  monosodium glutamate, sodium aluminum phosphate, dimethylpolysiloxane and all of this other stuff is mentioned in any religious text.

Apparently the president of the company, Dan Cathy, gave an interview against gay marriage, saying that it will invite judgement on our nation.

Personally, I’m a libertarian. As long as what you are doing isn’t harming me, go for it.  If you want to smoke, that’s your business.  If you want to drink, fine, just don’t drive.  If you want to eat polysorbate 80, that’s your business, not mine.  Who you marry is not my concern.

It would appear that Americans are not quite so libertarian in their views, and everyone immediately took sides.

On the right, the Christian conservatives decided to support Chick-Fil-A by all going to eat at the restaurant.  Then, as a show of protest, supporters of gay marriage organized a “kiss-in” at Chick-Fil-A on Friday.

So let me get this straight (no pun intended): Christians believe that their body is a temple, and should be treated accordingly:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

So to show their Christian values, Christians lined up to put crap in their bodies?  To prove they were good Christians they did the exact opposite of what they are supposed to do?

And the haters of Chick-Fil-A, to show how much they hate the company, went to their restaurants, bought crappy food, and then started kissing? And that proved what?

I guess it proves that the apparently crazy man who runs Chick-Fil-A is actually a marketing genius, because his comments lead to a one day sales record on Wednesday, and millions of dollars worth of free publicity.  Brilliant.

But here’s my point:

As we struggle with a weak economy, with chronically high unemployment, sitting on the verge of war in the Middle East, is it not sad that the only thing that can get us off our fat butts is a chemical laden chicken sandwich?  Is that not proof that we are on the verge of the next great depression?

Governments around the world, not just in America, are trillions in debt, but that’s fine.  Government interference in our lives is at record levels, but that’s fine.  We don’t protest that.  But mess with our chicken, and we get really upset.


And despite the 217 point recovery on the Dow on Friday, I suspect with our priorities out of whack there are more sad times to come.

Buy gold.  Hold some cash.  Fasten your seat belts, and watch out.

Or maybe I’m over thinking it……….

Regardless, Monday is a holiday here in Ontario, so the stock markets will be closed, so as I sit by the pool I’ll ponder this further, or not.

See you next week.


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