Lost in all the hoopla about the new Double Down bread-less chicken sandwich, KFC is currently under attack by the Dogwood Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to conserving Southern forests, for its unsustainable packaging. Specifically, Dogwood takes issue with the source of all those two-toned paper buckets:
KFC’s packaging is directly contributing to the destruction of our Southern forests. While other leading fast food companies are working hard to adopt sustainable packaging policies, KFC continues to make its famous buckets from trees that were “harvested” from pristine forests across the South, including The Green Swamp–a unique, irreplaceable forest in Brunswick County, North Carolina.
Neither is Dogwood happy with KFC and Yum! Brands professional association with International Paper, the largest pulp and paper company in the world. Kentucky Fried Forests has more information on the Dogwood Alliance’s campaign.
For the consumer, nonprofit rallying and corporate response can amount to a he said-she said game, and it’s hard to figure whether you’re subsidizing a company with suspect environmental practices or being overly harangued by high-minded crusader-types (see link comments). Better safe than sorry, right? Especially if you intend to enjoy the best parts of the natural South in your lifetime. And it’s not as though the paper industry as a whole has a sterling record of conservation or stewardship. The Office wouldn’t be so charming were the audience able to see the production process from start to finish–or forced to smell a paper mill.
Not to be forgotten, the Double Down is a kind of groundbreaking assault on the food pyramid, almost as though KFC were thumbing its nose at the delicate sensibility of vegetarians everywhere: two white meat fillets holding together two pieces of bacon, with Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel’s Sauce. As the slogan goes, “This product is so meaty, there’s no room for the bun.” Or, as the TV commercial recommends, “Unthink!”
I’m not going to lie: In a way, I almost love the brashness. Maybe it’s just that, since this product is clearly being advertised for men, I’m defenseless.