orangeclouds115 (orangeclouds115) wrote in daily_granola,

Looking for Fast Food? Skip Hardees.

I was browsing through the most recent Alternet Worst Corporations List - the 2004 edition - and I saw Hardees named on the list. Several pharmaceutical companies also made the cut but if your doctor prescribes their drugs, then they are difficult to boycott. Hardees, on the other hand, is very easy to boycott (as are Wal-Mart and Coca Cola).

Looking for Fast Food? Skip Hardees

So, why Hardees? Why not, say, McDonald's?

According to Alternet:

Hardee's: Heart Attack on a Bun

When Hardee's introduced the Thickburger this year, Jay Leno joked that it was being served in little cardboard boxes shaped like coffins.

With other major fast food outlets moving to green salads, Hardee's revels in big beef. From Hardee's press release of Nov. 15, 2004:

"Now Hardee's is introducing the mother of all burgers – the Monster Thickburger™. Weighing in at two-thirds of a pound, this 100 percent Angus beef burger is a monument to decadence, yet is still a throwback, as it features lots of meat, cheese and bacon on a bun."

Clearly, Hardee's, a subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. of Carpinteria, Calif., is not worried about the public health aspects of unleashing the monster into the marketplace.

Eating one Thickburger is like eating two Big Macs or five McDonald's hamburgers. Add 600 calories worth of Hardee's fries and you get more than the 2,000 calories that many people should eat in a whole day, according to Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this year charged KFC Corporation, owner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken national restaurant chain, with making false claims in a national television advertising campaign about the relative nutritional value and healthiness of its fried chicken.

The false claim? KFC said that eating fried chicken, specifically two Original Recipe fried chicken breasts, is better for a consumer's health than eating a Burger King Whopper.

The FTC says that while it is true that the two fried chicken breasts have slightly less total fat and saturated fat than a Whopper, they have more than three times the trans fat and cholesterol, more than twice the sodium, and more calories.

KFC settled the case.

But there will be no law enforcement action brought against Hardee's. Hardee's makes no pretensions that the Hardee's Thickburger is good for you, and has no qualms about the impact of the monster on the public's health. The fast-food pusher's new advertising campaign is straight up: "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

As The New York Times put it in an editorial, "It is a setback for public health, but a triumph for truth in advertising."

To be fair, I checked the Hardees website. After all - this article was published almost a year ago now. Maybe Hardees cleaned up its act. I learned 2 things. 1-Carl's, Jr. owns Hardees. 2-No. They didn't change. The website brought me through a flash display of a "Thickburger" getting eaten with some crunching noises as special effects. Yummmm.

Of course, if you do want to boycott other fast food joints, I'll be the first one to applaud you!
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