Burger Wars

Double-Down sandwich

I tried hard to ignore Kentucky Fried Cruelty’s Double Down sandwich. It uses fried chicken in place of bread, a clever reminder that in our food system, chicken is as cheap and expendible as wheat. It just so happens chickens are afforded zero protection by the Humane Slaughter Act; so from an animal welfare standpoint, you’re better off eating beef than poultry.

Evidently, “more” is the new “enough”: Karl’s is now testing foot-long cheeseburgers. Of course, fast food chains use factory farmed meat; their price points demand it. But super-size items like these add another sad layer to the story: serving meat in these portions guarantees waste. Actually, I don’t know what’s worse, consuming such behemoths or throwing half away. But if I’m going to eat an animal, even a well-raised and slaughtered one, the least I can do is eat my entire purchase. Failure to do so is a double insult to the animal that gave its life to satisfy my desire for a particular type of protein.

My 18-year-old nephew recently told me about what the kids are doing these days: The McGang Bang. I’m serious. Off the McDonald’s Dollar Menu, you order one double cheeseburger and one Spicy McChicken sandwich. Then, with the help of your resourceful peers, you split the double cheeseburger between the two patties and stick the entire Spicy McChicken sandwich inside the double cheeseburger. Well, maybe if the group shares it, less will go to waste.

It’s all starting to feel like that brilliant Saturday Night Live parody of Taco Bell, except, of course, it’s real.

3 thoughts on “Burger Wars

  1. When I was a kid, I came up with the concept of the Spamwich. It was a joke (never to be created) sandwich of two slices of spam spread with mayo with cheese in the middle. Little did I realize that similar thoughts were being had regarding fried chicken (only not as a joke!)

    ‘while I’m here: why is ‘American Cheese’ so-named? A far more appropriate one needs to be found to describe this bland, ubiquitous product. People call it ‘Processed Cheese’, here in the UK.

    How about ‘Plastic Cheese’? Did I hear someone say State referenda?!

  2. I recently read about a show on the Planet Green channel called The Fabulous Beekman Boys, which is about two city guys who buy a farm in upstate New York. A recent episode showed the day they were having their two pigs humanely slaughtered for their meat. It was clearly difficult for them, but I loved that they treated their pigs so well, and felt obligated to witness the event.

    Later, during an interview, one of the men said something along the lines of, “I’ll never buy another 99-cent cheeseburger, because I know it’s worth more than that.” I know I’m preaching to the choir by mentioning it here — but I just thought that was a lovely way of putting it. And I guess it resonated that extra bit because he had really lived the day-to-day reality of that idea, by witnessing their lives and deaths.

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