Jamie's Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vietnam or bust: breast cancer is coming your way.

I recently traveled with my husband to Vietnam because our daughter  is  involved in the launching of their version of Dancing With The Stars It was a thrill to see her  perform on a live TV show and to get a taste of the culture she is experiencing.  
From the bustling streets clogged with motor scooters, to the floating market on the Mekong River, to a sobering view of the Vietnam American War Remnants Museum, it was a week of surprises; some painful,  most delightful.
One disturbing sight was the proliferation of KFC restaurants.  Our guide explained that KFC is extremely popular, and that children are now rejecting traditional  healthy  Vietnamese food in favor of FAsT food.
Imagine my surprise when I came back to the US to find that KFC, world famous health food chain, has joined forces with a leader in breast cancer awareness, Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  “Buckets for the Cure”  pledges 50 whole cents to Komen for each pink bucket of chicken sold.

What is wrong with this picture?  Besides the fact that many folks are already turned off by the pink-washing of the world America, Komen ignores the contradiction between their mission to end breast cancer forever, and promoting a restaurant chain that markets the world’s unhealthiest types of food.  If Komen’s mission were simply to stop deaths from breast cancer, this campaign might make a little sense. 

BUT  ending breast cancer means PREVENTION, which in Komen's own words includes eating “...fewer high fat foods and sweets”.

You can’t have it both ways.

PS the only overweight Vietnamese person I saw was a little girl entering, you guessed it, KFC.


  1. Hi Jamie, I've always been watching DANCING WITH THE STARS partially because I can't dance sh*t. lol Woman, you have a superstar in the family! :)

    Absolutely agree with you about not having things "both" ways , it's just hypocritical!

    The KFC Colonel has replied: http://community.wegohealth.com/forum/topics/buckets-for-the-cure?groupUrl=breastcancer&x=1&id=2028394%3ATopic%3A80819&groupId=2028394%3AGroup%3A65025&page=3

    Do you think they're able to make fast food healthier??

  2. Good question, Kelly. The problem is they want to keep up the volume in sales, and healthier food takes more time and care. How long are we willing to wait in line for more time-consuming food?

  3. I saw the video on your FB page. Didn't connect that it was your daughter. Quite a talent! And Bless you for focusing on prevention by doing what we can to avoid creating a favorable environment for cancer. Enticing people w/ antibiotic, hormone laden stressed out animal food can't be helpful. Anything for a buck isn't attractive --perhaps especially for non-profits.

  4. My comment is going to shock you. I'm shocked that I'm even writing it. So shocked that I wrote it yesterday, and waited a day to see if I still felt the same way before posting it. Here goes.

    It's difficult for an organization always hungry for funds to turn its back on buckets, or bushels of it from KFC. It may seem odd coming from me, a pescotarian, but there are healthier choices that can be made IF people choose them. For example, grilled chicken instead of breaded and fried. Is it ideal? No, but it is better.

    The more important perspective here that I feel is being overlooked is that Susan G. Komen may be reaching a population that is more at risk of developing breast cancer because of unhealthy diet and weight, but up until now has had no access to information on mammograms. Think of it like bringing AA literature to a frat party or a bar in the Tenderloin. They need it more than if you hand it out at church.

    Every place the message appears is not an endorsement in both directions. I saw a pink ribbon piece of yard art today at Lowes. What? It's all about raising awareness and money so more women get early detection, and fewer women die. Nowhere on http://www.bucketsforthecure.com/ does it say anything about KFC being good for you, or does it imply an endorsement by Susan G. Komen.

    You are a powerhouse, and do more good than any survivor I know. It's good that we can disagree on this one. Love you.