Colonel's secret ingredient for KFC grilled chicken? Beef

El Pollo Loco, the California-based restaurant chain, seems to take delight in pulling Colonel Sander's leg, and now it has called out KFC (or is it KGC? Grilled chicken complicates everything) over its use of beef products in the making of its new grilled chicken.

According to the Los Angeles Times, El Pollo Loco discovered that the new KFC grilled chicken is made with beef powder and rendered beef fat.

A spokesperson for KFC saw no problem with this, telling the paper, "Small amounts of beef flavors are commonly used in seasonings." The spokesperson said that the seasoning used on the new chicken product contains only 0.2% beef powder.

I checked out menus for McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell and Arby's. None of them list beef products in their chicken.

For the record, KFC Grilled Chicken is made of chicken, salt, sodium phosphate, MSG, maltodextrin, bleached wheat flower, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, spices, palm oil, natural flavor (?), garlic powder, Soy sauce, chicken fat, chicken broth, autolyzed yeast, beef powder, rendered beef fat, extractives of tumeric, dehydrated carrot, onion powder, calcium silicate, silicon dioxide. Just like Mom used to make, right?

Kudos to KFC for posting its ingredients, however. El Pollo Loco doesn't. So what does it have to hide?

KFC's mixture of meats presents a problem for me. I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm an aesthetic omnivore. I prefer to eat ugly animals whenever possible; chickens, pigs, crab or halibut. I try to avoid cute meat, such as beef (is there anything lovelier than the eyes of a Jersey cow?), lamb and rabbit.

Of course, many people choose to not eat beef for ethical or religious reasons, and for them, this is no laughing matter. The KFC spokesperson's assertion that beef powder is widely used strikes me as reasonable, and leaves me wondering how much I've eaten in my life. Or perhaps I don't want to know.

Thanks to The Consumerist



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