Vivek Narain on Life

The musings of a man preparing for a mission

Posts Tagged ‘fast food’

Los Angeles City Council Fights Fast Food – Completely Misses the Point

Posted by viveknarain on July 30, 2008

For most people, the choice between eating at McDonald’s or a sit down restaurant that features delicious and full meals is a no brainier. Fast food is a tantalizing treat, but you’d be a fool to deprive yourself of fresh food, nutrients and a great atmosphere to enjoy your meal in.

But do only fools choose fast food? Maybe not. Fast food relies on consumers that only have two dollars in their pockets and realize that with a few more nickels they could buy some cheeseburgers. Fast food relies on the hardworking individuals located at the bottom of America’s steep economic ladder, people who may have to skimp on food for a few months because of an unexpected increase in gas prices.

So rather than address the issue of poverty and why people choose fast food for their meal options, The Los Angeles City Council has approved a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a low-income area of the city. The fear of using the word “poverty” has led to an ignorant state within the city council. It is easy to blame the byproducts of poverty, rather than address the true culprit.

What happens next? Does L.A. close down Marshall’s and Ross because they generally sell sizes larger than XL, which clearly promote obesity? Does L.A. also shut down used car dealerships that are flowing with SUVs because their size is perfect for low-income obese individuals?

If the restaurant industry can figure it out, why can’t our politicians?


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An Angry Letter to KFC in Response to the Egregious Act of Disrespect Committed Against Al Copeland.

Posted by viveknarain on March 27, 2008

Dear KFC,

March 24, 2008 began like any other day. The morning chatter of several arguing birds fluttered past my car window, raising me from an alcohol induced and nightmare ridden slumber. Everything seemed fine until I checked the news headlines on Yahoo and discovered that Al Copeland had died. You may not recognize his name, but I guarantee your stomach will. The 64 year old Copeland, who succumbed to a malignant salivary gland tumor, was the eccentric and brilliant founder of Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits.

My heart hadn’t felt like this since the demise of Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 2002, and I knew that it would be a day of mourning and fried chicken consumption instead of my usual routine of procrastination and satirical observation.

Copeland was the Henry Ford of low quality chicken service, helping change the U.S. Chickenscape with a lethal combination of spicy fried chicken flavoring and heroin-like biscuits. Without Copeland, chicken would not play such an important role in American culture, but people often overlook his chicken legacy in favor of your company’s founder and mascot, Colonel Sanders.

I’ve always loved Popeyes, but I still respected you KFC, you were a noble warrior in the chicken battle, except this time, you’ve gone too far. On the day of Copeland’s death, a day set aside for chicken grief and reflection on all the beautiful years of biscuits and spicy flavoring that Copeland helped America enjoy, I was horrified to stumble across this KFC advertisement, mere moments after reading about Copeland’s demise.

The ad clearly states “Life tastes better with KFC.” Way to kick a man when he’s down KFC. You just had to talk about “life” while an entire nation mourns the death of a great American hero and visionary, who also happened to be your biggest competitor. We all know that life tastes better than death KFC; do you really have to rub it in? Couldn’t you have just let this one go? This is like Steve Jobs releasing a new iPhone on the day that Bill Gates dies and Microsoft replaces his organic body with a Mech Warrior.

So what’s next KFC? After my washer and dryer break down will I receive a pop up that says, “Cleanliness tastes better with KFC.”

Copeland gave America some of the finest low quality chicken known to man, and he deserves a lot more respect from KFC. To retain the honor of Copeland and everything Popeyes has given this country, I would like KFC to respond to the following ultimatum:

I, Vivek Narain, demand that on March 24, 2009, KFC restores the three story snowman that Copeland created for his annual New Orleans Christmas display (Yes, Copeland actually built a three story snowman – isn’t that awesome?). You will do this to honor the American visionary that you have disrespected so blatantly. If you do not respond to these demands, I fear that I may have to boycott your company and its stupid Mashed Potato Bowls.


Vivek Narain

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