BK Flame Grilled Chicken on Whole Grain Ciabatta

You got that headline right. Burger King, the Miami-based fast food giant, announced yesterday that is now serving what sounds like gourmet dish for $4. The thing has only 470 calories and in the corporate speak of BK senior vice president, global product marketing and innovation, John Schaufelberger: "By adding a new premium ciabatta bun made with whole grains to this popular sandwich, I'm confident that our guests will appreciate that this product is a great addition to a nutritionally-balanced lifestyle, without compromising on taste."

And the thing -- minus French fries of course -- has only 470 calories. 

Now I always thought Burger King was about the worst killer of poor farm fowl -- and that all this healthy food stuff was a bunch of hooey.

Then I read the agreement the company reached with the Humane Society in 2007. It included the following. Two percent of eggs from chickens not confined to cages. 20 percent of pork from pigs that are allowed to run around.-- and a preference for controlled atmosphere killing. "They do something to remove the oxygen from the air so [the chickens] are unconscious for slaughter," said a spokeswoman for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.)

Indeed, when I asked PETA, which has been buying stock in companies that mistreat animals, what the group thinks of Burger King, the group issued the following statement:

"We no longer own stock in Burger King because we have a working relationship with the company and they continue to improve their animal welfare standards.

Burger King currently purchases some pork from suppliers that do not use cruel gestation crates--metal enclosures that confine mother pigs and are so restrictive that the animals cannot even stretch a limb or take a step. They also purchase some cage-free eggs, and have a purchasing preference for chicken from suppliers that use 'controlled-atmosphere killing' (CAK), the least cruel method of chicken slaughter in existence."

Turns out the king is really a prince. 

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