It's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day: What Would Jesus Eat?

Mike Huckabee, former governor, former presidential candidate, former marathon runner, political pundit, and author of a children's book, has announced that today, August 1, be proclaimed across this great nation as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, in honor of the company that sparked a shitstorm of controversy after its president and COO, Dan Cathy, reaffirmed his support of traditional marriage in an interview with the Baptist Press. In the interview, Cathy was quoted as saying: 

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of

the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business,

and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that .. We

operate as a family business... our restaurants are typically led by

families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to

strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy


"We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know

that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live

in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical


That, of course, sparked the usual barrage from the usual suspects as

both sides in the gay-marriage debate weighed in -- as well as some that

should just keep their yap shut. (Rosanne Barr, I'm talking to you. Oh, and Sarah Palin, just please go back to Alaska and tell Pitbull to come home, will ya?)


I don't understand the whole gay-marriage debate, because if

the religious right is so into "family values," I would think they would

want people to settle down in a nuclear family unit and

marry. In other words, allow same-sex couples to raise their children

in a legally binding two-parent household. But then again, I'm not part

of the religious right.

And I don't understand all the heated

debate about Chick-fil-A because it has always clearly been a company

that touts its Christian values. On the company's website, there is a

link to the WinShape Foundation,

founded by the Cathay family. You have to dig deep to find the core

values of the foundation, which includes marriage retreats, "trips to

Africa," and college student programs, but it's there -- Christ

followership. In a little promo video, you see happy Christian college students proud to "be ready to serve the Lord." And, I'm guessing, buy a fast-food franchise upon graduation.

But what I can't even wrap my head around is all this

controversy over a fast-food restaurant that clearly serves stuff that's

not good for you. Here's a little nutritional info about the fried chicken sandwiches that people go all gaga over:

  • Original Chick-fil-A sandwich (440 cal, 16g fat, 1400mg sodium)
  • Spicy Chick-fil-A sandwich (490 cal, 20g fat, 1650mg sodium)
  • Spicy Chick-fil-A deluxe sandwich (with cheese, lettuce and tomato) (570 cal, 27g fat, 1790mg sodium)
  • Waffle fries (390 cal, 20g fat, 150mg sodium)

And something for the kiddies:

  • Chicken nuggets (200 cal, 9g fat, 740mg sodium)
When you take into account that, according to the Mayo Clinic,

the average daily intake of fat is 44-78 grams and sodium is about

2,300mg (drop that down to 1,500 of your 51 or over if you have high blood

pressure), those sandwiches better be really satisfying because they're just about all you can eat in a day without getting into the red line for poor nutritional practices.

Whatever your politics, Chick-fil-A is serving

unhealthful sandwiches, fried in peanut oil on buttered buns, to an

increasingly obese population. In my eyes, that's not a very Christian thing to do.

So today, both in protest of the company's politics and its sodium-laden sandwiches, I will not eat at Chick-fil-A. Instead, I'll have a nice piece of fish, some freshly baked bread, and a glass of Cabernet. Loaves, fishes, and wine. I think Jesus would approve.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss