Friday, April 23, 2010

Worst. Sandwich. Ever

Nate Silver, if you have not heard of him, is one of the nation's foremost pollsters, a man who can slice and dice numbers by the micron. He is a hipper, smarter, more thoughtful Internet incarnation of Gallup and other mainstream pollsters. For anyone interested in politics, his website (the total number of electoral votes) is a must read.

Last week, Silver directed his formidable analytical powers toward KFC's infamous Double Down. Silver's question was, just how bad for you is the Double Down? He crunched the nutritional numbers, focusing on fat, sodium and other bad stuff, and compared the Double Down to virtually every other fast food sandwich on the market. By one measure -- a bite-by-bite comparison -- the Double Down came out as the most unhealthy sandwich in fast food nation.

Check it out.

As long as I'm on the Double Down (who can put it down, it's just so delicious to criticize), I'd note that many critics, while decrying its unhealthiness, report that it tastes pretty good. Steven Colbert, for example, calls the sandwich "psychotic," but nonetheless pronounces it tasty. Check out the video.

I would point out this: Of course it tastes good. The flavoring industry could make a rubber tire taste good. They could turn rabbit droppings into a delectable treat that has consumers screaming for more. All the flavor is artificial, chemically restored after being leeched away by processing.

The Double Down isn't a triumph of cooking. It's a triumph of chemistry.

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