Recently, the American public was issued a challenge by the folks at KFC (formerly “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” but “fried” just didn’t sound healthy). The fast-food joint argues in its latest commercial that you cannot “create a family meal for less than $10.” Their example is the “seven-piece meal deal,” which includes seven pieces of fried chicken, four biscuits, and a side dish — in this case, mashed potatoes with gravy. This is meant to serve a family of four.

I’m not really a competitive soul, but this was one challenge I could not resist. When it comes to food, America has been sold a bill of goods. We’ve been flimflammed, bamboozled, hoodwinked. We’ve been tricked into thinking that cooking is a chore, like washing windows, to be avoided if at all possible, and then done only grudgingly and when absolutely necessary. On the contrary, cooking is a vital, spiritual act that should be performed with a certain reverence. After all, we are providing sustenance to the ones we love — can anything be more important?

And don’t get me started on advertising. It never ceases to amaze me that, with the exception of political ads, people don’t focus on the falsehoods. Commercial advertising washes over people without the slightest analysis; we truly need a for business advertising.

In the KFC commercial, a mother and two kids hit a grocery store for the necessary ingredients. When they fail to get them for under $10, Mom cheerfully announces, to the kids’ delight, that they are going to KFC. In these hard economic times, Colonel Sanders wants you to think that giving him your money is the cheaper way to go. I respectfully disagree.

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