Good news chicken lovers in search of a freebie: Tomorrow is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, meaning you get a free meal. But before you pull up to their drive-thru for your Deluxe Chicken Sandwich with waffle fries, there are a few reasons why you may want to reconsider that free meal…and it’s not just because you have to humiliate yourself and dress up like a cow to get it.
According to their website:
For one day only, black and white spots, cow bells and furry ears will be appropriate attire at Chick-fil-A restaurants all across the nation. In celebration of July 13, Cow Appreciation Day (an unofficial yet nationally recognized holiday), Chick-fil-A will award a FREE Meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who comes to one of our 1,600+ restaurants fully dressed as a cow.
Sounds great, huh? But before you hit your nearest store, here are a few things you should know about what you’re eating.
Let’s start with their Deluxe Chicken Sandwich. It comes with lettuce and tomato, so it looks fairly harmless. But, according to their site, it contains a whopping 500 calories, 21 grams of fat and 1,650 mg of sodium (that’s nearly half of your recommended fat intake per day and more than half of your recommended sodium intake, says the Mayo Clinic). Once you add a medium serving of fries to that, you get another 390 calories, 20 grams of fat and 150 mg of sodium. Now you’re almost at half of your daily caloric intake and nearly maxed out on your entire day’s worth of fat.
If you want a healthier option, stick with their Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, which has 290 calories, 4 grams of fat and 780 mg of sodium. Although, even that doesn’t sound like such a great idea once you take a closer look at the ingredients:
Chargrilled chicken (100% natural whole breast filet, water, contains less than 2% of sugar, butter flavored vegetable oil [soybean oil, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, natural & artificial butter flavor, TBHQ, beta carotene], yeast extract, seasoning [sugar, spice, paprika, soybean oil], modified food starch, salt, sea salt, natural flavors, dextrose, potassium phosphate, maltodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, paprika), wheat bun (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], water, sugar, wheat bran, cracked wheat, yeast, sugar cane syrup, contains less than 2% of the following: wheat gluten, rolled whole wheat, soybean oil, salt, rye meal, dough conditioners [contains one or more of the following: sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides and/or diglycerides, calcium peroxide, calcium iodate, DATEM, ethoxylated mono-and diglycerides, azodicarbonamide, enzymes], calcium sulfate, honey, molasses, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium sulfate, calcium propionate [to retard spoilage]), tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, pickle (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, lactic acid, calcium chloride, alum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).
That’s a whole lot of crap to put in our bodies.
Even their Chicken Caesar Cool Wrap has 470 calories, 13 grams of fat and 1,290 mg of sodium with a list of unpronounceable ingredients that is just as long.
But, if you must indulge for one day, go ahead. Just know what you’re eating–and hope no one sees you dressed up like a cow.