Curing Cancer with Junk Food: Charities are Losing Focus

Picture a donut. It entices you through the display case glass. Larger than usual. A generous smear of pink frosting on top and sprinkled with pink candy ribbons. You really just wanted a coffee, but heck that donut looks darned good. Plus, you’ll be helping the Susan G. Komen Foundation raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Yes, that enticing pastry could save a friend or family member someday. Or it could give you cancer instead. Perhaps even more questionable was a recent promotion at KFC. Order a “Mega Jug” of soda (a vat, really) to complete your meal for $2.99 and the chain will donate $1 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Never mind that soda has consistently been blamed by researchers as one of the leading culprits of weight gain which can trigger diabetes. Really, people? I’m all for charities spreading the word about what they do and I completely understand how reaching people in their daily lives at coffee shops and restaurants is a great way to increase giving.  We’ve been listening to those Salvation Army bell ringers at the holidays for eons now, so clearly it works. But for charities to attempt to make money off of the very things that can cause these charities to exist in the first place is a twisted kind of morality. Seven out of the top ten causes of death have a nutrition component to them.  We literally can eat ourselves to death if we dine on the wrong foods and we can quite possibly cure ourselves if we eat the right things. Why on earth would a charity endorse something that potentially creates sickness? There are plenty of charities out there doing it right.  In Boston, the Dana Farber folks do an amazing job for cancer research by supporting lots and lots of sporting events, everything from golf tournaments to 100+ mile bike rides.  The LiveStrong organization under the direction of Lance Armstrong certainly never endorsed a sugary processed treat as a way to cure cancer. Armstrong is notorious for the care he takes with his own diet; I’m sure he’d never allow a donut to be used as a way to further his cause.

What do you think?  Is any method of a charity getting a buck okay?  Or should they be more selective in how they do their fundraising?  I, for one, would be much happier donating an extra dollar for buying a salad than I would be for a vat of soda! Cheers, Lisa