November 21, 2015
Mr. Jeffrey Lurie, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
One NovaCare Way
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Dear Mr. Lurie,
I was driving down I-95 past our gorgeous (and green) Lincoln Financial Field when I saw it: not one, but two billboards (and that was just driving south) blaring that Dunkin Donuts Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Sandwich was the official breakfast sandwich of the Philadelphia Eagles.
I thought my head would explode.
After my initial shock at the sheer irresponsibility of such an endorsement by our team, I decided to write to you. With 560 calories, (300 of them from fat) this deadly sandwich contains egg, cheese, four strips of bacon with a “seasoning blend of brown sugar and black pepper”, served on a buttery croissant. It’s the complete trifecta to steal our collective health-fat, sugar and salt.
Philadelphia fans are like no others in the world. Their dedication to their team borders on obsession, idolizing our players as though they were deities. Children and adults, our fans wear shirts with the numbers of their favorite players. They argue with opponents. They watch sports shows and listen to sports radio as though their lives depended on it.
With the consciousness you showed to create the country’s greenest sports stadium, I find it completely mind-boggling that you would be so irresponsible as to allow our team to send the message to fans that this is something they eat and endorse eating.
With the release by the World Health Organization that consumption of cured meats like bacon increases the risk of colon cancer by 18%, why would you want to send that message to our fans? In 2013, we were declared the “City of Brotherly Love Handles "ranking dead last in health and wellness. Now we weigh in as the 14th fattest city in the country.
As the owner of this great team, I realize you have a business to run. I realize that Dunkin Donuts is likely paying you a lot of money for our team to endorse this junk food, but our kids see football players as heroes and role models. With that comes a responsibility. If you don’t care about the fans and their health, what about the children who idolize players, hanging on their every word and emulating their actions?
Your commitment to the environment is evident in every aspect and in every corner of the stadium the team calls home. Your alliance with a company like Dunkin Donuts seems a bit…schizophrenic, in a way. I’m not sure how you can align these two mindsets.
Usually, I rant about things like this, sigh and let go, but I want to tell you that I don’t intend to let this go. I intend to pursue public awareness and ask people to wake up and call you out on selling the fans out for money. These loyal people would eat nails if they thought their Eagles ate them. Why would you sell them on the idea that our Eagles eat these toxic sandwiches for breakfast, when it’s more likely that they don’t?
Look, I’m not going all vegan on you, expecting the players to endorse tofu and sprout sandwiches, but there are far better choices for this team to promote than pure unadulterated junk food. Dunkin Donuts may be paying you a lot, but if all your fans drop dead of heart disease, your gorgeous green stadium will have a lot of empty seats with tickets unsold.
Think about it. I love my city and my team. I know you do, too.
Christina Pirello, MFN
Emmy award winning host of “Christina Cooks” on national public television
Christina's Choice, Inc
1-800-939-3909 / christinacooks.com