Don Tyson was a visionary hard worker whose dream paid off handsomely. He was a member of the Forbes 400 and, by all accounts, a truly forward thinking person. He died today (January 6) at the age of 80 of cancer.
His life was devoted to Tyson Foods, the company his father founded in the 1930s. Over time, Tyson turned it into one of the world’s largest food processors and marketers of meat from its base in Springfield, Arkansas.
According to The New York Times:
Mr. Tyson was a risk-taking, bare-knuckle businessman who bought out dozens of competitors, skirted the edge of the law and transformed a Depression-era trucking-and-feed venture into a global enterprise with an army of employees and millions of customers in 57 countries.
He was not without critics, of course. Even as he maintained an image as a fun-loving, hard worker, he also had his share of enemies -- and not just because of the food atrocities that came out of his beloved product.
Environmentalists accused Tyson of fouling waterways. Animal rights groups said it raised chickens in cruel conditions. Regulators said it discriminated against women and blacks and cheated workers out of wages. Tyson Foods denied wrongdoing, but paid fines, back wages, and penalties to settle some cases.
All of these things are terrible, of course, but it's hard to imagine that Tyson, in his wildest dreams, would have imagined poultry being used to make some of the worst chicken atrocities we have seen in recent years. Just think of the Double Down.
Here are some of the most horrifying chicken offenders of all time:
KFC's Double Down: It's a "sandwich" of sorts, available from KFC with bacon and cheese sandwiched between two pieces of fried chicken. It has 540 calories, 32g of fat, and 1,380mg of sodium. Yum.
Chicken Nuggets: McDonald's may not use this pink goo, but the fact that anyone does is beyond horrifying. I will never eat a chicken nugget again from anywhere after seeing this.
White Castle's Chicken Rings: It was kind of like a chicken nugget except way more horrifying and repulsive. And also ring-shaped. For some reason the shape gets me every time. It's unholy to eat chicken shaped like a ring.
KFC's Chicken Bowl: With 700 calories, 55 mg cholesterol, and 2,260 mg sodium, this one is beyond horrifying. Imagine mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, cheese, and crispy fried chicken with a heavy and butter filled biscuit. Yum.
After a long life full of family and grandchildren and more money than most of us will ever see, it's hard to fault a guy for these horrible meals. But by all accounts he was an active, fit man who enjoyed fishing and living the good life. It's hard to imagine Mr. Tyson, may he rest in peace, would have ever eaten a Double Down.
Have you tried any of these products?