By Tony Sokol
LOUISVILLE, Ky, Jan. 19, 2015 /Daily Offbeat/ -- The 90s saw a health craze that put an end to supersizing and ultimately threatened big soda. It also caught Kentucky Fried Chicken its good name. Afraid that Fried was considered unhealthy advertising, the Original Recipe chain dropped 16 fatty letters to rebrand itself KFC.
That's the story the executives like to tell, but intrepid urban mythologists have other theories. One, a minor one, is that the chain, which was actually started in Henryville, Indiana, didn't want to pay licensing fees to the Blue Grass state. Minor rumors rumbled that the Colonel, who'd started slinging chickens out of a Shell gas station, might have padded his military experience a little, having been honorably discharged at a much lower rank.
A rumor hit the internet earlier this year claiming that KFC changed its name to KFC because the chain uses mutated chickens with extra limbs.
The rumors, which went viral on Facebook and Twitter, claimed that KFC doesn't serve real chicken. The urban legend started with a University of New Hampshire study of KFC.
The rumors said Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC because the chain uses genetically manipulated organisms. The mutant "chickens" reportedly had beaks, feathers or feet and had to be kept alive by tubes that were inserted into their bodies to pump blood and nutrients throughout their bodies.
According to the rumors, the chickens develop multiple legs and wings, the chickens' bone structure is shrunk to get more meat out of them. KFC allegedly saves production costs because they don't have to pluck feathers or remove beaks and feet.
The urban myth says that Kentucky Fried Chicken had to take the word chicken out of their name because their chickens weren't chickens. The government supposedly banned them from using the word "chicken."
"There is absolutely no truth to this ridiculous urban legend, which has been debunked many times. KFC uses only top quality poultry from trusted companies like Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride - the same brands customers know from their local supermarkets, said KFC spokesman Rick Maynard in an email to Business Insider at the time of the rumors.
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