Tag Archives | Fast Food

Lean, Finely Textured Beef = Pink Slime (Video)

Pink Slime“Pink slime” is is a food additive consisting of animal by-products treated with ammonia gas to kill bacteria.

The treatment makes the by-products legally fit for human consumption.

The material is not approved for sale by itself (WHAT?!?), but is used to add to ground beef and other products.

Via the Daily Show:

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The ‘Tacocopter’ Would Deliver Tacos Via An Unmanned Drone

TacocopterReports Stephanie Grimes on KSL TV:

The ability to have tacos delivered at their feet is an idea many people wouldn’t hesitate to get behind — especially when the tacos are being delivered by a robot.

The Tacocopter — an unmanned drone helicopter that gives customers tacos on demand — would without a doubt be wildly popular were it to exist throughout the nation. Taco-hungry Americans could order and pay for tacos on their smartphones, which would supply GPS coordinates to the drone. Once ordered, the tacos would be delivered as long as the customer remained in the ordering location.

It exists in the Bay Area — in concept, at least. For now, the Tacocopter, which has existed since July 2011, has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration, as would be any unmanned commercial drone. According to FAA regulations, “unmanned aerial vehicles” cannot currently be used for commercial purposes.

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McDonald’s Discontinues Use Of ‘Pink Slime’ In Burgers

slimeburgerNo more slimeburgers? Until recently, 70 percent of burgers in the United States contained “pink slime”, also known as ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings, a cheap beef filling unfit for consumption until it is gassed with ammonia. Now McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King are dropping the magic additive following a campaign of withering criticism from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Via the Argus Leader:

McDonald’s and two other fast-food chains have stopped using an ammonia-treated burger ingredient that meat industry critics deride as “pink slime.” The product remains widely used as beef filling in burger meat, including in school meals.

The beef is processed by Beef Products Inc. in Iowa and in three other states. One of the company’s chief innovations is to cleanse the beef of E. coli bacteria and other dangerous microbes by treating it with ammonium hydroxide.

“Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold at the cheapest form for dogs, and after this process we can give it to humans,” food activist Jamie Oliver said in a segment of his ABC television show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, that aired last spring.

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Congress Declares Pizza A Vegetable For School Lunches

pizzaPizza contains two tablespoons of tomato paste and thus will remain the healthy, vegetable portion of children’s lunch across the nation. The move draws criticism from nutritionists but kudos from the head of the American Frozen Food Institute, reports MSNBC:

Congress wants to keep pizza and french fries on school lunch lines, fighting back against an Obama administration proposal to make school lunches healthier.

The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year, which included limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line and delaying limits on sodium and delaying a requirement to boost whole grains. The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to prevent that.

Food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes, and some conservatives in Congress say the federal government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat.

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Denmark Becomes First Nation With Tax On Fat In Food

5e75127e132dd772d5690399b691a022Is Denmark’s new fat tax a just response to the societal problems caused by obesity? Or is it sweet, buttery tyranny? Via the BBC:

Denmark has introduced what is believed to be the world’s first fat tax – a surcharge on foods that are high in saturated fat. Butter, milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food are now subject to the tax if they contain more than 2.3% saturated fat.

Some consumers began hoarding to beat the price rise, while some producers call the tax a bureaucratic nightmare.

Danish officials say they hope the new tax will help limit the population’s intake of fatty foods.

However, some scientists think saturated fat may be the wrong target. They say salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates are more detrimental to health and should be tackled instead.

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The High Price Of Cheap Food

FastFoodMark Bittman asks and answers the question “Is junk food really cheaper?” in the New York Times:

The “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”

This is just plain wrong. In fact it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four — for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas — costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28. (Judicious ordering of “Happy Meals” can reduce that to about $23 — and you get a few apple slices in addition to the fries!)

In general, despite extensive government subsidies, hyperprocessed food remains more expensive than food cooked at home.

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Do You Live in A ‘Food Swamp’?

FastFoodInteresting article on The Week. It says that it’s really not the lack of access to healthy food (what the USDA terms a “food desert”) but living close to fast-food joints and convenience stores (i.e. a “food swamp”) is what is more influential in eating habits. People like convenience — sure, doesn’t sound like rocket science — but more telling is that fast-food restaurants outnumber supermarkets by 5 to 1 in the U.S. Americans really do like convenience, a hell of a lot. Over cost as well, it seems, since you will get a lot more bang for your buck in a supermarket. Reports The Week:

So what’s the real problem? Many people simply like fast food better. A recent University of North Carolina (UNC) study of the eating habits of 5,000 people over 15 years found that living near a supermarket had little impact on whether people had healthy diets.

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Only In America: Purchase A Giant Pepsi To Raise Money For Diabetes Research

kfc_pepsi_diabetesThe Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has confirmed that this is a real promotion occurring now at KFCs across the country. Gulp down a “mega jug” of Pepsi — that’s a half gallon containing 56 spoonfuls of sugar — and one whole dollar will go towards finding a cure for the terrible disease that the drink will give you. Via Grist:

I honestly didn’t believe this one was for real at first. No way even KFC, purveyors of a sandwich that uses fried meat as a delivery mechanism for fried meat, would seriously market a soda size called the “mega jug.” And even if they did, they’d never have the chutzpah to donate “mega jug” dollars to juvenile diabetes research.

Sadly, I had totally underestimated KFC’s capacity for irony. The mega jug is a half gallon of soda, and this is a real local promotion. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation defends it thus: “JDRF supports research for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that results when the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, therefore requiring a child or adult with the disease to depend on insulin treatment for the rest of their lives.

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McDonald’s Accounted For Half Of May’s Job Growth

3876843822_fc4d31ab52If you’re looking for a job, McDonald’s is the place to go. No really, it’s the only place for you to go. The Atlantic Wire writes:

We were joking when we wrote that McDonalds was singlehandedly reviving the U.S. economy by hiring 62,000 employees in a single day in April. At the time, it didn’t feel like the recovery hinged on the creation of low-paying, temporary McJobs. Well, on the heels of today’s pessimistic report saying that just 54,000 jobs were added in May, the fast food chain’s effect on the economy is looking impressive to MarketWatch.

Seasonal adjustment will reduce the Hamburglar impact on payrolls. (In simpler terms — restaurants always staff up for the summer; the Labor Department makes allowance for this effect.) Morgan Stanley estimates McDonald’s hiring will boost the overall number by 25,000 to 30,000.

Those 25,000 to 30,000 McJobs that Morgan Stanley estimated were the net additions that would amount to half of the jobs added in May.

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