On every family vacation I can remember, my mom and I have taken a picture of us literally stopping and smelling the roses, or whatever flower is available. “Stop and smell the roses” is something my grandpa always reminds us to do, and it’s a good thing to remember in the hustle and bustle of our lives.
However, it’s becoming more difficult for many of us to take the time to appreciate the small things in life. Many will say that’s because people are less patient. A new paper says that’s true, and it’s at least partially because of fast food restaurants.
American consumers are a busy, impatient lot. We want our food fast and our wifi faster. We don’t like waiting in lines (unless it’s for the latest Apple product), which makes order-ahead and cut-the-line at Chipotle such a popular concept. Vending machines definitely help our scarf-on-the-go mentality, and now, a few industrious entrepreneurs are offering up choices that go way beyond the typical soda and candy bar fare.
Be still my heart. In New York, the sweet folks at Sprinkles have developed a 24 hour ATM machine. For $4.25 you can snag a fresh-baked cupcake wrapped in a cozy little box. The gourmet treats are re-stocked several times a day and come in a variety of flavors including red velvet and lemon meringue.
Dude! Forget about mushy gas station burritos that are hot on one end and frozen on the other. The first burrito kiosk has arrived and it promises, “happiness – and a side – in 60 seconds.” Customers make their selection from a touch screen, and are even given the option to add a side of Wholly Guacamole or Daisy sour cream for an additional price. (more…)
There’s this strange food euphoria that exists when you bite in to a plain cheeseburger, a few french fries, and take a swig of an ice cold Coke from McDonald’s. I craved it. Lusted after it. I would make up any excuse in the book to get it. This was one of my biggest food vices – the number two combo at McDonald’s with cheese and mustard only.
As of Friday, I haven’t had it in a year. I’m really proud of that. It’s not that I learned something new, but I finally reconciled how that “food” made me feel was not how I should feel after eating a meal. I decided I never wanted to feel that way again.
Invariably, every time I’d finish a burger and fries from Mickey D’s I’d have a headache, stomach cramps, nausea, shaking, or a combination of those. That was consistent. Sometimes I’d order it because it sounded good or it was the easiest option. Sometimes I’d order it out of boredom. Sometimes it was because I was traveling on the turnpike and well, you can’t not get McDonald’s on a road trip! Sometimes I ate it just to eat it.
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Whatever the reason, I always knew what I was putting in my body. I swore off my love affair for their chicken nuggets years ago after watching Jamie Oliver demonstrate how that food atrocity is created. The thought makes me ill. Considering that a McDonald’s burger isn’t inclined to rot or spoil, I knew that whatever was in it wasn’t beef alone. Did that stop me from eating it? No. Ignorance is bliss, and I’d chomp away. (more…)
Taco Bell had an announcement this week that certainly surprised us. The fast food corporation decided to divulge what’s actually in its meat—and it turns out, it is mostly actually meat! Or at least, it’s almost 9/10ths meat.
In an official statement, Taco Bell stated that their beef is “88% beef and 12% signature recipe.” The company also assured the nation that their beef is not grade D beef, but that it is as quality as any ground beef that you might find in a grocery store.
So what makes up the “signature recipe” that accounts for the other 12% of the filling? Mostly spices and thickeners, the chain insists. “Ingredients like oats and sodium phosphates help make sure the texture is right.” We’re of the opinion that “beef texture” is probably best produced by beef, but I guess when you operate a worldwide chain you need consistency. Maybe these fillers make the beef used in Kansas taste the same as the beef used in California?
Alec Fernandez and Daniel del Campo, two young, innovative gentleman from Miami, Florida, have a grand plan: to revolutionize the fast food industry as we know it. Ferndandez and del Campo fully understand the struggles of balancing a jam-packed schedule and eating healthy on the fly because, let’s face it: sometimes, the only option is to grab food on the go. Their idea is to create better options for Americans who need to occasionally rely on fast food.
On a recent Nielsen survey, the number one reason people choose fast food is to save time. People are literally claiming to not have the right time to eat healthfully, and that is something that we have to change. The duo acknowledges that there is no real good-for-you-fast-food choice. Until now. (more…)
When I was younger, elementary school age, I saw my mom cutting up what I believed to be peeled apples in the kitchen. I took a piece and ate it, only to be unpleasantly surprised at the raw potato in my mouth. I quickly learned that while potatoes and apples look the same when peeled and chopped, they certainly don’t taste the same.
New research from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire indicates that many kids have a similar problem distinguishing apples from potatoes. Only this time, the kids were asked to tell the difference between apple slices and french fries in fast food advertising on networks like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
Since 2009, fast food restaurants have been in agreement to include healthy foods in their advertising targeted at children. It was hoped kids could be encouraged to eat healthier foods with their meals. Of course, if kids don’t recognize the healthy food, the plan doesn’t work.
A traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and soda bread is a fairly balanced meal, if a little high in carbs and soda bread. It’s also a much healthier choice than a lot of the other St. Patrick’s Day foods and dishes currently on the menu at a number of chain restaurants. These foods may be green, but they are not exactly good for you! So, if you plan to splurge today, go ahead and enjoy the real Irish deal, not these unhealthy options!
Mint Oreo Creme Donut from Dunkin’ Donuts: This dessert disguised as breakfast is sort of like Ben and Jerry’s Mint Cookie Ice Cream, only in donut form. The bakers at this largely Eastern and Central chain start with a yeast donut, cover it with mint frosting and bit of Oreo cookies, and top it off with a heaping helping of frosting in the center. The thing weighs in at 400 calories, 22 grams of fat, and 9 grams of saturated fat–or about 45% of your recommended daily allowance.
Earlier in the month, the Huffington Post reported that more than sixty percent of adults in England are overweight or obese. We’ve written about this before, but the trend seems to be growing—along with people’s pant sizes. Apparently Jamie Oliver‘s healthy food habits haven’t caught on in his homeland. (Maybe it’s time he turn his focus back to the U.K. after working on our American health habits!)
But wait. The United States hasn’t exactly gotten on board with healthy eating either: the nation had the highest obesity rate of all countries, as of March 2013: a reported 2/3 of all adults (people over 20 years of age) are overweight and an approximate 1/3 of Americans are obese. Right below the United States is Mexico, who has an obesity rate of about 25%.
Have you ever seen a picture or video of food that made you sick just from looking at it? That’s what happened when we saw a video from the Travel Channel’s popular show Man v. Food. The dish was so piled with meats, cheeses, sauces, and who knows what else, it could no longer be identified as food.
We know that food challenges aren’t the only culprit when it comes to shameful servings, so we decided to come up with a rap sheet for the worst food felons. Here’s our Most Wanted list of top culinary criminals starting with the simply overindulgent and ending with the disgustingly gluttonous.
Wanted for: Imitating a Healthy Beverage – Green Tea Latte
Starting off our list is the deceptive Green Tea Latte from Starbucks. Getting a venti (20 oz.) of this beverage with whole milk will cost you 500 calories and 71 grams of sugar. So much for the idea of green tea always being a healthy choice.
Wanted for: Ridiculous Use of Sugar – Ice Cream Sandwiches
Disney, it’s a happy, magical place. It’s also a place where you can get ice cream sandwiches as big as your face. The two homemade chocolate chip cookies and three heaping scoops of ice cream are delicious, but I speak from experience when I say you’ll have sugar shakes and nausea for hours after eating.