THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 81

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 81

..the flavor of the food is analogous to “the chef” telling you that calamari tastes just like chicken or the wisdom of  Popeye the Sailor coming up with scientific evidence that spinach gives you superhuman strength.

singing-chef-vickie-wade

Singing Chef by Vickie Wade

 

“Not bad, but lay off speaking in gobbledigook {Newfoundlian}. Because I can’t read your lips.”

With his initial inhibitions decreased, two different colors are selected, Alpha Centauri-amber and dark matter-mauve. A longer rendition of what sounds like an alien remix precedes the arrival of his selection, again whooshing open, exposing a 2-dish assortment of steaming nourishment. It is unrecognizable, but it isn’t moving and is marginally aromatically tempting.

Cupbearer to the King

Again, with the aid of the air-water-food scrutinizer, “Enzyme modified something, xanthan concentrate, autolyzed extract, and hydrogenated disodium phosphorate. gobbledigook {you first}

“Where are the knives and forks,” Celeste asks pretentiously?

“Use your fingers until and when I can find the right colors to push. You know we cannot be sure how these guys consumed their food; for all we know they may stuff it into their stomachs through a navel valve.”

“Assuming they have navels.”

“Do you want to do an autopsy on one of them?”

“Not before we eat Sam… you don’t want me to lose my dinner, seeing I am eating for two.”

“Or more.”

“Stop yourself and eat!”

Describing the flavor of the food is analogous to “the chef” telling you that calamari tastes just like chicken or the wisdom of  Popeye the Sailor coming up with scientific evidence that spinach gives you superhuman strength; to each his own.

“Eat, eat, there is plenty more!”

When cast in that subjective light, the food they sample aboard the NEWFOUNDLANDER is an acquired palate, as opposed to Grandma Sally’s home cooking. Overall the adage cliché “never look a gift-horse in the mouth” applies on this distant planet and you are going to run out of your own food.

Sampson makes mental notes of all his happy-finger combinations while using the magical-meal-machine, as he calls it. They can only hope to get better at working it… perhaps some Italian? —

— Energized and ever curious, the two-remaining visitors on Mars press on to the depths of the alien ship…


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 81


 

page 100

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Contents TRT

Pilgrim Thanksgiving – Food For the 1st Settlers

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Foods the Pilgrims

Likely Ate

at the First

Thanksgiving

Unfortunately, there is no actual menu for the first Thanksgiving in 1621. There is some debate, however, whether or not turkey was on the table. There is even one story where the original intent was to hunt for turkey, and all the Pilgrims wound up bagging was a bunch of crows instead. We would guess that those were a wise bunch of birds.

So let’s assume that turkey became a holiday symbol later on, and look at some of the other foods that may well have been served at that first Thanksgiving. Keep some napkins handy, because you are about to start drooling something fierce.

10. Eel

Serving Eel for Thanksgiving

It is well known that Squanto took pity on the Pilgrims, and helped teach them how to live off of the land and water. One of the hunting methods that Squanto taught them was to spear eels, who were curled up in muddy areas during colder weather. As a matter of fact, the feast made when the Pilgrims made peace with the leader of the Massosoit tribe was a feast of eels. The hunting of eels is also backed up by Pilgrim accounts. So yes, instead of cranberries, the first Thanksgiving would have probably featured a second helping of eel. Just like Grandma used to make.

9. Dried Fruit

dried fruit for Thanksgiving

Fruit was considered to be more of a snack by the Pilgrims. However, there was not refrigeration to store fruits. The solution, particularly when out of season or when you did not have a budget to ship them in from Spain, was to dry the fruits and eat them later. Drying could be done either outside or in shelters, to keep away flies. In addition to sun-drying fruit, there was also the option of oven-drying fruits in cooler climates. Dried fruit, such as raisins, would have been a treat or dessert to eat at the first Thanksgiving table. Also, you might have wanted to store a few in your pocket for later.

8. Lobster

stuffed-lobster thanksgiving

While lobster is more of a delicacy today, the Pilgrims would have seen the crustacean as a staple of their diet. The Patuxet Squanto was again instrumental in teaching the Pilgrims to catch and cook lobsters. The Pilgrim Edward Winslow even sent a letter back to England in 1622 detailing the feast (which is reported to have lasted up to five days) and lobster was really put over as a major dish. This letter electrified the imagination of all who read it, and started to turn the Harvest Feast into Thanksgiving. So it might be a great idea to spend a Thanksgiving rolling out that very traditional Lobster Feast. Just don’t forget to remove the rubber bands afterwards. They’re chewy.

7. Hardtack

hardtack thanksgiving

To be fair, “Hardtack” was also a name applied to these biscuits served primarily during the Civil War. They were often derided, and would frequently be infested with bugs. Hardtack existed during the Pilgrims’ era too, would often be eaten in darker places (so they didn’t have to see the bugs) and dipped into liquids. The dipping had a dual purpose. First, it would lighten the biscuits’ rock hard jaw-breaking consistency. Plus, it killed the maggots, a recommended step for any good dish, really.

Hardtack is rather easy to make, as well as plentiful. if you’re sick of warm, soft, buttery rolls at your Thanksgiving, consider these glorified stones for all your future meals. Just  keep an eye out for any wriggling maggots that somehow survived the Dipping Holocaust.

6. Samp

Zimbabwe-food-recipes-munhuchis

When the pilgrims and the Wampanoag broke hardtack together, they would have enjoyed a helping of samp on the side. Samp, a derivative of a primarily-English porridge, is a mixture of corn and milk mixed into a rather soupy consistency. In the 1600’s book Two Voyages to New EnglandJohn Josselyn states that the Samp would be boiled by the gallon after the corn was ground into a flour and stirred in a combination of milk and water. Samp could have either been a side dish or a full meal, depending on the situation. Photo and Samp recipe.

5. Maize

corn-rainbow2

Because it grew better than English grains, Pilgrims referred to Maize as “Indian Corn.” The corn was planted in the spring, with the Wampanoag using small herring fish as fertilizer for its growth. The corn would have been dried out by November, meaning the Pilgrims would not have eaten corn-on-the-cob at Thanksgiving. The corn would have been shucked, as well as ground. This would have been primarily done to make into a meal, or to cook into bread. Either way, maize would have been a staple of Pilgrim diets at the time of the first feast.

4. Pumpkins

Pumpkin+Stuffed+with+Everything+Good+full-+Simple+Living+and+Eating+006

The classic image of Pilgrims making pumpkin pie for the first Thanksgiving is not quite accurate. The Pilgrims would likely have dug out the contents of the pumpkin, and refilled it with eggs and other items. The pumpkin would then have been cooked to a blackened outside shell. In this way, the pumpkin would have served as an edible pot, with the contents being scooped out and served. So pumpkins were likely a big part of the first Thanksgiving feast, though they were not specifically mentioned until the account of the second Thanksgiving feast.

3. Wild Fowl

THanksgiving Goose

Far moreso than turkey, it was quite likely that ducks or geese were served at the first Thanksgiving. The simple fact is that ducks and geese were more plentiful in autumn to hunt than turkeys were. There is also the great possibility that Passenger Pigeons, which have been extinct for over a century, would have been plentiful at the time. Swan may have also been on the menu.

One reason to use these birds over turkey is the issue of preparation. Smaller fowl can be spit roasted, which would make them easier to cook for a large crowd. Back then, turkey would have to be boiled prior to stuffing, which was a much bigger pain back in the day. It would have simply been easier to feed a crowd with birds other than turkey.

2. Fish

atlantic white cod for thanksgiving

Fish, specifically Atlantic White Cod, would have been a staple of most any meal done by the Pilgrims. Cod was plentiful, as well as desired for its lean white meat. The Pilgrims were quite intent on fishing, except they were terrible at it. Squanto and others taught the Pilgrims not only to fish, but also to use the rest of the fish as fertilizers for crops and oils.

Of course, cod would not be the only seafood on the menu. There would have also been quahogs (clams,) which were steamed. Bass and oysters would have been plentiful as well. In short, the bulk of the first Thanksgiving would have most likely been a seafood feast.

1. Deer (Venison)

roast venison - deer meat

While we’re doubtful about turkey being on the first Thanksgiving menu, there is no question about deer meat being on the table. According to Edward Winslow, author of the only known account of the event, the Wampanoag killed five deer for the feast. Winslow was extremely specific about the deer portion of the meal, and only vaguely referred to the bird meat as “fowl,” so you can guess which dish was his favorite that day. What can we say; some people are simply partial to red meat.

So if someone kills Bambi this Thanksgiving, they’re not heartless murderers of all thing innocent and childlike; they’re simply following a proud tradition dating back to 1621. Not to worry though; if you’re squeamish about killing your own deer, there are plenty of exotic meat markets out there willing to charge youridiculous amounts of money for the right to enjoy the ultimate hipster holiday treat.


Pilgrim Thanksgiving

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– Foods of the Settlers

Fun Beer Facts – WIF Edu-tainment

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Weird Facts About

the World’s Best Beers

To paraphrase famed scholar Homer Simpson, beer is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. That’s probably why almost every country on Earth has a particular beer its denizens prefer. But each of those market dominating beers holds a secret…

10. China’s Snow Beer: Popular Despite its Taste

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Snow Beer is the single most popular beer on Earth. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s not surprising considering the beer is pretty much only sold in China, where it accounts for a dominating 84% of all sales despite the fact its parent company spends almost nothing on advertising.

In other words, Snow Beer has been able to secure the coveted title of “most popular beer on Earth” while only being available for sale in a single huge market with little to no advertising. The beer is so seldom shipped abroad that it’s considered foreign in Hong Kong and is notoriously difficult to get a hold of, even in specialty beer shops. But you’re not missing out on anything special, because according to this CNN article quizzing Chinese residents it’s bitter, flat and unappealing. Normally we’d make a quip about the power of advertising, but since Snow doesn’t advertise we’re a little lost for words.

9. America’s Bud Light: Cynically Appealing to the Buzzfeed Generation

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In recent years, Bud Light has replaced its more calorie heavy, beer gut causing cousin as the favored beer of the United States, thanks in part to amassive push on behalf of the company that owns the brand, Anheuser-Busch. They’re regarded as industry trendsetters for being one of the few companies to successfully tap the burgeoning millennials market by re-structuring itsmarketing to better appeal to young, hip, twenty-something consumers who are more concerned with tweeting, partying and taking selfies than anything those lame-ass adults care about.

While this has undoubtedly led to some innovative campaigns like the much reported on “up for whatever” campaign, which saw a thousand random young adults being invited to a town called Whatever for a weekend long party, you have to keep in mind these were all masterminded by stuffy guys in suits cynically predicting that millenials would fall for whatever marketing they shoved down their throats as long as it was on Buzzfeed or Tinder. That’s not a joke, those were both platforms they used.

What’s worse is that Bud Light spokesmen have claimed they can reach over 50% of all 21-27 year olds using these methods. Yes, Bud Light is so cynical about the predictability and manipulability of young adults that they think they can make 50% of us pay attention to one of their ads with a post on Buzzfeed. Which is kind of insulting, but also depressingly realistic if the post they’re talking about happens to have GIFs.

8. Mexico’s Corona: Limes and Wagers

worldbeer3

The most commonly consumed beer in Mexico and Fast and Furious movies is Corona. Unusually for a successful domestic beer, Corona enjoys a good deal of success in several foreign markets, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom. Abroad it’s almost universally consumed with a wedge of lime, something that confuses Mexican people to no end.

Despite it being considered customary to garnish Corona with lime, there’s no agreed upon consensus for why this is the case, since the beer has never been consumed that way in its native Mexico. A popular theory is that the custom was started by a New York barman for a bet in 1981, but this has never been confirmed because of course it hasn’t. Corona themselves have been tight-lipped about discussing what, if anything, the lime is supposed to do. Either they have a secret deal with a Mexican lime farmer, or they don’t check their emails.

7. Singapore’s Tiger: Time for a Tiger

worldbeer4

Along with being the most popular beer in both Singapore and Malaysia, Tiger is proof that the west really needs to step up its game when it comes to naming alcoholic beverages. When drinks like this and Cobra are on the market, we honestly don’t know how anyone can justify drinking anything less metal.

Since the ’30s Tiger has used the slogan “Time for a Tiger” in a great deal of its advertising, because even soulless ad agency workers can see that’s a slogan people will never get tired of hearing. One person who agreed with this sentiment was Anthony Burgress, who used the slogan as the title for a 1956 novel.

Burgress would later reveal that he chose Tiger’s slogan as the title purely because he wanted a free clock from Tiger. When Burgress asked the company if they’d send him a clock for giving them a bunch of free advertising, they rather reasonably asked if they could see a copy of the novel first. Offended at the idea of a company wanting to see if their intellectual property was being used in a way that didn’t make them look bad, Burgress went back and hastily added a line saying that Tiger Beer sucked and Carlsberg was better. The change prompted Carlsberg to send him a complimentary crate of beer.

Even though Burgress made fun of their product and generally acted like a petulant child in all correspondence with them, when Burgress visited Singapore in the ’70s Tiger tried to bury the hatchet by offering him free beer for the duration of his entire visit. Burgress heroically turned the offer down, because sometimes being a colossal jackass requires a bit of sacrifice.

6. Russia’s Baltika: Better than Coke

worldbeer5

As we’ve talked about before, in 1860 almost half of the Russian government’s income came from taxes placed on vodka. Russians love them some vodka,and given how much of it they drink you could be forgiven for thinking that beer isn’t a thing over there. Well, until 2013, it kind of wasn’t.

While beer is certainly sold in Russia, with the Baltika brand being the most popular overall, it wasn’t legally considered alcohol until 2013 due to a quirk in Russian law that dictated that any alcoholic drink that had a strength of less than 10% was considered a foodstuff and thus could be sold as a soft drink. Along with speaking volumes about how hardcore Russians are when it comes to drinking, it also means that prior to 2013 you can technically say that the best-selling soft drink in Russia was a beer.

5. Jamaica’s Red Stripe: Jamaican in Name, American in Spirit

worldbeer6

According to the marketing guys behind Red Stripe, it’s a traditional Jamaican style lager with a rich history. According to Google, Red Stripe was first brewed in Illinois for a century before it was bought out by some British guys during prohibition who then marketed it to soldiers stationed in Jamaica. After proving popular in Jamaica, Red Stripe was then marketed back to the States as an exotic foreign brew from the mysterious sun bleached sands of a tropical island. Thus proving that, with good enough marketing, you can convince people of anything.

Oddly, when Red Stripe was initially pitched to the States, it failed to catch on because they sold it in green bottles instead of the distinctive brown ones they used in Jamaica, marking the only time in history Americans complained that something being brought in from a foreign country wasn’t dark enough. A more hilarious twist came in 1989, when all shipments of Red Stripe were cancelled when it was discovered that cannabis was being smuggled in with each shipment. We honestly wouldn’t be surprised if someone at Red Stripe did that on purpose just to really sell Americans on the idea that Red Stripe was from Jamaica.

4. Brazil’s Skol: Hobo Murdering Super Beer

worldbeer7

Although Skol is most popular in Brazil, we’d like to talk about its ill-fated foray into the British market, mostly because we get to use the phrase “murder beer.” High alcohol content beers are by no means a new thing, but Skol’s Super Beer (it’s actually called that) was on another level entirely. Unlike other high alcohol beers which are sold as premium prices, Super Beer sold for just a pound per can despite having roughly the same alcoholic content as anentire bottle of wine.

Unsurprisingly, the beer proved to be incredibly popular with the homeless to the point that it’s still a running joke in the UK to call it “tramp juice.” The government was less amused, as they noticed a concerning rise in the number homeless people drinking themselves to death after the beer and others like it became widely available. Before legislation was introduced to make access to the beer more difficult with a tariff, it was estimated that perfectly legal super-strength beers that people could buy for less than a pint of milk were killing more homeless people than crack cocaine or heroin. Perhaps even more worrying is that up until 2013, the same murder beer that was killing homeless people in the UK could have been sold like a can of Coke in Russia.

3. Japan’s Asahi: The Poo Building

worldbeer8

Since homeless people drinking themselves to death is kind of depressing, let’s lighten the mood by talking about Asahi, Japan’s beer of choice. More specifically, we’d like to tell you about the big building Asahi constructed that looks like it’s topped with enormous golden feces.

Built in 1989 and dubbed “one of Tokyo’s most recognizable modern structures,” the Asahi Beer Hall is supposed to resemble a frothing beer glass. It houses a beer hall where customers can sample its many products. Unfortunately, residents of Tokyo had other ideas and instead decided that the golden monument atop the building more closely resembles feces or a sperm than a frothing beer. Which wouldn’t be that bad if the building wasn’tright next to Asahi’s headquarters. That means it’s now common for people in Tokyo to refer to the headquarters of the best selling beer in their entire country as “the poo building.” But hey, it hasn’t hurt sales.

2. North Korea’s Taedonggang: Better than South Korea

worldbeer9

Taedonggang, which is pronounced however the hell you feel like it, is North Korea’s leading brand of beer and, according to the few outsiders who’ve had the honor of sampling it, isn’t half bad. North Korea’s crippled, outdated infrastructure has actually made it easier for Taedonggang breweries to make top notch beer, because none of the other factories in North Korea produce enough pollution to affect its otherwise pristine water supply.

As you’d expect from a country where you’re not allowed to have the same name as the guy who runs it, the only reason Taedonggang beer exists is because Kim Jong-il wanted to prove a point. Apparently the late leader got into an argument with a South Korean official at a 2000 summit in Pyongyang about the quality of North Korean beer. Incensed at the idea of South Koreans enjoying better beer than his people, he bought an entire brewery from the United Kingdom and had it shipped piece by piece to North Korea, then demanded that it begin producing better beer than South Korea. Kim Jong-il was so keen to promote this new patriotic beer that he even granted special permission for an advertisement to be run on North Korean TV, something that’s only ever been done a handful of times.

And it worked! Not only is Taedonggang the most popular beer in North Korea, the few experts who’ve tried it have admitted that it’s way better than any South Korean beer. We think we’d still prefer to live in the South, though.

1. Ireland’s Guinness: Nazis and Toucans

worldbeer10

Guinness had genuine plans in place to advertise in Nazi Germany during the 1936 Olympics. You know, the ones held in Germany that Hitler himselfattended. While nothing ever came of it, primarily because a London based subsidiary advised the Irish wing against pandering to Nazis, they did end up reusing one of the designs when they eventually launched in the United States a few years later.

Just to be clear, Guinness took a poster that they had originally planned to hang in bars around Nazi Germany, changed the flag in the background, and then used it announce their glorious arrival in the United States. Keep that in mind the next time St Patrick’s Day rolls around and Walmart tries to convince you to buy three crates of Guinness to celebrate.


 Fun Beer Facts

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– WIF Edu-tainment

Bad Food Trends – WIF Science

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Food Trends

That Have Negative

Consequences on the World

What’s popular in the grocery stores, fast food restaurants and other dining establishments changes throughout the years. In more recent days we have seen fast food establishments at least make an effort to look healthy, especially with children’s food products, and people are more concerned with health than ever before. However, not all of the trends regarding food are necessarily good. While people are more concerned with their health, consumer ignorance and misinformation is widespread, and many popular food trends have hidden consequences that the average person is completely unaware of.

10. Reliance on Cows is a Huge Contributor to Global Warming

cow

Aside from those in the world population who find cows sacred, and the world’s vegetarians, we all love our cow meat. Tucking into a delicious burger or steak is a part of life many of us would be loathe to give up, and for many you would have to pry the steak out of their cold, dead hands. However, it is this love of beef that is helping raise worldwide greenhouse gas levels by alarming amounts. Cows both fart, and burp a lot, and they also leave a lot of cow pies lying around as well. All the methane that is belched into the environment or broken down in their waste is easily the majority worldwide contributor to methane being released in large quantities.

Of course, while methane is incredibly bad for the environment, it is only one greenhouse gas. Cows alone are far from the only, or biggest, major contributor, but they are enough to be causing a serious impact. Scientists are now trying to solve the problem, or at least find ways to mitigate it. Some have suggested changing the cows’ diets to something that has more alfalfa and supplements instead of the usual diets, so they will be less gassy. And they have also emphasized that proper breakdown or reuse of dung can prevent extra methane leaking into the atmosphere. Either way, scientists believe that with the reliance on beef for food by many developing countries, that the issue is going to be here to stay for a long time to come.

9. Fat Free Foods Have Increased Our Reliance on Sugar to be Satisfied

sugar

Perhaps one of the worst food fads that still affects us today is the “fat free” fad. This fad is do pervasive that even though it began in the 1970s due to a hearing started by Senator George Mcgovern, you will meet many weight watching people today who, despite religiously watching their calorie count, still balk at “fat content” in foods. The fact is that if you understand calorie count, you’ll know that calories plus exercise — and to some extent genetics — will decide your weight loss rate. And studies have not shown any health benefit to a low fat diet, but this still persists in the national consciousness and it’s still doing damage.

Today stores are full of “fat free” or “low-fat” products, and many products today that would have had more fat in the past have none or very little. However, what they have instead, and started having in the late ’70s when the trend began, was a whole lot more sugar. And coincidentally, it wasn’t long after this that incidences of diabetes and obesity really took off. Now, it’s hard to say for certain if this was the main or only cause of the rise of diabetes, but there is no question that a brief time ago we started consuming way more sugar than we once did, and it is most definitely bad for us. It shows that in our rush to make fat the villain, we forgot that all food groups are an essential part of a good diet, and that moderation is the most important thing of all.

8. “GMO-Free” Foods Are Helping Produce Ignorant American Consumers

gmo

Recently there has been a strong movement for “GMO-free” foods. On the one hand this sounds reasonable if you don’t understand what a GMO is, but when you do, it sounds utterly inane. GMOs are genetically modified organisms. The problem is that by the actual definition of genetic modification, we have been practicing this on plants and animals for thousands of years — at least. However, even if you feel that there should be more transparency as to today’s biotech practices, the fact is that current labeling and “GMO-free” foods are only helping to increase consumer ignorance and take advantage of people who think they are “avoiding something”.

The truth is that many of the companies who look like they are bowing to the will of the consumer are making changes just to please people, because it’s easier to do that than to argue and cause a viral issue on social media. Companies like Kraft will gladly switch to natural dyes while still selling you a box of processed macaroni and cheese product. And Subway may remove a perfectly harmless ingredient like azodicarbonamide because people get up in arms about it, but they continue to sell many processed foods and use the slogan “eat fresh”. What is really bad for people’s health is the increasing reliance on heavily sugared products and heavily processed foods. Companies jumping on the “GMO-free” bandwagon allows them to make meaningless, cheap changes that make it look like they are doing something while actually continuing business as usual.

7. Soy Food Could Be Decreasing Testosterone Levels

soy

In recent years soy milk, which was once considered more of a niche drink you’d see in a health food store, has become a full blown fad. Women and men alike are drinking it not only as a substitute for milk — as a growing number of people in America have decided it is trendy to claim lactose intolerance without being tested for it — but also just because they enjoy the taste. Milk substitutes like soy tend to come in exciting flavors already full of sugar and other artificial flavor boosters, making it look way more enticing than plain old milk. Unfortunately, soy milk has also been linked with the ability to increase estrogen levels.

While for most people, it would be unlikely to cause anything truly noticeable, there is the case of one man who was dealing with a really strange medical issue. His body seemed to be increasingly feminizing and he could not figure out why. He had swollen mammary glands, hair loss, decreased facial hair growth, etc. After going to four doctors and starting to become frustrated he would never find the answer, his fourth doctor decided to ask him to give him all the details of his diet. It was then that he discovered the man was drinking three quarts of soy milk per day. Now, this is a lot more than most people would consume in a day, so most people would be unlikely to ever show such drastic effects, but it shows that soy can have serious effects on the body’s hormone levels.

6. The Low Carb Diet Fad Has Caused Widespread Nutritional Deficiency

low carb

Back in the 1990s the Atkins Diet really started to become a full blown fad, and before long, people were telling you that eating carbohydrates was bad. It’s easy to see in hindsight that this particular fad was not good — anything that tells you to almost entirely cut a large type of food group out of your diet is likely an unbalanced way to eat. However, at the time it was easy to get on board with the hype, if nothing else to see if it would provide any benefit. And while many people may have lost some weight with it, it is also important to note that lost weight does not necessarily equal good health.

The low carb fad very likely helped contribute to the rise of obesity along with the decrease in fat intake and rise of sugar intake. While there was some reason to be bothered by some carbohydrates — certain processed carbohydrates like refined sugar — the fad did not discriminate, and many people now had diets lacking in proper complex carbohydrates such as grains, fruits and vegetables. The fact is that good carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet and will help keep your body in good working order — just like all diets you should eat them in moderation, but not to the point of almost not eating them.

5. The Recent Quinoa Fad Has Been Causing Extreme Hunger in Bolivia

quinoa

If you haven’t heard of it, Quinoa is one of those products that you will hear people tout as a “secret superfood”. It is an Andean plant often confused as a grain, although it is actually closer related to foods like spinach. It looks like an incredibly tiny grain-like object, although it is spherical (where rice is oval). While it was touted by NASA and has been in health food stores for years, it exploded in popularity only recently. Vegans and hipsters everywhere have flocked to this product as the next big thing, and it has created an entirely new export product in thecountry of Bolivia where it is grown.

However, this is not without issues. Our increased trade with Bolivia is having unintended consequences. While the farmers are actually making more money now because of the export market, the price of Quinoa itself is going up so much globally, that many Bolivians who once relied on it as a food staple can no longer afford it as anything but a treat. To make matters worse, now that they are trading with us they are discovering products like Coca-Cola and processed white bread, and the younger generation is becoming attached to it while the older generation watches on in horror. The processed products we import there and our unnecessary overuse of their food staple is helping contribute to obesity and malnutrition in Bolivia.

4. Deceptive Marketing for Cage Free and Free Range Hides the Problem From View

cage free

Another point where consumers are often mislead is when cartons of eggs are labeled “cage free” or “free range”. The truth is that the United States government has no legal standard for those terms on egg cartons and as such companies can pretty much just say it as a marketing gimmick if they wish to. Many companies that claim “cage free” may actually let their chickensout of cages, but never let them see the light of day. Others may consider “free range” to be giving them a small amount of sunlight and fresh air from their cage everyday. There is simply no real standard to go by, so you really don’t know what you are getting.

However, it gets a little weird in terms of poultry. The rules for chickens raised for poultry instead of egg laying is fairly well laid out by the USDA, and has fairly comprehensive guidelines, but these rules don’t count at all when it comes to eggs. What this means is that when a company slaps a label on non-poultry products stating things like “free range” it is essentially meaningless since there isn’t even a loose industry guideline on what that means for that product. The company is likely being deceptive with you, and trying to use your ignorance of the issue to temporarily override your common sense.

3. The Multivitamin Fad Could Be Causing Serious Health Damage

vitamins

Multivitamins are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, there is no doubt about it. Where once you saw them mostly in health food stores and infomercials, you will now find dozens of different bottles of multivitamins in every grocery store. They are colorful and often have some kind of sugary flavor and cute shape in order to be more enticing. Plenty of people have come under the impression that everyone would be better off if they had their daily vitamin, and many now take them religiously. Now, for some people this is a good thing, but for many people it could actually be quite harmful. The matter lies in how healthy the person taking the vitamin is to begin with, and it all ties into how vitamins work.

Multivitamins have a lot of nutrients in them — enough to easily replace anything missing in a deficient diet. And if you think you are struggling to keep a diet that has all the nutrients you need, then a multivitamin might be a really good idea for you. However, the issue is that the people most likely to take multivitamins like clockwork also happen to be the people who already have well balanced and conscientious diets and thus have no need for one. In fact, it could actually be harming them because taking large concentrations of a nutrient you already have enough or more than enough of, especially on a long term, steady basis, can damage the body. Many nutrients found in large quantities in vitamins can be toxic — and even carcinogenic — if allowed to build up in the body too much.

2. Disposable Water Bottles are Devastating to the Environment

plastic bottles

Back when bottled water first hit the scene many people were skeptical and scoffed at the very notion. Well, as strange as it seemed, bottled water has skyrocketed in popularity and now buying disposable bottles of water has become a normal way of life for many people. For some people in the United States, they buy bottled water because they consider it safer and some people just really like the convenience, but it is causing a great deal of harm. The amount offossil fuels used to make the plastic for our bottled water would be enough to fuel a million cars for a whole year, not to mention that it takes roughly triple the amount of water to produce the average bottle of water that the bottle actually contains.

While these may sound bad, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Water bottles are also one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution in the world, and due to the poorly organized recycling system in America, a large quantity of plastic water bottles simply end up in the landfill or ocean and are never reused. This is also a problem because the plastics used for water bottles tend to break down poorly, and leach toxins when they do.

As for whether they are safer to drink, this is not the case either, so there is really no advantage to bottled water. Studies have shown that the toxins present in the plastics can affect the water, and for those who think it has less bacteria than tap, this is not necessarily true either. Some bottled water has been tested and found to be similarly unsafe. This may be due to the fact that some major bottled water companies have been caught using simple tap water for their operations and then reselling it to people. Experts recommend getting a good filter and using it to clean your own tap water.

1. Going “Gluten-Free” If You Don’t Have Celiac Can Be Really Bad For You

gluten free

These days, a lot of people are trying as hard as they can to “go gluten free” as part of the latest, most popular fad diet. While this might sound reasonable at first, the fact of the matter is that there is a reason that food companies are now catering to a large amount of gluten free customers, even though only 1% of Americans have celiac disease. The reason is because, since it’s the “in thing” to do, 21% of people are now trying to cut gluten from their diet. This means that 20% of those people are improperly giving themselves serious dietary deficiencies, and also allowing food companies to all too happily take advantage of their ignorance.

For example, food companies will happily label products like french fries “gluten free” even though people who understand what gluten is would know they are naturally gluten free anyway, and it’s the same with many other treats that are given the same label, such as Rice Krispies treats. The truth is that all the people cutting out gluten may be right to cut out processed and/or refined foods containing gluten, but the wheat and whole grain products that contain gluten are an extremely important part of a normal, balanced diet. Those with celiac have to follow special dietary guidelines from a doctor in order to avoid gluten and still get the required nutrients, so medical professionals strongly recommend getting tested and then getting proper dietary advice before cutting entire food groups from your diet.

Bad Food Trends

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Explore with me

– WIF Science

Burger King Confidential – WIF Fast Food

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Things You Didn’t Know

About Burger King

Burger King has become an almost ubiquitous feature of the global landscape. With more than 13,000 locations across more than 70 countries, it’s hard to visit many cities, especially within the United States, which houses the majority of its outlets, without seeing at least one Burger King. However, despite its constant presence on roadsides worldwide, Burger King is still hiding some surprises, including the 10 shockers listed below.

10. BK Ended Over 200,000 Friendships

whopper sacrifice

Burger King has created buzz with its unusual marketing tactics. One of its most original was 2009’s “Whopper Sacrifice” promotion. The promotion, offered via a Facebook application, offered users a free Whopper in exchange for unfriending 10 of their Facebook friends. In contrast to a normal Facebook unfriending, in which the “dumped” friend is not notified, Burger King’s application sent notifications to the 10 rejected friends, alerting them that their online friendship had been traded for (part of) a hamburger.

The app was wildly successful, with more than 80,000 users deleting more than 200,000 friends in a week. Facebook, however, was not amused. The company disabled the app after 10 days, claiming that the notification feature violated its privacy standards, stopping the promise of a free Whopper from ending any additional Facebook friendships.

9. BK Tried to Make Nice with McDonald’s

whopper mac

In 2015, in recognition of the United Nations’ International Peace Day on September 21, Burger King made a bold proposal to archrival McDonald’s. In full-page ads in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, Burger King askedMcDonald’s to join it in a one-day truce in the “Burger Wars” between the two chains. Burger King proposed selling a “McWhopper,” a combo of both chain’s signature burgers in a one day pop-up location in Atlanta located between the two restaurants, staffed with employees of both chains. Proceeds would support Peace One Day, a non-profit organization that seeks to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace.

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook was unimpressed with the gesture and quickly dismissed the possibility of a McWhopper. He further noted that the “friendly business competition” between the two companies in no way resembled “the real pain and suffering of war.” Burger King took its rejection in stride, partnering with other chains, including Denny’s, on its Peace Burger popup. McDonald’s, meanwhile, launched a separate ad campaign in support of the UN’s World Food Program.

8. The Whopper has a Hard to Find “Perfect Wine Pairing”

whopper wine

When Burger King sought to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its 1975 entry into Spain, it did so with a classy touch. The chain produced a limited edition wine, designed to pair perfectly with the Whopper. “Whopper wine,” as Burger King dubbed it, was produced in Spain, and aged in flame-grilled (by a Burger King broiler) barrels, to produce a flavor that would complement its burgers.

Unfortunately, this ideal beverage companion to the Whopper will remain unknown to most. Bottles of Whopper wine, which included a matching box (perhaps for ease of carrying into one’s local Burger King), were available only in Spain, and then only to forty winners of a contest to share your “Best Burger King story.” Which, in retrospect, is a contest they should have saved until after they started plying their customers with wine.

7. BK has a Secret Menu

suicide burger

Several quick-service restaurants offer items that aren’t on the menu, but that they will make if in-the-know customers request them. For example, In-N-Out’ssecret menu includes “Animal Style fries,” which are topped with a mix of grilled onions, cheese and Thousand Island spread. And though there are no quesadillason the menu at Chipotle, you can get one if you know to order it.

Burger King also has a secret menu of items that are available as long as the ingredients are there and the employees are game (It’s best not to try your luck during the lunch hour rush). Offerings include the BK Ham & Cheese (served hot or cold on a sesame seed bun), “Frings”—a half order of fries, half order of onion rings, certain to settle any marital squabble, and the Rodeo Burger, which features the addition of BBQ sauce and onion rings. However, the title for “most intense secret menu item” at Burger King goes to the aptly named “Suicide Burger.” Also known as the “Quad Stacker,” this monster burger includes 4 patties, 4 slices of cheese, bacon, and special sauce. If you know about the secret menu and have a death wish, about $4, and a patient local Burger King employee, this giant ball of meat can be yours.

6. BK Briefly Offered Table Service

table service

Table service? At Burger King? The idea of sitting down and having your food brought to your table at Burger King is hard to imagine. But if you missed the three-month period in 1992 when the chain rolled out table service, the only way that you will have this experience is in your imagination.

The idea behind table service was to attract new customers during the evening, traditionally a slow time of day for fast food restaurants. After ordering at the counter, guests were offered free baskets of popcorn to snack on while they awaited the arrival of their food, which could include choices from an upgraded dinner menu including steak sandwiches and fried shrimp, at their tables. Some locations even offered mood lighting and music.

Rival restaurant Wendy’s took a tongue-in-cheek approach to the upgraded experience offered by Burger King. Noting that Wendy’s did not plan to offer similar service, a Wendy’s spokesman said of Burger King’s table service (we’re sure with no hint of sarcasm at all) , “We think it’s fabulous. We hope Burger King spends millions of dollars on it.” That assessment would prove prophetic. Table service slowed down Burger King’s operations so much that the company lost millions of dollars, abandoning the foray into offering more upgraded service just a few months after it was launched.

5. BK Footed the Bill for One Lucky Couple’s Wedding

king burger

Ashley and Joel’s relationship has its roots in a history that will sound familiar to many couples. Friends since grade school, the two attended prom and homecoming together, but insisted to those around them that they were “just friends.” However, the two started dating in college and in 2015, Joel proposed.

This sounds like an ordinary love story, until you hear that Ashley’s last name is King, and Joel’s is Burger. After a guest speaker at their elementary school pointed out that together, they were “Burger-King,” the moniker stuck with the couple. When they got engaged, they took photos at a local Burger King, which soon went viral. The couple, who had hoped Burger King would provide some branded party favors or let them use the logo on wedding swag were in for a real treat. Burger King offered to pick up the whole tab for their Jacksonville, Illinois ceremony and reception—offering them “a whopper of a wedding,” delighting the stunned, and fortunately named, pair.

The Burger-King wedding, attended by approximately 400 guests, took place July 17, 2015. The couple, and their wedding party, donned cardboard Burger King crowns for some of their photos and the groom and groomsmen wore Burger King t-shirts hidden under their formalwear. The guests sipped out of custom Mason jars bearing the Burger King logo during the reception. The sign in front of the local Burger King celebrated the Burger-King wedding as well, reading “Congratulations Ashley and Joel.”

4. BK is Owned by a Canadian Donut Shop

tim horton

Burger King seems as American as, well, the hamburger, which was invented in the US around the turn of the century. But as of 2014, Burger King is actually aCanadian company. How did this happen? Burger King merged with Tim Hortons, an iconic Canadian coffee and donut shop, and both companies were consolidated under the Restaurant Brands International holding company, headquartered in Canada.

The deal was controversial on both sides of the border. Americans protested the relocation of a highly symbolic company as part of a tax inversion transaction, a move which some said could save the company more than $1 billion in US tax payments over the next several years. Meanwhile, Canadians and their lawmakers weren’t thrilled about the American takeover of their iconic brand, fearing job losses and a negative impact to national identity. The company, which denies that tax considerations were central to the merger decision, defends its merger decision as part of a larger strategy to aggressively pursue global expansion opportunities for both brands.

3. BK Had to Recall “Religiously Offensive” Ice Cream Desserts in the UK

BK ice cream

When you think of controversial Burger King desserts, if anything comes to mind at all, it may be Burger King’s bacon sundae, which debuted to mixed reviews in 2012. But Burger King’s UK operations faced an entirely different controversy in 2005 over its ice cream desserts. In that case, it wasn’t even the dessert that caused the dustup—it was the packaging it came in.

The lid on the ice cream treat depicted a rotating ice cream cone. But at least onehorrified customer—Rashad Akthar of High Wycombe—saw something else entirely. Akthar claimed that the design resembled the Arabic inscription for Allah, causing offense to Muslims. He urged a boycott of Burger King, calling the issue, “my jihad.” Burger King promptly recalled the questionable cones, apologizing and redesigning the lid in concert with the backing of the Muslim Council of Britain. At the same time, the chain insisted that the original design, “simply represents a spinning ice-cream cone.”

2. BK’s “Black Whopper” Has an…Unusual…Side Effect

black whopper

Health experts have long warned of the negative consequences of a long-term diet heavy in fast food. But Burger King’s A1 Halloween Whopper, which appeared as a limited-time holiday menu item in the US in October of 2015 had a more immediate, and colorful, impact on the digestive systems of those who consumed it, producing bright green poop.

The A1 Halloween Whopper, a burger in a black bun, is the American version of a similar item sold in Burger King’s Japanese locations. The company indicates that the black bun of this burger comes from having A1 steak sauce baked in. But it’s clear to at least one medical professional that that deep color didn’t come just from A1, but rather, from food coloring—and a lot of it. The dye used on the bun of the Black Whopper travels through your system, emerging with a jaunty green hue. Luckily, this spooky side effect, much like the A1 Halloween Whopper that produces it, exists only on a temporary basis.

1. BK has a Special Crown Gold Card Available Only to Celebrities

BK Card

Ahhh, the perks of being famous: private jets, deluxe hotel suites, personal assistants to cater to your every whim. But there’s one perk that a small subset of the rich and famous enjoy that you may not have anticipated: unlimited free Burger King food.

Burger King has offered its “Crown Card” since 2006. For ordinary folks, this works just like any other prepaid gift card (the one pictured above is an ordinary Crown Card, if you were curious). But some celebrities, at least 12 that we know of, have been given an upgraded Burger King gold crown card. Why is this card special? It entitles the bearer to unlimited free food from Burger King…for life. We’ll leave it to you to determine if this is a reward, or a punishment.

How do you get one of these coveted cards? Even for top-tier celebrities, getting the gold crown card is a rare achievement, with fewer in circulation than, say, Oscar statuettes. Chris Koster, who manages the program for Burger King, notes, “We’ve been extremely thoughtful about who receives them for life.”

Some celebrity cardholders, including Jennifer Hudson and My Name is Earlcreator Greg Garcia, got theirs because, at one point in their careers, they worked at Burger King. George Lucas earned his by always partnering with Burger King on releases of his blockbuster movies. Hugh Laurie of House fame, got his after joking that he had one in an interview; the claim garnered so much free PR for Burger King that the company happily added him the 12th celebrity gold crown card holder.

Burger King Confidential

– WIF Fast Food

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #131

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #131

…“We had one lady who claimed that cigars were causing her husband’s poor health. I guess he had trouble breathing.”

“What nonsense,” Statler concurs, “sounds like good old fashioned consumption to me?”…

by Dion Ja’Y 

Loyal Campbells-001

The Tallahassee folks on to good food & important friends.

“We make cigars, among other commodities, Mister Statler,” Herb pulls a Loyal Campbell from his tweed jacket pocket, handing it to their sponsor.

“There is nothing like a good cigar after a good dinner,” he bows his head in gratitude, passing it under his nose, looking at the wrapper ring. “Is that you?” He asks of Willy, referring to the representation on the ring.

“Yessir, it is.”

Herb continues his thought, “Yes, well, if you can imagine this, we had one lady who claimed that cigars were causing her husband’s poor health. I guess he had trouble breathing.”

          “What nonsense,” Statler concurs, “sounds like good old fashioned consumption to me?

    They finally gain a private room, apart from the commercial banquet facility. About sixty guests are presently mingling, including the Presidential host. He seems completely at ease, appearing to have shed any and all problems of his life and the world in general. Gone, for the moment, are worries about his dear frail, convalescent Ida. The Boer War in South Africa and “Boxer Rebellion” fade to the background, especially since he has a second in command to rely on. Teddy Roosevelt, whose motto is, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”, is the perfect second term Vice-president; young, capable and right there for the Republican party should William McKinley choose not to run for a third term.

Two long tables flank the room, each filled to capacity with every manner of salad, entree and gourmet dish. If any in attendance goes home hungry, the onus is on them.

The President sees Statler, as well as his Florida friends enter, capping his mental list of invitees. “May I have your attention,” he clinks his brandy snifter with handy silverware. “I see my table has arrived, so without further ado, please indulge your selves in God’s generous blessings!”

Tallahassee-001

The crowd needs little of the prompting, having already staked out their seats, at one of the six circular oak tables, as well as exactly what crystal plate or dish in the buffet they  are going to attack first.

McKinley wraps his arms around as many of his Southern folks as he can, separately or at one time. They follow his lead to the feast. “Do not forget to bring your plate. I so enjoy being able to serve myself, don’t you. Ummmm, this looks good, shrimp cocktail. Doesn’t this rice look special…, Florentine is it not, Lady Ferrell?”

Martha, who waits directly behind, answers, “Pilaf with almonds, I believe,” having the unique opportunity to correct a President.

Jacob Haley and Jacques Francois help Willy and Amanda sort through the culinary montage, when they’re not screening the room for potentially single females.

Alfrey is attached to the Endlichoffers, which is no surprise, but is helpless in consoling Ziggy about the apparent oversight of schnitzel or Hasenpfeffer.


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #131


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Food Franchise Origins – WIF Fast Food

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Origins of Famous

Fast Food Franchises

Besides baseball and apple pie, is there anything more American than fast food? It’s a staple of American culture that is both loved and hated all over the world. We’ve talked about some of the secrets behind the biggest fast food behemoth in the world, McDonald’s, but how did other fast food giants get to the point where they are now?

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10. Carl’s Jr.

carlsjr

Carl Karcher was born January 16, 1917 in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He dropped out of school when he was 13 and worked on his family farm for the next seven years. When he was 20, he got a job making $18 a week working for his uncle at a feed store in Southern California. In 1941, Karcher was working in a bread factory and managed to get a $311 loan against his new Plymouth sedan. Using the loan and $15 out of his wallet, Karcher bought a hot dog stand and served them outside the Goodyear plant in South-Central Los Angeles. Sales were going well, and more hot dog carts were bought. What slowed down business for a bit was when Karcher went to serve in World War II.

When Karcher returned from the war, he opened his first restaurant, Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque in Anaheim, California, in 1945. In 1956, he opened two other franchises, which he called Carl’s Jr. That was the start of the spread of Carl’s Jr. and by 1975 there were 100 franchises. In 1981, they opened their 300th store and then they went public in 1982.

Karcher would go on to be the CEO after going public, but his ultra-right political leanings got him into hot water with shareholders and some feminist and gay rights groups. Also, in the late 1980s, Karcher was accused of insider trading. He called the allegations “totally false”, but still agreed to pay a fine of $332,000 in July of 1989. In 1992, a new CEO was put in place and Karcher died on January 11, 2008 at the age of 90.

9. Wendy’s

wendys

Born Rex David Thomas on July 2, 1932, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Wendy’s founder didn’t have a great childhood. He was adopted as a baby and never knew his real mother. When he was five, his adoptive mother passed away and by the time he was 10, he had lost two stepmothers. The person that Thomas was closest to was his adoptive grandmother, who taught him valuable life lessons, like not cutting corners; that’s why Wendy’s hamburgers are square.

When Thomas was 12, he first started working at a barbeque restaurant. When he was in grade 10, he dropped out to work full time. He served in the army and when he got back from Korea, he learned that his former boss at the restaurant he worked at was an early franchise owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Thomas was hired on by his former boss to help him turn around some of his KFC franchises. Eventually, Thomas came to own some of his own franchises, but he would sell them back to the corporation in 1968 for $1.5 million.

The story as to how Wendy’s first came to be is that Thomas would often complain that there wasn’t a good place in Columbus, Ohio to get a burger. So on November 15, 1969, he opened his first Wendy’s, which was named after his daughter Melinda Lou, whose nickname was Wendy. She was even the store’s mascot and would sometimes be on hand, in costume, to welcome customers. The restaurant was immediately popular and within a decade there were over a 1,000 franchises.

In 1982, Thomas stepped down from the day-to-day operations, but in 1989 he had a large role in driving sales up when he became the spokesperson. He appeared in all the commercials in the 1990s and 90 percent of Americans recognized him. Thomas was also made national spokesperson on adoptive rights by George H.W. Bush, and due to his work with adoptive rights President Clinton signed a bill giving a tax credit to adoptive parents in 1996. Thomas died at the age of 69 on January 8, 2002.

8. Burger King

BK

By 1952, McDonald’s in San Berdino had become famous and attracted a lot of people from across the country. Some of those people were fascinated at how McDonald’s ran their business and looked to open up a similar restaurant. Two of those men were Matthew Burns and Keith G. Kramer. Burns invited Kramer, who was his stepson, out to California to visit the McDonald’s. Kramer was the owner of a drive-in restaurant in Florida and Burns wanted to see what he thought of McDonald’s. Seeing opportunity in cooking burgers and fries quickly, Burns and Kramer contacted an inventor and he created two machines for them. One was a milkshake maker that made a number of shakes at one time. The other was an “Insta-Broiler” which could cook 400 burgers in an hour. In 1954, Burns and Kramer opened the first restaurant, called Insta-Burger King, in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida. They sold burgers and milkshakes for 18 cents, or for 10 cents you could get fries or a soft drink.

In 1954, they sold some franchises to two Cornell graduates, David Edgerton and James McLamore, who opened their stores in Miami. The problem was that Edgerton and McLamore weren’t making any money. So they changed the name to Burger King, got rid of the Insta-Broiler, and introduced the flame broiler. They also introduced a new burger called the Whopper, and did something a bit risky when they introduced it – they priced it at 35 cents, which was more than double a McDonald’s burger, which sold for 15 cents. The Whopper was instantly successful and became their trademark burger.

In 1959, more stores began to run into problems, so the original owners were bought out by Edgerton and McLamore in 1959. In 1961, they started a massive push to franchise Burger Kings across the country. By the time they sold the company to Pillsbury in 1967 for $18 million, they had 274 stores throughout the United States. Today, Burger King is the second biggest burger chain in the world, just behind McDonald’s.

7. Subway

subway

Subway got its start in 1965, when 17-year-old Fred DeLuca got a $1,000 investment from a friend of his family’s, Dr. Peter Buck. Buck suggested using the money to open up a sub shop because it would be a good way for DeLuca to pay for college and medical school. On August 28, 1965 DeLuca opened Pete’s Super Submarines in Bridgeport, Connecticut. However, on the radio ads, it sounded like “Pizza Marine,” so they changed the name to Pete’s Subway and later just to Subway.

In 1974, DeLuca started franchising and he went through a bit of a learning curve, but he was soon able to jump from 16 stores to 200. Then in 1987, Subway really took off and since then, 1,000 Subways open every year. As of mid-2015, Subway is the biggest restaurant chain, with the most franchises in the world.

6. Taco Bell

tacobell

Born on September 3, 1923, Glen Bell served in the Marine Corps in World War II and when he returned home, he lived in San Berdino, California. In 1952, he opened a hot dog stand called Bell’s Drive-In. His stand wasn’t too far from this hamburger stand that was run by two brothers named McDonald.

After buying a few more hot dog stands, Bell was looking for ways to expand his business. He was a fan of Mexican food, especially tacos, but the problem with serving tacos was the way they were made. Restaurants would use soft tortilla shells, stuff them with beef, cheese, lettuce and sauce and then fry them. It was a timely process, especially if you had to make a bunch at once. Bell then had the idea to fry the tortillas first and then stuff them. He had a special wire built that would allow him to cook the tortillas in the U-shape, thus giving birth to the hard shell taco. He then sold the tacos for 19 cents apiece from the side of one of his stands. Bell said he remembered the very first customer: a man in a suit who, as soon as he bit the taco, the juice ran down his sleeves and stained it. The man also got some sauce on his tie. Bell was convinced that they had lost him as a customer, but after finishing the first one, he came back and bought another.

By 1954, Bell and a partner opened Taco Tia, his first Mexican-food dedicated restaurant. By 1957, they had four restaurants and his partner didn’t want to expand beyond that, so Bell sold his share of the business and in 1957, he opened another Mexican restaurant in Pasadena called El Taco. He got three partners a year later and they opened four stores. But again, Bell sold his interest in the restaurants.

In 1962, with a $4,000 investment Bell opened the first Taco Bell in Downey, California. Over the next two years, he opened eight Taco Bells. In 1978, Bell sold Taco Bell to PepsiCo for $125 million. PepsiCo then expanded the brand to the juggernaut of 6,600 restaurants, famous for selling its diarrhea-inducing food. Bell passed away in January of 2010.

5. Domino’s

dominos

In 1960, brothers James and Tom Monaghan bought a small pizzeria called DomiNick’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan for $500 down and then had to borrow another $900. Tom grew up in a series of foster homes and didn’t have much money so the pizzeria was meant to pay for his tuition at the University of Michigan, where he was studying to be an architect. After a 15 minute lessonfrom the former owner on how to make pizza, the very first Domino’s was up-and-running. After about eight months, James sold his half of the partnership for a Volkswagen Beetle they used for deliveries. By the way, wondering how it became Domino’s? When Tom Monaghan wanted to expand the business, the former owner, whose name was Dominick wouldn’t let him use the name, so he changed it to Domino’s Pizza, which was a suggestion from a delivery driver.

Other fast food places on this list either had an innovative product or copied McDonald’s. Domino’s is interesting because pizzerias have been in America since 1905 and pizza really got popular after World War II. Men serving in Italy brought back the cuisine with them. So how did Monaghan, who had a 15 minute lesson in making pizza, make Domino’s the dominant pizza company in the whole world? Well, it was their delivery system that made them stick out. Monaghan said he got the idea after he went to a seminar and met Ray Croc from McDonald’s and John Y. Brown from KFC.

By focusing on delivery, Domino’s developed a few innovations that would change the industry. For example, it is believed they developed the modern pizza box in the early 1960s. The boxes could be stacked and they were vented, meaning drivers could deliver more pizzas on one trip. Amazingly, they never patented the box. The other innovation that helped push the business was 30-minutes-or-it’s-free for deliveries. Monaghan said that helped push the business as much as anything. However, the company had to stop the promotion in 1993 after a Domino’s delivery driver ran a red light and hit a woman.

Today, Domino’s is the biggest pizza chain in the world, but second in America, just behind Pizza Hut. In 1998, Tom Monaghan sold his share in the business for a reported $1 billion. After living the life of extreme luxury, Monaghan is currently involved in Catholic philanthropy and activism.

4. A&W Restaurants

A&W

Born September 30, 1882, in Illinois, Roy W. Allen moved out to California to renovate and run hotels. While there, he met a chemist who claimed that he had perfected the recipe to root beer. So Allen tried it out at his hotel and saw that the chemist did indeed have a great root beer recipe, and bought the rights to sell it. Using the recipe, Allen opened a root beer stand in 1919 in Lodi, California. Three years later, Frank Wright, an employee of Allen’s, became his partner in the root beer business and the name was born from their initials.

In 1924, Wright sold his share of the company, but Allen pushed forward with the name into an even bigger plan. He wanted to make A&W the first chain of roadside restaurants in America. Amazingly, by the mid-1930s, there were over 200 A&W Restaurants across America. Many of them were different from each other and the only thing they had in common was the root beer. In 1950, Wright retired and sold A&W to a businessman from Nebraska named Greg Hurtz. The contemporary age of A&W didn’t happen until 1966 when it was bought by the United Fruit Company.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts

dunkin

When William Rosenberg was in the 8th grade, he dropped out of school. When he was 17, he got a job with an ice cream vending business, and worked there for 10 years, rising in the ranks from a deliveryman to supervisor. During World War II, he was an electrician at Bethlehem Steel. After the war, he cashed in $1,500 worth of war bonds and borrowed another $3,500 and started a catering company called Industrial Luncheon Services. Only able to buy one truck after the war, Rosenberg bought 10 taxicabs and converted them so that the sides would open up. This was one of the first canteen trucks and a huge step in mobile catering. Rosenberg’s fleet grew to have over 200 trucks, but what he noticed was that 40% of all his sales came from two items – coffee and donuts. This led to him opening his first donut and coffee shop, called Kettle Donuts in Quincy, Massachusetts, on Memorial Day in 1948 where he sold donuts for a nickel and coffee for a dime. The name was changed to Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950.

At the time when Rosenberg wanted to franchise, it was considered a horrible practice. In some states it was illegal and companies that were franchising weren’t allowed to advertise in publications like the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. So Rosenberg and 16 friends created the International Franchise Assn., which was a group made to uphold standards in franchising; thus paving the way for franchising in America.

In 1963, Rosenberg handed the day-to-day business over to his son, but was a lifelong consultant to the empire he started. He died in September of 2002. Today, Dunkin’ Donuts is in 36 countries with over 11,000 franchises.

2. Dairy Queen

DQ

J.F. McCullough, owner of the Homemade Ice Cream Company in Green River, Illinois, had come up with a process of making ice cream soft, instead of hard. McCullough and his son/business partner convinced family friend and customer Sherb Noble, who ran Noble’s Ice Cream shop, to sell their soft serve in a unique promotion. They offered customers a chance to eat all they could on one specific day for 10 cents. On August 4, 1938, they ran the promotion and it attracted 1,600 people. Two weeks later, they held another all-you-can-eat soft serve day and it was just as successful.

A problem with the ice cream was that they needed to keep it at exactly 32 degrees, but freezers at the time couldn’t keep a steady temperature like that. They placed an ad in the newspaper looking for someone to solve the problem and were contacted by a man named Harry Oltz, who had a patent on a freezer that did just that. The McCulloughs partnered with Oltz, in a deal where they would split the country. The McCulloughs had the exclusive rights to Oltz’s freezers in the West, while Oltz had the East. They also gave Oltz a percentage on all the ice cream they sold.

The first franchise was opened by Sherb Noble in Joliet, Illinois on June 22, 1940. They sold the ice cream two different ways; a cone with a swirl on the top and in tubs. There was a steady increase in franchises leading up to World War II and at the outbreak of the war, they had 10. During the war, Dairy Queen struggled to stay open because some supplies were hard to come by, but business boomed again in the Post-War era. By 1950, there were over a thousand stores. Today there are close to 6,400 franchises.

1. KFC

KFC

One of the most famous franchise founders of all time is Harland Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders. Sanders was born September 9, 1890,near Henryville, Indiana. He started cooking at the age of six after his father died. His mother had to go to work, so Sanders did the cooking for his younger brother and sister. By the time he was 12, he dropped out of school and got a job on a farm that also gave him room and board. That was the start of a life of different jobs like streetcar conductor, insurance salesman and railroad firefighter. He was fired from dozens of jobs during this time.

At the age of 40, in 1930, Sanders was running a service station in Corbin, Kentucky and his family lived in the back. There he would cook for his family and to make a little extra money, he would sell meals to hungry travelers. Soon, his chicken became so popular that he got rid of the gas pumps and opened a restaurant that would seat 140 people. However, there was a problem because he couldn’t cook chicken fast enough. To fix the problem, he altered a pressure cooker and made it into a flash fryer, which was revolutionary in the fast food industry.

Using the flash fryer, the restaurant became popular and this was when Sanders was given the honorary title of Colonel by a Kentucky senator. Things really took off when famed food writing pioneer Duncan Hines visited the restaurant and wrote a glowing review. But by 1952, Sanders closed his original restaurant. He was a roadside attraction and new junctions and highways made his restaurant too far out of the way.

Knowing he had a winning product, Sanders taught the frying process and the recipe to his good friend Pete Harman in Salt Lake City with the deal that he would get paid a few cents for every piece of chicken that he sold. Harman’s restaurant was instantly successful and soon other people were contacting Sanders about serving his chicken. He made deals with other restaurants and they would pay him four cents for every piece of chicken they sold. To expand his franchise further, at the age of 66, Sanders set out on the road with some flash flyers and a sack of spices to find failing diners and convince them he could turn their business around.

Sanders was tremendously successful as a franchise salesman and on January 6, 1964, Sanders sold the rights to his stores for $2 million and a $40,000-per-year salary, which was later increased to $75,000. He turned down tens of thousands of dollars in stocks. Sanders died on December 16, 1980 at the age of 90. As of 2015, there are close to 19,000 KFC franchises worldwide, and Sanders’ chicken is the most famous fried chicken in the world.

Food Franchise Origins

– WIF Fast Food