This Week in Food News: Roadkill Dining, Traffic Light Menus, and More
From Montana’s bill on roadkill dining to the impact of “traffic light” nutrition labeling, here are the food news stories that had everyone talking last week!
In Johnson City, TN, a KFC worker was fired after posting a photo of herself licking a tub of mashed potatoes. The Facebook photo made it’s way back to KFC’s parent company, Yum Brands, as well as Johnson City’s local news outlet, WJHL. KFC spokesman Rick Maynard stated that the food pictured in the photo was not served to customers, and the employee was fired. If this story sounds familiar, it’s probably because similar incidences have grown in frequency over the past few years. Last year, a Burger King employee was fired after posting a photo of himself stepping in lettuce bins on 4chan, a popular imageboard site.
Last week, Montana’s House of Representatives passed a bill that allows motorists to consume their roadkill. The bill, which is currently on its way to the state Senate, brings Montana one step closer to legalizing roadkill dining. State Representative Steve Lavin presented the bill in order to allow “game animals, fur-bearing animals, migratory game birds and upland game birds” that have been killed by a car to be consumed. Lavin, who is also a state trooper, states that roadkill is common on Montana’s roadways, and can potentially serve as a food source for people in need. It has been noted that if the Senate passes the bill, the law would exclude certain animals like bears and bighorn sheep that are most vulnerable to profiteering for their claws, heads and furs. Menuism users, what are your thoughts on this bill?
A recent study revealed that using traffic light symbols to represent calorie counts may help diners cut their caloric intake. Brenna Ellison of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign led the research, which was published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. For their study, Ellison’s team randomly distributed one of three types of menus to patrons at Oklahoma State University’s campus restaurant, The Rancher. One group of diners received standard menus without calorie information, another group received menus displaying calorie counts, and the last group received a menu that used traffic light symbols to represent calorie counts. A green light represented foods with 400 or less calories, a yellow light represented foods between 401 and 800 calories, and a red light represented foods with over 800 calories. Researchers found that diners using the standard menu ate 817 calories on average, diners with the menu featuring printed calorie amount consumed 765 calories, and diners ordering off of the traffic light menu consumed only 696 calories. With a 121 calorie difference between the standard menu and the traffic light menu, researchers express hope that the traffic light labeling method could influence diners to cut calories when dining out. According to customer surveys, Ellison’s team also found that the last health-conscious people were most responsive to the traffic light menus.