Eat the Week National: Chickens Fed Foulness, Stephen’s Colbology, and Blood of the Slayer
1. Following the age-old tradition of hearing the bad news first, you should know that if you eat chicken bought at a store you’re probably eating a big ol’ bag of pharmaceuticals. Not antidepressants for chickens. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs for humans, by way of chickens. Prozac, Benadryl, Tylenol, caffeine, fed to chickens for the same reasons we take them: to relax, to anaesthetize, to energize. Tested for in chicken-feather meal, this slew of chemicals, which includes arsenic and fluoroquinolones — FDA-banned broad spectrum antibiotics linked to the spawning of superbugs — apparently poses no threat to consumers, officials announced this week. First off, yeah right. But, also, is that the only thing we should concern ourselves with, here? The health risks alone? It would be wise not to ignore the presence of a drug that’s been illegal for 7 years, the very fact that something like Prozac is pumped into chickens raised for consumption, and who’s to blame for this unbridled permissiveness. Perhaps when 80% of antibiotic use in the United States is attributed to industrial agriculture, it’s time for the FDA to step their game up. Like, right now.
2. If you’ve been popping those slick jelly pills filled with essence of mackeral three times a day in hopes of giving your heart a leg up with omega-3, it may be time to toss the awful fish burps to the curb. A new paper, published Monday in Archives of Internal Medicine, provides evidence that those fatty acid supplements do little for you. Over 20,000 participants, across several studies, suffering from cardiovascular disease had been administered fish oil for at least a year, and, following evaluation, were found to maintain preexisting risk for a cardiovascular episode. However, those studies included mostly patients on other heart medicines (which may interfere with uptake and skew results) who were given relatively small dosages of fish oil. The verdict: eat fish, not fish pills.
3. Together since the ’40s, Mike and his long-term compatriot, Ike, are officially taking a break. In a new ad campaign, Just Born — makers of the oblong, fruit-flavored morsels, as well as of Peeps, Hot Tamales, and ZOURS — are attempting to revitalize sales of Mike and Ikes by portraying the pair as a freshly split-up gay couple. Soon, boxes will have either the name Mike or Ike crossed out, splattered, or obscured in one way or another. On Twitter feeds and Facebook updates, Mike’s irked because Ike only has time for his art, and Ike’s feeling spurned by Mike’s obsession with his music. Admittedly inventive, and sure to garner a tidal wave of purchasing, but, like so many arbitrary ads before it, what’s all this got to do with candy?
4. In another company’s attempt to connect with today’s hungry kids, Denny’s has been posting episodes of a marketing Web series called “Always Open” on Facebook and on CollegeHumor.com, as of last March. It’s been pulling heavy viewing recently, and a new Season 2 video starring Jessica Biel and the series’s in-booth interviewer David Koechner might just draw a crowd for the chain diner other than the standard, tired, Sunday-morning, middle-aged parents with their parents-in-law.
5. It seems getting people to buy stuff is becoming so trying that Coke needs a hug. Part of a new gesture-based trial campaign in Singapore — a single vending machine, branded “HugMe,” on the National University of Singapore campus — cans of cola are dispensed not after the insertion of money but only following a two-armed embrace. This ad stunt is, actually, pretty touching, especially considering Singapore’s unofficial nationwide disapproval of PDA. Enjoy, with arms (and mouths) open wide.
6. Master of edge, Stephen Colbert ribbed the transgender community on Report this past week while discussing the pink slime uproar, joking about hormones, or maybe about the abbreviation LFTB and its slight resemblance to the abbreviation LGTB(Q), or some other half-humorous vaguery. He then kind of apologized for the joke he probably didn’t even write and, in the same breath, mentioned his desire to grind up transgender cows and eat them.
7. Not sure if this’ll change anything, in terms of sales, but Lagunitas announced Monday it’s opening a brewery in Chicago, birthplace and hometown of owner Tony Magee. It will be the city’s largest brewery yet, come July 2013, housed in an old 150,000-square-foot steel factory at 18th and Rockwell. Goose Island, be on the look-out.
8. The instantly recognizable mark of a Kosher product — the U encircled by an O — is a time-honored guarantee by the Orthodox Union, but on Wednesday dairy company Maine’s Own Organic was sued for years’ worth of false milk advertising. MOOMilk was chastised in the past by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America for telling customers its products were Kosher certified when they, in fact, were not. That didn’t seem to stop them, but legal injunction most definitely will. Time to pay up.
9. In a 40-particpant study sure to make your beer-loving buddies cheers to one more, researchers at Chicago’s University of Illinois have shown that men let their creative juices flow more readily, despite cramping up on memory tests, after a few tops have been popped. The theory is that a bit of distraction is more conducive to innovation. We can hear Hemingway and Faulkner murmuring from beyond the grave…“I told you so.”
10. The aging thrash metal gods Slayer have moved from bourbon and Jagermeister to a sweeter, milder dram, branding a special Cabernet Sauvignon with their blasphemous fame — “Reign in Blood.” Available only in Sweden, at this juncture, the red wine is now on sale for the hellacious price of $105 a bottle. Hail, Bacchus!