The people behind the Wendy’s Twitter account took a short break from skewering rival fast-food chains to announce a bit of good news for anyone who could use a treat during the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Wendy’s confirmed that it would be giving away a free Jr. Frosty — either chocolate or vanilla — with every drive-thru order, beginning that day at participating restaurants. The promotion will run for a “limited time,” according to the chain. “The little things can make all the difference sometimes,” Wendy’s wrote in a Tweet shared Monday. “Get a free Jr. Frosty with every Wendy’s drive-thru order starting today.” Wendy’s, meanwhile, has suspended all dine-in services amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, although drive-thru and carryout service will still be available, depending on the location. Food is also available for delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub and Postmates. “With the rapid pace at which things are changing around us, we are continually adapting to best support the Wendy’s Family, including our team members, franchisees, customers and all of our Company employees who have been providing unwavering support to our franchisees and restaurant teams during these difficult times,” said Todd Penegor, Wendy’s president and CEO, in a statement shared Sunday. “While there is much uncertainty right now, we do know that our restaurants are essential to feeding our communities, and we are doing everything possible to keep our restaurants open, while following public health guidance and the evolving guidelines from national, state and local governments.” Wendy’s is just one of dozens of national restaurant chains to modify service in response to health and safety guidelines.
Anyone know how to cook? With more and more restaurants closing their dining rooms amid the coronavirus pandemic, many people are going to have to rely on cooking their own meals. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a complete novice, it’s likely that you’re going to be spending more time in the kitchen. Chef Richard Ingraham, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade’s personal chef and author of the cookbook “Eating Well to Win, Inspired Living Through Inspired Cooking,” spoke with Fox News and gave some pointers about keeping things fresh in the kitchen. “I like to keep fresh vegetables, a variety of spices like curry, cumin, five spice powder, and lean meats like chicken breast, and fresh salmon in my kitchen,” he explained when asked about the best items to keep around the house. Since many people may have to figure out what to make for dinner with whatever they already have, Ingraham gave some tips on what to cook. “I love casseroles,” he said. “I believe in not wasting anything if I can help it. If I have left over chicken. I’d cut it up and sauté it with some onions and garlic. Add in pasta sauce, vegetables, cooked pasta and cheese. Mix it up, put it in a casserole dish and bake it. Now you can feed your whole family a new and improved way of eating that chicken.” He also explained that “it doesn’t take a lot to make dinner interesting.” “Sometimes it’s all in preparation. Take asparagus for instance. Instead of steaming or sautéing them, coat them in eggs, a mixture of breadcrumbs and seasonings. Bake the asparagus at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until golden. What a great side dish.” “The trick to being successful in the kitchen is organization,” Ingraham explained. “Measure out all your ingredients and have them ready to go before you start. The worst thing in the world is to start the cooking process and having to stop and get an ingredient. Get organized and have success in your kitchen. ” He also provided Fox News with a recipe for toffee brownies, in case anyone is looking to get in the kitchen right away. Just click here:
Chick-fil-A still wants its customers to “eat mor chickin” — just not in the dining room. On Sunday, Chick-fil-A announced that it would be closing the dining areas of its restaurants to limit “person-to-person contact” amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Restaurants will instead be offering alternate options, such as delivery or takeout, for the time being. “Our highest priority continues to be the health and well-being of everyone who comes into our restaurants,” reads a news release shared to Chick-fil-A’s press site. “As we navigate the evolving impact of coronavirus on our communities, we are temporarily closing our dining room seating to help limit person-to-person contact,” the statement continued. “Some of our restaurants may only offer service through our drive-thrus, while others may be able to offer takeout, delivery or mobile order options. “Thanks for your patience. We know these are challenging times, but we’ll continue to do our best to serve you.” In the week leading up to Sunday’s announcement, Chick-fil-A had heightened its cleaning protocols and warned of modifications to service, staffing and hours of operation. By Friday, the chicken chain had closed all of its playgrounds, and started serving all meals in take-out containers, regardless of whether guests were dining in or eating out. Chick-fil-A president and COO Tim Tassopoulos had also assured guests that Chick-fil-A restaurant operators had been instructed on proper health protocols from local health departments, and that the chain was operating under the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, is just one of several national chains taking action to stem the spread of coronavirus. Taco Bell, for instance, announced on Saturday that the company was preparing restaurants to go takeout or drive-thru only, should the need arise. And on Sunday, Starbucks revealed it would be opting for a “to-go” model at its stores in the U.S. and Canada, allowing customers to order or pick-up at the counter and drive-thru, but not use the shops’ dining areas or patio spaces.
For more on what Chick-fil-A is doing in response to the Wuhan virus situation, click on the text above.
The Chicken Sandwich Wars are back, and they’re getting saucy. Chick-fil-A – one of America’s favorite fast-food chains and a recent contender in the infamous “chicken sandwich war” with fast-food rival Popeyes – has announced its first-ever retail endeavor: selling bottles of its famous dipping sauces in stores. The chicken chain will be selling 16 fl. oz. bottles of its signature Chick-fil-A Sauce and Polynesian Sauce starting this April and May, allowing customers to “dip, drizzle and marinate to their delight, right at home,” the company shared in a press release. “Chick-fil-A Sauce and Polynesian Sauce are our two most popular sauces, so we are extremely excited to offer them at select retail stores outside of the restaurant,” said Michael Patrick, principal program lead, Beyond the Restaurant. “And because our Team Members are truly our ‘secret sauce’ to creating a positive experience in our restaurants, each time a customer purchases a Bottled Sauce at a participating retailer, the Chick-fil-A profits will support Team Members through our scholarship program.” While the dipping sauces will only be sold for a limited time as part of a pilot program in Florida, the brand did mention the possibility of a nationwide roll-out in the future, contingent on the performance of the Florida testing. The bottles retail for $3.49 at participating stores in Florida, such as Publix, Target, Walmart and Winn-Dixie, with 100 percent of the profits going to fund the brand’s Team Member Scholarships. According to the press release, $17 million in scholarships will be awarded to 6,700 restaurant team members in 2020. For the rest of you Chick-fil-A Sauce lovers, you’ll just have to stockpile the smaller packets you get with sandwiches — and wait to see how Popeyes responds.
Hopefully it goes well! For more, click on the text above. Go Chick-fil-A!! 🙂
A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism by a group of Yale researchers found that the consumption of the common artificial sweetener sucralose (which is found in Splenda, Zerocal, Sukrana, SucraPlus and other brands) in combination with carbohydrates can swiftly turn a healthy person into one with high blood sugar. From whole grain English muffins to reduced-sugar ketchup, sucralose is found in thousands of baked goods, condiments, syrups and other consumer packaged goods – almost all of them containing carbs. The finding, which researchers noted has yet to be replicated in other studies, raises new questions about the use of artificial sweeteners and their effects on weight gain and overall health. In the Yale study, researchers took 60 healthy-weight individuals and separated them into three groups: A group that consumed a regular-size beverage containing the equivalent of two packets of sucralose sweetener, a second group that consumed a beverage sweetened with table sugar at the equivalent sweetness, and a third control group that had a beverage with the artificial sweetener as well as a carbohydrate called maltodextrin. The molecules of maltodextrin don’t bind to taste receptors in the mouth and are impossible to detect. While the sensation of the third group’s beverage was identical to the sucralose-only group, only this group exhibited significant adverse health effects. The artificial sweetener by itself seemed to be fine, the researchers discovered, but that changed when combined with a carbohydrate. Seven beverages over two weeks and the previously healthy people in this group became glucose intolerant, a metabolic condition that results in elevated blood glucose levels and puts people at an increased risk for diabetes. The finding follows a study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine last year that found that consumption of two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day increased deaths from circulatory diseases. And a 2008 study by scientists at Purdue University showed that artificial sweeteners alone could result in higher blood pressure, weight gain, and increased risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease in rats. The scientists in that Purdue study fed yogurt sweetened with glucose (a simple sugar with 15 calories/teaspoon, the same as table sugar) to a group of rats. A second group got yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharin. This group consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat and didn’t make up for it by cutting back later. The researchers developed the “uncoupling hypothesis,” theorizing that disconnecting sweet taste from calories results in an impaired ability to use sweet taste to guide how much to eat and the perception of satiation. Dana Small, divisional director of nutritional psychiatry at Yale, and her colleagues in the Cell Metabolism study wondered something about the methods in Purdue’s experiment. It was that yogurt, high in carbs. “The uncoupling hypothesis made a lot of sense,” Small said by phone. “But we wanted to evaluate it in humans.” The researchers found that artificial sweetener on its own did not affect metabolism, “but when you have it with a carbohydrate it’s mishandled in such a way to have an adaptation in the brain and the sensitivity to sweetness is changed.” Insulin was significantly higher in the combination group. That means they needed to release more insulin to achieve the same blood glucose levels, an indication of decreased insulin sensitivity. That can lead to metabolic dysfunction and weight gain. Frank Hu, professor and chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who has done extensive research on low-calorie sweeteners, says that while this is an interesting study, the findings are somewhat surprising and need to be replicated in future studies.
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It seems like every time there are reports of a storm or any possible disaster or emergency that may leave people trapped in their homes for several days, the supermarkets understandably become crowded nightmares. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re waiting until the last minute or simply preparing in advance, there are plenty of items that every home should be stocked up on — just in case. And if you do have to venture out to the stores ahead of an emergency, you should at least know what to be looking for as you fight the crowds. According to Ready.gov, it’s a smart idea to stock up on certain types of non-perishable foods. The guidelines suggest stocking up on canned goods, dry mixes and other items that don’t “require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation.” The website recommends keeping obvious items like “ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener” — preferably a manual one — readily stocked. Other food items on Ready.gov’s list include peanut butter, dried fruit, canned juices, non-perishable pasteurized milk, high energy foods and food for infants. It’s also a good idea to have eating utensils handy, the experts say. The site recommends keeping these foods in covered containers for protection, adding that it’s probably not safe to eat food “from cans that are swollen, dented or corroded, even though the product may look safe to eat.” Lastly, if the power does go out, it’s recommended to leave the refrigerator and freezer shut as much as possible. “The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened,” the site states. “Refrigerated or frozen foods should be kept at 40° F or below for proper food storage,” Ready.gov explains. “To be safe, remember, ‘When in doubt, throw it out.'” Dr. Carl Batt, a professor of Food Science at Cornell University’s Department, had previously also detailed the five items he would choose to keep in his personal shelter, in terms of those that resist spoilage, or provide the necessary protein and nutrients. He also reiterated that canned food, while it does “last a long time,” is not safe to eat once the “can is compromised,” he said. “Sometimes they rust from the outside in because of moisture; other times the acids in the food cause the can to corrode,” Batta said, noting that this is especially the case with high acid/low pH choices like tomatoes. However, “once [any] can is open, all bets are off.” Click here for more info from Ready.gov
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Ever wished you could pay a flat fee for endless coffee on the go? Panera Bread has brewed up a hot project with that very pitch, offering an unlimited coffee subscription for $8.99 a month. Starting March 2, the bakery-café will serve unlimited coffee across its nearly 2,200 locations for those who sign up for the company’s free loyalty program and pay the $8.99 monthly subscription fee, plus tax. The promotion offers one cup of hot drip coffee, hot tea or iced coffee every two hours during regular Panera hours, in addition to free refills of the same drink at other locations. “We’re changing the game for coffee drinkers across the country with our no compromises, unlimited subscription service — great coffee at an amazing value,” Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO, said in a statement on Thursday. “We are eliminating the price barrier and the false choices between convenience and quality – between good coffee and craveable food. At Panera, there’s no more compromise — and your cup is always full.” However, those who enjoy their daily cuppa in the form of cold brew iced coffee, espresso or cappuccino won’t be too happy to hear that those beverages are not included in the program, USA Today reports. Though Panera claims to be “the first national restaurant company” to offer an unlimited monthly coffee subscription program, the premise is not entirely new. Last March, Burger King tested an unlimited coffee program, good for one small hot coffee a day for $5 at any time. The trial was ultimately discontinued a few months later. Nevertheless, the coffee news from Panera had fans buzzing with excitement. One Twitter user even claimed to have gotten their first sip of their first “big ol free subscription coffee” on Thursday. With over 160 million American adults drinking coffee every day, per Panera, the coffee cup has never looked quite so half-full.