Category Archives: fast food

Is fast food dumbing down our kids?

fast foodWe already know quite a bit about the problems with fast food consumption. The list is a long one — high in calories and fat, excessive sodium content, long lists of controversial ingredients. Fast food is junk food. It contributes tremendously to the obesity crisis. Consuming fast food has been linked to depression. It’s been associated with obesity-related cancers. Now, though, we can add a new problem to the list.

A recent study which examined fast food consumption among children revealed that increased consumption leads to poor academic performance. Moreover, it found that many children are relying on fast food to supply them with their daily nutritional needs. In the study published in Clinical Pediatrics, researchers found that one fifth of the children in the study ate fast food at least four times during the week in question.

The study was made possible by data collected during the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K). The study was nationally representative, including children from diverse socioeconomical and racial backgrounds who attended both private and public schools. Data was collected from students who were in kindergarten in the 1998-1999 school year by the National Center for educational statistics. In the longitudinal study, data was collected on the students through the eighth grade.

In the present study, the academic growth for 8,544 students was assessed in reading, math, and science from the fifth to the eighth grade. The diets of children involved in the study were analyzed in the fifth grade via questionnaire.

Only 29 percent of the students did not eat fast food during the week before they completed the questionnaire. On the other hand 10 percent of the children reported eating fast food daily, with another 10 percent eating it four to six times per week. Overall, over two thirds of the children ate some fast food.

The team found that children who ate fast food four to six times a week showed less improvement in all three academic areas tested. Among children who ate fast food four to six times per week test scores were up to 20 percent lower compared to children who did not eat fast food. Interestingly, children who ate fast food one to three times per week only showed slower growth in math.

In the analysis, researchers also accounted for other factors such as such as family background, what other foods the children ate, how much they exercised and even time spent watching television.

“We went as far as we could to control for and take into account all the known factors that could be involved in how well children did on these tests,” said lead investigator Katy Purtell, assistant professor at Ohio State University.

The study didn’t address why fast food would lead to lower academic achievement, though fast foods often contain less nutrients, many of which are crucial to cognitive development. The authors explain that the results suggest that fast food consumption should be limited.

“There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there,” said Purtell. “Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom.”

FoodFacts.com has devoted considerable blog space to the idea of providing our kids with the healthiest possible food choices as they grow. In addition to helping our children avoid obesity and weight gain, it’s important to help them establish preferences for fresh, healthy foods that can provide a foundation for a life-long healthy diet that will reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer as adults.

The idea that fast food may be hurting the academic performance of our children certainly adds new motivation for paying strict attention to their eating habits. Our world grows increasingly complex and competitive with every passing year. Part of preparing our children for adulthood is making sure that they will be able to successfully take their place in the adult world. And their grades play an important role in that idea.

Let’s make sure all our children start walking into adulthood on the right foot by eliminating — or at least limiting fast foods. Let’s set them up as a generation of happier, healthier and smarter adults!

http://www.modvive.com/2014/12/28/fast-food-consumption-tied-poor-academic-performance/

Taco Bell’s Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch

pdp-dlt-cheesy-gordita-crunch-nacho-cheeseWe’ll admit it. We don’t really understand the Taco Bell Doritos marriage. For FoodFacts.com it honestly feels like its overkill. Doritos have a powerful flavor (strong and artificial). And most Taco Bell products are also powerfully flavored. We honestly don’t see the attraction involved in putting the two together.

So right from the start the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch isn’t something we’d be excited about eating — even if we were fast food fans.

Taco Bell describes the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch like this, “Warm, pillowy flatbread covered in a melted three-cheese blend, wrapped around a Doritos® taco and topped with a zesty Pepper Jack sauce.”

A gordita is a Mexican flatbread made from cornmeal and stuffed with meat, cheese, vegetables or a sweet filling. In Spanish gordita means “little flat one.” We’d like to point out that we don’t know if the Taco Bell Gordita is made with cornmeal. We’d also like to point out that an actual gordita is not wrapped around a taco — much less a taco that is flavored like a Dorito. Without the taco, though, it wouldn’t be the Gordita Crunch.

While we can’t give you the ingredient list just yet, we can give you the nutrition facts:

Calories:                         490
Fat:                                 28 grams
Saturated Fat:               10 grams
Sodium:                         880 mg

Those facts are actually pretty similar to plenty of other fast food items. McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger, Burger King Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich, and a whole host of other fast food items stack up the same way.

Taco Bell’s Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch is the nutritional equivalent of typical fast food fare that includes an odd combination of items that are neither authentically Mexican or particularly appealing. We’re not trying this one!

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/doritos-cheesy-gordita-crunch-nacho-cheese

Because a Whopper just wasn’t enough …

4CheeseWhopper-DetailBurger King has introduced the Four Cheese Whopper. For anyone who’s wondering about this new extra cheesy Whopper, what we can tell you right now is that it doesn’t actually contain four cheeses. Instead, consumers will find a three cheese blend, American Cheese and cheddar sauce between the bun.

So if the term “four cheese” conjures up images of asiago, havarti, white cheddar and fontina in your mind, this sandwich will certainly fall short of your expectations. FoodFacts.com finds the terms three cheese blend and cheddar sauce highly suspect. But without the presence of an ingredient list, can you blame us?

What we do have right now are the nutrition facts. And here they are, in all their not-so-glorious detail:

Calories:                     850
Fat:                             57 grams
Saturated Fat:           21 grams
Cholesterol:              115 mg
Sodium:                    1160 mg

How does the Four Cheese Whopper stack up against a regular Whopper with Cheese?

We’re sure you’ve assumed that it’s worse. And you’re right — it is. 120 additional calories, 13 more grams of fat and 30 additional mg of cholesterol. It does contain slightly less sodium than the Whopper with Cheese.

While we don’t have access to the ingredients, we can tell you that the ingredients in the Whopper with Cheese certainly leave a lot to be desired. It features 120 ingredients and only one type of cheese. Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, sodium benzoate and propylene glycol are featured in the ingredient list. And there’s artificial color in the cheese. So we’re assuming that the ingredient list for the Four Cheese Whopper (essentially a Whopper with extra cheese) will feature a similar ingredient list. And that three cheese blend and that cheddar sauce — we’re fairly certain that those will contain controversial ingredients as well.

In short, we didn’t like the Whopper with Cheese. Now we can multiply that by four.

http://www.bk.com/menu-item/four-cheese-whopper

Welcome back the Yumbo!

BK_Yumbo_detailMost of you are probably thinking to yourself, “Welcome back the what????”

In order to answer your question, we’ll have to go back to Burger King in 1968. That was the year that the Yumbo was first introduced. The sandwich was very popular and enjoyed a six-year run before it was retired in 1974.

While FoodFacts.com isn’t quite sure where it’s unusual name came from, we are sure that the Yumbo isn’t typical Burger King fare. It’s simply a hot ham and cheese hoagie with lettuce and mayonnaise. Which, according to various internet commentary, has some fast food fans puzzled. It’s not a burger. It’s not a chicken sandwich. So what’s it doing on the Burger King menu?

Well, according to Burger King, people have been asking what happened to the sandwich. Seems it’s a favorite childhood memory for many customers. And Burger King is making an effort to bring back some those memories.

Burger King made an all out effort to do just that with the Yumbo. It overhauled its Facebook page and made it appear as though the posts were from 1974. It even invited visitors to call the Yumbo at 844-BK-YUMBO. That toll-free line connected callers to the “Yumbo Social Hotline,” and asked callers to like or comment on the sandwich on its page.

It doesn’t appear that folks who don’t remember the Yumbo are embracing it quite as enthusiastically as those who fell in love with it 40 years ago. Comments include the sentiment that the Yumbo took very little effort for Burger King and that you really need to be in the third grade to think that this is anything special.

O.k. it isn’t a Whopper. But it is certainly a simpler menu offering for Burger King which may be refreshing for some. While we don’t have an ingredient list for the sandwich, here are the nutrition facts:
Calories:               490
Fat:                       24 grams
Cholesterol:         65 mg
Sodium:               1770 mg

So what should we make of this? Let’s put it this way — it really might as well be a burger. As a matter of fact, the Yumbo is pretty much the equivalent as the Burger King Double Cheeseburger. It has 40 more calories and about the same amount of fat. The Yumbo has less cholesterol. But it also contains A LOT more sodium.

Maybe it’s just us, but we don’t expect a hot ham and cheese sandwich to carry the same nutrition facts as a fast food burger. Guess we should have remembered that the Yumbo is a fast food hot ham and cheese sandwich and this shouldn’t have been surprising.

Those of us of a certain age should probably just enjoy our Yumbo memories and not try to make new ones.

http://www.bk.com/menu-item/yumbo-hot-ham-cheese-sandwich

Panera Bread brings back the Steak & White Cheddar Panini

panera_horiz_logoWe know that Panera Bread has plenty of fans. There’s plenty of variety on the menu. The food is tasty. And people feel as though a meal from Panera is a better choice than a meal from McDonalds. The chain carries its own “health halo” — the food is fresher, it tastes like actual food and so Panera has been deemed a better option than average fast food.

In some ways fans are right — Panera Bread isn’t McDonald’s. But to be honest, it’s not that far away from it. And the reintroduction of the Steak & White Cheddar Panini proves the point.

Let’s take a look at the sandwich and find out what’s really going on in there.

The nutrition facts apply to a whole sandwich. Remember that at Panera, you can order a half sandwich as part of a combo with pasta, salad or soup. If you simply order the sandwich, though, it will come full size. Let’s get to those facts:

Calories:                     960
Fat:                             36 grams
Sodium:                     1860 mg.

Wow. That’s just too much of everything! After eating this sandwich, you’ve only got another 540 mg to consume for the rest of the day. And you’ll be spending 960 calories out of your average 2000 calorie a day diet on one sandwich.

Here are the ingredients:

French baguette (unbleached enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], water, salt, natural base [calcium diphosphate, malted barley flour, dextrose, distilled monoglycerides, rye flour, sunflower lecithin, wheat flour, enzymes, ascorbic acid], yeast [yeast, sorbitan monostearate, ascorbic acid]), beef sirloin tip (beef sirloin, seasoning [spice, dehydrated garlic, sea salt, canola oil]), white cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, microbial enzymes), caramelized red onions (red onions, balsamic vinaigrette [water, soybean oil, sugar, balsamic vinegar, distilled vinegar, contains less than 2% of salt, spices, xanthan gum, dehydrated garlic, natural flavors]), horseradish sauce (soybean oil, water, prepared horseradish [horseradish, vinegar, salt], egg yolks, distilled vinegar, corn starch- modified, salt, sugar, xanthan gum, natural flavors including mustard oil).

So it’s not McDonald’s. The ingredient list is a far cry from the Big Mac. But there are still far too many items in the list — and we’re not fans of natural flavor. Especially when all those ingredients cost 960 calories and come with three quarters of our daily sodium.

We can think of better lunch options. And while we understand that many find Panera Bread to be a solution to the fast food dilemma, FoodFacts.com just can’t get on board.

https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/menu-categories/sandwiches-panini.html#steak-white-cheddar-panini

Starbucks ushers in the holiday season with the new Chestnut Praline Latte

579f048cfc7741ed98c494b8d5eeb29bThe holiday season is officially upon us … and so are fast food holiday beverage introductions! Fall is the “pumpkin spice” everything season and the winter holidays are open to a whole host of flavor combinations in a cup.

This year, Starbucks has introduced the new Chestnut Praline Latte. Certainly sounds like the holidays, doesn’t it?  It calls to mind an old Christmas carol … “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose…” And if everyone loves hazelnut-flavored coffee, chestnuts will probably be a big hit.

So what’s going on with this new holiday latte?

While Starbucks has yet to release the ingredients, we can tell you how the Chestnut Praline Latte is being promoted on their website.

“Introducing our new seasonal sip – a tantalizing flavor sensation of Espresso, steamed milk, and caramelized chestnut flavor and spices. Topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbles. Stop in and sip your way to seasonal bliss.”

Even with the ingredient list unavailable, we can understand right away that the “caramelized chestnut flavor” is probably not something we should be excited about. We can’t really criticize what we’re not sure of, though, and will leave it at that.

We do know about the nutrition facts for the latte. We’re sharing the facts for the 16 ou. Chestnut Praline Latte with whole milk.

Calories:               370
Fat:                       17 grams
Saturated Fat:     10 grams
Sugar:                  39 grams

If you choose to start your morning with the Chestnut Praline Latte, you’ll be consuming 50% of your recommended daily intake of saturated fat with your coffee and just about 10 TEASPOONS of sugar.

FoodFacts.com doesn’t really need to see an ingredient list for this one. We prefer actual chestnuts roasting on an open fire to put us in a holiday mood. The Chestnut Praline Latte can stay at Starbucks.

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/chestnut-praline-latte?foodZone=9999#size=11033006&milk=67&whip=125

McDonald’s answers some questions about the McRib

HT_mcrib_beauty_jtm_141104_16x9_992Possibly the most iconic of any of the McDonald’s menu items, the McRib might just have more fans than the Big Mac. Part of its appeal comes from its limited time availability releases. Since fast food lovers can’t always have a McRib, its allure is heightened. For FoodFacts.com the McRib is not an alluring sandwich. It’s nutrition facts and ingredient list tell us to stay far away from it.

McDonald’s recently launched a new campaign called “Our Food, Your Questions” in an effort to offer consumers more transparency into exactly what’s in their menu items.

The latest dish it tackles is the popular McRib, which only makes limited-time appearances, causing fervor among its devotees. Here’s a step-by-step look at how the beloved barbecue sandwich is made.

Step 1: It begins with boneless pork shoulder.
“We have a boneless pork picnic, which is the main ingredient in the McDonald’s McRib patty,” Kevin Nanke says. “This is what we purchase and bring in to the facility to make the McRib.”

Nanke is the vice president of Lopez Foods in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which is McDonald’s USA pork supplier. All the bones and gristle from the pork shoulder are removed to prepare for grinding.

Step 2: The meat is ground and flavoring and preservatives are added.
During grinding, water, salt, dextrose and preservatives are added to the meat.
The dextrose is a type of sugar used to add sweetness, and the preservatives (BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid) help maintain the flavor, according to McDonald’s.

Step 3: The McRib shape is formed.
In the factory, the ground meat is pressed into the iconic McRib shape, meant to resemble meat and bones — except this is all meat, and the bone shape is pork as well.

Step 4: Water is sprayed on to prepare for freezing.
A fine mist of water is added to the formed McRib to prevent dehydration during freezing.

Step 5: The McRib is frozen.
The factory flash-freezes the McRib to prepare for shipment.

Step 6: The McRib is cooked.
When the McRib is at the restaurant and ready to be prepared, it’s cooked in a Panini press-type machine.

Step 7: The McRib patty is done when both sides are seared to a golden brown.
Food safety, quality and regulatory technicians at Lopez Foods regularly make test batches for quality assurance.

Step 8: After it’s seared, the cooked McRib marinates in barbecue sauce.
The barbecue sauce has a lot of ingredients. According to McDonald’s, here they are and why:

For flavor and texture: Tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, chili pepper, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, natural smoke flavor (plant source), salt, sugar and spices

For flavor and as a preservative: Distilled vinegar

For thickness, body and sheen: Water, xantham gum, soybean oil, modified food starch

For color: Caramel color, beet powder

As a preservative: Sodium benzoate

Step 9: The sandwich is assembled.
First, the hoagie-style roll is toasted and layered with onions and pickles before the McRib is placed on.

McDonald’s has been criticized for using azodicarbonamide in their rolls because the same ingredient is used in non-food products, such as yoga mats. Here’s the official explanation:
“The ingredient you refer to is azodicarbonamide (ADA) and it’s sometimes used by bakers to help keep the texture of their bread consistent from batch to batch, which is why it is used in the McRib hoagie-style roll.”

“There are multiple uses for azodicarbonamide, including in some non-food products, such as yoga mats. As a result, some people have suggested our food contains rubber or plastic, or that the ingredient is unsafe. It’s simply not the case. Think of salt: the salt you use in your food at home is a variation of the salt you may use to de-ice your sidewalk. The same is true of ADA — it can be used in different ways.”

The rest of the ingredients in the roll are:

Main ingredients: Enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water

For caramelization when toasting: High fructose corn syrup

For volume and texture: Yeast, wheat gluten, enzymes, sodium stearoyl lactylate, DATEM, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono and diglycerides, calcium peroxide

For tenderness: Soybean oil

For flavor: Salt, barley and malt syrup, corn meal

For leavening: Calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate

As a preservative: Calcium proponiate

As for the other ingredients, the onions are just onions, and the pickles have multiple ingredients, all below:

Main ingredients: Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar

For flavor: Salt, natural flavors (plant source), polysorbate 80 (emulsifier: helps ensure that the spice blend disperses within the brine), extracts of turmeric (for color and flavor)

To maintain crisp texture: Calcium chloride, alum

As a preservative: Potassium sorbate

So McDonald’s is being upfront about the ingredients used in the McRib. And while we think it’s impressive that they’re coming forward with them, we’re honestly offended at their attempt to gloss over the use of azodicarbonamide, as well as how they’re attempting to explain away other controversial ingredients like polysorbate 80, natural flavors, caramel color and high fructose corn syrup. Intelligent consumers aren’t going to accept the idea that McDonald’s needs to use polysorbate 80 to ensure that the spice blend (or natural flavors) disperses within the pickle brine.

Instead of providing transparency, it may appear to some that McDonald’s is actually attempting to make light of the controversial ingredients consistently included in their menu items. Maybe if they tell us they are necessary, we’ll ignore them.

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/mcrib-made/story?id=26683944

Steak and eggs that really isn’t steak and eggs … brought to you by Dunkin

1413388228838Sometimes what we here at FoodFacts.com consider somewhat odd and unappetizing can be thought of by others as fabulous and completely spot on. That might be true for the new Angus Steak and Egg Breakfast Sandwich from Dunkin Donuts.

It’s obvious that the innovators at Dunkin believe there are millions of consumers dying to find a way to enjoy steak and eggs on their way to work as they’re driving or at their desk at the office or while they’re walking to their classes in the morning. We don’t really see it the same way. We think, honestly, that when people think about enjoying steak and eggs, they’re usually picturing sitting down at a diner, or out at a favorite restaurant for brunch, or in their own kitchen at their own table. It’s that kind of meal. It’s served on a plate with a knife and a fork and there’s no bagel involved, unless it’s buttered and sitting beside the main meal. In addition, the eggs don’t come in “patty” form and the steak is actually, well, steak.

Those are just a few of our problems looking at this new breakfast sandwich. Let’s take a closer look, though, and find out the real story.

When you take a look at the image, this sandwich doesn’t scream “steak and eggs” at you. It actually looks more like a cheeseburger and an egg patty on a bagel. Because that’s what it is. An “Angus steak beef patty” that’s been marinated. Topped with cheese. On top of an egg patty.

And it’s really not the way you want to start your morning. Here are the nutrition facts:

Calories:                    570
Fat:                            19 grams
Saturated Fat:          10 grams
Sodium:                    1300 mg

We wouldn’t like these nutrition facts for a burger at lunchtime, let alone for the first meal of the day. The ingredient list certainly doesn’t have any redeeming qualities either:

Plain Bagel: Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Sugar, Malt Extract, Degermed Yellow Corn Meal, Yeast, Salt, Natural Ferment Flavor (Cultured Wheat and Wheat Malt Flours, Vinegar, Salt), Molasses, Dough Conditioner (Malted Barley Flour, Enzymes, Dextrose), Soy (Trace); Beef Steak Patty: Angus Beef, Marinade {Water, Beef Flavor [Water, Natural Flavor (contains milk), Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, High Oleic Sunflower Oil), Glycerine, Artificial Flavor, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Monosodium Glutamate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Ethyl Alcohol, Wheat), Salt, Triglycerides, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative)], Salt with BHA, TBHQ, Citric Acid, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Black Pepper}; Fried Egg: Egg Whites, Water, Egg Yolks, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Sauteed Flavor (Soybean Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Natural Flavor), Salt, Artificial Butter Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavor), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Coarse Ground Black Pepper; American Cheese: Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Water, Dry Cream, Milkfat, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Annatto and Oleoresin Paprika Color (if colored), Soy Lecithin (non-sticking agent).

Wow … Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, and multiple other sources of hidden MSG. BHA, TBHQ, Sodium Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavors, Natural Flavors — this one sandwich covers a really large portion of the FoodFacts.com controversial ingredient list all by itself.

First of all Dunkin, this is not steak and eggs. Second of all, there is nothing good here.

Do your body a favor. If you’re craving steak and eggs — don’t think of Dunkin Donuts.
Make it yourself on a Sunday morning. Go to a diner. Go out for brunch. Just don’t eat it at Dunkin. Ever.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/sandwiches/breakfastsandwiches/angus_steak_and_egg_sandwich.html

Taco Bell making fast food faster … sort of

141028101756-taco-bell-app-620xaThese days there really is an app for everything. There are mobile coupon apps from major supermarkets, apps from manufacturers offering deals and discounts, apps for travelers looking for deals at their intended locations. The lists are endless. So it isn’t any surprise that fast food chains are introducing their own apps. Up until now, though, we haven’t been able to order from fast food restaurants directly from our smartphones. That’s all changing.

Taco Bell is the latest company to jump into the app craze.

Taco Bell has unveiled a new app that allows customers anywhere in the country to place their orders using their iPhones and Androids. They still have to go the restaurant to pick up their Doritos Locos in person, though.

“You get to skip the line,” said Jeff Jenkins, director of mobile experience at Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum! Brands.

But he said there’s no feature to select a pickup time because the food won’t be prepared until the customer arrives.

So what’s the point of using the app? Jenkins said both restaurant and customer will both get a heads up from the app once you get close to the Taco Bell.

“When you get within 500 feet of the location, you get a notification on your phone that says, ‘Looks like you’ve arrived. Would you like us to start preparing your food?’” he said.

Taco Bell is also promoting the fact that app-ordering customers can customize their orders, by adding or omitting ingredients.

Taco Bell’s move comes close in the heels of Starbucks , which announced its app earlier this month. The Starbucks app, which will debut in Portland later this year and go nationwide in 2015, allows customers to place their coffee orders via iPhone.

Other fast food companies have apps, though they don’t necessarily allow customers to place orders via smartphone. McDonald’s has the McD App, which is primarily for learning about special offers and locating restaurants.

Wendy’s has an app that allows customers to pay for meals via smartphone, but they have to go to the restaurant to do it. Customers deposit money into their phone’s Wendy’s account for that purpose. The maximum balance is $100, which buys about 20 Baconators, depending on the location.

FoodFacts.com is pretty sure that ordering fast food via app will mature and grow into the whole experience — place your order by smartphone, pay for it by smartphone, go to the nearest location and pick up your order seamlessly. We’re not there yet. Taco Bell’s new app might save fast food consumers a little time — but it probably won’t be much. We’ll just have to wait a little while longer for the fast food industry to help their customers consume bad food in record time!

http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/28/news/companies/taco-bell-app/

The Dunkin Donuts Halloween Don’t — the Boston Scream Donut

1412743267976Ghosts and goblins are out and about in full swing. Friday is Halloween! What a great season! Horror movies are all around us, in movie theaters and on our television screens. All Hallow’s Eve is upon us, promising some goose-bumps and boos that will be showing up on our doorsteps in just a few short hours!

You don’t need to wait until Friday, though. Some of those “boos” are waiting for us right now at our local fast food locations. Think of them as an “homage to the season.” And Dunkin Donuts has one of the biggest waiting for you.

Say hello to the Boston Scream Donut.

Its appearance is certainly in keeping with the season. It’s an attractive pumpkin shaped smiling donut, complete with orange frosting and filled with tasty cream.

That orange frosting should be giving us our first clue. But let’s start at the beginning — with the all-important nutrition facts.

Calories:                310
Fat:                        16 grams
Saturated Fat:       7 grams
Sugar:                   19 grams

We’ll have to admit these aren’t the worst nutrition facts we’ve ever seen. But we are looking at almost five teaspoons of sugar in one donut. We’re also looking at 35% of our recommended daily intake of saturated fat in that same donut. We could live without that.

Let’s move on to the ingredient list.

Donut: Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Whey (a milk derivative), Skim Milk, Yeast, Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Defatted Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts, Beta Carotene), Eggs; Bavarian Kreme Filling: Water, Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Contains 2% or less of the following: Natural and Artificial Flavors, Glucono Delta Lactone, Salt, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Agar; Chocolate Icing: Sugar, Water, Cocoa, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Contains 2% or less of: Dextrose, Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Propionate (Preservatives), Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Agar, Artificial Flavor; Orange Icing: [White Icing: Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Contains 2% or less: Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Corn Starch, Artificial Flavor, Salt, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Sodium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Citric Acid, Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids, Agar, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier); Orange Coloring: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Glycerin, Modified Food Starch, Sugar, Carrageenan Gum, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid; May Contain FD&C Blue 1, FD&C Blue 2, FD&C Red 3, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Yellow 6, FD&C Yellow 5].

Wow, that’s a long list. It’s amazing how many artificial colors are needed to exact that particular shade of orange, isn’t it? It’s also amazing to count how many controversial ingredients are used to create one seemingly simple donut.

Dunkin, FoodFacts.com has decided to find our Halloween screams on our screens instead of in our donuts. We can be frightened by the boogey man and Frankenstein and vampires and zombies without introducing frightening ingredients into our diets. Makes for a much happier Halloween.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/food/bakery/donuts/donuts.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Boston+Scream+Donut