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7-11’s mashed potato Slurpee machine in action

I've often said that the only real problem with mashed potatoes is that you can't get them extruded out of a machine in a 7-11, in the form of a spookily liquid glop with gravy. I mean, what even is the point? Luckily, 7-11s in Singapore are finally making this right, with Slurpee-style machines that poop mushy potato goo into a cup.

Here's what it looks like in action:

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Cheeseburger-crust pizza is not even recognizable as pizza

We need to think of a new name for the monstrosities that pizza companies are coming up with, because, really, this is NOT pizza:

Pizza Hut is selling this mutant creature in the Middle East, where, if the ad is to be believed, ordering a hamburger at a pizza place is a GIANT AND HILARIOUS JOKE and Pizza Hut just wants to shut those douches up. In what might be the greatest anti-monarchial movement in recent Middle East history, it’s also being marketed as the “most royal” pizza.

Here's what the thing looks like up close:

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Your meat on drugs: Will grocery stores cut out antibiotics?

A still from a new video about antibiotics in farm animals from FixFood. Click or scroll down to watch.

Despite a high-profile lawsuit, a recent court order, and a much-hyped set of voluntary rules, it’s still not clear that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to do anything of substance to stop meat producers from using antibiotics on a massive -- and massively destructive -- scale. It has been three decades since the FDA first identified the use of these drugs in livestock production as a problem. But they’re still mulling it over, apparently. Thinking long and hard.

While they think, 80 percent of all the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are being used on animals to spur growth and compensate for crowded, dirty conditions. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria or “superbugs” continue to show up in food and cause infections in tens of thousands of people every year (99,000 people died of hospital-acquired infections in 2002, the most recent year for which data are available).

It’s no coincidence then that Meat Without Drugs, the campaign launched today by Consumers Union, doesn’t target the FDA or any government agency, for that matter. Instead, the advocacy group, which has been pushing for a ban on antibiotics in agriculture since the late 1970s, is targeting grocery stores.

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Why GMOs aren’t romantic

Today's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is a VERY REALISTIC AND SCIENTIFICALLY ACCURATE cautionary tale about genetically modified organisms.

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Vanguard state: California might just lead the way on GMO labeling

Europeans have been doing it since 1997. The Chinese saw fit to do it in 2004. And over a billion Indians will start doing it this January. Meanwhile about 95 percent of Americans want to do it at any given time -- but can’t. And, as with many past liberation movements, the Americans who get to do it first may very well be in California.

Of course, I’m talking about labeling genetically modified foods (GMOs). This is a timely topic because a GMO labeling proposition called "The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” has officially qualified for the November ballot in California. While it’s true that the California legislature has killed several earlier attempts to pass a GMO labeling law (as also happened in Washington, Connecticut, and Vermont), this version will be put directly in front of voters. And as Richard Schiffman, writing for the U.K. Guardian, observes, that matters. His post reads:

What makes the referendum in California different is that, for the first time, voters and not politicians will be the ones to decide. And this has the food industry worried. Understandably so, since only one in four Americans is convinced that GMOs are "basically safe," according to a survey conducted by the Mellman Group, and a big majority wants food containing GMOs to be labeled.

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Brace yourself: Burger King is introducing a bacon sundae

I was under the impression that the "put bacon on everything" trend had run its course, but if so, nobody sent Burger King the memo. The chain is reportedly introducing a "bacon sundae" as part of its summer menu. That's ... exactly what you think it is.

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Taco Bell sold 100 million Doritos tacos in 10 weeks

If you want to know where the country's obsession with recursive fast food comes from, look within. Chances are, you will find a Doritos Locos taco. If you don't, look within the guy next to you, because SOMEBODY has been buying 100 million of these things over the last 10 weeks. It's now Taco Bell's most popular product launch ever.

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Queen of England to eat invasive species pie

Photo by Sara Thompson.

Enemies of invasive species have been advocating for a diabolical solution to doing away with unwanted species: Eat them! And while most people are not down with eating sautéed iguana or lionfish ceviche, on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II will be honored with a gift of lamprey pie -- a dish made from a parasitic eel that's invaded the Great Lakes.

Lampreys -- which look like eels, suck the blood of other fish, and have a single nostril on top of their heads -- used to thrive in the River Severn, near Gloucester. So naturally, it's the city's tradition to send the king or queen lamprey pies on special occasions. King Henry I liked the dish so much he supposedly died after overindulging in lamprey-eating in 1135.

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Why Bloomberg’s ‘Big Gulp ban’ could be good for New York City

Ironically, 7-Eleven stores are actually exempt from the ban. (Photo by Shelly Munkberg.)

If the food police has a chief, it may very well be New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His battles with the food industry are quickly becoming the stuff of legend. And his latest gambit is his boldest yet: Bloomberg just announced a plan to ban the sale of any sweetened beverage over 16 ounces at all restaurants, delis, and sports arenas in New York City.

And just so the soda industry doesn’t feel singled out, this ban would apply to sports drinks and sweetened iced tea, along with pretty much anything with added sugars -- although the Starbucks Frappucino likely makes it through on a technicality; dairy products like it (as well as fruit juice, “diet” drinks, and booze) are exempted.

This latest move comes on the heels of the city’s successful (and much copied) trans fat ban, as well as its public media campaign against soda called “Don’t Drink Yourself Fat” -- not to mention its proposal to limit salt in processed food. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed recently that these and many other efforts may be starting to pay off for the Big Apple. The obesity rate in NYC among kids dropped 5 percent over the last five years.

So why enact an outright ban on large drinks when there’s evidence [PDF] that a penny-per-ounce soda tax would have cut consumption while generating needed revenue for the public coffers? Do you really have to ask?

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Faked Alaska: Is genetically modified salmon coming soon to a table near you?

After six months of relative media silence, GMO salmon are back. Since last fall, AquaBounty Technologies, the breeders of the fish -- which is not to be confused with radioactive tuna -- have been in a kind of regulatory limbo, awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Then this week, several GMO salmon stories popped up in the media, and, taken together, they suggest it might be time to take another look at the salmon, which would be the first genetically engineered animal raised for commercial consumption if it’s approved.

The fish, which is branded AquAdvantage, has been altered with a growth-hormone gene from a Chinook salmon and a gene from a deepwater eel-like fish called an ocean pout. The latter allows the fish to grow during the cold months and reach market size twice as fast as other salmon.

A short article on Seafood Source reported that although AquaBounty continues to hemorrhage money (they reported a net loss of $2.7 million in 2011), CEO Ron Stotish is confident that approval is right around the corner.

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