KFC chicken chain is officially working on the first vegetarian fried chicken to ever hit a big-name QSR. The faux meat’s first destination will be the United Kingdom, where smaller places like Temple of Seitan are famous for their own versions of plant-based fried chicken.
Over the next 7 years, KFC UK hopes to cut their calories per serving by 20%. They will also introduce multiple meals that are under 600 calories by 2020.
One of the ways they’re looking to do that is with this veggie alternative, which will utilize the same secret blend of 11 spices that all of Colonel Sanders’s chicken is seasoned with. The vegetarian fried chicken is meant to be a healthier substitute to their standard fare. There are not many details on what will go into it however.
The McDonald’s McVegan burger was trialed at select locations in Finland from October -November. In fact, the product was so successful it was officially rolled out to other regions just a month after trial phase. With consumers seeing McDonald’s upping their plant-based game and their expectations of other fast food brands raised, it was only a matter of time before another big name stepped up too. The soy patty burger is currently only available at select locations in Finland, and the success of the trial will reportedly determine whether the dish will be offered in other regions.
Google has reportedly held “informal talks” with interested parties for a deal that would encompass the Zagat brand name and website. Mum’s the word on how much Google is after for the service, with Google keeping quite on the matter.
A charity in the United Kingdom is testing special vending machines that dispense essential items like water, food, and clothing to homeless people with nowhere to go at night. The free-to-use service is the work of Nottingham-based Action Hunger. Huzaifah Khaled is the founder of this organization. Access to the machines is exclusively permitted to those in need. Items can only be vended with the use of a special key card issued by Action Hunger. The key cards are disseminated to their partner organizations in each city, which tend to have homeless shelters and local outreach centers.
The key cards can be used to get up to three items per day, and Action Hunger hopes it will enable people to get some help, without becoming too reliant on the vending machines. The non-perishable contents of the vending machine such as fresh fruit, energy bars, sandwiches, socks, gloves, sanitary towels, toothbrush and toothpaste combination packs, and foil blankets, come from donations, while most of the fresh food is being supplied by redistribution organizations. In order to keep the key cards active, individuals must check in with their regular homeless shelter on a weekly basis.
The free vending machines will be in the United States February 2018. New York will receive the first machine, and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle will follow. Action Hunger has a special interest in a host of cities across America and would like to reach as many people as possible including more areas in Europe.
Outlets are reporting that Chinese scientists have genetically altered pig embryos (using added genes from mice) to create “skinny pigs” who have a lower percentage of body fat and could be used, one day, to produce what some headlines are deeming “healthy bacon.
Genetically modified (GM) foods continue to be a contentious subject. Proponents believe that it could help feed millions of hungry people amid climate change and population growth. Others balk at the idea of eating science experiments.
The World Health Organization reports that the safety of GM foods depends on how the genes were tweaked, which will ultimately leave each item to be rated on a case-by-case basis. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved genetically engineered salmon. And apples not prone to browning are expected to be available soon.
Startup Memphis Meats announced in April that it had for the first time grown chicken meat in a lab, the firm admitted that the achievement came at a cost of $9,000 per pound. Memphis Meats puts living animal cells into bioreactor tanks and feeds them oxygen, sugars, and minerals until they divide and grow. The company said the taste and texture is similar to that of the real thing, just a bit spongier, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although the company has served it’s cultured poultry to taste testers, the meat is still extremely expensive. It currently costs around $9,000 to produce a pound of Memphis Meats’ poultry, compared to a bit over $3 on average for a pound of chicken breast. However, the company hopes to reduce costs drastically as it refines its technology over the next few years. It hopes to launch a commercial product in 2021.
Business leaders like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Kimbal Musk have joined food industry giants like Cargill and venture capital firms in backing the startup with $17 million in a Series A round of funding. In total Memphis Meats has raised $22 million.