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Say cheese! Health risks from dairy, even full-fat, debunked in study

It’s time to break out some cheese and wine to celebrate a new study that debunks long-held rumors about dairy products.

The study, published in the “European Journal of Epidemiology,” states that consuming dairy products, including full-fat versions, “does not increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” The Guardian reported

>> Read more trending news

It was believed that dairy products had been harmful because of their high amount of saturated fats, The Guardian reported. 

However, an international team of experts argues the opposite and said those who cut dairy from their diet are doing more damage, according to The Guardian.

People, especially young women, who don’t drink enough milk are at risk of damaging their bone development and getting conditions such as osteoporosis, or “brittle bones,” according to The Guardian. 

Read more at The Guardian

Editor’s note: The research cited in this report was part-funded by three pro-dairy groups -- Global Dairy Platform, Dairy Research Institute and Dairy Australia -- but the groups had no influence over the research, according to The Guardian.

KFC debuts romance novel for Mother’s Day

When it comes to a love story, Colonel Sanders might just have a leg up on the competition.

Or a wing. Or even a thigh. 

>> Read more trending news

KFC is touting the Colonel as a dignified hero with his silver mane and distinctive goatee in its first foray into romantic literature. Sanders becomes “a handsome sailor with a mysterious past” in “Tender Wings of Desire,” USA Today reported.

The fast-food fried-chicken chain is offering the novella as a Mother’s Day promotion. The book can be downloaded for free from Amazon, and 100 Facebook users will be offered a hardback copy, USA Today reported.

“The only thing better than being swept away by the deliciousness of our Extra Crispy Chicken is being swept away by Harland Sanders himself,” said George Felix, KFC’s United States advertising director. “So this Mother’s Day, the bucket of chicken I get for my wife will come with a side of steamy romance novel.”

While KFC touts its chicken as finger-lickin’ good, the company is approaching its book tastefully. The book will mirror the prudish era of Victorian England, USA Today reported. Madeline Parker is a bored housewife who is trying to escape her loveless marriage at stately Parker Manor.

As one might expect, the Colonel delivers, sweeping Madeline off her feet. The chicken might be fried or even extra crispy, but KFC is hinting that the passion between Sanders and Madeline Parker will be steamy.

Teachers: Get free Chipotle this week

Chipotle is giving all educators buy-one/get-one-free burritos, bowls, salads and tacos Tuesday.

Just show up at any U.S. Chipotle from 3 p.m. to close with your school ID and order away.

>> Read more trending news

The offer’s open to teachers from preschool all the way through college.

The fine print: One free entree item per teacher customer. And it’s only valid for in-store orders.

Read more here.

Chipotle to debut first dessert

Chipotle plans to add a dessert item to its menu this year.

The Denver-based Mexican grill announced Tuesday it will begin testing a fried dough dessert next month, Business Insider reported

>> Read more trending news

Chipotle’s buñuelos, a traditional Mexican dessert, are fried tortillas sprinkled with honey, cinnamon and sugar. They’re to be served with caramel-apple dipping sauce.

“It’s simple to make and requires us to add just a few additional ingredients,” Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said, according to Yahoo. “They’re delicious and complement our menu nicely.”

It’s unclear which locations nationwide will offer the dessert first. 

Although Chipotle announced last year that it would be adding a dessert item to the menu, the buñuelo comes as a surprise, as many speculated the restaurant chain would debut churros as its first dessert.Chipotle is known for being slow to change its menu. According to Business Insider, the addition of buñuelos will be the company’s third major change in 20 years.

The most recent addition was chorizo, which Chipotle began offering in October. 

The company also announced that sales at restaurants that have been open at least a year rose 17.8 percent in the first quarter, and revenue increased 28.1 percent to $1.07 billion. Chipotle’s stock rose, and Ells said the increases indicates a “strong start” to the year.

>> Related: Here's why Chipotle doesn't sell queso

Rob Lowe debuts as KFC’s newest colonel Sunday

Meet the new KFC colonel — actor Rob Lowe.

>> Read more trending news

The actor has played many roles through the years — as Sam Seaborn in “The West Wing” and Chris Traeger in “Parks and Recreation,” for example — but the former Brat Pack member who also starred in “St. Elmo’s Fire” is branching out into fast food.

Lowe will portray Colonel Harland Sanders beginning Sunday, donning the colonel’s white suit, black string tie and trademark goatee — but he also will be wearing a space suit, USA Today reported.

Lowe, 53, will be promoting KFC’s Zinger chicken sandwich, the restaurant chain announced Friday.

“My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Colonel Harland Sanders when I was a kid,” Lowe told USA Today. “It was a big deal. I thought this would be a nice homage to both Colonel Sanders and to my grandfather.”

Among the other seven celebrities who have portrayed the founder of the Finger Lickin’ Good chicken are Darrell Hammond, Norm Macdonald, Jim Gaffigan and actors George Hamilton and Billy Zane.

Lowe, 53, has previously done commercials for DIRECTV.

The spicy Zinger sandwich will debut Monday in the United States after a 33-year stint overseas, KFC said. In a video promoting the sandwich, Lowe steps to the podium in his space suit and proclaims that “The time has come to explore beyond our known horizons.”

Lowe ends the video by asking, “Can you actually launch KFC’s world-famous Zinger chicken sandwich into space?”

His answer? “We certainly hope so. Our entire marketing campaign depends on it.

“But when we succeed, we will lick our fingers. We will lick our fingers good.”

Starbucks barista rants about unicorn Frappuccino drink

A man claiming to be a barista at a Starbucks had some pointed criticism about the company’s limited-edition unicorn Frappuccino drink.

>> Read more trending news 

Braden Burson of Monument, Colorado, posted a video on Twitter and begged customers to stop ordering the drink, USA Today reported. The video has since been deleted off Twitter, but is still gaining plenty of views on YouTube.

Burson, who said the new pink-and-blue drink “tastes like a Sweet Tart,” filmed the video in his car. “I need to rant just a little bit,” he said, before blasting the drink.

“Because it's been so popular online everyone is like ‘oh my gosh I need to try it when it comes out,’” he says in the video.

The drink, which was released Wednesday, is made with pink powder blended into cream Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a sour blue drizzle, USA Today reported.

“I have never made so many Frappuccinos in my entire life,” Burson said on the video. “My hands are completely sticky. I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life.”

After the rant, Burson backtracked. He told The Associated Press he did not think his rant would garner that much publicity, and he was not trying to “downgrade” the beverage.

One poster on Burson’s Facebook page asked, “You still got a job, buddy? Haha.”

“If this had been Apple, he would have been cooked over an open flame,” another poster said.

“It’s a great drink,” he told the AP. “But it’s difficult to make when there are like 20 fraps all at once.”

In a statement, Starbucks said the company will be reaching out to Burson “to talk about his experience and how to make it better.”

Burson apparently is not the only barista who is not enamored with the unicorn Frappuccino. “A perfect summarization of my day today, this Frappuccino is the devil,” a woman named Alexandria tweeted.

“I've had to make about 30 so far and I feel like I'm already disappearing from photos like in back to the future,” tweeted Tina Dee.

Author Rainn Wilson, who wrote “The Bassoon King” in 2015, tweeted that “I seriously want to punch in the tooth anyone who buys or drinks a unicorn Frappuccino.”

The drink will be available through April 23.

Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino changes colors, flavors with the twirl of a straw

Starbucks is calling a limited-time beverage that changes colors and flavors with a stir of the straw a "Unicorn Frappuccino."

>> Read more trending news

The chain says the drink was inspired by the trend of unicorn-themed food online and starts out purple with a sweet and fruity taste. It changes to pink and tart after it's stirred to mix in a blue drizzle. It will be available Wednesday through Sunday in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with a 12-ounce size containing 280 calories.

Earlier this month, Seattle-based Starbucks also introduced a "Pink Drink" made with coconut milk and topped with strawberries. The company said it had previously been a customized drink that enjoyed "fandom online."

Braves beer: Brewed using bats

The Atlanta Braves not only have a new stadium, the team has a new beer to help quench the thirst of fans.

And it’s the brewing process that some will say make it a great pair with America’s Pastime.

Terrapin Beer Company from Athens, Georgia, is using the wood used to make Mizuno baseball bats to age the beer.

It’s called Chopsecutioner, honoring the Braves’ tomahawk chop.

CBS Sports described the beer as “a lighter IPA with a great flavor.”

It contains a whopping 7.3 percent alcohol level.

So how do the bats tie into the brewing process?

After the beer is fermented, they pour the beer on wood chips left over from making the bats. It cools the brew and ages it.

Terrapin is offering other baseball-themed beers at it’s new Brew Lab at SunTrust Park: On Deck IPS and Swing Batter Brown Ale.

Woman finds cow lip in tacos

A Texas woman found what she thought were teeth in barbacoa tacos ordered at El Rincon, a restaurant in Pflugerville.

According to San Antonio’s KENS, Courtney Aguilar took to Facebook to share a picture of the tacos, saying, “When you order barbacoa tacos, but get teeth instead.”

Aguilar wrote that she asked a restaurant server if she was seeing teeth in her food, and the server responded, “baby teeth.”

What she was seeing was actually cow lips.

>> Read more trending news

The restaurant responded to Aguilar’s claim on Facebook, saying they get their barbacoa from a vendor. The vendor in turn responded clarifying that what the woman saw was actually cow lips.

“Barbacoa is one the few items that we buy pre-made from an approved FDA vendor, and we are no longer going to buy from that vendor,” the post reads. “Barbacoa is cooked with different parts of the cow, but mostly from the head or cheek of cattle. El Rincon will stop selling barbacoa until we get a new vendor.”

“The reality is this: Barbacoa is a rough business. It starts with a whole skinned cow’s head, wrapped in burlap and baling wire and buried in a smoking hole in the ground overnight,” the San Antonio Express News’ food writer Mike Sutter wrote. “In the morning, somebody with a sledgehammer opens up that skull and the harvesting begins: all the fatty and lean soft tissue from lip to crown. Sometimes the brains, sometimes the eyes, sometimes the tongue if it’s not being held out for lengua.”

'Dirty Dozen': Strawberries, spinach top list of produce with most pesticides

Once again, the “Dirty Dozen,” the Environmental Working Group’s list of the types of produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues, has been released, and once again, it’s under attack by a produce industry group.

The 2017 Dirty Dozen list, released last week, includes in order: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes.

The 2017 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce is here! https://t.co/NXtG85Brrg #DirtyDozen #CleanFifteen pic.twitter.com/VvfPpI1MoI— EWG (@ewg) March 9, 2017

>> Learn more here

Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. Pears and potatoes were new additions to the Dirty Dozen, displacing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from last year’s list.

The Alliance for Food and Farming, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989 which represents organic and conventional farmers of fruits and vegetables and farms of all sizes, has repeatedly called for EWG to stop publishing the list. The group asserts that the information is negative and misleading and might be scaring people away from consuming a healthful diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

The list is based on EWG’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues.

To read the USDA’s most recent Pesticide Data Program report, click here. The USDA report states that when pesticide residues are found on foods, they are nearly always at levels below the tolerances set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

>> Read more trending news

“Over 99 percent of the products sampled through PDP had residues below the EPA tolerances. Ultimately, if EPA determines a pesticide is not safe for human consumption, it is removed from the market,” the USDA report states.

The Alliance for Food and Farming’s executive director Teresa Thorne had this to say:

“In light of new science and information about how safety fears are impacting low income consumers, it is concerning that EWG still releases a 'dirty dozen' list in 2017. EWG’s list has been discredited by scientists, it is not based upon risk and has now been shown to potentially discourage consumption of healthy and safe organic and conventional fruits and vegetables. If EWG truly cares about public health, it will stop referring to popular produce items that kids love as 'dirty' and move toward positive, science-based information that reassures consumers and promotes consumption.”

Remember: Fear-based messaging hurts low-income consumers the most. Find out more here: https://t.co/gm4D36cfTy pic.twitter.com/CkMMPauMg4— SafeFruitsAndVeggies (@SafeProduce) March 8, 2017

Recent peer-reviewed research by the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Nutrition Research and published in Nutrition Today found that EWG’s messaging, which inaccurately describes certain fruits and vegetables as having “higher” pesticide residues, results in low-income shoppers reporting that they would be less likely to purchase any fruits and vegetables – organic or non-organic. The IIT scientists surveyed 510 low-income consumers in the Chicago area to learn more about what terms and information about fruits and vegetables may influence their shopping intentions, Thorne said.

“We were surprised to see how informational content that named specific fruits and vegetables as having the highest pesticide residues increased the percentage of shoppers who said they would be unlikely to purchase any type of fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman, associate professor of food science and nutrition at IIT’s Center for Nutrition Research. “The concern is that depending on the structure of the communication about pesticides and fruits and vegetables, this could turn people away from wanting to purchase any fresh produce.

“In addition to this recent research, the other important reason that we remain frustrated that EWG continues to use this decades-old tactic is that the Centers for Disease Control reports that only one in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and veggies each day,” Thorne added. “This CDC statistic is especially concerning since decades of nutritional research shows that increasing consumption of conventional and organic produce can improve health and prevent diseases, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”

One example of that type of nutrition research comes from a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, which found that if half of Americans increased their consumption of a fruit and veggie by a single serving per day, 20,000 cancer cases could be prevented annually.

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