First fake Italian restaurant Olive Garden took french fries and milkshakes away from our children. Now the chain is going one step further, with the help of known vegetable enthusiast Michelle Obama. The First Lady is joining the Darden Restaurant Group — which, in addition to Olive Garden also runs Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and other chains — this morning to unveil a new initiative to cut the calories and sodium in meals across all the restaurants in its group. The pledge, which Darden claims is the "most comprehensive health and wellness commitment in the restaurant industry to date," is especially geared toward children's meals.
The plan includes a goal to reduce both sodium and calories by 10 percent in five years and 20 percent in 10 years by removing some items and adjusting portion sizes on others. All these cuts will be made across the company's entire portfolio, though, so it won't just be your favorite pasta dish getting the ax.
As for the children, what more could the company do once it swapped fries and shakes for grapes and smoothies? Well, now milk is going to be the default drink accompanying children's meals. But, hey, free refills! Also the meals are going to come with a side of fruits or vegetables unless you specifically ask your server to put more junk food on your child's plate.