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'The Bachelor' Gets in Bed With McDonald's; Wendy's Goes Cage-Free

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Five things to know right now

Screenshot: The Bachelor

It's January 5, and winter has hit the whole country. Also, it's raining in LA all week so the world may be ending, too. On the brighter side of life, have you seen this roller coaster restaurant? Here's all of today's most crucial food news — from a quick new interview with Martha Stewart to Forbes' 30 Under 30 Tastemakers — plus a bonus video that everyone should watch at least once, if not many times.

— The New York Times assesses the sartorial situation at the Four Seasons, one of Manhattan's preeminent power lunch spots, and stopped self-described "domestic goddess" Martha Stewart as she was leaving. Key takeaways: Stewart wears a lot of expensive clothing, trusts the (skeevy) current management, and "never [goes] anywhere for lunch without getting cookies for the driver."

— Millions of people watched the season premiere of The Bachelor last night (maybe you were one of them; no judgement), and though many strange things happened on the show itself, the oddest incident may have been the McDonald's commercial that aired during one of the episode's breaks. Just how much did McDonald's pay to get the bachelor himself to order breakfast for lunch on air? And why won't they use that money to instead source more sustainable food or just improve the quality of the meat they serve? Everyone already knows about McDonald's all day breakfast, provided they aren't living under a rock or haven't been in a deep coma. What needs to improve now more than ever — if McDonald's is to survive in an increasingly competitive fast food marketplace — is quality.

— Blue Apron, Marley Spoon, Plated — meal delivery services are popping up in cities across the nation and food obsessives with little time and little patience for grocery stores or cookbooks are eating them up. UK-based Jamie Oliver, ever the trendsetter, is jumping on the bandwagon. He's partnered with Hello Fresh to offer subscribers his recipes along with Hello Fresh's ingredients, packaging, and food. Hello Fresh is offered in select European countries as well as across the U.S. The "classic" food box, which includes ingredients to make three meals a week for two people, costs $69 per week, including shipping. Though meal kits like these create less food waste than an average trip to the grocery story, the packaging waste remains a concern for sustainability-minded consumers.

— Joining McDonald's, Chipotle, Dunkin' Donuts, and your mother in promising to purchase and serve only cage-free eggs is Wendy's. This is great news for consumers and animal rights activists, but it is unclear how the agricultural industry will weather this sea change. While experts agree that cage-free eggs are better — for the environment, chickens, farmers, and consumers' tastebuds — massive farming operations have a lot of work to do, before this becomes a reality. At this point, every chain that comes out with a new press release about its decision to go cage-free is just a copy-cat looking for a pat on the back. The truth is, these chains should have done this years ago. The scary part is that there's no indication that they will be paying a fair market rate for eggs that will necessarily cost more to produce.

— Forbes has released its annual list of 30 under 30, and the tastemakers section honors some greats in the world of food and drink, including: Karys Logue, the pastry chef responsible for the execution of Dominique Ansel's whims at Dominique Ansel Kitchenin NYC; Sebastian Dumonet, director of operations at Joel Robuchon's restaurants; Chef Deuki Hong of NYC's Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong; beverage director at Chicago's The Aviary, Micah Melton; Fabian Von Hauske Valtierra of NYC's Contra and Wildair; Blaine Wetzel of the Willow's Inn on Lummi Island; and Emery Whalen, COO of Besh Restaurant Group.

— Finally, if you somehow haven't seen this Vine video of a raccoon and its disappearing cotton candy, you need to watch it because it says everything about how the sweetest things in life can, almost instantly, vanish from our grasp without warning. Also, it's all everyone is talking about right now.


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