Happy Thursday, AKA pre-Friday. What's the deal with all these restaurant chains and food companies switching to cage-free eggs? Eater sister site Vox takes a hard look at what "cage-free" really means. In other vital food news today: Amazon makes it easier than ever to keep your pantry stocked; a boozy new breakfast option; Obama talks about his favorite new beverage; and the death of a treasured food writer.
— Attention lazy caffeine fiends, Amazon has a glorious new innovation for you: The retail giant's Dash buttons are now available for several new products including Starbucks, Illy, and Peet's coffee and Red Bull, as well as Doritos, coconut water, Nature Valley granola bars, and more. For the unfamiliar, the mini wifi-enabled devices enable customers to order refills of their go-to products at the literal touch of a button.
— Further proof that Obama really is the hipster president: His relatively adventurous taste in beverages goes beyond Chemex coffee. He's also really into mate, the traditional South American tea that's just beginning to go mainstream here in the U.S.:
— Author Jim Harrison died over the weekend at the age of 78. While he's best known for his book Legends of the Fall (which inspired the film starring Brad Pitt), he was also an excellent wine writer. Read Harrison's musings on wine and other comestibles in his collection of food essays, The Raw & the Cooked.
— Here's a new way to make your morning commute a little more treacherous: spread some beer marmalade on your toast courtesy of a Scottish brewer that's turning IPA into a breakfast-appropriate spread. (JK, most of the alcohol probably cooks out.)
— Some folks in Vermont apparently aren't too keen on Ronald McDonald: Vandals "burned, decapitated and cut the feet" off a statue of the fast food mascot that resided outside a Ronald McDonald House for sick kids and their families in the city of Burlington. Not to worry: A new statue, presumably with its head still attached, has been erected in its place.
— For some unfortunate people, coffee can be hard on the stomach — but don't let that stand in the way of a good caffeine buzz. While low-acid coffee may seem like the obvious answer, you're actually better off sticking to dark roast coffee, preferably cold-brewed and with milk added to it.