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Wendy’s Pledges Ambitious Animal (and Employee!) Welfare Plan Following Scrutiny

Plus, Paris Hilton’s lasagna apparently doesn’t taste great, and more news to start your day

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The company released a corporate social responsibility report, committing to better animal care, employee resources, and a lowered carbon footprint

Food and packaging waste makes up about 45% of America’s landfills. Fast food employees are organizing more than ever. And an increasing number of Americans are concerned about the quality of the meat they eat and the environmental impact of factory farms. These are the conditions under which Wendy’s announced its “Good Done Right” campaign, which will focus on “strengthening existing initiatives and launching new ones to enhance our approaches to food, people and our footprint.” Commitments include sourcing eggs from cage-free farms, and using more beef that’s been treated solely with “medically important antibiotic routinely used for cattle production.” The company also says it has tested plant-based burgers and chicken products. For employees, Wendy’s is expanding benefits to domestic partners, and the company is working with NextGen Consortium to develop more sustainable hot and cold beverage cups.

The plan comes after Wendy’s faced boycotts for refusing to sign onto a program to source tomatoes from growers who follow strict labor standards, such as protecting workers from sexual assault. Now, Wendy’s says, “every single tomato within our U.S. and Canadian supply chain was sourced from North American hydroponic greenhouses,” as “greenhouses offer a safe, indoor work environment.”

It also comes as more fast food restaurants are publicly rethinking their business models in order to do things like treat employees fairly and not make such a colossal mess of the planet in the name of profit. For instance, Burger King recently announced it’d stop giving out toys with kids meals, and would be collecting existing toys and melting down the plastic for use in building playgrounds. As Tim Forster wrote, “getting rid of plastic toys, while certainly a step, is not a particularly significant one — especially in the face of broad-tentacled fossil fuel companies causing far greater problems.” Which is not to say Wendy’s shouldn’t try.

And in other news...

  • Someone made Paris Hilton’s lasagna, which called for no herbs, aromatics, or anything else that might add flavor. It was “a terribly bland time,” and after a day in the fridge, it tasted like “a pleather shoe dunked in meat pie.” [Good Food]
  • Michelin-starred restaurant Riff in Valencia, Spain has been found not liable for the death of a woman who got food poisoning (along with several others) while dining there. The forensic report determined “she suffered acute respiratory failure as a result of a pre-existing kidney disorder.” [Drinks Business]
  • U.S. water is full of “forever chemicals,” and the EPA isn’t moving quickly enough. [Vice]
  • Here’s why Guy Fieri is a meme king. May we all someday become citizens of Flavortown. [Mel Magazine]
  • Along with their milk, senators can snack on candy, but nothing else inside the senate chamber. Nothing like a sugar-hyped or dairy-sleepy public officials to be making all these important decisions! [NY Times]
  • New York’s City Council is on track to pass a bill that would require all stores to take cash, amid the rise of “cashless” restaurants and cafes. [ABC7]
  • Sales are evening out for the Impossible Whopper, so Burger King is slashing prices. [Bloomberg]
  • Barefoot cellars is releasing “wine seltzer,” which it insists is different than a wine spritzer. [Forbes]
  • A cold snap in Florida caused iguanas to fall from the trees. Now, people are selling iguana meat on Facebook. [USA Today]
  • Restaurant service etiquette can still be incredibly sexist. Who’s surprised? [Mel Magazine]

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