Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - What in the world is Wendy's doing?




LLV
06-12-2006, 11:11 AM
I've read a couple of recent articles about Wendy's and how they're changing their - uhhhh, well - menus around.

Okay, on one hand they're going to start frying everything in healthier oil. This will remove the trans fat from their deep-fried products. The move will reduce trans fats in french fries to just zero to 0.5 grams, depending on serving sizes, while all of the breaded chicken products will have zero grams of trans fats. This, of course, will also lower the saturated fat content.

Fine. Great. I don't eat the deep-fried crap anyway, but it's still good news.

Then on the flipside, their portion sizes are changing. Take the drinks and the fries, for example - they're no longer calling things a "Biggie" anymore. The freakin biggie drinks and fries are now mediums. The mediums are now smalls. So basically, when you order a small fry, you're getting the medium size. If you order a medium, you're getting a large.

I noticed this last week when I took my MIL shopping. My son was with us and he wanted some lunch from somewhere. I said, "No McDonald's, it's too much fat. If they're gonna promise for four years to switch to better oils and not make GOOD on that promise, they can kiss my butt."

So we ended up going to Wendy's. My MIL and I got the grilled chicken sandwiches and my son wanted chicken nuggets and fries. Now, this is a rare treat for him, I don't allow him to eat this stuff very often. But this day I let him get his nuggets and fries. I ordered a small chicken nugget (5 pieces) and a SMALL fry. We get home and I pull the fries out of the bag and was like, "What??? I ordered a small!"

So what the heck do you have to do to get a small fry? Are they obsolete now? And why are they doing this? My husband has a theory - he seems to think it's their way of preparing for the move by the FDA for restaurants to lower their portion sizes. They're [Wendy's] already prepared - they've increased sizes on everything, even though they're getting rid of the "biggie" label.

Any thoughts on this?


mandalinn82
06-12-2006, 11:53 AM
The whole "small to medium" thing IS irritating. On the other hand, they are test marketing Baked Lays as a side option for their meals - and thats only 130 calories. They have lots of options beside fries that are relatively healthy, like the chili or side salads, too. What I'm guessing is that providing all of these non-fry options to go with their meals has led to people not ordering as many of the small fries...people who want Wendys and are watching their weight have some options besides the size of the fries, so ordering the "best choice" to go with your meal no longer means ordering the smallest fry.

The small fries are now the "kids meal" fries - you might be able to ask for them separately.

LLV
06-12-2006, 01:57 PM
The whole "small to medium" thing IS irritating. On the other hand, they are test marketing Baked Lays as a side option for their meals
That's silly, I can buy those in a grocery store. Why would I order them at fast food restaurant?

A sandwich place like Subway I can see. But baked potato chips at a burger joint?

I wondered if they were still keeping the kid's meal sized fries.


mandalinn82
06-12-2006, 02:05 PM
I don't know, I kind of like the Baked Lays options. There are specific circumstances, schedule wise, where its really hard for me to avoid fast food, or at least, to avoid it as much as I'd like. In those cases, I'd rather have a grilled chicken sandwich and baked lays than a grilled chicken sandwich and fries, if only because I'd get the same potato-ey taste without having as many calories as an order of fries would offer. But thats just me.

Also, putting chips inside a sandwich is pretty much my favorite thing ever. But I'm weird like that. Whenever I go to subway, I get a veggie or other lower-calorie sub and stuff it with about half of my little bag of baked lays. Its really good!

telemetrynurse
06-12-2006, 02:05 PM
Personally, I think it is absurd for Wendy's to change biggie sizes to "medium". It reminds me of "vanity" sizing of womens' clothing. Just another attempt to help consumers delude themselves---nooooo....we're not getting fatter and nooooooo.... we're not eating a "biggie" size.

There should, IMO, always be an option to order a smaller quantity. Like some restaurants now offer 1/2 portions.

jtammy
06-12-2006, 02:27 PM
I read an online article about this, but I still didn't understand what they were doing. So what used to be called "biggie" is now the "medium". And what used to be called "super biggie" or something like that is now "large"? Is the old "medium" now a "small"?

It's amazing that McD's can sell in their french fries in other countries with no trans fat, but in good old America, McD's can't figure out how to remove it, even after 4 years of promises.

Misti in Seattle
06-16-2006, 08:21 AM
Well I am reading Fast Food Nation... and I am only saying this based on what the book says (of course I can't verify it is true) but it says that even the grilled chicken sandwiches contain beef tallow to make it taste better. Also according to this book, fast food chicken nuggets contain a lot more fat than even the burgers. This book is an eye opener as to the "tricks" the fast food and processed food makers use to "trick" us into eating their junk.

telemetrynurse
06-16-2006, 09:40 AM
Well I am reading Fast Food Nation... and I am only saying this based on what the book says (of course I can't verify it is true) but it says that even the grilled chicken sandwiches contain beef tallow to make it taste better. Also according to this book, fast food chicken nuggets contain a lot more fat than even the burgers. This book is an eye opener as to the "tricks" the fast food and processed food makers use to "trick" us into eating their junk.
WOW :yikes: beef tallow in grilled chicken sandwiches?!?!? :yikes:
Misti, Thanks for sharing the information you've read! Now, I'm considering getting the book--sounds interesting. Is it a good read?

Glory87
06-16-2006, 10:16 AM
Well I am reading Fast Food Nation... and I am only saying this based on what the book says (of course I can't verify it is true) but it says that even the grilled chicken sandwiches contain beef tallow to make it taste better. Also according to this book, fast food chicken nuggets contain a lot more fat than even the burgers. This book is an eye opener as to the "tricks" the fast food and processed food makers use to "trick" us into eating their junk.

This book may be where I got the idea that the food industry is unscrupulous - doing anything possible to make the food taste good, so we'll keep coming back. I have a deep distrust for fast food restaurants, snack food makers, soda companies...even regular restaurants. When I found out that some steak restaurants bathe steaks in butter before serving (I would never dream of putting butter on a steak if I made it at home!) it was really eye opening.

LLV
06-16-2006, 10:45 AM
Also, putting chips inside a sandwich is pretty much my favorite thing ever. But I'm weird like that. Whenever I go to subway, I get a veggie or other lower-calorie sub and stuff it with about half of my little bag of baked lays. Its really good!
Oh my gosh! I used to do that! I haven't done it in years, but I used to put chips or doritos (my favorite) on my sandwiches.

Ha! I never thought I'd find another person who's done that besides me.

I also used to love filling the little air bubbles in potato chips with ketchup.

phantastica
06-16-2006, 10:57 AM
Well I am reading Fast Food Nation...

I love that book. It's one of my favorite books ever. It was completely eye-opening to me (along with the movie "Super Size Me") and it got me thinking about how f-f restaurants are NOT looking out for my best interest in any way. That book reminds me of this bumper sticker: "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

There's another good book called "Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World".

I just try to stay away from fast food entirely, which is pretty difficult with a large teenage boy in the house. Thankfully, he is also on a health kick. I would rather spend my money at a locally owned ethnic restaurant/deli.

Misti, I love your new photo! ;)

Misti in Seattle
06-17-2006, 09:40 AM
Yes, Fast Food Nation is a good read! There is a lot of info about how companies actually worked things to put people out of business... local farmers, etc. But a lot too about what actually is IN our food. Of course there is no way to avoid some of it -- example unless you want to become a vegeterian (which I don't) there is no way I can control what they FEED the animals... but I CAN control such things as for example my ground meat. I plan to buy a meat grinder and grind my own sirloin or chicken breasts... at least that way I know "fecal matter" -- for which we all know the real word but I can't say it on this forum :) and intestines, floor scraps and whatever else are not ground up in it!

When I have started to tell a few friends about this book they have stopped me... they don't want to know. But I do! I want to get healthy and also, my knowledge certainly makes it a LOT easier for me NOT to eat at fast food places and to avoid processed junk!!!

Another example... according to the book the red color in a lot of processed foods -- known as "natural color" -- comes from some kind of bugs who commonly eat red stuff (berries or ??, forgot exactly) so their bodies are dried and crushed into powder and added to things such as strawberry yogurt (it named a very popular brand specifically), strawberry fast food milk shakes, etc. YUM. There have been efforts to force companies to actually list what "natural flavors" and colors are in their products but the food industry is fighting it like crazy! Wonder why!

I have heard of Fat Land too... maybe need to get that one! There are quite a few good books out now about this topic; I think the author of Fast Food Nation has a newer one out also.

Oh and I used to always put chips on sandwiches... I think it is a fairly common tradition. :)

Lady_Effinger
06-17-2006, 12:02 PM
AWWWW Misti. Why'd you have to say that about the ground meat and red food coloring. Ewwwwwww! Going out to eat is a treat once in a while for my family. The biggest treat is -I don't have to cook or clean up:D . You've got me tempted to get that book just to find out about what you said. Or do I stay blissfully blind to it all and enjoy our treats out? Decisions, decisions.:^: As for the food portions getting larger: I think with so many other options to choose from, that its not that big of a deal. I have a family of six and when I order something , I want to get my moneys worth. I like that Wendy's has so many options. Healthy options and not so healthy options. We get to make the choice. That's just it. It is up to us to decide.

Glory87
06-17-2006, 12:12 PM
Hey Misti, here are some other books like that I've read:

Food Fight (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0071438726/sr=8-1/qid=1150560519/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-7225798-3097416?%5Fencoding=UTF8)

Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Super Sizing of America (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0425210235/qid=1150560551/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-7225798-3097416?s=books&v=glance&n=283155)

How We Eat: Appetite, Culture and the Psychology of Food (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1550225634/ref=pd_sim_b_3/103-7225798-3097416?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155)

Food Politics (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0520240677/ref=pd_sim_b_1/103-7225798-3097416?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155)

And an interesting fiction book:

My Year of Meats (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0140280464/qid=1150560708/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-7225798-3097416?s=books&v=glance&n=283155)

I'm really interested in this topic and have done a lot of reading since I changed my life in July 2004. I would never eat fast food again (like burgers, fries, shakes, I still go to Subway occasionally).

Misti in Seattle
06-17-2006, 12:48 PM
I like that Wendy's has so many options. Healthy options and not so healthy options. We get to make the choice. That's just it. It is up to us to decide.

Ah but that would be great if it was true, and fine if you believe it; I don't think there is anything on the menu at Wendy's which vaguely resembles healthful food... especially if you consider the hidden ingredients. According to Fast Food Nation, (I think these are short enough quotes to be okay to post)

"Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich contains beef extracts."

"The McDonald's Corporation will not reveal the exact origin of the natural flavor added to its french fries."

"Red Arrow manufactures natural smoke flavor by charring sawdust and capturing the aroma chemicals released into the air."

Not MY definition of healthy!! :)

Believe me, this is mild... this book is FILLED with wonderful examples such as this... totally disgusting. Many who are vegetarians or oppose certain meats because of religious beliefs, etc. ARE in fact eating meat because many flavor additives contain beef, pork, poultry or shellfish. And they don't HAVE to tell you what's in it... the food industry is waging major battles to keep from being forced to post what is actually in their food.

Glory, thanks for all the book links! I should stop at the library and see if I can find any of them so I don't have to buy them all LOL I have heard of My Year of Meats but don't really see the point of a fiction book about this...??? Am I missing something ? LOL

Glory87
06-17-2006, 12:56 PM
Although it was fiction, it touched on two things I find interesting: feeding hormones to animals and the possible repercussions on health and how companies will do anything/say anything to market their products to people. My Year of Meats is about a woman who is creating commericals selling beef to the Japanese public (the author drew on her real-life experience in that area).

Jayde
06-17-2006, 01:22 PM
Another example... according to the book the red color in a lot of processed foods -- known as "natural color" -- comes from some kind of bugs who commonly eat red stuff (berries or ??, forgot exactly) so their bodies are dried and crushed into powder and added to things such as strawberry yogurt (it named a very popular brand specifically), strawberry fast food milk shakes, etc. YUM. There have been efforts to force companies to actually list what "natural flavors" and colors are in their products but the food industry is fighting it like crazy! Wonder why!

There are quite a lot of people who are allergic to these insects so it amazes me that the food industry still uses them as an additive. I read somewhere that someone was heading a movement to change this.

Yet another reason to buy whatever we can in its most natural state and cook at home. Then again.. go to your local grocery and try to buy meat that doesn't have any coloring added. :mad:

midwife
06-17-2006, 01:38 PM
Fast Food Nation changed how I eat (and how my kids eat). None of us has had fast food or beef since.

Misti, you can control what the animals are fed. There are companies that raise grass fed cattle and slaughter them on their ranches and ship the meat directly to you. Buying anything in a store is no guarantee that the cows were grass fed, cause once they are sold to the large butchering places, they are all fed the same.

Is ignorance bliss? I don't think so. I am angry that I never knew the truth and ate...cow manure on a bun for a long time. One would assume, living in the US of A, that meat is processed according to strict and scientific standards....Silly me. I will no longer sell my children's health to the lowest bidder so that they can turn a profit.

Fast Food Nation....read it, if you dare!

LadyFirelyght
06-17-2006, 02:14 PM
Here's an article on the red dye that Misti was talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmine

Glassy
06-20-2006, 03:56 PM
I think that in Canada things are different... i know we have obesity problems but Wendy's hasn't taken away their small fries lol and coffee shop sizes are bigger too. For example I went to buffalo and was shocked at the size of a small hot chocolate at Dunkin Donuts... it was the same size as a large in canada. At tim hortons, the small (in canada) is about 3/4 of a cup... I wonder why the difference?

Glory87
06-20-2006, 05:03 PM
I noticed this in Japan - the portion sizes at Starbucks were MUCH smaller.

sugarlove
06-20-2006, 05:23 PM
It is interesting, isn't it? Here in Canada, a McDonald's Fruit and Yogurt Parfait is 150 calories, with 2 grams of fat...it only comes in one size. In the US, the Canadian size is known as "snack size"....you guys also have a regular, that packs 380 calories and 5g fat.

Without trying to start a US/Canada debate ('cause believe me, Canada has an obesity problem, too!!), I do think it's likely due to the fact that, as a whole, Canadians are a *little* more health concious, and we don't seem to be as into the larger portions (as always, yes there are exceptions - I'm just speaking generally). For example, our large fast food soda would only be a medium at best in the US - I once got a combo when traveling in the US and could barely fit the drink in my cupholder. The regular fries that were part of the combo would be the "supersize" option here....it really was a tremendous amount of food.

In other news, Krispy Kreme finally came to Canada, and franchises are already closing because they aren't making enough money to stay in business.

I wonder why, for the most part, US portions are so much larger? Is it down to the restaurants, or the consumers? I'm thinking it must be a consumer issue, since the same restaurants in other countries offer alternate choices or smaller meal/drink sizes.

shananigans
06-20-2006, 05:25 PM
I borrowed Fast Food Nation from a friend a couple years ago and was appropriately horrified. I even ordered a copy and sent it to my dad in an effort to get him to change the way he eats after his diabetes diagnosis, unfortunately to no avail.

So many people donít want to know, but I sure as **** want to! I didnít really do fast food before, but I avoid it like the plague now. As a vegetarian I am always paranoid that hidden animal products are being slipped into my food where it has no business being, because it often is.

Meat Market http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0975867911/sr=8-1/qid=1150838435/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-9422645-5974340?%5Fencoding=UTF8 is another good piece of reading if youíre interested in more of that outraging truthy stuff.

Glory87
06-20-2006, 05:34 PM
I wonder why, for the most part, US portions are so much larger? Is it down to the restaurants, or the consumers?

My guesses are for the following reasons (based on my own past reasoning):

* Americans love value. All you can eat buffets, plates full of food, free soda refills
* I used to believe in "treating" myself. If I had a hard day, stress at work, a celebration ANYTHING I could justify going ALL out - drinks, appetizers, entree, dessert. I used to feel I deserved that kind of food.
* Deliberate blindness to the caloric content of food. I used to "know" that Cinnabon wasn't good for me, Blooming Onions weren't good for me, nachos weren't good for me, but I really didn't know how BAD they were - I didn't want to know! I would have had no idea that Fettucini Alfredo or Kung Pao had 1200+ calories.

phantastica
06-20-2006, 05:51 PM
There's this philosophy in America - a very macho one - that permeates consumers and is perpetuated by big business that says "bigger is better". We like biggie-size houses, biggie-size cars, biggie-size trucks, biggie-size corporations, biggie-size everything. Except biggie-size women, of course, that's the irony of it.

Libby1972
06-20-2006, 08:00 PM
Watch the movie SUPER SIZE ME! It's an eye opener!

webweevil
06-20-2006, 09:14 PM
In other news, Krispy Kreme finally came to Canada, and franchises are already closing because they aren't making enough money to stay in business.


That's unbelievable! Krispy Kremes closing down due to lack of business. Their glazed donuts are made with so much sugar, they practically melt in your mouth. A weakness of mine.....

Jayde
06-20-2006, 10:54 PM
I wonder why, for the most part, US portions are so much larger? Is it down to the restaurants, or the consumers? I'm thinking it must be a consumer issue, since the same restaurants in other countries offer alternate choices or smaller meal/drink sizes.

I think it is a matter of consumer tolerance and demand. So many ingredients and sizes have different standards depending upon the country because of consumer tolerance, demand, expectations, and laws made to protect consumers and their health. It is not just a matter that certain foreign countries are stricter than the States; some are ... some aren't.

Take tobacco for example. When anti-smoking advertising laws, social laws, and consumer awareness really kicked in in the States the U.S. tobacco companies aggressively had to market their products overseas. In many countries it was easier to peddle tobacco and bring in new customers... the laws of tolerance were different. Things that we would not put up with here were widely practiced in other places..

Likewise many policies of advertising and marketing of fast foods and "convenience" foods that are commonplace in the States are frowned upon in other countries. Some laws of course.. but mostly a lack of tolerance for "pushing" junk and a high awareness of what is healthy is all that is needed to keep companies in line.

Americans know that living this way is bad for us. It is not necessarily a lack of knowledge.... the knowledge is there.... mostly I think we don't want to see it and don't really want to know. But seeing what it is doing to us... ignorance... even pretend ignorance is not bliss.

Misti in Seattle
06-20-2006, 11:00 PM
Misti, you can control what the animals are fed. There are companies that raise grass fed cattle and slaughter them on their ranches and ship the meat directly to you. Buying anything in a store is no guarantee that the cows were grass fed, cause once they are sold to the large butchering places, they are all fed the same.


You are right, and I misspoke on that one. :) In fact a WA famous market just opened a branch that is on my way home from work. They sell almost entirely items which have been grown not only naturally but as much as possible from local growers. I am going to stop by this week sometime.

I was already aware of a lot... and am often sickened from reading FDA Week paper. But after reading Fast Food Nation... yeeks! How nasty!!! And as long as we put up with it and buy the stuff they won't change. The only way anything will ever be done about the filth is if consumers stop buying the stuff. I plan to be one of them as much as possible.

Misti in Seattle
06-20-2006, 11:06 PM
I noticed this in Japan

Same in the Philippines when I lived there... restaurant portions were a normal meal.

Misti in Seattle
06-20-2006, 11:08 PM
That's unbelievable! Krispy Kremes closing down due to lack of business. Their glazed donuts are made with so much sugar, they practically melt in your mouth. A weakness of mine.....

They are not doing all that well her in WA state either, once the big hype wore off when they were new. The things are really pretty nasty LOL...

aphil
06-30-2006, 09:57 AM
It is interesting, isn't it? Here in Canada, a McDonald's Fruit and Yogurt Parfait is 150 calories, with 2 grams of fat...it only comes in one size. In the US, the Canadian size is known as "snack size"....you guys also have a regular, that packs 380 calories and 5g fat.

I don't know if this is true all over the whole of the United States, but around here (Indiana) the two sizes of the parfaits were only available for the first few months that the parfaits actually existed. They took the larger size off the menu shortly after they started selling them, and now the only size available in any McDonalds I have ever been to in Indiana only has the snack sized ones available. (I have been in McDonalds all over the state...)

Misti in Seattle
06-30-2006, 08:08 PM
I used to get them at McDo's quite a bit before I stopped eating there... but here in WA I never saw any available except the small snack size.

MTHead
07-05-2006, 03:18 PM
We're calling it a snack size, which it is, but the larger one was, I think, intended to be a meal, not a snack. I don't know about the rest of you all, but I don't consider 150 cal to be a meal, and I don't eat at f-f places very often, but if I was there at a meal time, I'd rather get 2 parfaits than a burger or a "healthy" salad for my meal.