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What in the world is Wendy's doing?

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Old 06-12-2006, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default What in the world is Wendy's doing?

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?
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Old 06-12-2006, 12:53 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mandalinn82
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.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:05 PM   #4
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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!
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:05 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:27 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:21 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle
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 beef tallow in grilled chicken sandwiches?!?!?
Misti, Thanks for sharing the information you've read! Now, I'm considering getting the book--sounds interesting. Is it a good read?
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle
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.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82
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.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle
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!
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:40 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:02 PM   #13
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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 . 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.
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:12 PM   #14
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Hey Misti, here are some other books like that I've read:

Food Fight

Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Super Sizing of America

How We Eat: Appetite, Culture and the Psychology of Food

Food Politics

And an interesting fiction book:

My Year of Meats

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).
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady_Effinger
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
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