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Vegan Scientists Claim They Can Make Hamburgers Out Of Microbes From Yellowstone National Park

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Good news. If you are one of those tourists who thought your trip to Yellowstone was perfect except that you would have preferred to eat Old Faithful, then you’re in luck.

A Chicago-based company which makes vegan products has been working with volcanic microbes found in Yellowstone National Park to make meat-like substances such as hot dogs and hamburgers.

The company, Nature’s Fynd, told VegNews last week that its founder identified a microbe can survive extreme conditions —like Old Faithful — and then you can feed the microbes glycerin and starches while fermenting them.

That process, they say, creates something called “Fy” which is an “animal-free protein that contains all nine amino acids and is high in fiber and vitamins.”

So in other words, you can get a steak or a pork chop and maybe even a double cheeseburger without any land, soil, or animal slaughter. It’s like magic.

“There is a revolution going on in protein product and in the future I don’t think if people care if the cells are from cows or microbes,” Thomas Jones, the CEO of the company, told VegNews.

A video produced by the company claims the Yellowstone microbes can produce “really delicious all-purpose foods that are perfect for feeding anyone, anywhere, anytime without the need for sun, rain, or soil.” 

“Perfect for all 8 billion of us,” the narrator said. “Which means together we can give the earth a breather and let it rest.”

So how did all of this happen in the first place?

Karuna Rawal, CMO for Nature’s Fynd, tells Cowboy State Daily that back in 2009, Chief Science Officer and co-founder of the company, Mark Kozubal, was a Ph.D. student researching extremophiles at Yellowstone National Park under a research permit, support by the National Science Foundation and NASA.

“He collected samples from an acidic hot spring without causing any negative impact on the area,” Rawal said. “In fact, we never have to go back to Yellowstone for another sample because we ferment the microbe called Fusarium Strain Flavolapis to create Fy, our nutritional fungi protein.”

So, if you think there will be conveyor belts attached to Old Faithful with a non-stop supply of microbial hamburgers coming out, think again.

“I’m happy to say that there will be no conveyor belts near Yellowstone. We never have to go back to Yellowstone and we produce our complete, fungi-based protein in Chicago,”  Rawal said.

So far beef producers from Wyoming don’t appear to be concerned with any new competition. As of this publishing deadline, we haven’t seen any press releases expressing concern over volcanic hot dogs.

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Man Loses Pants in Brawl as Chaos Erupts at Grand Opening of In-N-Out in Colorado

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Well, at least nobody got killed like the incident at the Popeye’s restaurant in Maryland two years ago.

But a fight broke out leading to a person losing his pants (of course).

It was all a part of the grand opening of the first In-N-Out restaurant about 100 miles south of the Wyoming border in Aurora.

People, with only partially working brain cells, go crazy after fast food and they lived up to all expectations last Friday when some waited over 14 hours to buy a hamburger.

Good news though. By the second day of business, the wait time was only eight hours.

More good news: many people apparently have that kind of time to spare.

And they are proud of waiting that long too.

In fact, one idiot patron — holding a bag of Chick-fil-A sandwiches— boasted that he had to “buy a meal to wait for a meal”.

The whole thing was a spectacle with helicopters from at least three Denver TV stations circling the hamburger chain as if O.J. Simpson was in the drive-thru with his trusty Ford Bronco.

Speaking of OJ., the police were on hand to help people navigate through the mess and chimed-in with annoying In-N-Out parlance.

“It’s official, traffic is double double animal style right now all around the mall. We are on hand helping manage the massive traffic response. Be patient and be kind. Maybe support another local eatery today and In-n-Out another day if traffic is too hectic for you,” the Aurora Police Department tweeted.

According to media reports, the drive-thru line extended for more than two miles (more than once) and the restaurant was predicting they would sell 60,000 hamburgers over the weekend.

One person waited in the drive-thru lane for four days so he could be guaranteed a hamburger.

Decked-out in a “Ghostbusters”-like vehicle (of course), he camped out in line “eating food he had brought, reading, learning how to use a new iPad, sleeping in the bed of his pickup and taking advantage of nearby portable toilets used by construction crews.”

By the time his wait was over, he could claim his cheeseburger, fries, and vanilla shake.

As the highly-acclaimed philosophical band Poison once sang: “You give me something to believe in.”

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Wyoming Thanksgiving History: Wyoming Couldn’t Harvest Turkeys Until the 1950s

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Thanksgiving is arguably the best and most underrated holiday, largely because it’s completely centered around eating (and maybe your family too, sure).

To prepare for Thanksgiving this Thursday, we thought we would provide a few little-known facts about turkeys in Wyoming.

Hunters couldn’t legally harvest wild turkeys in the state until 1955.

According to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the weird history with turkeys started in 1935, when the department swapped some sage grouse with New Mexico for a handful of Merriam turkeys, nine hens and six toms.

The turkeys were released on a ranch in Platte County in the spring of 1935 and reportedly lured some of the ranch’s domestic turkeys to join them on a trek into the Laramie Mountains.

The turkeys began to breed while still under the watch of ranchers and the Game and Fish department, with their numbers growing to more than 1,000 by 1947.

By the early 1950s, the turkeys were reintroduced into the Black Hills, again reproducing, which then led to the legalization of turkey hunting in 1955.

Wyoming now has a spring and fall season for turkey hunting. Fall turkey hunters are encouraged to wear orange or pink for safety reasons, but it should be noted that turkeys can spot these colors.

Newcastle area wildlife biologist and wild turkey researcher Joe Sandrini suggested hunters work on stealthy pursuit at middle to lower elevations as the season moves from fall to early winter.  

“When flocks are startled and busted up, the birds can often be called back as they seek to reunite. Doing this from a concealed location is an effective fall hunting technique that is used in many parts of the country,” he said. 

Compared to domestic turkeys, wild turkeys have less fat and consequently tend to be a little drier. A “cooking bag” can help the fowl retain its natural moisture.

When cooking, understand wild turkeys won’t stay on their backs like domestic birds, and may need to be propped up.

Thanksgiving guests will detect the longer legs and a proportionally smaller, more angular breast and a fuller flavor many people enjoy over the farmed bird. The taste is primarily the result of the bird’s diet, a buffet of goodies found in forests.

As spring approaches, the birds start inching up in elevation and flocks of adult males start disbanding. Around March, gobblers start establishing areas or “strutting grounds” along the edge of creek bottoms or forests.

Hens nest in the strutting ground vicinity and close to reliable water. The females lay about two eggs every three days until a clutch of 10 to 13 is produced. After about 28 days of incubation, with no help from the gobblers, the chicks meet the world.

Within a week the chicks start flying and roost in trees thereafter. Hens and their brood, often joined by like combos, stay together until the next breeding season.

Last fall, 1,791 hunters put 1,193 Wyoming turkeys on tables.

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‘In-N-Out’ Gets Closer to Wyoming But Cowboy State Daily Is Not Impressed

in Column/Food/Jimmy Orr/News
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2020 has been an awful year by any standard. 

The coronavirus, the Charlie Brown Halloween special being removed from broadcast TV, and the Chiefs winning a Super Bowl have made it one of the worst years in recorded history.

If there is a bright light on the horizon, it’s that vaccines for the virus look promising and — for some — the In-N-Out hamburger chain is getting closer to Wyoming.

Three locations in northern Colorado are scheduled to open by the end of the week.

“Our construction work continues to move forward for our locations in Colorado Springs, Aurora and Lone Tree,” Denny Warnick, In-N-Out Burger Vice President of Operations, said to Denver’s 9 News. “We are still on track to open our first three Colorado restaurants by the end of the year, and of course our distribution center will need to be operational by that time to support these locations.”

That doesn’t do much good if you live in Wamsutter, Lysite, or Recluse. But if you’re in Cheyenne or Laramie, you’re only a couple hours away to grab what many believe to be the best burger ever made.

At Cowboy State Daily, while we appreciate In-N-Out, our hearts go to other chains.

Bill Sniffin, a self-described connoisseur of fast food, has two favorites.

“As I travel around the country, we tend to sample various fast food joints.  In Texas, we like the local Whataburger chain. But when it comes to a national chain, the Five Guys Burger joints served up a delicious hamburger with a sack full of French fries.  Good service and tasty food. Our favorite,” Sniffin said.

Sniffin said he is not a fan of In-N-Out Burger.

“Their products remind me of the earliest days of McDonald’s and Henry’s Hamburgers 50 years ago,” he said. “Very simple and not very tasty. I will never understand the long lines I see at various In-N-Out Burger joints across the country.”

Ellen Fike, like Sniffin, gives the nod to Five Guys.

“I’ve only had In-N-Out once and I will admit, it was cold by the time we got back to the hotel,” Fike said.

“While Five Guys does have one of the best burger chains around, the secret to their burgers is to never eat them in the restaurant,” she said. 

“I find that when you order one and take it home (or have it delivered), the burger has time to melt the cheese (which is, in fact, the best cheese out there) and let all of the flavors meld together for a tasting experience like no other! However, their fries could win an award for ‘most disappointing’ or ‘most soggy’” she said.

Jim Angell, who ate every food item at Cheyenne Frontier Days last year, couldn’t narrow his favorite down to just one either. Arctic Circle and A&W are tops on his list.

“Arctic Circle — This chain has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and there was a franchise I passed by every day on the way home from school,” Angell said.

“Well, to be completely honest, I didn’t always pass. Often I stopped for second lunch. The burgers are always seasoned well, the veggies are fresh and the fry sauce is to die for! And best of all, the fries are large and always perfectly cooked — not underdone, not burnt to a crisp. And generally, somebody is pretty liberal with the salt shaker. Always makes my heart pump a little faster. Really,” he said.

“A&W — Another childhood favorite, Angell said. “Before it closed in my hometown, A&W was THE place for a quick meal. The hamburgers are always fresh and well seasoned and the preparers are always generous with the condiments.” 

“I have a soft spot for the cheese curds as well, a relatively new addition to the classic restaurant’s menu. And let’s not forget the root beer. For many of us, this was our first exposure to the soda equivalent of ambrosia and it was a memory that stuck. Nothing beat someone bringing a jug of A&W root beer home on a hot summer night. Certain outlets even had a winter treat made of warmed up root beer with whipped cream and cinnamon on top. Quite good!” he said.

Jimmy Orr, who was suspended from McDonald’s during his high school days for making a giant phallic symbol out of hamburger meat (roughly 30 patties) to try to make his colleagues laugh, said Fatburger was his all-time favorite.

“Any hamburger chain that is bold enough to use the word ‘fat’ in its name is telling you something,” Orr said.  “They are focused on taste and taste only. They don’t care about anything else.”

“You bite into the hamburger and it oozes all over you,” he said. “The best way to eat a Fatburger is to put a garbage bag over your head. Well, actually, make a hole in the garbage bag and then have it drape over you.”

“The burger is so juicy and so large — and somehow so explosive — that it will ooze all over you by the time you’re done,” he said. “It just oozes.”

As a result of eating too many Fatburgers, Orr and a colleague launched competitive diets and is chronicled in the Two Guys Lose Weight blog at the LA Times.

In one blog post, Orr mentioned his favorite meal at Fatburger to his former trainer and what kind of workout was needed to counteract that 2,620 calorie meal. His trainer advised running a marathon.

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Boneless Chicken Wing Protestor ‘Excited’ Relabeling Could Actually Happen

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By now, we’ve all seen the emotional plea by the Lincoln, Nebraska, man urging the local city council to forbid restaurants from calling boneless chicken wings “boneless chicken wings.”

It’s a hilarious video. From his deadpan delivery to his clever use of puns, it’s no shock the footage has gone viral and has been covered by networks and the largest media organizations in the world.

But it’s all a joke, right?

Yes and no.

Although his speech was funny, there’s some truth behind it.

The New York Times caught up with Ander Christensen who told them that the mislabeling has long been a pet peeve.

“I would love nothing more than to have boneless chicken wings removed from menus,” he told the Times. “Don’t call it something it’s not.”

The video of his appeal has been viewed more than 3 million times and that has led his father (who is on the city council) to, well, pass the buck.

“Frankly, this is an issue that’s too large for a stage like the Lincoln, Nebraska, City Council,” the elder Christensen said. “This is probably something that would have to be addressed by the Department of Agriculture, since they take care of all the labeling. It’s gotten over 3 million hits, we may as well take this to the national level.”

Credit the New York Times for trying to get a comment from the USDA, although the agency didn’t have any.

In the meantime, Christensen (the younger), is stoked with the attention.

“I walked into that room thinking this is going to be something fun that dies at the end of the day,” he said. “Now I actually think something could happen, and I’m excited.”

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Lincoln, Nebraska Citizen Calls on City To Rename “Boneless Chicken Wings”

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We’re not saying Wyoming city council meetings are boring — especially with the drama up in Gillette and over in Laramie.

We are saying that the city council meetings are much more entertaining to the east of us.

A Lincoln, Nebraska, man approached the Lincoln City Council dais on Monday with a plea to “be a social leader in this country” by no longer calling boneless chicken wings “boneless chicken wings.”

Although laughter erupted in the chamber, he assured attendees that his was a serious proposal that deserved attention.

“I go into nice family restaurants and see people throwing this name around and pretending as though everything is fine,” Ander Christensen said. “I am talking about boneless chicken wings.”

Christensen, whose father happens to serve on the city council, said the city should remove the name boneless wings from “our menus and from our hearts.”

In his emotional plea, Christensen listed three reasons for the change including the inaccuracy of the term: he claims boneless wings actually come from a chicken breast.

He also said chicken wings are just chicken tenders — which are already boneless.

“I don’t go around and order boneless tacos. I don’t go and order boneless club sandwiches. I don’t ask for boneless auto repair. It is just what is expected,” he said.

For his third argument, he said the general public needs to do a better job in raising informed children.

“Our children are raised being afraid of having bones attached to their meat.  That’s where meat comes from — it grows on bones,” he said.

“We need to teach them that the wing of a chicken is from a chicken and it is delicious.”

As for what to call them, he had a number of suggestions, including: “Buffalo Style Chicken Tenders”, “Saucy Nuggs”, “Wet Tenders”, or simply “Trash”.

But perhaps his concluding statement was the most powerful (and poetic).

“We can take these steps and show the country that where we stand and we understand that we’ve been living a lie for far too long.  And we know it because we feel it in our bones.”

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“Restaurant: Impossible” To Tackle Hawk Springs Eatery In September

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Hawk Springs, population 45, is going to see a major influx of people in town over the next few weeks.

The reality television series “Restaurant: Impossible” will be filming at The Emporium, one of the two eateries in the town outside of Torrington, in September.

In the show, Chef Robert Irvine renovates and revamps failing restaurants in two days with a budget of $10,000. It’s comparable to the reality series “Kitchen Nightmares,” hosted by chef Gordon Ramsay.

Usually, Irvine and his team buy new decor for the restaurant, redesign and slim down the menu and improve the quality of the dishes.

The Emporium describes itself as having a “rustic atmosphere that contains historic and unique decor.” Its menu features western staples such as Rocky Mountain Oysters, chicken fried steak, hamburgers and flat iron steak in addition to higher-end offerings such as osso bucco and ribeye.

We included some photos to show you how busy this place gets (packed) and perhaps to show the “before” as in the upcoming “before and after” photo when the makeover is completed.

The restaurant already looks awesome now so it will be fun to see what happens..



According to 106.3 Cowboy Country, “Restaurant: Impossible” will film at the restaurant “sometime” in mid-September, with the grand reopening planned for 7 p.m. on Sept. 20.

Guests are invited to attend the grand opening and can sign up by emailing the production team at volunteer@restaurantimpossiblevolunteers.com. The deadline is 1 p.m. on Sept. 11, and interested guests should use the subject line “1706 WY RESERVATIONS.”

In the reservation email, provide your full name, email address, cell number, the size of your party and the names of those in your party. Reservations are first-come, first-serve.

Guests are responsible for paying for their own meal. If selected, a reservation confirmation will be sent at a time close to the dinner date.

No guests under the age of eight will be allowed. Guests will be required to wear masks at all times, until service begins and food arrives.

The grand reopening will follow coronavirus safety guidelines to ensure the safety of the guests, restaurant staff and production crew. Social distancing guidelines will be followed on set.

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Wyoming Hunger Initiative Ropes Local Cattle Producers For New Program

in Agriculture/Food/News
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Hunger Initiative (WHI), headed by First Lady Jennie Gordon, is launching a new program in conjunction with various state entities aimed at getting Wyoming-produced goods to the tables of families in need of food.

“Food from the Farm + Ranch” is a collaboration between WHI, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Custom Meats, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies. The collaboration is intended to use Wyoming products to care for Wyoming citizens.

Three beef cattle have been donated by Wyoming producers to be processed at Wyoming Custom Meats, which is located in Hudson. The meat will be donated to Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies to be distributed throughout the state as a vital source of protein.

Employees from the Wyoming Department of Ag donated the processing fees for two of the cattle. WSGA members donated the processing fees for the third. Additional processing dates have been scheduled for later in May to accommodate donations from other local producers.

“Being a producer myself, my initial vision for the Wyoming Hunger Initiative was to encompass a component of agriculture that would be part of the solution to food insecurity in our state,” Gordon said in a news release. “I am beyond excited about the immediate partnership between so many entities working together to ensure longevity of the program.”

The end goal of the program is to reach a point beyond the coronavirus pandemic where families and pantries across the state can purchase meat from local producers instead of seeking an out-of-state supplier.

While farmers and ranchers are supporting the food bank during this time through the donation of livestock and processing fees, the hope is that residents will support Wyoming producers now and in the future.

Wyoming currently has two United States Department of Agriculture-approved beef processors.

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First Lady Continues Support for Local Food Banks, Pantries

in Coronavirus/Food/News
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon isn’t happy with the fact 23,000 children in the state struggle with food insecurity, and that was the total before the coronavirus pandemic.

But ever since her husband, Gov. Mark Gordon, won his campaign, she has pushed to put an end to food insecurity in the state through the Wyoming Hunger Initiative (WHI). It’s tough work, but she has a dedicated team behind her, which has made her work much easier.

Surprisingly, the work has been fairly smooth since the pandemic began, Gordon said during Town Square Media’s “Economy Town Hall” on Friday morning. But it’s definitely going to be an uphill battle in the coming weeks and months.

“In a time like this, we’re all hands on deck,” the First Lady said. “People are very passionate about helping folks and feeding people, so it’s not a lift for me at all.”

She touched on the task force that the WHI established on March 17, which was created to provide support, streamline communications and implement creative solutions to hunger issues caused by coronavirus closures statewide.

Currently, the WHI website includes a page that breaks down local resources in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties. This covers information such as what food banks and pantries are available, what stores are offering special hours for people who are at a high risk for catching the virus and even details about when and what schools will provide food for the day or week. Anyone who doesn’t have internet access can call 211 and find similar information.

Gordon recommended that if people are looking to volunteer or donate items, they should contact their local food banks or pantries to find out what is needed.

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Grocery stores announce special hours for vulnerable adults, limit daily hours

in Business/Coronavirus/Food/News/Wyoming
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

With the number of confirmed coronavirus cases climbing every day, grocery stores across the country have recognized a specific need among customers. 

Certain groups, such as the elderly, people who have underlying health conditions and pregnant women, are the most susceptible to the coronavirus. With the addition of people panic buying unnecessary extra supplies, those vulnerable adults are often risking their health to shop in grocery stores with empty aisles. 

But more and more grocery stores across the country and in Wyoming have pledged to create special hours for these high-risk individuals, allowing them to come into stores for a certain amount of time and shop at a time they can avoid large groups of people. 

Walmart announced an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday until April 28. Customers 60 and older will have the opportunity to begin shopping one hour before the store opens for the general public. The pharmacy and vision center will be open at this time, as well.

Albertsons and Safeway will reserve two hours every Tuesday and Thursday morning, 7 to 9 a.m., for vulnerable shoppers, including seniors, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems. 

Dollar General will designate the first hour at all of its stores as open daily to senior shoppers. 

Big Lots will reserve the first hour of each day for seniors and those most at-risk concerning the virus.

Many of these chains, such as Walmart and Albertsons, are also limiting their daily hours to help combat the spread of the virus.

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