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Boneless Chicken Wing Protestor ‘Excited’ Relabeling Could Actually Happen

in Food/News
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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”

in Food/News
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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

in Food/Good news/News
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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
Apple City Festival
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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.

Meatless Options Having Little Impact on Wyoming Beef Producers

in Agriculture/Food/News
2736

By Tim Mandese
Cowboy State Daily

Despite a growing trend toward meatless meal options, Wyoming’s beef producers are not seeing much of a decline in the demand for their product.

Plant-based meat substitutes are popping up in supermarkets and restaurants across the country. Burger King sells its Impossible Whopper, Qdoba has an Impossible fajita and burrito. Even Dunkin’ Donuts is selling a plant-based patty as a sausage substitute on its breakfast menu.

Although plant-based meat substitutes are more available than ever, their presence in the market has not dampened the demand for Wyoming beef, said Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

“I think it’s gotten a huge amount of media attention because it’s something new,” Magagna said. “The media attention far exceeds what it’s gotten in the meat case and grocery stores or food establishments. At this point in time, the percentage of the market they’ve taken is so very small that we certainly haven’t felt an economic impact, but that could come if this continues to grow.”

WSGA figures show plant-based foods make up a little more than 1 percent of the beef market.

“The hype would lead you to believe it’s taking over the country and I dont see any evidence of that,” Magagna said.

The majority of current media attention is centered around meatless products from a company called Impossible Foods, founded in 2011 by Dr. Patrick O. Brown.

Impossible Foods did not respond to an emailed request for an interview. However, the company’s website said its mission is to end the use of animals to make food. The company’s goal is to make convincing meat, dairy, and fish from plants-based sources.

In 2016, Impossible Foods launched its first product, the Impossible Burger, a substitute meat patty. Today, it’s served in 15,000 restaurants world wide.

According to the company’s website, the patty used in Burger King’s Impossible Whopper is made of the following ingredients:
•Water

•Soy-protein concentrate
•Coconut oil

•Sunflower oil

•Natural flavors.

Impossible “meat” also contains 2% or less of:
•Potato protein
•Methylcellulose
•Yeast extract

•Cultured dextrose
•Food starch, modified

•Soy leghemoglobin (Heme)
•Salt
•Soy-protein isolate
•Mixed tocopherols (vitamin E)
•Zinc gluconate
•Thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1)
•Sodium ascorbate (vitamin C)
•Niacin
•Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)
•Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

•Vitamin B12.

According to ImpossibleFoods.com, its patty is made mostly of soy protein derived from soybeans.

Another soy ingredient, and the one said to be responsible for the meat-like taste, is soy leghemoglobin.

“Soy leghemoglobin is short for legume hemoglobin — the hemoglobin found in soy, a leguminous plant” said the ImpossibleFoods.com website. “Leghemoglobin is a protein found in plants that carries heme, an iron-containing molecule that is essential for life. Heme is found in every living being — both plants and animals.”

Given the list of ingredients found in the meatless patties, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association is working with legislators to set labeling standards for plant-based products.

“Our big concern and our focus the last couple of years is on how these products are advertised,” Magagna said. “If they are advertised for what they are and it’s fair competition, it’s a free marketplace, as long as it doesn’t lead people to think they are eating real meat when they are eating plant-based products.

“We’ve worked on and are still working on legislation at the national level and we passed a bill here in Wyoming last year in our legislative session, that identifies how those products have to be labeled,” he added.

The introduction of a meat alternative has helped the beef industry better understand what it must do to compete in changing markets, Magagna said.

“There’s plenty of evidence out there that red meat is an important part and a healthy part of a balanced diet,” Magagna said “If it’s done anything, in one way it’s helped us, because it’s inspired us to better recognize the need to market our product and to focus on marketing the healthy attributes of our product”

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