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Courtesy of Amy's Drive Thru
Courtesy of Amy's Drive Thru

America's First Veggie-Focused Fast Food Drive-Thru Plans Nationwide Expansion

Courtesy of Amy's Drive Thru
Courtesy of Amy's Drive Thru

While dining at drive-thru joints, vegetarians are often forced to stick with meat-free menu choices like fries, fro-yo, and side salads. (As for vegan and gluten-free patrons, their meal options are likely even more limited.) But thanks in part to Amy's Drive Thru—a California-based restaurant that bills itself as the nation's first organic, gluten-optional, and veggie-focused fast food eatery—customers across both the Golden State and the greater U.S. may soon get to indulge their cravings guilt-free, according to Geek.com.

Amy's Drive Thru—which sells everything from organic burgers to vegan mac 'n' cheese and gluten-free cinnamon rolls— may soon open a second location in Marin County, California, in addition to its flagship location in Sonoma County, California. Eventually, the restaurant hopes to expand nationwide, providing the veggie-loving masses with fast food made from local ingredients and farm-fresh produce.

If both the concept and the name of Amy's Drive Thru sounds familiar, that's because it's an offshoot of Amy's Kitchen, the frozen and canned food brand stocked at Whole Foods and other grocery stores. After years of enticing shoppers with foods like organic frozen pizzas and gluten-free burritos, the business opened their first stand-alone eatery in Rohnert Park, California, in 2015.

The Amy's Drive Thru in Marin County isn't a done deal quite yet: For one thing, local planning officials still need to address the project in a preliminary hearing planned for September 12, 2017. (According to Eater, existing local zoning rules already prohibit drive-thru restaurants, but Amy's is hoping for some wiggle room.) "We are very early in the design process for Amy's Drive Thru on Paradise Drive, and look forward to sharing additional information as quickly as we can," company officials tell Mental Floss.

That said, expect to hear more about the restaurant in the future as it grows in both scope and scale, with multiple potential locations in the works for Northern California, Fast Company reports.

Keep in mind that terms like "vegetarian" and "gluten-free" don't technically mean fewer calories: Amy's signature double-decker veggie burger, "The Amy," reportedly has more calories than a McDonald's Big Mac, according to a review by Paste. While the fast food franchise may be a great option for customers who choose not to eat meat, or have conditions like celiac disease or lactose intolerance, you still might want to check how Amy's Drive Thru stacks up, health-wise, against other fast food giants before chowing down with abandon.

[h/t Geek.com]

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Job Alert: The UK Needs a Chicken Nugget Taste-Tester

Do you like highly-processed chicken molded into mushy, breaded bites? Are you willing to relocate to England? Can your palate distinguish a savory nugget from a mediocre one? Your dream job awaits, AJC.com reports.

British retail chain B&M recently posted a job listing calling for a "chicken nugget connoisseur" to help the company get feedback on their new line of frozen food products. The chosen applicant—or applicants—will get a monthly voucher worth £25 ($34) to spend on frozen goods. Job duties consist of eating nuggets and other items and then providing B&M feedback.

The post describes the position as "temporary," so it's unlikely there's opportunity for advancement. If you care to apply, B&M will accept a paragraph describing yourself and why you’d be good for the job—though if you actually have a CV full of previous nugget-related positions, we're confident they'd love to see it.

[h/t AJC.com]

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Animals
Switzerland Just Made It Illegal to Boil Live Lobsters
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iStock

No, lobsters don’t scream when you toss them into a pot of boiling water, but as far as the Swiss government is concerned, they can still feel pain. The path most lobsters take to the dinner plate is supposedly so inhumane that Switzerland has banned boiling lobsters alive unless they are stunned first, The Guardian reports.

The new law is based on assertions from animal rights advocates and some scientists that crustaceans like lobsters have complex nervous systems, making death by boiling incredibly painful. If chefs want to include lobster on their menus, they’re now required to knock them out before preparing them. Acceptable stunning methods under Swiss law include electric shock and the “mechanical destruction” of the lobster’s brain (i.e. stabbing it in the head).

The government has also outlawed the transportation of live lobsters on ice or in icy water. The animals should instead be kept in containers that are as close to their natural environment as possible until they’re ready for the pot.

Proponents of animal rights are happy with the decision, but others, including some scientists, are skeptical. The data still isn’t clear as to whether or not lobsters feel pain, at least in the way people think of it. Bob Bayer, head of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, told Mental Floss in 2014 that lobsters “sense their environment, but don’t have the intellectual hardware to process pain.”

If you live in a place where boiling lobsters is legal, but still have ethical concerns over eating them, try tossing your lobster in the freezer before giving it a hot water bath. Chilling it puts it to sleep and is less messy than butchering it while it’s still alive.

[h/t The Guardian]

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