Ohio State University Has Its Own Bacon Vending Machine

Ohio Pork Council
Ohio Pork Council

As final exams approach, many students at Ohio State University will be fueling their brains with bacon. According to USA Today, a vending machine filled with ready-to-eat bacon strips and bits has been installed in the lobby of the Columbus-based school's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences to help raise funds for the department.

The snacks may not be as cheap as ramen noodles, but they are a close second. The university is able to sell the bacon at a discounted rate of $1 per item because all of the products were donated by Sugardale Foods, Hormel Foods, and Smithfield Foods. Proceeds go to the university's Meat Science Program, which teaches students "the underlying principles of biology, physiology, and nutrition that drive animal growth and the impact they have on meat quality," according to the school's website. Students within the Meat Science Program are tasked with restocking the vending machines until December 13, which is the last day it will remain on campus.

The unusual fundraiser is the result of a partnership between the university and the Ohio Pork Council, which works to promote the pork industry within the state. Because all of the products in the vending machine are shelf-stable, no refrigeration is needed. "Customers can eat the bacon straight out of the vending machine!" Emily Bir, director of communications for the Ohio Pork Council, tells Mental Floss.

Could the bacon vending machine be coming to a city near you? One can only hope, but it's too soon to tell. "The future of the vending machine is still unknown—you may see it appear again after December 13, or maybe not. Time will tell," Bir says.

Oddball vending machines have become more popular in recent years. There's a pecan pie vending machine in Cedar Creek, Texas, and past examples (some more successful than others) have included those that dispense hot pizza, burritos, live crabs, baguettes, and caviar.

[h/t USA Today]

KFC's New Firelog Makes Your House Smell Like Fried Chicken

KFC
KFC

The classic yule log has received updates from Star Wars, Nick Offerman, and Lil Bub over the years. This holiday season, why not stoke your fireplace with a log from the folks at KFC? As KRON reports, the fast food chain has produced its own firelog that releases the scent of Kentucky fried chicken when ignited.

The KFC 11 Herbs and Spices log is the best way to fill your house with delectable fried chicken smells without ordering takeout. Made in collaboration with Enviro-Log, it contains 100 percent-recycled materials and burns for up to three hours. KFC warns buyers that burning the log "may result in a craving for fried chicken," and that it "may attract bears or neighbors who are hungry." Despite the mouthwatering aroma, the KFC firelog is not safe to eat.

KFC and Christmas may seem like an odd pairing, but it's an annual holiday tradition in other parts of the world. In Japan, KFC has been a Christmastime staple for decades, with customers placing orders for buckets of "Christmas chicken" months ahead of the holiday.

The KFC log went on sale for $19 on Thursday, December 14, and it's already sold out from the online store, but keep checking back to see if they've restocked them.

It likely won't be the last scented novelty product we see from the brand: KFC has previously released a candle, nail polish, and sunscreen all made to smell like its famous fried bird.

[h/t KRON]

Where to Score Free Treats For National Cupcake Day

iStock.com/RuthBlack
iStock.com/RuthBlack

December is a magical time of year, and not just because of all the winter holidays. A few days on the calendar this month cater to those of us with a sweet tooth, and we can’t say we’re complaining. National Cookie Day fell on December 4, followed by National Brownie Day on December 8, and we still have National Cupcake Day to look forward to tomorrow, December 15. Because if you’re already planning to indulge in Christmas cookies and cake, why not go all out?

The icing on the cake is that a few bakeries across the country will be handing out free cupcakes tomorrow. Sprinkles Cupcakes will be giving away a limited edition strawberry cupcake with rainbow sprinkles to the first 100 visitors at each of its bakeries, which are located in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C. The bakery will also be doing “impromptu cupcake drop-offs” around New York City tomorrow.

Baked by Melissa also promises customers a free cupcake of their choosing at any of its 14 outlets in the New York City region, according to Metro. The company will also post information about a cupcake giveaway to its Instagram page tomorrow, and you can participate by tagging a friend in the comments. Two winners will receive a “Superstar” pack of 50 cupcakes.

If you happen to live in Cleveland, LaBella Cupcakes is taking a unique approach to the holiday and launching a scavenger hunt at 10 a.m. tomorrow. It will take participants to 10 historic locations around the city, and the person who solves the clues the fastest will take home a dozen free cupcakes. Check out the company's Instagram and Facebook pages for more details. 

There’s also a chance one of your local, non-chain bakeries will be hosting a promotion, so it’s worth visiting their website or social media pages to see if there are some freebies you can take advantage of. 

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