The Vending Machine Chronicles

| 7/1/2008 5:27:27 PM

Tags: discoveries, food, candy, vending machines, turducken,

When I first came to work at Utne Reader, I hid my occasional trashy-food indulgences from the other staffers—smuggling clandestine bowls of orange-dye-laden, mushroom-soup-spiked macaroni & cheese casserole out of the kitchen. (I’m from Wisconsin. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.)

It was so not necessary. Turns out, Utne Reader staff people are adventurous eaters, devotees of organic, local, and fairly-traded cuisine, as well as bold gastronauts in the weird, kitschy, and gross domains.

I present to you a vending machine discovery made this Tuesday afternoon by our intrepid librarian and crafty research editor: Red licorice rope, stuffed with a viscous Sweet Tarts goo, stuffed with crunchy Nerds.

turducken of the candy world. 

Ladies and gentlemen: The turducken of the candy world.


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1/4/2011 5:46:38 AM

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james thompson
7/8/2008 11:30:03 PM

Somehow I don't think this would go over so well here in Marin County, CA!

erik helin_3
7/8/2008 3:45:35 PM

Haha, this is wonderful. Bennett, yours is like the Golden PP7 of meals. One burger and you're dead. But, if you want something really disturbing, check out what our friends at The AV Club are dabbling in:

bennett gordon
7/8/2008 1:28:32 PM

That's horrible, but this may be worse: The Doughnut Bacon Burger: They've opened Pandora's box, and now there's no going back. Yuck.

julie hanus
7/7/2008 3:59:16 PM

Hi, Dave41. According to, there are 210 calories in a 2.1 oz serving of rope. We're looking at 2 grams of fat, 33 grams of sugar (48 grams total carbs), and one lonely gram of protein. Eek! Interestingly, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) isn't in the ingredients list. The ropes contain: sugar, wheat flour, glucose syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil, and then a whole lot of "less than 2%" items, including all the predictable dyes and whatnot. On my little imaginary scorecard, I suppose I'd give the rope +1 for skipping HFCS, but -2 for the palm oil. Palm kernel oil is transfat free--hooray!, except... over the past several years, publicity regarding the health risks of transfats (and the FDA decision to require transfats disclosure on nutrition labels) has caused an incredible, devastating demand for the oil. For a really great article on the subject, check out "Fat of the Land," in the March 2008 issue of the Walrus. Here's a link: Cheers, Julie

7/5/2008 3:04:00 PM

LICORICE -- SWEET TARTS -- NERDs? ALL TOGETHER? Where's the beef and gravy? Ewwwwww. just curious Julie -- can you give us some of the nutritional facts? Are any of those provided with this? How many calories, grams of sugar etc. And God only many different kinds of food coloring....... Even I would not eat that! And that's saying a lot! (this reminds me of the Friends episode when Rachel made trifel but messed up the recipe and put half of the ingredients in for a sheppards beef pie.....)

julie hanus
7/2/2008 12:08:30 PM

Oh, I totally agree, KW. High-fructose corn syrup is the devil. Period. Once you start looking for it in ingredient lists, it's downright near impossible to shop at a traditional grocery store. And it's not just the sweets aisles, either: Try finding a loaf of bread without it.

bryan welch_5
7/2/2008 9:46:36 AM

Egad! - Bryan

7/2/2008 9:14:05 AM

And they wonder why so many children are treated for ADHD. Long live high fructose corn syrup!

7/1/2008 5:44:25 PM

This cannot be real.