So here’s what’s been happening…

Maker’s Mark Waters Down Whiskey

TIME magazine reports that Maker’s Mark, a popular whiskey brand, has decided to water down its formula to maximize supply and profit. This reduction means alcohol content will only be 84-proof, rather than the standard 90-proof to which we’ve become accustomed. Not surprisingly, this revelation has provoked some backlash, and although both Maker and his father Bill Samuels Sr. allege that the whiskey’s flavor is identical to its pre-dilution taste, we still aren’t convinced.

Lay’s Newest Flavors: Reaching 1,200 Likes on Facebook

Lay’s highlighted its big launch of three new potato chip bags by conducting a Facebook competition for the public to concoct their own delicious (or gross) flavor ideas for the empty bag slots. Three winners were chosen and officially announced on Good Morning, America. While the wait was suspenseful, we’re even more excited to hear the reviews of the new chips. The thrilling three new flavors? Cheesy Garlic Bread, Chicken & Waffles and Sriracha. Have fun experimenting!

Weekly News Roundup 2/17/13

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Southern Diet Can Lead to Stroke

Recent studies reveal that people who eat a diet comprised primarily of Southern food are at greater risk of stroke. Southern staples include fried fish, chicken and potatoes, bacon, gravy, biscuits, sweet tea and other sugary drinks to wash down that greasy fare. This excessive intake of fatty foods ups the chance of cardiovascular disease, and too many sugary drinks can increase the risk of developing diabetes. In fact, studies show that people who consume Southern foods 6 times a week are at a 41% higher stroke risk than those who eat a Southern meal only once a month. Those who fill their plates with fruits, vegetables and whole grains have a 29% lower stroke risk than those who don’t regularly eat these items. So, make sure to eat predominantly healthful foods, and steer clear of the Southern diet as much as possible.

Weekly News Roundup 2/17/13

Photo by Aurelie Corinthios

FreshPaper: Changing How We Eat

FreshPaper, a Fenugreen organic product, promises to keep vegetables and fruits fresh for 2-4 times longer than usual. This new magic paper is easy to use: simply place the sheet in any fruit bowl, fridge drawer or container for optimum storage and freshness. FreshPaper is made from a medley of organic spices and exudes a maple-like aroma. It is biodegradable, recyclable and can be purchased online or at select Whole Foods stores worldwide, with more locations to come.

Bloomberg Cuts Sodium in 21 Companies

Out of 24 companies, 21 have successfully cut down salt in their products, striving to help customers eat healthier and stay within the recommended daily intake of sodium. Companies participating include Starbucks, Heinz ketchup, Butterball cold cuts, Kraft, Ragu tomato sauce, Nabisco and ConAgra, among others. Under Bloomberg’s guidance, the “salty six” foods (pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cold cuts and cured meats), as well as bread, will now be lighter on the salt content and easier on your heart health.

Weekly News Roundup 2/17/13

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The Hot List: Best Burgers in America

The list of the current hottest burgers in America has been revealed, and Chicago managed to land two spots on the list. Au Cheval‘s winning burger features two patties accompanied with Dijon, pickles, onions and a fried egg on top. From the looks of the featured picture, it’s worth a trip downtown: the bun is perfectly toasted with a sharp knife sticking out, ready to be devoured. Another winner is Kuma’s Too, which offers a different atmosphere but equally spectacular food. The restaurant channels a rocker vibe with a soundtrack of heavy metal tunes and big, meaty burgers that’ll really make you feel tough.

Weekly News Roundup 2/17/13

Au Cheval Burger taken from

Chicago Restaurant Week Extension

For all you food fiends who missed out on this year’s Restaurant Week in Chicago, you haven’t missed your chance! Here’s the inside info on which spots you can still hit up, and some even last through February and into March. Prix fixes that last until February 28th include: The Bristol, Belly Q, Nellcote and Table Fifty-Two. Prix fixes that extend through March include: Keefer’s (all of March) and Bistronomic (until March 10th). Also, Salpicon offers a $33 three course menu indefinitely for Mondays and Tuesdays. So make sure to head to Chicago and try out these offers while they still last!

Taco Bell and Frito-Lay’s Newest Collaboration

After the successful launch of Taco Bell’s “Doritos Locos Tacos,” Taco Bell and Frito-Lay have decided to create another zesty, cheesy treat to broaden their product range and appeal to more consumers. The new “Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco” can be purchased in stores for just $1.39 starting March 7th, and clocks in at a mere 160 calories. Filled with lettuce, cheddar cheese and hearty chunks of meat, this taco will satisfy any craving without adding pounds to your waistline. If 160 calories still seems a bit heavy, you can always order an alternative, lighter version of the Cool Ranch flavor for just 140 calories per taco.

Weekly News Roundup 2/17/13

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