France Is Banning Free Refills On Sugary Drinks

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By Cooking Panda

In a bid to reduce obesity in France, a new law officially prohibits spaces catering to the public and restaurants from offering free refills on sugary drinks to customers.

The new law specifically is going after soft drinks, which also includes drinks that contain loads of sugar or sweeteners, such as sports drinks. Additionally, BBC reports that all of those self-service soda-pop fountains, which seem to be a staple in many eateries and family-geared restaurants, will have a soft drinks tax imposed on them in 2018.

If you take a look at this Eurostat survey from 2014, it shows that 15.3 percent of France’s adults are considered obese, which is just below the average of 15.9 percent across the EU as a whole. While that is considerably lower than the 36.5 percent obesity rate that was reported for the U.S., it is still a significant amount.

The new French law is in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendation that urged countries around the world to raise taxes by 20 percent on drinks laden with sugar and sweeteners, according to the BBC. WHO recommends that cutting out sugary drinks could help people fight against obesity and health issues.

This new legislation actually comes five years after France had already passed a tax on soft drinks, so perhaps this new all-you-can-drink ban won’t come as a big shock to many of its citizens.

The U.S., however, has tried to pass similar soda taxes in the past, an attempt that has often been met with negative responses ranging from skepticism to downright outrage from consumers and businesses alike who just can’t seem to give up the sugar-bombs.

What do you think of the soda ban? Would you be willing to give up your favorite soda in favor of a potentially healthier and longer life? Let us know!

Sources: BBC, Eurostat / Photo Credit: Alexis Huang/Instagram

Tags: fountain drinks, france, obesity, Soda tax, sugar ban
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McDonald’s Giant McFlurry Looks Legit Amazing

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By Cooking Panda

What sounds better than a McFlurry Party? If you said nothing, you’re totally right.

According to Brand Eating, France is unveiling an extra-large version of the McFlurry we’ve all come to know and love, and they’re calling it the McFlurry Party. The amazingly large McFlurry-filled cup is meant to serve two to four people, but I’m pretty sure I’d be hogging it all to myself. Who really wants to share ice cream, anyway?

If you do want to share, which is apparently encouraged, you’ll be glad to know the large cup comes along with a few smaller cups for portioning. Unlike McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S., McDonald’s in France (and other countries) likes to focus on a more sit-down themed restaurant, so the ice cream in this giant cup will melt a little too quickly if you try and take it home.

If you’re like me and you want to have it all to yourself at home with no witnesses, I’d suggest simply buying a pint of regular ice cream from the grocery store, or satisfying yourself with a normal-sized McFlurry that your figure will thank you for anyway. However, if you want to try taking the giant McFlurry home, it does come with a to-go lid. I guess McDonald’s of France is at least welcoming you to try.

If Canada’s closer to home for you, and you are just dying to try something new in the McFlurry world, you might be pleased to know that they’re launching a new flavor! According to Financial Post, a new Skor McFlurry will be available at participating locations, featuring crushed-up bits of the candy bar favorite. Then again, many are actually upset by this move, since the Skor bar uses almonds in its chocolate, meaning that now McDonald’s has to warn consumers that they may come into contact with nuts. If you don’t have an allergy, or if you’re just a regular risk taker, you might not mind so much.

Hopefully soon, some of these new McFlurry changes will come to the U.S.! It’s about time for a new flavor option over here.

Sources: Brand Eating, Financial Post / Photo Credit: anaiisanaiis/Instagram

Tags: france, mcdonald's, McFlurry, McFlurry Party
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Foie Gras Production Ban For The Summer

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By Cooking Panda

France has initiated a ban on producing foie gras for the summer.

A highly infectious strain of bird flu, H5N1, has brought the production of the French delicacy to a halt throughout southwestern France for three months. As France provides about 75 percent of the world’s supply of fattened goose or duck liver, and 70 percent hails from this specific region, this ban will affect those throughout the world who partake in this luxury dish.

“My gavage room is empty,” said breeder Florence Lasserre to France Info channel, as reported by The Local. “Usually it’s full here, and it feels a bit lonely now, but the main thing is that the virus doesn’t return.”

This contagious, lethal strain of bird flu was discovered at a chicken farm in Dordogne, which prompted a veterinary intervention. H5N1 is highly fatal in birds, but it is not as contagious among humans. Nevertheless, it is fatal in about 60 percent of human cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Although breeders will be compensated for their losses, producers may ultimately lose over $150 million. A spokesperson for Cifog, the producers’ federation, explained that about 4,000 jobs would be affected by the ban.

“This interruption to our business will cause cash flow problems, additional wage costs linked to the temporary unemployment of around 4,000 workers, and fixed costs that will have to be paid despite us not having any income,” said spokesperson Marie Pierre Pe, as reported by Le Figaro, The Local notes.

As there will be 9 million fewer ducks on the market this year, consumers will also feel the effects of the ban through higher prices and increased scarcity.

Source: The Local / Photo credit: Charles Haynes/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: bird flu, foie gras, france, H5N1, production ban
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You Can Rent Julia Child’s Home On Airbnb! (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

Julia Child’s home in Provence, France, was recently taken over by new owners — and now you can rent it out for a steal of a price on Airbnb!

The gorgeous home was recently bought, with plans to renovate it into a cooking school and yoga retreat. For now, however, the owners have listed it on Airbnb for an astonishingly inexpensive $610 per night!

The most exciting part of the home, of course, is the opportunity to cook in the same kitchen that the late great chef used, the San Francisco Gate reported.

The house is reportedly strikingly similar to its original condition, and is much like her Cambridge, Massachusetts kitchen that is currently in the Smothsonian.

If you’re looking to vacation in France and you’re a fan of Julia Child, you’ll want to jump on this opportunity soon — the La Peetch: Center for Food, Culture and Community is scheduled to launch in 2017.

Sources: San Francisco Gate, Airbnb / Photo credit: San Francisco Gate

Tags: airbnb, france, home, julia child, rent
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