When a junk-food paradise and a fried-food franchise start adding healthy food into the mix, some sort of shift is happening. Two Canadian hot spots for fast food are making changes, one of them modest, the other dramatic.
The modest changes are being made by a few food stands at the Calgary Stampede. Food booths line an area nicknamed “Heart Attack Alley.” That’s where you can buy deep-fried Kool-Aid«, macaroni and cheese pizza, funnel cake, corn dogs and deep-fried pickle chips.
People don’t go to the Stampede expecting healthy fare, but this year those with glucose or lactose intolerance at least have a few choices. Bill Graveland reported in the Canadian Press that stir-fries from the Salt Spring Noodle Bar are one of the new choices. So are gluten-free burgers and hot dogs and sugar-free lemonade.
Those are small changes. Whether they herald even a slight shift toward more fresh-food choices at the Stampede is yet to be seen. After all, this is also the place where you can buy deep-fried Pop-Tarts«.
Next: From KFC to Home-Cooked Meals
A more significant change is underway in Newfoundland, where a KFC franchise owner is shifting 10 outlets from fried chicken takeout to home-cooked meals. Renee Marquis told CBC she is changing the restaurants’ name to Oppy’s Diner. Recipes from her mother and aunts will be featured on the new menu.
Marquis’ father bought the first franchise in the 1960′s so the family has been frying chickens for nearly 50 years. The family always ate healthy food at home so Renee Marquis figures, “Since I eat fresh food, I would like for others to do the same.”
She told the National Post:
We have beautiful wild produce in Newfoundland, we’re surrounded by the ocean. I want to give people a fresh option, not just haul something out of a freezer or open up a tin and charge premium price for junk food.
There they are – two good-news food stories, half a continent apart. The first change is small but noticeable. The second is a major shift for a food family that knew the Colonel personally and has had a long and successful run sell his fried chicken.
What other changes would you like to see?
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Photo 1 from joo0ey via Flickr Creative Commons; Photo 2: Thinkstock