Welcome to Delicious or Distressing, where we rate recent food memes, videos, and other decidedly unserious news. Last week we discussed Starbucks’ new bumblebee cake pop that does not look like a bumblebee.
It’s Martha’s world, and we’re just living in it. This fact has always been immutable but was made all the more evident this week when she graced the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, proving once again her versatility and immortality and enviable zest for life. Frankly, we as an American public are undeserving of this absolutely perfect gift—the gift of Martha’s existence or the gift of this zeitgeisty cover, depending on how you look at it. Both answers are correct.
On the bleaker end of it all, Starbucks changed their ice to the nugget variety, and the Starbs-loving masses are not happy about it. For one Bon Appétit writer, the question of nugget versus cube is moot, because she does not like ice in drinks at all—read on for more on that. Also bleak: California’s legislature just passed a bill that would ban Skittles, on account of the chemical additives among its ingredients. Lastly, Perdue—the massive poultry farm—is diversifying into the beer space, marketing a brew specifically for beer can chicken.
Here’s everything else new in food internet culture this week.
Martha Stewart, at age 81, is the cover star of Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue, and if that news is shocking to you then you haven’t been paying attention! Martha can and will do essentially any job, and, yes, that includes modeling (which was actually her first-ever job years ago—true MarthaHeads know). As she says in a video for Sports Illustrated, “Usually I’m motivated by pay.” To that I say, get your bag queen. What mountain will Martha climb next? Who can say? Maybe she’ll start training as a bodybuilder—at this point nothing would surprise me. I’m rating this news a very confident 4.5/5 delicious. —Sam Stone, staff writer
The coffee giant is switching up its ice. Select locations are divorcing the classic cube shape and getting in bed with the nugget “as we continue to innovate and make investments in the Starbucks Experience,” a company spokesperson told The New York Post. Some fans on Reddit were horrified, claiming that the new ice would “melt too fast” and dilute their drinks—something the Post refutes. Others were delighted by the news: “I think we all collectively orgasmed,” wrote one user. I am sorry to report that everyone is wrong. Ice in any drink is terrible. It makes the liquid colder than a glacial lake; brain freeze! And when you go to take a sip of your prized beverage, there’s always a huge chunk blocking the lid’s exit hole or, in lid-less hell, banging into your teeth like rogue icebergs. Plus, everyone knows ice takes up like 50% of the cup space. Who wants to pay double for anything while the US economy is entering its death spiral era? That’s a watery 2.7/5 distressing for everyone involved in this discussion. —Ali Francis, staff writer
California just passed a bill that will prohibit the sale and distribution of Skittles and a number of your other favorite food products. Red Dye No. 3 (along with other chemicals you probably can’t pronounce hidden in the looong list of ingredients under the nutrition label) are the target of this proposed ban. Red Dye No. 3 in particular can be found in Skittles, Nerds, Pop-Tarts, Peeps, and more. The EU has already banned these chemicals from being used in food after being presented with damning evidence of harmful effects such as tumors…yikes. Understandably, the National Confectioners Association, a.k.a. the candy lobby, is opposed to the ban. But I’d rather eat a less-pink Peep or less-red Skittle if that means there’s a lower risk of cancer when I eat it. And I’m just crossing my fingers that my favorite Pop-Tarts flavor won’t be next…ugh. 4/5 distressing. —Julia Duarte, art assistant
I don’t eat chicken and I find all the food brands out there dropping merch like they’re indie designers deeply tiresome. So, let me tell you about Perdue’s gimmicky new chicken beer. The poultry-processing company is selling a 12.5 oz can of beer designed to be stuck up the bum of a chicken. (You can also just drink it.) Targeting summer grilling season, the brew—which is flavored with “classic grilled chicken seasonings like rosemary, thyme, and pink peppercorn”—is specifically made for Beer Can Chicken, a recipe that sees a whole bird propped upright on a can of beer and roasted indirectly over a grill or smoker. The idea is that the beer steam flavors the meat while keeping it (buckle up) moist. I am obviously not the target market for this product, but let’s call it what it is: A corporate giant shaking more money out of its customers by trying to appear wholesome and relatable. Boring! An anti-climactic, 2.5/5 distressing for the bird barrons. —AF