This Week in Food: Couture Pops, Customizable McDonalds Hamburgers, and More

Today I’ve got four quick “food and money” stories for you:

From Sugar Factory, you can buy a $25 “couture pop,” which is to say a lollipop, that has apparently already been seen in the hands of celebrities “at exclusive events everywhere.” I don’t recall having seen any celebrities holding lollipops since Baby Spice, but I could just be out of touch. Am I missing the couture pop craze?

Get your couture pop in various celebrity-themed designs, including Hello Kitty, The Pussycat Dolls, Mel B (I knew the Spice Girls would be involved somewhere), and Kylie and Kendall Jenner. The exclusive Britney Spears “Pieces of Me” couture pop is currently available for pre-orders only.

Best quote from the website:

Due to rising temperatures in Las Vegas, the plastic wrap may stick to the candy head of your couture pop. We suggest selecting the 2-day-air shipping option.

I originally saw the couture pops on Jezebel, which is also where I learned that a slice of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding cake recently sold for $7,500 at Julien’s Auctions. Before you assume “oh, that must be a terribly British thing,” I should pass along that Julien’s Auctions is in Beverly Hills. That slice of cake survived three years and a very long series of flights before making it big in Los Angeles.

The buyer has not yet been identified.

Celebrity food is all very well and good, but we live in America, where anyone can be a celebrity! That must be what McDonalds had in mind when it announced its new Create Your Taste menu. This is, essentially, a variation on the now-ubiquitous “add all the flavors” touchscreen soda machine, except with burgers. As USA Today puts it:

Create Your Taste lets customers skip the counter and head to tablet-like kiosks where they can customize everything about their burger, from the type of bun to the variety of cheese to the many, gloppy toppings and sauces that can go on it.

No doubt McDonalds will quickly find a way to add an extra cost to every gloppy topping you want to squirt onto your create-a-burger, but what about the cost of not adding toppings? No, seriously, that’s a thing now. This morning, from Reuters:

US health regulators estimate that consumers will suffer up to $5.27 billion in “lost pleasure” over 20 years when calorie counts on restaurant menus discourage people from ordering french fries, brownies and other high-calorie favorites.

The current US population is roughly 316 million, so 5.27 billion divided by 20 years divided by 316 million people equals… 83 cents a year? Did I do that right? It can’t be right. Let me check it again. I’m still getting eighty-three cents, people. Please tell me I’m wrong and I did the math incorrectly.

But I love the idea that an entire year of eating french fries, brownies, and couture pops only adds 83 cents of pleasure to my life.

Photo Credit: Tony Fischer

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