Quorn, The Other Swap Meat

In a bid to up the appeal of their menu, McDonalds U.K. is now offering the Quorn Premiere, a fermented fungus fillet. From the Telegraph:

Quorn was born out of nutritionists’ fears in the early 1960s that rapid population growth might result in global protein shortages. As a result, scientists began looking for plant-based protein foods and, in 1967, the discovery of a fungus in a North Yorkshire soil sample provided the unlikely solution.

The pharmaceutical arm of ICI, now Astrazeneca, and food producer RHM jointly started experiments on this “mycoprotein”.

By 1985, it was approved by the authorities for food use and the next year was launched under the name Quorn.

Low in fat and carbohydrate and high in protein and fibre, it is now grown in 155,000 litre fermenters and used as a “meat alternative” in sausages, burgers, mince. McDonald’s has even launched a Quorn Premiere – a Quorn fillet in a bun.

The obvious movie promotional tie-in here would be with the re-release of Soylent Green, a film born out of the same protein shortage fears.

Can the “Carl’s Junior Quorn Star” be far behind? Can’t wait for the commercial.

A perfect poultry product name

DOO DOOWhen companies get a product name just right, when they pick the absolute best name possible, it’s like poultry in motion. From the New Hampshire Business Review:

Like many visionaries, John Packard, founder and president of Portsmouth-based Pure Barnyard, was looking for a better way to do something — in this case, fertilize his lawn without worrying about his grandchildren playing on the grass and chemical run off into the ocean near his home.

He was visiting the Holland office of his other business, Gemini Valve, when his epiphany came in the form of a chicken. Much of Holland is below sea level, so runoff of manure is a severe issue there. According to Packard, the Dutch had developed a process of eliminating most groundwater contamination by refining chicken manure.

“I went to the processing facility that had eggs coming out one end and packaged fertilizer out the other,” quipped Packard.

In 1998, he formed Pure Barnyard and began importing the product from Holland, calling it “Cockadoodle Doo.” He began selling in select stores around Boston “just to see if there was a market. There was indeed a market.”…

…Two years ago, Pure Barnyard developed a relationship with Perdue Farms Inc., which has one billion chickens at its facility in Maryland — the highest concentration of chickens in the world, said Packard. “Each chicken produces about 70 pounds of raw waste a year. Times one billion — that’s a lot of manure,” he said.

Which makes it perfectly at home on this blog. Maryland does indeed have the biggest concentration of chickens in the world, but just barely. Last year’s competition for the title was fierce, and they eeked out a squeaker. This year’s contest is a barn burner that’s only half over. “Old Number Two“, Maryland’s pluckiest competitor, is laying eggs at a world class pace, so don’t touch that dial. One of ’ems gotta crack.

Dustin Johnson shaking up Boston & Modernista

No, “Dustin Johnson” is not a slang term for masturbation, though some consider him to be a metaphor. Dustin is the media guru who for years ran up the plumbing bill here in our office. He’s now blowing smoke from the head of the media choo-choo at one of our favorite agencies, Modernista, in Boston. While Dustin’s fleeing San Francisco is our loss, the pain will eventually subside. In Boston, the swelling is just beginning. Good luck Dustin! And good luck Boston.