Aired Last week 2:10
Eight years into Syrias brutal war, storm in Lebanon compounds refugee misery
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Aired Last week 7:02
When a simple plan gets complicated: Lebanon set to legalise cannabis
He's another some highlights from the correspondence report archives, and it's from Lebanon, which is set to legalize its cannabis industry, the Middle East correspondent Adam Harvey went to the car valley to investigate and was lucky to emerge with these sanity intact where on a road trip from Beirut to the car valley, the source of one of Lebanon's most famous exports cannabis it set to be legalized he Assane, and it's harvest time. So he wanted to talk to the growers and filmed them reaping the crop. It's a beautiful day for a drive. We've picked up a local fixer who smoothed up passage to one of the canvas plantations the talent is lined up and we've built a cannabis playlist on Spotify first-half, cypress hill. Pick. Then Peter Tauch, of course. Criticize. It's going to be a great day out in the countryside wife from by routes, traffic and pollution, and then the mother of all traffic jams before he minute trip over the hill. Tixx newly three hours, the playlist ways thin is only so much paid at Tauch grown, man. Listen to. Finally, we make twelve run Dave point at the entrance to the become valley. Roadside cafe where fixer has arranged to meet the growers is a solid man in his mid thirties in jeans and a worn. Great hacia who looks at like, Pete Sampras and much more sharply dressed character wearing a gripe LIZA with slicked back hair. Liberties, Don Johnson, everyone hugs each other. But it soon clear there's a problem we sit inside while the fixing ago Shiites, there's lots of loud conversation and enthusiastic on wiping fix. It comes inside to explain the cannabis grow is didn't realize we wanted to film, they crop. But we're a television network. You might clear that pictures are essential. This was the whole point of are coming. He. Okay. Okay. Says the fixer let me talk to them. They reach a compromise. Don Johnson white be filmed at all. But Pete Sampras will as long as he's entities concealed fine. Fine. I say, let's go. We don't want to miss the harvest Pete kits in the back. The Lebanese security forces aunt really in control of the beca-. There are a few army checkpoints, but this is a tribal area run by Shia families hundreds of black flags fly along the roadside. But there's no need for alarm, then not a sign of extremism. They marcus. She religious fistful cold shura. And then things start to get complicated. We have to stop multiple times to ask for directions doesn't pay Sampras. No, the white who is in crop in the back of the car. ABC? Producers Charene tries to get to the bottom of things. It's not disguise farm that going to. Sharon explains a guy is cannabis grow. But we can't go to his thumb because he shot someone yesterday and people are off to him. We going to another field and passenger needs to be with us. So that no one shoots us filming commas into starters. Public added we've stumbled into some kind of complex feud people have been shot. One of passages may have Scheldt someone yesterday, which means we can't get his field and must instead head to one of his friends crops the person he shot was connected to the Elmo SRA front, which was one of the extremist groups fighting in Syria. Oh, and the passenger is also wanted by the Lebanese army. He's got thirty warrants out against him. He says is we poss- through another hobby chick point the pita Tauch road trip might need a different soundtrack right is on the storm. Brain is where man. Eventually after asking for directions. A few dozen more times and driving for about a now at down a series of narrow tracks. We find cannabis crop field of chest high plants the with sticky buds perfect exactly what we came full. We still unloaded. The camera guy. Warmly welcomed by the fields caretaker. Great things again to work out. Someone hands me a diet, Pepsi and a packet of salted pumpkin seeds rice terrific when does the harvest begin? Oh, cisa local fixer. There's no harvest today. Before one month. Looks at their harvest. Cameramen Erin quietly employed told him this would be an easy shoot harvest day in cannabis field. But imagine the team happy Luke is counting plants and tossing them into a tractor perhaps at sunset when the lots lovely and soft. Maybe that'd be smoking. Spliff says they worked till aversion gold now what we've got is the field in the middle of the day. It's about forty degrees in the Suns directly overhead the worst time to film anything. I start speed munching the pumpkin seeds one of the finest sympathizes and hands me a cigarette smoke, but I like this one that they not harvesting. This is what I am. So we're going to have to film him. He said he can turn the tap on and turn the sprinklers on something. At least we've got paid Sampras to interview he stands next to us expectantly. He's holding an AK47. because he wants to show that growing cannabis is a risky business. What about concealing his at entity? He says why having around the Kalashnikov is he? Makes his point about being a wanted man. Yeah. That's fine. I say the gun wearily. Is it loaded serene to us PDF? He could please point the gun at the ground while he's talking to us. Why are you whispering the safeties on? I'm totally over this now and want to fill in the interview and get out of here. Pete says he doesn't have anything to cover his face. No one else does either. This more loud discussions and Pete and his posse jumping to their car. They say to go and get a scarf. I'm not so sure Erin Charene and lift alone in the cannabis field. This might have been my teenage self stream. Now, it's a nightmare. La- cannabis posse return who film a frame who we hit a make it out of here. We'd like to have a word with a bloody pita Tauch. Adam Harvey lost in the valley for correspondents report.
Aired Last week 7:02
When a simple plan gets complicated: Lebanon set to legalise cannabis
He's another some highlights from the correspondence report archives, and it's from Lebanon, which is set to legalize its cannabis industry, the Middle East correspondent Adam Harvey went to the car valley to investigate and was lucky to emerge with these sanity intact where on a road trip from Beirut to the car valley, the source of one of Lebanon's most famous exports cannabis it set to be legalized he Assane, and it's harvest time. So he wanted to talk to the growers and filmed them reaping the crop. It's a beautiful day for drive. We've picked up a local fixer who smoothed up passage to one of the canvas plantations the talent is lined up and we've built a cannabis playlist on Spotify. I up cypress hill. Then Peter Tauch, of course. Criticize. It's going to be a great day out in the countryside wife from by routes, traffic and pollution, and then the mother of all traffic jams before he minute trip over the hill. Tixx newly three hours, the playlist ways thin is only so much paid at Tauch grown, man. Listen to. Finally, we make twelve run David point at the entrance to the become valley. Roadside cafe where fixer has arranged to meet the growers is a solid man in his mid thirties in jeans and a worn. Great hacia who looks at like, Pete Sampras and much more sharply dressed character wearing a gripe LIZA with slicked back hair. Liberties, Don Johnson, everyone hugs each other. But it soon clear there's a problem. We sit inside while the fixing negotiates. There's lots of loud conversation an enthusiastic on waving fix. It comes inside to explain the cannabis grow is didn't realize we wanted to film, they crop. But we're a television network. You might clear that pictures are essential. This was the whole point of are coming. He. Okay. Okay. Says the fixer let me talk to them. They reach a compromise. Don Johnson white be filmed at all. But Pete Sampras will as long as he's entities concealed fine. Fine. I say, let's go. We don't want to miss the harvest Pete kits in the back. The Lebanese security forces aunt really in control of the beca-. There are a few army checkpoints, but this is a tribal area run by Shia families hundreds of black flags fly along the roadside. But his nine eight for Allom, then not a sign of extremism. They Marcus Shia religious fistful, cold shura, and then things start to get complicated. We have to stop multiple times to ask for directions doesn't pay Sampras. No, the white who is in crop in the back of the car. ABC? Producers Charene tries to get to the bottom of things. It's not disguise farm that going to. Sharon explains a guy is cannabis grow. But we can't go to his thumb because he shot someone yesterday and people are off to him. We going to another field and passenger needs to be with us. So that no one shoots us filming commas into starters. Public added we've stumbled into some kind of complex feud people have been shot. One of passages may have Scheldt someone yesterday, which means we can't get his field and must instead head to one of his friends crops the person he shot was connected to the Elmo SRA front, which was one of the extremist groups fighting in Syria. Oh, and the passenger is also wanted by the Lebanese army. He's got thirty warrants out against him. He says is we poss- through another hobby chick point the pita Tauch road trip might need a different soundtrack right is on the storm. Brain is where man, Mike. Eventually after asking for directions. A few dozen more times and driving for about a now at down a series of narrow tracks. We find cannabis crop field of chest high plants the with sticky buds perfect exactly what we came full. We stop and unload. The camera guy warmly welcomed by the fields caretaker. Great things again to work out, someone hands me, diet, Pepsi and a packet of salted pumpkin seeds rice terrific when does the harvest begin? Oh, cisa local fixer. There's no harvest today. Before one month. Their harvest. Cameramen Erin quietly employed told him this would be an easy shoot harvest day in cannabis field. But imagine the team happy Luke is counting plants and tossing them into a tractor perhaps at sunset when the lots lovely and soft. Maybe that'd be smoking. Spliff says they worked television gold now what we've got is the field in the middle of the day. It's about forty degrees in the Suns directly overhead the worst time to film anything. I start speed munching the pumpkin seeds one of the farmers sympathizes and hands me a cigarette smoke, but I like this one they not harvesting. This is what I am. So we're going to have to film him. He said he can turn tap on and turn the sprinklers on something. At least we've got paid Sampras to interview he stands next to us expectantly. He's holding an K forty-seven because he wants to show that growing cannabis is a risky business. What about concealing his entity? He says wiping around the Kalashnikov is he? Makes his point about being a wanted man. Yeah. That's fine. I say the gun wearily. Is it loaded serene to us Pete? If he could please point the gun at the ground while he's talking to us. Don't worry we spend Aaron the safeties on. I'm totally over this now and want to fill in the interview and get out of here. Pete says he doesn't have anything to cover his face. No one else does either. This more loud discussions and Pete and his posse jumping to their car. They say to go and get a scarf. I'm not so sure Erin, Sharon, and I left alone in the cannabis field. This might have been my teenage self stream. Now, it's a nightmare. La- cannabis posse return who film a frame who we hit a make it out of here. We'd like to have a word with a bloody pita Tauch. Adam Harvey lost in the valley for correspondents report.
Aired 2 months ago 47:23
Consider the Red Lobster
In two thousand four in a tiny town. A young woman named Rebecca Gould was brutally murdered nearly fifteen years later her killer is still on the loose. It's just really surreal walking around ideal. Mention so much. Here too is out there yell. Dude. I'm Katherine towns. This is Helen gone now. Available on apple podcasts. Hello and welcome to savor. I'm and I'm Lord vocal bomb. And today we're talking about another restaurant chain. We're talking about Red Lobster. That's eight red LeicesteR. It is on our minds because of one of my personal favorite quotes Bhagat when we were doing interviews in Asheville from Kevin Frazier. Right. When he talked about Red Lobster overdoing being like the second coming of. And then we were like. What about what about that Red Lobster? It's been awhile since we've done a a restaurant chain. Yeah. And they're always such weird in fascinating social histories. Yeah. And speaking of history, I have a lot of Red Lobster memories. For me, Red Lobster was the fancy restaurant. My family went to when I was a kid. I literally put that on a survey once like in fifth grade we had to fill out what's the nicest restaurant you've ever been to can't remember why? Lobster and my little brother. He used to get the mix and match combo, and he'd get three orders of fried, shrimp and fries and a big potato every time. Oh, wow. That is good. Oh my goodness. Yep. And whatever he didn't finish he would have or second dinner on the car ride home because it was thirty minutes away. Oh, wow. You had time. He had time to get. Yeah. I guess when you have that many carbs at a certain point. You're just like, well, I'm hungry now. I might as well just continue, and my older brother would order the most expensive thing on the menu. And I always assumed it was out of spite because he and my dad didn't get along. So of course, he's going to order the most expensive thing on the menu. But who knows maybe he did really want? The admiral's platter mysteries mysteries of family history. And we would ask for vox at the cheddar valley viscous to go before we left in occasionally, if you're seeing a movie in the area because that's where the closest movie theater was we would stop by around ten pm when they're closing to see if we could just get some biscuits like at the bag and just just be like, hey, do you have any biscuits here throwing out? We just eat them. Just throw them this way. Just tossed them directly into our mouths. We'll we'll take them usually succeeded. They handle some biscuits, man. And yeah, all that to say, I have I have memories of Red Lobster. And I mentioned in our biscuit episode. My dream one day is to return by their nice. Cest puddle of red wine and just eat the biscuits. I wonder if there would be a surcharge for the biscuits. If you didn't order any food. I don't know because they come free with meals, right? But. Oh foot it to the test. I'll make a scene I'm getting your most expensive bottle own. We'll see our report back report back and also in the spirit of transparency I did work at Darden owned restaurant longhorns. Day house for a couple of years back for the span of two weeks. And I broke my foot, and I never returned to the never got paid. Oh, yeah. Oh, well, I mean, I never well share. It was sort of like, I assumed the cost of on boarding me. I'm just sort of a wash at that point. You're like well, no harm. No foul. I just never. I'm a better employee now. Yes. Yes. When you have injuries you come in to possibly reinjuring yourself ten times. Good job. Thank you. Oh Darden being the company that for a long time owned Red Lobster. They no longer do. But. Yeah. For decades, it was part of Darden's over two thousand store empire, including olive garden and Longhorn as he said Bahama breeze seasons. Fifty two capital grill all these chains like that. Yeah. I'm not sure if I've ever been in a Red Lobster roll it. I think I did once after college after I'd moved to Atlanta. There's a Red Lobster out in like Tucker. Yeah. And I went with my co workers because my office was over there. But I think that is literally the first and only time that I've ever been in a Red Lobster. Wow. We have very different we bring very different experiences. I think I've mentioned my father was a cooker Scheffer. However, you want to say it, and he had this like it's sort of personal grudge against Red Lobster, and I'm not entirely positive. Why he did have a friend who worked for the TGI Fridays chain. So like that might have been part of it. But I don't know he would just get really mad about Red Lobster in particular and something about like seafood sustainability. And I don't know like my grandmother's suggested us go there a couple of times and every time he would be like, we're not going will not take my daughter into that place. Not mind. So yeah. But, but no, I I think that your experience is not entirely uncommon in the suburbs of America where these casual family chain restaurants are kind of the only option if you are looking to have a celebrate Tori dinner, you want to spend like more than McDonald's or whatever. But you know, there's either nothing available or nothing financially available. That's better than lobster. Yeah. Yeah. And we're we're going to talk about that because Red Lobster had a heyday in it sort of coming back into its own and one of the reasons for that possibly is the beyond say effect because after her song formation came out with the line. If you rock me good. I'll take his ass to Red Lobster the chainsaw boost in sales of thirty three percents me to say when that song comes on. And I'm running the quivalent of Popeye eating spinach. Oh, yeah. Yeah. No beyond say is a serious force effector. She has a fix beyond Red Lobster. She has many effects. She does true. That's true. But this brings us to our question Red Lobster. What is it? Well, a Red Lobster is a chain of what's called casual dining restaurants, started and headquartered here in the United States. It is and this category. Of restaurants offers full service dining like, you sit down at a private table and a server or a team of servers takes your order and provides you with whatever else you request during the meal. But yeah, as I was kind of alluding to a minute ago. These restaurants offer that experience at prices that are aimed solidly at the middle class like twenty to forty bucks per person for a complete meal. It's a sort of aspirational concept that came up in the late twentieth century it's been to a vote fine dining for folks who do not have access to find dining while maximizing profits by taking cues from the fast food industry in terms of like leveraging this huge supply chain like buying in bulk and creating these easy replicable. Highly dependable experiences across dozens or hundreds of stores like corporate designs the menu. You and figures out how to get the ingredients and like manufacturer the elements of the dishes at this large scale. So that a kitchen in Kansas and a kitchen in Georgia can create the exact same dish. And here in the United States Red Lobster is not a franchise corporate owns and operates every store, which is honestly impressive. Yeah. I did not realize that. Yeah. No. And they specialize in seafood, if you didn't know that it's a seafood chain. What a punk that would be to go into a restaurant think I'm going to get some love. So at this Red Lobster restaurant. No, nope. No lobster here. That's just we like how the character looks right? Does. He have a name. It's just chicken. And I think his name is chicken. It's chicken the lops should get in the lobster. That's clear clear as a mud lobster, mud bug. We do have some Red Lobster numbers for you. There are around fifty eight thousand employees working at over seven hundred Red Lobster locations, mostly in the US, but you can find some of these restaurants in Brazil. Japan, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador Malaysia quake Qatar and United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the United States. As of two thousand fourteen they were doing about two point five billion dollars in annual sales making them the fifth largest casual dining restaurant in the country, and the largest by far in terms of full service, seafood restaurants, the profits on that were something a little bit under one hundred fifty million dollars a year. I love food industry terms. I think I've mentioned that before. But I love the casual dining restaurants, its own specific thing. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Don't don't put me in the same data. Or is this thing as fast, casual that's an poli fast food. Either though don't get it twisted on average Red Lobster restaurants beacon new batch of biscuits. Every fifteen minutes one point one million biscuits every day about three hundred ninety five million a year more on those cheddar baby. Gets later. Oh, we got to talk about the tighter bay biscuit. Yeah. I mean, by the way, cheddar bay is not a real place. It's just a name. Yeah. Sorry. It's not like Cape Cod. Like the reverse of Cape. Oh my goodness. Apparently, the endless shrimp is really endless. Oh, and this is a big draw Red Lobster how big marketing push where get in Bush Rimpoche to business insider reporters went into a Red Lobster in twenty sixteen with the ultimate goal of getting their endless shrimp. Cut off over eight hours. They dined three hundred and five shrimp in. They got a bag of shrimp to go. The manager even offered them off the menu, shrimp, items and tips on digestion, so that they could keep going and Huffington Post drive. The same thing a couple of years earlier, and they weren't cut off either. If curious in two thousand twelve you would have needed to eat about one hundred shrimp, it's three pounds to get your money's worth. Shrimp coming endless trip is back at Red Lobster with all the shrimp. You want any way you want and know your ears. Do not deceive you that was a clip from a Red Lobster commercial in Los shrimp. Very exciting endless shrimp. According to a Darden Representative as of two thousand ten people in the United States consume about fifteen to seventeen pounds of seafood per year. If he was right? That's about five billion pounds, total of which Darden restaurants were peddling some one hundred million pounds of but the most important number. Yeah. The number of times, Nikki Manashe has been fired from Rhode lobster, which is an unknown number. But apparently it's hot. Apparently, it's I- corner every Red Lobster. She could think of she was known to chase customers who had taken pins out into the parking lot and accidentally leave her nails in food press on nails hazard. It is. Yeah, it is. Well, well with those important we got beyond saying and dick even. We're really we're really cooking with some magic. I don't know. I don't know. But this brings us to the history of Red Lobster, and it also brings us to a quick break for word from our sponsor does not Red Lobster. Today's episode is brought to you by Hello fresh, which is a meal kit delivery service that shops plans and delivers step by step recipes and premeasured ingredients. So that you can just cook eat and enjoy there's something for everyone with hellofresh selection. There are three plans to choose from classic veggie and family, and the thing I love about it is that it's convenient. I don't have to go to the grocery store. I don't have to plan out a meal, it shows up and everything is there in pre-measured and ready for me to start working. And it's fun. If cooking something you'd like to get more into it has simple instructions and dishes that you might not try otherwise, it makes cooking something you actually want to do when you get home from work, and there are many benefits of subscribing. So that you can keep enjoying hellofresh week. After week the meals are less than ten dollars per serving the shipping is free. And if you go on vacation, you can just put your account on hold for a while. So that you won't be building up groceries at something very useful for someone like me who goes away for weeks at a time for a total of sixty dollars off. That's twenty dollars off your first three boxes. Visit hellofresh dot com slash savers. Sixty. Enter saver sixty. It's like receiving six meals for free. You can get twenty dollars off your first three boxes at total of sixty dollars off by visiting. Hellofresh dot com slash save or sixty and entering saver sixty. And we're back. Thank you. Sponsored. Yes. Thank you. Our story starts with Bill Darden that Darden that. I think one of the Darden's. Yes. Yes. Totally who opened the green frog in waycross Georgia during the nineteen thirties when he was only nineteen it was a diner with a drive up service. And it was very well. Received service with a hop was the slogan. Oh, I got it. Yep. And the restaurants specialized in traditional southern dishes during a time of racial segregation in the south the green frog did not segregate the green frog shut down in nineteen Eighty-one, but you can still see artifacts of its existence. Most notably the clothing boutique, the king frog with the money. He made from the green for Darden purchased. The Howard Johnson franchise, which at the time consisted of about twenty properties. Khoja was not only the first restaurant chain that was both national and full service. It was also the country's most popular chain during the sixties and seventies Darden Wanda to open a seafood restaurant in Florida, and he did with his business partner. Charlie would be in lakeland Florida in nineteen sixty eight it was called the Red Lobster in and the slogan was harbor for seafood lovers. I'd like that. He liked fun. I do too. I think we might have gotten along. There are a couple of inspiration stories about where the name may be came from either. It was a play on the name the green frog courtesy of the printer making the menus as in the person who printed up the menus came up with it or curbing, according to Bill Darden's wife, Mary it came up during a brainstorming session and it had to do with the perfectly cooked lobster, the red the Red Lobster. I like that green frog Red Lobster. Yeah. Yeah. It was a pretty immediate hit. And they grew to five locations across the south within two years darted in woods, sold the Red Lobster chain to general mills, and they stayed on as board members with be went on to open fish bones, which is different than Bonefish grew all separate fish chain. Separate fish chain Red Lobster claims that you have them to think for popcorn shrimp. Oh, yes. Is this exciting news for you? I it's honestly, honestly. So so, but I mean it had to come from somewhere it did. And they say it was from them. They also say that they came up with the first point of sale system, and they are also they should get credit for introducing the American palate to snow crab and calamari. Oh, they're claiming that real the Bolat share as far as that popcorn. Shrimp claimed goes Red Lobster says they introduced the popular food in nine hundred seventy four but some dispute this and say, we should be crediting Paul Prudhomme. Instead. Yeah. We've talked about him before the Cajun chef. Yep. In nineteen seventy nine Red Lobster debuted their new slogan for the seafood lover. I remember that from television commercials from when I was a small child Red Lobster. Due to I feel like I do to Bill Darden retired in nineteen Eighty-three, but stuck around and consulted for general mills and by nineteen eighty-five. They were over four hundred Red Lobster locations when Darden died in nineteen ninety four the company decided to spin off Red Lobster as part of a planned restaurant division, which they called Darden restaurants Inc. Olive garden on stakeouts Bahama breeze capital grill. Susan's you Eddie v's yard house and cheddars scratch kitchen all fall under Darden restaurants all garden, which launched in nineteen eighty-two now makes up forty five percent of Darden's sales who a lot of breadsticks. Yeah. That is a lot of red sticks. I had one of my worst states ever at an olive garden. I suppose if someone asks you, I don't know. Anyway, I loved it horror, movies and horrific date are the two things that you you're two landmarks for your food experience. It really solidifies in the memory. You're eating the whole thing. He poured water on me as part of what he was doing like Jeff Goldblum bit from drastic part poor. Oh, that's not the sexy thing. No. It was bad news. Anyway, moving on to good news at least for me them biscuits. Oh, yeah. Okay. Yes. We have to talk about red lobsters bread and butter the cheddar bay biscuits from Tina Facebook bossy pants, quote, there is no one of woman born who does not like Red Lobster cheddar biscuits. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar and socialists. They are relatively new though, greasing Red Lobster tables beginning in the early nineties, courtesy of one Kurt Hunkin or hankins onc ins was asked to come up with a replacement for hush puppies in his first idea was Texas toast. But that quickly turned to biscuits because they went well with seafood, they were first tested in Georgia, and they took off almost right? A way Lear original menu listing by the way, it was apparently freshly baked hot cheese. Garlic bread doesn't roll off the tongue the same way cheddar bay biscuit. Yes. Yeah. Good alliteration and everything in their current interruption. They are not in fact scratch made in house. I'm there about one hundred and fifty calories each an article about them in the Chicago Tribune in twenty eleven put it like this quote, Natalie do pre the James beard award winning author of southern biscuits, PBS, staple end biscuit, Queen told me people have biscuit fetishes and certain biscuits resonate for them. A biscuit can be terrible. But if it reminds that person of their grandmother, it doesn't matter hot biscuits mean comfort and umbilical state. Which I'm so sad that I didn't have that quote for our episode on biscuits, but isn't good call back for biscuit episode. Also are nostalgia, right? Yeah. Food. Sowed? But anyway. The nineties was red lobsters decade or they were one of the key casual family, dining restaurants. The chain gets some credit for introducing landlocked midwestern states, two types of seafoods and types of preparations that they perhaps weren't going to experience otherwise absolutely into. This was really the era of the casual family chain restaurant. Yeah. In nineteen ninety eight Dardenne group, which was the company that owned Red Lobster at the time began funding efforts around a lobster farming by the Australian research council, a whole sixteen years later, researchers were able to raise lobsters in captivity Darden also helped the Atlantic lobster sustainability foundation get going, and it took part in the global fish F I S H alliance. Yeah. Part of these efforts included improved worker, safety and training in a certain fisheries. Oh, which in turn encourages better stability practices of wild populations of lobsters, the Red Lobster? Also at that point. Stop. Serving a number of at risk fish and also stopped serving lobsters over four pounds, which are good for breeding going back to raising lobsters in captivity thing. The company started the Darden aqua farm with the production goal of forty million pounds of lobster. Oh year by twenty Twenty-nine. This was the first lobster farm of it's kind. But since starting in Red Lobster broke up. This project is on hold of note to the effort was not well received by Maine, lobster fishermen, especially in light of how lobster would continue to be presented as Maine lobster. Yeah. On the menu. The aqua farm is off the coast of Malaysia where you'll find spiny rock lobster instead. And then in two thousand and three Red Lobster took a bit of a risk that did not pay off when they introduced this, snow crab. They lost about one point one million dollars a month. While this promotion was going. That's in part because no crab has a lot more regulations around it here in the United States in the company. Chairman's words, it wasn't the second helping it was the third one that hurts. People are going to get their money's worth. If they can around endless snow crash, endless anything. Yeah. If you say endless, someone will take you seriously. It's not always just Homer Simpson. Not always not always in two thousand and four Darden took their arch nemesis to court their arch nemesis. One international house of feel like this is a twist. I wasn't I didn't see coming. I didn't they accused. I hop of copying olive garden's. All you can eat possible promotion with their never ending pancakes and never ending popcorn shrimp promotions. Oh, big no-no in Darden's is Darden's. Vice president of communications at the time called it very confusing for the consumer. We're very confused. I've never been that confused by endless pancakes. I mean. You mean? I have gotten great entertainment out of their signs, fair never ending pancakes because it's just the Infinity symbol, it's like Infinity pancakes that was definitely part of their promotional material when I was in college. And I was like is it really Infinity pancakes, I'm doubting our use of the word Infinity Infinity pancakes would be a great screening do. And I bet it's taken by bet it is we should look into that astronaut if not one of y'all around two thousand seven to two thousand eight facing changing tastes and a greater consumer emphasis on like, health and freshness. We've talked about this before Red Lobster introduced today's fresh fish Medio by fresh statement, not like literally fresh not like unfrozen, but just a grilled rather than heavily sauced or sauteed. Right. Yeah. In two thousand thirteen a joke story from the site the rock city times claiming one of their writers went into a food coma after eating four hundred thirteen of the bay biscuits got picked up as truth in several tabloids and in some websites sort of like when people share links to the onion, not knowing it said. Yeah, I mean, the paper bills itself as Arkansas's second most unreliable news source. So I I don't know what the confusion was again. I don't know. It's not the first most unreliable news source, so unreliable, maybe it is the first most unreliable source. Always checking facts folks, always check your facts, but truthfulness or not it was around this time that the great recession had hit the middle class hard the middle class, you know, being red lobsters, biscuits and butter. They saw decreasing sales in nine out of the first thirteen years of the twenty first century, and this was part of an overall trend of decline in these casual family like bar and grill type chains and a rise in the cheaper fast casual chains as the middle class struggled and kind of stratified if casual you know, like Portland Pinera five guys stuff like that. As of two thousand fourteen the median household was lower income than it had been twenty years earlier and lower income consumers were switching to those fast. Casual places, meanwhile, higher income consumers were eating upward away from stuff like red lob-. Stor Red Lobster tried to win the middle class back with a few different pivots around this time. I in two thousand twelve they expanded their non seafood, lower priced offerings. And then a couple years later leaned way back into and tried cutting back on some of those bargain priced specials, those endless, whatever kind of deals. Uh-huh. Hoping to increase perceived value. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Every time I hear the word pivot. I think of Ross from friends screaming pivot. Greenville, not at all. He's like trying to move a couch and it's on the stairs. Oh, oh, I do. Remember that bit? Yeah. Every time. I hear that word. That's what I think of really stuck in my brain in two thousand fourteen bacterial disease and blight me generally, decrease this shrimp output of the largest shrimp, producing countries, China, Thailand, and Vietnam prices tripled and Red Lobster felt it. Oh, yeah. Like, shrimp, prices increased by over sixty percent in a single year, this cost Red Lobster about thirty million dollars over the course of that year. Yeah. And maybe because of these things red lobsters parent company Darden sold the chain to Golden Gate capital for a cool two point one billion dollars that same year, by the way, this seriously pissed off Darden's shareholders who wound up voting out every single sitting board member in retaliation, like direct retaliation for this happening that they sold her lobster. Yeah. Darden's shareholders were mad. Map with a y. And meanwhile, Golden Gate, which was a private holding company turned around and sold off one point five billion dollars worth of red lobsters United States real estate assets pretty much immediately. They turned instead they're focused to selling franchises of Red Lobster in other countries and have opened twenty two since then two years later seafood distributor Thai union group PCL entered into minority ownership with Golden Gate capital for almost six hundred million dollars. It was one of those two stage deals Tuygan bought about twenty five percent of the shares of Red Lobster outright with another twenty four percent to convert in the next decade. So by twenty twenty six they will own forty nine percent of the company and a word here. Friends about tight union. They are the largest seafood supplier slash distributor in the world including lots of supermarket brands like chicken of the sea. They provide canned and frozen seafood throughout the United States in Europe from fisheries. All of the world and in two thousand fifteen they were the primary subject of a Pulitzer prize winning Associated Press expose about slave labor and particularly child slave labor in the shrimp industry. Thai union did upon the publication of this expose really Shaked down their supply chain. They voided contracts with third party, shrimp processors and became the first tic- food company to ban the policy of recruitment fees for workers, a recruitment fees being this policy where workers often immigrants who had few options and little support would basically enter into like indentured servitude for the privilege of getting hired. You know, upside it's great that they stopped doing that. And hopefully having a company of their scope stop those practices. We'll make a significant impact in the industry, you know, downside at tooken expose to make it happen. Yeah. But yeah. So back to Golden Gate capital. Yeah. Sale led to a pretty substantial menu update which in turn led to an increase in red lobsters popularity with those ever. Who a survey found that it was rated the number one casual dining spot for folks aged eighteen to twenty four and the company says that they weren't even targeting millennials. They were just trying to make improvements overall like including preparing some dishes from scratch or near scratch in house. But oh like the Scampi. Oh that I'm favorite. I I'm sure it's better now. Oh, no. No, no. I I say that nostalgically. I'm sure it's better. Now. I mean, I was a kid who just like all of the butter. Well, the thing is like apparently this change came about partially because the cooks at red. Lobster restaurants wanted to add more sauce two plates after customers kept asking for extra sauce to dip their biscuits in. I've heard God. I did we does a lot of people do the. Yeah. So so I think like if you were really just after the sauce like they're just trying to give you more of what you wanted. Well, maybe up to rethink my dream of returning factor. Can I just get a VAT of the sauce? And some biscuits and red wine and no questions asked please can just a Scampi that like a butter sauce bat cannot be my meal. Oh my goodness. I'll pay up dollars for it. Oh, this is revealing quite a bit about me, but scandal perhaps reveal quite a bit about Red Lobster, and we will get to that. Right after we get back for quick break for word from our sponsor. New evidence. Two thousand four in a tiny town. A young woman named Rebecca Gould was brutally murdered nearly fifteen years later killer still on the loose. Suspects work everywhere. So we could have already talked to the killer. It's just really surreal walking around. Don't mention. Skier. I left Arkansas became an investigator. And now I'm coming back with my team to finally get Justice for beca. Is out there. Duprat? I'm Katherine towns, and this is Helen gone. Now available on apple podcasts. And we're back. Thank you. Sponsored thank you. And we're back with scandal scandal hounded Red Lobster in two thousand sixteen when a DNA test on their lobster bisque, so no Maine lobster. But instead that go St. no, a cheaper, less popular variety of lobster Red Lobster claimed both types of lobster were used and it was quote, the luck of the ladle seafood fraud is not at all uncommon in the restaurant industry or even in the fishing industry, anywhere anywhere in that supply chain anyone from the people pulling stuff onto boats and selling it to to restaurants or other second or third parties to the restaurant itself. Purporting that whatever they are putting in their food is one thing when it's really another. It's pretty common and that investigation that we're talking about by inside edition implicated several other brands it wasn't just Red Lobster. Yeah. I think I remember a couple years back when there was all these headlines about how you probably never. Had this type of sushi that you think you've had. Oh, yeah. It's just not that. But yeah. Labeled as yeah. So future episode for sure a couple of you've written in about that. Oh, yeah. But in the meantime, we've got another scandal in two thousand fifteen Red Lobster received the dubious honor of unhealthiest dish in all of fast food, which wait a minute. It's casual family dining. But anyway, anyway at twenty seven hundred calories and six thousand five hundred thirty milligrams of sodium, if you're wondering, it was a particular combination of those create your own varieties. Oh, okay. You could really go all out there and Red Lobster in response said well, you can get healthier. Yeah. You can get a side of broccoli with that. Like, you don't have to get Scampi Scampi fries. Popcorn shop. Judging me, Laura. It was like I think it's waltz shrimp. I don't remember what that is. But I know that was one of the options in two thousand seventeen Red Lobster partnered with the discovery channel's reality TV show, the deadliest catch creating an interactive experience for that year's crab fest, and their special promotion of doodling, crab, leg doodling crab legs. Yeah. I don't know what that means Red Lobster wanted to show the C to table experience if they're crap by doing this. Yeah. I loved us deadliest kitsch watch these fishermen put their lives in payroll, and then go eat the crabs that they caught doodling grab link crab legs. I don't know later in the year Red Lobster relaunched their menu yet again to include more small end or sharable dishes and more dishes with a kind of varied flavor influences southwestern pan-asian Canadian. Yeah, they've got a version of Putin on the menu. Now these cheese fries topped with. Clam chowder and fried clams strips, apparently, they're ridiculous and delicious. I don't know. And yes, twenty eighteen that brings us to two thousand eighteen and this is the fiftieth anniversary of Red Lobster existing. Wow. And we just happened to do this episode in January Red Lobster announced an expanded commitment to serving only traceable sustainable and responsibly sourced seafood, a few months later, the company teamed up with Monterey Bay aquarium's seafood watch program, which is this public service that tries to educate and influence, both consumers and sellers of seafood about what products are safe to eat, and what products are environmentally sustainable. This is increasingly valuable as a combination of overfishing and climate change have been totally destroying ocean ecosystems and putting lots of species at risk for extinction. And like, I mean, it's great. I'm glad it's happening. It's also it's essentially a giant corporation saying, hey, so. We've been profiting off of immoral and a legal practices for decades by claiming ignorance to them, but we're stopping now we really promise. And also, we pinky swear that it's not only because millennials seemed care about this. And we want their money. It's not that they've never tried and succeeded in making positive changes, the brand has eldest OB less cynical about it. When we see more of those positive changes with great power comes. Great responsibility, y'all Lawrence killjoy corner AM. AM without over yet. Actually, because you know, I wanted to say here that the environmental impact of the fishing industry, and it's exacerbated by climate change is this huge topic that that really has to be considered species by species, you can't say something about how tuna are reacting to stuff and extrapolate that to how lobsters are reacting to stuff, but like overall changes in temperature and weather patterns have meant that ocean animals are migrating differently and some of their populations are really struggling and the fishing industry and the restaurant industry need to work with organizations like seafood watch to understand. What's changing how they can catch wild fish without endangering the populations and how to best keep farmed fish healthy for their sake as well as the consumer sake. So yeah, for the planet sake for for for for for the good of all of this. Oh, yeah. This reminds me of something else. I feel like I've had a million pop culture reference. In this episode, which is surprised even me. But when I I have this folder of favorites on my computer that I watch when I'm having a rough time or need to be cheered up and there in order of like Halloween. And one of them a recent recruit is when John Mullany hosted Saturday live. Uh-huh. Couple months ago. Okay. There was this bizarre. But whole Larry is skit where it was this guy ordered lobster in a diner. Okay. And the lobster comes out. Oh, my God with lobsters. And it's excellent. And I've never seen Lee, MS, and I was incredibly moved by the whole thing. I'm I'm confused genuinely for the first time in this episode in in a really delightful way. Oh, what I was watching it. Yeah. That's a lot. I mean, that's great. Oh, it was excellent. I love I love some good absurd. 'isms surrealism in in comedy. So excellent. Yeah. I highly recommend it. And of note this episode was about Red Lobster, but not lobster. So we didn't get to them. That is a whole separate topic. And I know I know that we've covered crawfish crayfish wanna say it, which are similar, but quite different. Yes. So yeah. Lobster is the topic for a whole other separate day. Yes. I'm really excited about it. Because they're so weird. Also, there's a lot of pop culture stuff about them. Like was indefensible lobsters. Oh my gosh. Yes. Dillon with the win. Consider the love Stor and recently v lobster the lobster. Oh my gosh. The lobster. Yeah. That was very deep in my psyche. And all the news lately about giving them the THC to see if they don't feel pain. Oh, wow. I hadn't heard about that part. That's I- lobster's not one of my favorite foods. The only times that I've enjoyed eating them when I've been in Maine, and it has been extremely fresh rates. Even if it's well prepared in another restaurant. I feel like it's just not I don't like it. I'm just like this is like, crappy crab. Why? As a kid another reference. I really wanted to try lobster bisque because Elaine has it. Uh-huh. And she acquaints it to being better than an orgasm. Oh, wow. I see. Okay. So. Yeah, you were like into it. I've got to try the lobster biz. And I tried. It was pretty good. Yeah. I tried it at Red Lobster those. Maybe that was the top the chair. There was at one time that I dressed up like a lobster. That's right or a previous job the best. I'm not gonna say it was the best. But it was certainly an experienced that. I got a Christmas card out of. Yeah. No, it's excellent. I I love this story of yours. We need to share it one day. I think I I can't remember if we published it now or not I don't think we did. Okay. It's there. It's there. It's from it's a from Lexington road trip. Right. There you go. There you go. Told the story in the car. Yeah. I'm gonna go ahead and save that one for our actual lobster episode. Okay. And to the accompanying photograph, although I'm sure that you guys could find it if you really wanted to. So you have that to look for. Yeah. Yeah. But in the meantime, we bring you listen. Who? That skit look it up. Nick routes. I love listening to your show and using the interesting facts shared to delight in amaze, my wife and friends. Thank you. Nick. One of my favorite episodes was the pineapple story and learning how fashionable they used to be in high society flash forward to last weekend where my wife, and I went to six flags Great America a theme park near Chicago to go ride some rollercoasters, there's a Batman coaster there and the queue area is decorated as if the rich Wayne family had donated funds to a local park though, and behold rightness center is a small water fountain adorned with nothing less than a single elegant pineapple. Oh, my wife, and I were in awe of her first in-person example of something learned from the show. It added just a little more wonder to our day at the park that is delightful. It is. And I I love this because I'm a huge roller coaster fan. Yeah. And the one the Batman at six flags over Georgia is not decorated. No, it's not it's like in the sewers of hell. Yeah. It's sort of like it's sort of like the scene and Batman forever where there's all of those like dayglo bikers. I've never seen this. Oh, that's right. Oh, there's these dayglo bikers, and it's sort of sort of hearkens to that. Okay. Yeah. Film reference that you don't understand. Okay. Yeah. I it's like a sewer from hell it is. Yeah. Especially in the summer. Yeah. Oh, yeah. That's an unpleasant. I mean, most sewers are probably unpleasant to be into the summer. But anyway, Nicole wrote I just listened to your episode about biscuits and had to write while the episode itself made me crave all the carbs. I'm actually writing about a comment you made about international KFC's. I'm originally from Santa Fe New Mexico, but I am currently living abroad in the Huck. Qatar KFC is very popular out here, although many people refer to it as Kentucky this led to a lot of confusion one day when my former boss originally from Egypt asked me if I wanted anything from Kentucky, this was a very. Strange question. So I replied, maybe some bluegrass in a racehorse a lot of confusion, ensued. But I eventually figured out. She was referring to KFC. But the real reason I am writing is because the KFC in does not serve biscuits or MAC and cheese. They blasphemous league give you a plain hamburger bun with your order. I really don't like KFC, and I only visit for the biscuits and MAC and cheese. So this is very upsetting to me, however, Red Lobster opened here a few years ago. It is advertised as America's best seafood, which is upsetting for its own reasons, but it does have cheddar biscuits. However, it does not serve alcohol, which is even more upsetting to me now that I have heard and he's tree. This is very appropriate for this episode, very timely. Let her. Absolutely. Yeah. Especially a super producer Dylan keeps telling us about this this lobster Rita. Yes. That he and his his dear friend berry have enjoyed at Red Lobster. And it's this red colored. I don't think it has lobster in it. It's this red colored Margarita that they serve in one of those glasses that are like legit the size of your of your head. Yes. And it's a lobster Rideau. Yeah. And apparently this is part of their new marketing program to like they're expanding their alcohol options. Oh. Well, the night getting drunk at Red Lobster. I'm not opposed. I mean, my wine ways not like, much fancier way care. Trumpcare. I'd love her. I've the last time I was at Red Lobster was a long time ago. I mean, probably like five or six years ago, and it was after one of those Dombi races. Yeah. Yeah. There's all this mud and became a mud race. And it was an obstacle course, my friend, and I were covered in mud went to Red Lobster. They see it as they did not question. Oh, and that was the first time I got alcohol at a Red Lobster. Oh, yeah. Well, it sounds. I mean good for good for them being mud tolerant. That's that's speed. We tried to like we went into the bathroom and tried to like, mafia. There's only so much. You can do. Oh, yeah. Yeah. But I love this story. I love it. The call it Kentucky. That's really funny. Yeah. Thanks to both of them for writing in. You can write to us as well. Our Email is Hello at saver pod dot com. You can also find us on social media. We are on Twitter Instagram and Facebook at saver pod. We do hope to hear from you. Thank you as always to super producer Dylan fake for his amazing stories about bowls of alcohol, and also, you know, all the work. He does here. Thanks to you for listening. And we hope that lots market things are coming your way. In nineteen ninety eight Dardenne group, the company that owned Red Lobster at the time began funding efforts around lobster lobster funding funding lobster funding. We need to flip these. Funding. It's a recurrence of. Oh. Fix just like take lobster go. Like if you don't go to college. Are you going to make yourself the loves big like? Oh, man. Hey listeners today we wanted to tell you about another podcast. 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