Ohio State University Has Its Own Bacon Vending Machine

Ohio Pork Council
Ohio Pork Council

As final exams approach, many students at Ohio State University will be fueling their brains with bacon. According to USA Today, a vending machine filled with ready-to-eat bacon strips and bits has been installed in the lobby of the Columbus-based school's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences to help raise funds for the department.

The snacks may not be as cheap as ramen noodles, but they are a close second. The university is able to sell the bacon at a discounted rate of $1 per item because all of the products were donated by Sugardale Foods, Hormel Foods, and Smithfield Foods. Proceeds go to the university's Meat Science Program, which teaches students "the underlying principles of biology, physiology, and nutrition that drive animal growth and the impact they have on meat quality," according to the school's website. Students within the Meat Science Program are tasked with restocking the vending machines until December 13, which is the last day it will remain on campus.

The unusual fundraiser is the result of a partnership between the university and the Ohio Pork Council, which works to promote the pork industry within the state. Because all of the products in the vending machine are shelf-stable, no refrigeration is needed. "Customers can eat the bacon straight out of the vending machine!" Emily Bir, director of communications for the Ohio Pork Council, tells Mental Floss.

Could the bacon vending machine be coming to a city near you? One can only hope, but it's too soon to tell. "The future of the vending machine is still unknown—you may see it appear again after December 13, or maybe not. Time will tell," Bir says.

Oddball vending machines have become more popular in recent years. There's a pecan pie vending machine in Cedar Creek, Texas, and past examples (some more successful than others) have included those that dispense hot pizza, burritos, live crabs, baguettes, and caviar.

[h/t USA Today]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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A Short, Sweet History of Candy Corn

Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Love it or hate it, candy corn is here to stay.
Evan-Amos, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Depending on which survey you happen to be looking at, candy corn is either the best or the worst Halloween candy ever created. If that proves anything, it’s that the tricolor treat is extremely polarizing. But whether you consider candy corn a confectionery abomination or the sweetest part of the spooky season, you can’t deny that it’s an integral part of the holiday—and it’s been around for nearly 150 years.

On this episode of Food History, Mental Floss’s Justin Dodd is tracing candy corn’s long, storied existence all the way back to the 1880s, when confectioner George Renninger started molding buttercream into different shapes—including corn kernels, which he tossed at actual chickens to see if it would fool them. His white-, orange-, and yellow-striped snack eventually caught the attention of Goelitz Confectionery Company (now Jelly Belly), which started mass-producing what was then sometimes called “chicken feed” rather than “candy corn.”

But what exactly is candy corn? Why do we associate it with Halloween? And will it ever disappear? Find answers to these questions and more in the video below.

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