McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson to Retire

Key Speakers At The Year Ahead: 2014 Conference
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images Don Thompson, president and chief executive officer of McDonald's Corp., speaks at the Bloomberg Year Ahead: 2014 conference in Chicago on Nov. 21, 2013.

"It's tough to say goodbye to the McFamily"

The president and CEO of McDonald’s will retire effective March 1, the company’s board announced Wednesday, after 25 years with the world’s largest restaurant chain.

Don Thompson will be replaced by Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook, who was elected by the board to take his place. McDonald’s still sits atop the fast food throne, with more than 36,000 locations worldwide and some 69 million customers in more than 100 countries per day.

“It’s tough to say goodbye to the McFamily, but there is a time and season for everything,” Thompson said in a statement. “I am truly confident as I pass the reins over to Steve, that he will continue to move our business and brand forward.”

TIME global health

What the Gates Foundation Has Achieved, 15 Years On

Sunny days: Melinda and Bill Gates in 2014, one year before their self-imposed deadline arrived
Scott Olson; Getty Images Sunny days: Melinda and Bill Gates in 2014, one year before their self-imposed deadline arrived

Jeffrey Kluger is Editor at Large for TIME.

Much has been done over the foundation's first decade and a half — with more still to do

There are a whole lot of things you may or may not get to do in the next 15 years, but a few of them you can take for granted: eating, for one. Having access to a bank, for another. And then there’s the simple business of not dying of a preventable or treatable disease. Good for you—and good for most of us in the developed world. But the developed world isn’t the whole story.

The bad—and familiar—news is that developing nations lag far behind in income, public health, food production, education and more. The much, much better news is that all of that is changing—and fast. The just-released Annual Letter from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation makes a good case for hoping there is still more to come.

The 2015 letter represents something of a threshold moment for the Foundation. It was in 2000 that the Gateses began their work and set themselves a very public 15-year deadline: show meaningful progress in narrowing the health, income and resource gap between the world’s privileged and underprivileged people, or be prepared to explain why not. So far, nobody—neither the Gates Foundation nor the numerous other global health groups like the World Health Organization and UNICEF—have much explaining to do.

The number of children under five who die each year worldwide has been nearly cut in half, from a high of nearly 13 million to 6.5 million today. Polio has been chased to the very brink of extinction, and elephantiasis, river blindness and Guinea worm are close behind. Drought-tolerant seeds are dramatically increasing agricultural yields; economies in the once-desperate countries in sub-Saharan Africa are now matching the developed world in rate of annual growth. Up to 70% of people across the developing world now have access to wireless service, making mobile banking possible—a luxury in the West but a necessity in places there is no other banking infrastructure.

The trick of course is that progress isn’t the same as success. The 13 million babies who were dying a year in the years before the Foundation began, for example, factored out to a horrific 35,000 every single day. Slashing that in half leaves you with 17,500—still an intolerable figure. For that reason and others, the Gateses are turning the 15-year chronometer back to zero, setting targets—and framing ways to achieve them—for 2030.

The most pressing concern involves those 17,500 kids. The overwhelming share of the recent reduction in mortality is due to better delivery of vaccines and treatments for diseases that are vastly less common or even nonexistent in much of the developed world—measles, pneumonia, malaria, cholera and other diarrheal ills. Those are still the cause of 60% of the remaining deaths. But the other 40%—or 2.6 million children—involve neonates, babies who die in the first 30 days of life and often on the very first day. The interventions in these cases can be remarkably simple.

“The baby must be kept warm immediately after birth, which too often doesn’t happen,” Melinda Gates told TIME. “This is basic skin-to-skin contact. Breast-feeding exclusively is the next big thing, as is basic cord care. The umbilical cord must be cut cleanly and kept clean to prevent infections.”

HIV may similarly be brought to heel, if not as easily as neonate mortality. A vaccine or a complete cure—one that would simply eliminate the virus from the body the way an antibiotic can eliminate a bacterium—remain the gold standards. But in much of the world, anti-retrovirals (ARVs) have served as what is known as a functional cure, allowing an infected person to live healthily and indefinitely while always carrying a bit of the pathogen. Gates looks forward to making ARVs more widely available, as well as to the development of other treatment protocols that we may not even be considering now.

“We’re already moving toward an HIV tipping point,” she says, “when the number of HIV-positive people in sub-Saharan Africa who are in treatment will exceed the number of people becoming newly infected.”

Food security is another achievable goal. Even as Africa remains heavily agrarian—70% of people in the sub-Saharan region are farmers compared to 2% in the U.S.—yields remain low. An acre of farmland here in America may produce 150 bushels of corn; in Africa it’s just 30. The problem is largely rooted in our increasingly unstable climate, with severe droughts burning out harvests or heavy rainstorms destroying them.

“Millions of people eat rice in Africa,” says Gates, “and rice has to be kept much wetter than other crops. At the equator it’s staying drier longer, but when the rains do come, they hit harder.”

In the case of rice and corn and all other crops, the answer is seeds engineered for the conditions in which they will have to grow, not for the more forgiving farmlands of the West. In Tanzania, site-specific seed corn has been made available and is already changing lives. “That seed,” one farmer told Gates when she visited in 2012, “made the difference between hunger and prosperity.”

Finally comes banking. Across Africa, only 37% of people are part of the formal banking system, but up to 90%, depending on the area, are part of the M-Pesa network—a mobile banking link accessible via cellphone. The Pesa part of the name is Swahili for money and the M is simply for mobile.

“Today too many people put their money in a cow or in jewelry,” Gates says. “But it’s impossible to take just a little of that money out. If someone gets sick or you have another emergency, you simply sell the cow.” Mobile banking changes all of that, making it much easier to save—and in a part of the world where even $1 set aside a day can mean economic security, that’s a very big deal.

Nothing about the past 15 years guarantees that the next 15 will see as much progress. The doctrine of low-hanging fruit means that in almost all enterprises, the early successes come easier. But 15 years is a smart timeframe. It’s far enough away that it creates room for different strategies to be tried and fail before one succeeds, but it’s close enough that you still can’t afford to waste the time you have. Wasting time, clearly, is not something the folks at the Gates Foundation have been doing so far, and they likely won’t in the 15 years to come either.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

There’s Now Coffee to Help You Fall Asleep

Getty Images

A new product mixes coffee with a sleep-inducing herb

Imagine brewing coffee as a nightcap. That’s what Deland Jessop says he and his wife have begun to do with Counting Sheep Coffee—a new product designed to allow coffee lovers to drink a cup before bed without being kept awake for hours.

“Instead of a glass of wine, we’ll brew up a cup of coffee instead,” said Jessop, who launched the company in 2013.

When his wife complained that she couldn’t enjoy coffee after 3 p.m., Jessop turned his home into a makeshift lab to search for a possible solution. After experimenting with a variety of herbs and supplements, he says he stumbled upon valerian—a plant that has been used as a mild sedative in Europe for centuries. He mixed it with decaf to mask the pungent smell, and sleep coffee was born.

Jessop notes that Counting Sheep Coffee is a food product, not a drug to help with sleep. Valerian is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a food ingredient.

Experts don’t know exactly why the plant such a potent sleep-inducer, but there’s little known risk of side effects (other than the obvious drowsiness), says University of California San Francisco associate professor Stephen Bent. “In the studies that have been done, it’s been show to be safe,” he says. “It has a long traditional history of being used to induce sleep.”

The product first appeared at Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2013, and is now sold in several regional supermarkets.


Thinking Outside The Can

CEO Denise Morrison
Jeff Brown for TIME Soup or salad? CEO Denise Morrison is reinventing Campbell’s offerings, including more fresh foods

Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison is cooking up a new recipe to court consumers obsessed with healthy eating

At the Campbell Soup Co. headquarters in Camden, N.J., CEO Denise Morrison is taking me on a tour of the company store, where employees can buy products at a discount. Morrison breezes quickly past the items Campbell’s is best known for: the classic red-and-white cans of condensed tomato soup, Pepperidge Farm breads and Goldfish, and Prego spaghetti sauces. She wants to show me the perimeter of the store, where the refrigerated and fresh items are kept.

“One of the things that I’m so excited about–I love my food,” she says, opening the package of a new Campbell’s product, a squeezable tube of fruit puree and Greek yogurt. “Mom can freeze it and put it in the lunch box. It’s a better-for-you snack for kids that doesn’t exist in fresh.” Next, she points out a transparent bag of baby carrots, decorated with cartoon vegetables. “We have veggie snackers. These are pouches of carrots with seasoning–you shake it up and it tastes like ranch. Want to try it?”

I bite into a powder-covered carrot. “It tastes like a potato chip,” I offer.

“It crunches like a potato chip!” she exclaims delightedly, adding, “25 calories!”

As the head of one of the world’s largest food companies, Morrison has the job of applying the core DNA of a firm that sells 2 billion cans of Campbell’s soup each year to shifting American tastes, constantly searching for a new take on the notion of convenience food. Something, perhaps, like a potato-chip carrot. As anyone who has read a restaurant menu or walked the sprawling organic aisles of a supermarket knows, Americans are fixated on eating healthier–even if they don’t always follow through. For all the desire to eat fresh, working parents face the challenge of getting family dinner on the table.

So for Campbell’s to succeed, it must give parents foods that satisfy their idea of what’s healthy and appeal to the average kid without dirtying a dish. With every new kale-quinoa-Greek-yogurt trend, that task keeps getting harder. After 3½ years on the job, Morrison continues to contend with critics who lament Campbell’s lackluster stock price, even as the company posted better-than-expected earnings in its most recent quarterly report. Convenience food has typically meant processed food, so when Campbell’s starts “bringing those capabilities to the fresh space,” as Morrison puts it, what that really means is taking 145 years of experience with processing, branding and convenient packaging from cans and boxes and moving it to the produce aisle. Whether that’s brilliant or paradoxical depends on your perspective. But one thing is for sure: with Campbell’s products in more than 90% of U.S. households, Morrison’s plans are bound to affect the way Americans eat.

Into the Soup

The history of putting food into cans is, of course, largely a story of taking fresh items and preserving them. But Campbell’s became famous not for the vegetables it preserved but for the ingenious way it found to alter them. In 1897, an MIT-trained chemist at Campbell’s invented condensed soup by reducing the water content. Suddenly able to ship its soup more cheaply than its competitors, Campbell’s was selling 16 million cans of soup annually by 1904. (Heinz, its closest competitor, sold under a million.) The original condensed soups–cream of mushroom, tomato and chicken noodle–remain Campbell’s best-selling products.

But soup–still a source of about one-third of the company’s $8.3 billion in total revenue in 2014–has in a way become a victim of its own success. The same hunger for convenience that popularized meals from a can has driven more Americans to stop cooking altogether. Tonight, 58% of the main dishes eaten at home in the U.S. will be homemade–down from about 70% 30 years ago, according to Harry Balzer, a food analyst at the NPD Group. Balzer says the most popular dinner in America is a sandwich–good news for Campbell’s Pepperidge Farm line of breads but not for its core soup business, which does better when people actually cook. The company says sales of a condensed soup increase 70% among customers who download a recipe from the Campbell’s website that features it.

The challenges Campbell’s is facing are more complicated than cooking. Despite a boost from colder-than-average weather the past two winters, the company is wrestling with big changes, from consumer concerns about sodium (often high in processed foods) and shifts in the global market (China’s booming middle class is everyone’s next target) to competition from grocery-store private labels and rivals like General Mills. It’s not 1897 anymore.

Enter Denise Morrison. When Campbell’s appointed her CEO in 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek painted her as a company insider unlikely to deliver change. About that, the magazine was wrong. Morrison has made bold acquisitions in her 3½ years: a Danish cookie company popular in China, a millennial-baiting organic-baby-food company and–for a whopping $1.55 billion–Bolthouse Farms, the largest acquisition in the company’s history and the inventor of the potato-chip carrot.

What her critics didn’t consider is that Morrison, 61, has spent practically every minute of her life preparing to run a company like Campbell’s. The oldest of four daughters growing up in New Jersey in the 1960s, Morrison has wanted to be a CEO since she was little. Her father Dennis Sullivan, an executive at AT&T, thought it was important to prepare his daughters for a business world that was growing more open to women. At family dinners he talked with them about marketing strategies and new products–he was involved in the introduction of call waiting, and the family was one of the first to own a Princess Trimline phone. He taught basic business skills through childhood activities like negotiating over chores and identifying the target market when selling Girl Scout cookies (answer: the wealthiest homes with the most kids).

Morrison graduated from Boston College in 1975 with a degree in economics and psychology and started her career at Procter & Gamble. She worked at PepsiCo, Nestlé, Nabisco and Kraft before arriving at Campbell’s in 2003. As president of Campbell’s retail business in the U.S., she had some setbacks, according to Businessweek, including an advertising feud with Progresso over MSG in soup, which generated bad publicity for both brands, and a move to reduce sodium in soups that was so unpopular with customers that Campbell’s put most of the salt back in.

All four of those Sullivan girls grew up to have successful business careers, and two of them are now CEOs. Denise’s sister Maggie Wilderotter is CEO of Frontier Communications, a telecommunications company based in Connecticut. Though skeptics might gripe that the Campbell’s turnaround isn’t moving fast enough, Wilderotter says her sister is at her best with a challenge. “We grew up in an environment where we would get the highest level of satisfaction from doing things people never expected us to pull off,” she says. “So being in a situation of transformation, disruption, change–she’s very good at orchestrating that. It is sort of like breathing for her.”

What’s for Dinner?

When I sit down with Morrison in her office at Campbell’s Camden headquarters, she bombards me with data about shifting demographics. The American nuclear middle-class family–once Campbell’s bread and butter–is disappearing. The proportion of households in the U.S. made up of married couples with kids has dropped by half since 1970, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau. They now make up only 20% of households. They’ve been partly replaced by more single adults, who now make up 27% of American households. Households of families without kids–many made up of empty-nest baby boomers and younger millennials, drawn from two massive generations, each close to 80 million strong–have been growing for a long time, as have households consisting of multigenerational families and singletons. But Morrison says the diversity of tastes these different segments represent is most acutely felt right now. “Once upon a time you could throw a casserole in the oven and everyone would have to eat it,” says Morrison. “We’ve had to develop food products in different kinds of packaging and for different kinds of occasions.”

For many Americans, those “occasions” often mean five-minute snacks on the way out the door instead of a sit-down family meal–unless it can be prepared in 27 minutes, the daily U.S. cooking average, according to food expert Michael Pollan. “Our lives are being lived in smaller, bite-size pieces,” says Alexia Howard, a senior analyst at Sanford Bernstein who follows Campbell’s. And as baby boomers age and millennials fret about what goes into their bodies, those snacks had better be healthy. “People want to read the label and understand what they are eating,” says Howard.

This has translated into a boom for fresh foods. In 2014, sales for fresh produce and meat grew by 5% over the year before, according to the most recent Nielsen data, while groceries in the center of the store–home of the packaged goods–were down 1.1%. That trend toward vegetables will only continue. Only 5% of baby boomers report “often going vegetarian,” according to a Hartman Group study, but 12% of millennials do. And those consumers want fresh.

The drive toward real food explains why Morrison would invest in baby carrots–a product closer to a commodity than a processed good. “When I found Bolthouse Farms, one of my board directors said, ‘Carrots, Denise, really?’ and I said, ‘No! Packaged fresh! It’s an $18 billion category growing at 6% to 7%.’ [That growth has since slowed.] We can bring our capabilities and brands to fresh food,” she says. “I love the carrots. The authenticity.”

A Matter of Taste

The Irony, of course, is that in order to make money from a raw carrot, Morrison must make it a bit less authentic. Jeff Dunn, the CEO of Bolthouse, puts it this way: “If you are just buying a bag of unpeeled carrots, that’s a basic commodity. There’s not enough value added in the brand on that. Retailers can have their own brand–a private label. But if you take the carrot and you do something interesting, that lends itself to the brand of Bolthouse baby carrots. The ultimate manifestation of that are veggie snackers–the flavored baby carrots. You take a basic commodity and you add value. That’s branded.”

Not everyone is convinced. Though Campbell’s earnings topped $800 million in 2014, its stock is still lagging, prompting some Wall Street analysts to question when Morrison’s acquisitions will pay off–and fueling rumors that the company could be a takeover candidate. (Warren Buffett’s name gets bandied about, among others.) And the vocal champions of healthier eating may not endorse powder-coated carrots, fruit in tubes or the other innovations that mark the intersection of the fresh-food craze and the persistent clamor for convenience. The sodium in Bolthouse’s ranch seasoning, for instance, means a kid who eats that bag of carrots is getting 8% of the recommended daily intake.

But for Campbell’s, the point isn’t trying to get everyone to eat only unprocessed foods. Instead, it’s catering to consumers who want healthy meals but still need shortcuts (or tastes that placate finicky kids). So Morrison forges on. One of her latest moves: the acquisition of Plum Organics baby food, a company created for the kind of millennial parents who like the idea of home-cooked vegetables for their babies until they realize how hard it is to pull off in a two-career household. Which means Campbell’s can now offer parents baby foods in flavors like pumpkin-date-oats-chia and kale-apple-Greek-yogurt that come in a tube instead of a jar so toddlers can feed themselves. “My 15-month-old grandchild eats kale because of Plum,” Morrison says. “We are training the baby’s palate to like healthier foods at a very young age.”

Up next, Bolthouse may bring its approach to new veggies like celery or cherry tomatoes, Plum will promote products for adults, and Campbell’s will launch a line of organic soups in January. For now, Morrison projects confidence. As she tells aspiring CEOs, “Things don’t always go according to plan, so you have to have the courage and agility to course correct. That doesn’t mean you lose sight of the vision.” For the company’s sake, Campbell’s hopes her vision pans out in time.


MONEY Super Bowl

The 5 Best Deals If You’re Not Watching the Super Bowl

"The Book of Mormon" on Broadway at Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City
Stephen Lovekin—Getty Images "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway at Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City

Lower prices and shorter lines await those who skip watching football on February 1 in favor of other attractions.

If the only hawks you care about seeing Super Bowl Sunday have wings and feathers, there’s a good chance your wish can come true—for cheap, no less.

Thanks to the one-third of the U.S. population that will be parked in front of their TVs watching football on February 1, it will be easier for the rest to snag discounts at zoos, ski resorts, spas, and other attractions—not to mention score seats at otherwise unavailable shows and restaurants.

Here are five suggestions for Super Bowl-skippers in search of good deals.

1. Take in a show

Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to see musicals and other popular shows that are normally hard to get into. For example, as of January 21, $99 evening tickets to perennially sold-out Broadway show “Book of Mormon” were still available for February 1 directly through Telecharge. And even if tickets to a hit show are all sold out at the box office, you’re still likely to get a discount on the resale market: Tickets on Stubhub for the same February 1 “Book of Mormon” performance are $40 cheaper than those for the following Sunday.

To look for theater performances near you, check Ticketmaster.com.

2. Finally eat at that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try

While everyone else has to settle for mediocre tailgate snacks, you have a much better shot than usual at scoring an enviable meal at some of your city’s hottest eateries. Restaurant reservation site OpenTable.com typically seats only about half the number of bookings on Super Bowl Sunday as on the Sunday before or after.

Some cities offer even better odds. In Philadelphia, reservations are typically down 60%, OpenTable found. But even major markets like New York City and Boston experience a pronounced dip: 30-40% fewer people will dine out in those cities on February 1.

A word to the wise: Even though your chances improve dramatically on game day, “some of the hottest and most acclaimed restaurants can still be tough to get into,” says Tiffany Fox, a spokeswoman for OpenTable. “So people shouldn’t wait to the last minute to book if there’s a special spot they’ve been dying to get into.”

3. Enjoy zoos and theme parks without the crowds

While Disney World spokespeople claim the event has no impact on park attendance, Disney vacation planning sites like EasyWDW.com and TheMouseForLess.com recommend visiting the parks on Super Bowl Sunday because you can expect far less company.

The game “keeps many locals away and is usually a great time to tour the parks,” notes TheMouseForLess.com, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios was “virtually dead on Super Bowl Sunday each of the last three years,” according to EasyWDW.com.

If you’re not going to be in sunny California or Florida come game day, try your local zoo or wildlife park. The Nashville Zoo, for example, is offering a “Zooperbowl Deal” this year that cuts admission by half. And last year the Virginia Zoo offered 50% off to anyone wearing merchandise from a Super Bowl participating team.

4. Hit the slopes

Skiers and snowboarders hitting the slopes instead of the sofa over Super Bowl weekend are in for a treat: Lift lines will be scant, and many ski resorts plan to roll out deep discounts that day.

The average booked savings on Liftopia.com during last year’s game day was 29% off window rates, making it the best value of any Sunday during the regular ski season. Prices are expected to drop similarly this year, but you will need to book in advance to take advantage.

The Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Colorado, for example, has cut lift tickets to $57 this year, or 33% off, according to Liftopia. Utah’s Snowbasin slashed rates by 29% to $63. And in Vermont, Okemo Mountain is offering tickets for $73, or a 21% discount.

5. Have a spa day

If you’d literally rather stare at the ceiling than watch football, you can do exactly that—while getting a discounted massage or facial. You’ll find deals all across the country as spas promote their services for so-called Super Bowl widows (and widowers).

“If you don’t see a special at your favorite spa, just ask,” says Beth McGroarty, research director at spa directory site Spafinder.com. “Bookings may be lighter, and under-the-radar deals may be available—especially group discounts.”

If you don’t have a particular spa in mind, browse ratings on sites like Spafinder and Yelp and make calls to compare prices. Some examples of Super Bowl spa deals currently available include 15% off regular services at Clay Health Club + Spa in New York City; 25% off services at Kohler Waters Spa in Kohler, Wisconsin; and $50 off massages at The Palms Spa in Miami Beach, Florida.

TIME Food & Drink

Here Are the 2 Places Left Where You Can Find That Taste of the ’90s, McDonald’s Pizza

Two locations in Ohio and West Virginia serve the item you thought was extinct

Millennial diners, want to sink your teeth into a round cheezy slab of ’90s nostalgia? McDonald’s Pizza has been found living on at two locations in Ohio and West Virginia, according to Canada.com

The two restaurants, out of over 14,000 McDonald’s locations in America, are owned by a man named Greg Mills and located 90 miles apart from one another, the site reports.

It was the explosion in popularity of drive-through restaurants that brought about the demise of the pizza. The ovens were said to have slowed down sales and restaurants weren’t pushing enough pizzas out to justify the expense.

But Judy Norman, an employee at the West Virginia location, told Canada.com that their pizza still sells and she has “days when everyone wants pizza and there are days where every so often you get a pizza [order].”

For now, millennials can delight that they now have two places they can take their Teenie Beanie Babies, discuss Hey Arnold! and have a slice of the past.


TIME Sports

Seattle Suburb Banishes Cheese from City Hall Ahead of Packers Game

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after completing a pass during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game on Jan. 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Al Bello—2015 Getty Images Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after completing a pass during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game on Jan. 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

"Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall "

The city manager of the Seattle suburb of Bainbridge Island is taking drastic measures to make sure city hall is giving the Seahawks its full support for the NFC Championship game against the Packers by banning cheese from the building.

According to executive order 121212, a nod to the team’s fans “12th man” moniker, cheese shall be neither consumed nor possessed in city hall on the Friday before the game, and workers are encouraged to wear their Seahawks jersey and enjoy a tailgating inspired lunch.

Section 1. All executive branch departments and divisions of the Local Government shall authorize employees to celebrate Blue Friday on each Friday prior to any games of the Seattle Seahawks by wearing Seahawks jerseys, logo gear, team colors and gathering at lunch or breaks for tailgating type foods and non-alcoholic beverages.

Section 2. On Sunday, January 18, 2015, the Seattle Seahawks opponent in the NFC Championship game will be the Green Bay Packers, a.k.a. Cheeseheads. Fans of the Green Bay Packers are frequently seen wearing obnoxious wedge-shaped foam hats painted yellow.

Section 3. Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall on Friday, January 16, 2015.

Showing support for your local team is always a shrewd move for a politician, but taking delicious cheese away from constituents could easily backfire.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Food & Drink

The Evolution of Girl Scout Cookies, From Grandma’s Kitchen to Your iPhone

Girl Scouts of the USA A 1940's Girl Scouts Cookies box

Plus, why you shouldn't be upset if your favorite cookie's name gets changed

Kelly Parisi, chief communications executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA, is in shock. “I can’t even talk to you anymore!” she squeals after hearing that I, a self-proclaimed Thin Mints loyalist, prefer my cookies to be room temperature rather than frozen. “I mean, it’s the only way to eat them,” she proclaims.

The cult of the Girl Scouts Cookie is very real, and allegiances to specific cookies — and eating methods — can prove die-hard. As Girl Scout Cookie season kicks off, that’s clearer than ever. “If your favorite cookie gets retired, you’re not happy,” Parisi says. “Just ask one of our colleagues about ‘Thank You Berry Munch’ getting retired — he still has complete hysteria about that.”

But those who want their cookies to be the same every year need to work toward their Girl Scout history badges. The cookies have been evolving since the beginning—and when Girl Scout Cookies got their start, there was no such thing as the Thin Mint, Samoa and Tagalong.

According to the organization, the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked and sold the first-ever batch of Girl Scout Cookies in their high school cafeteria in 1917. A July 1922 American Girl magazine feature provided a simple sugar cookie recipe, suggesting that they be sold door-to-door for 25 to 30 cents per dozen.

Girl Scouts of the USAGirl Scouts selling cookies in 1928

But not every Girl Scout was doing the baking herself.

“Grandma used to bake the cookies,” 83-year-old former Girl Scout Selma Rutledge tells TIME. “I was never the kitchen cooker, I stayed outside.”

Rutledge joined Troop 254 in the small town of Blakely, Ga., in the 1940’s. “They wanted us to be something,” she says. “Selling cookies taught me how to meet people and how to present myself. It gave me the courage to stand up and speak up.”

And so she would wrap five, maybe six, of Grandma’s oatmeal cookies in a small paper bag, “with a little ribbon around it.”

But when did the Thin Mint emerge? Although Rutledge sold homemade cookies, the Girl Scouts began standardizing their cookies in 1936, when the organization licensed its first baker. (There was a cookie hiatus during WWII due to sugar, flour and butter rationing. They sold less-delicious calendars instead.)

The year 1939 brought the first-ever iteration of the Thin Mint, then called “Cooky-Mints.”

“Thin Mint has had more names than you could imagine,” Parisi says. The different iterations were made by different licensed bakers. (There were 29 different licensed bakers in 1948). According to the Girl Scouts’ historian, the Cooky-Mints name changed to Chocolate Mint to Thin Mint to Cookie Mint to Chocolate Mint to Thin Mints to Thin Mint and finally, back to the plural Thin Mints.

Girl Scouts of the USAVintage Thin Mints and Cookie Mints boxes from the 1970’s

Wanting more continuity in cookies, Girl Scouts whittled down its licensed bakers to 14 during the 1960s — also when cookies began getting wrapped in aluminum foil to keep them fresh — to four in 1978 to two in the 1990s. A mere two different bakers currently make all of the Girl Scout Cookies in the United States, though there’s still some difference between their products. While Thin Mints are offered by both bakers, consumers will either get Do-si-dos or Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Trefoils or Shortbread depending on which baker their local troop uses.

Sometimes Girl Scout Cookies fanatics have been known to go crazy when their favorite cookie names have changed, which can happen when their troops change bakers. “The cookies sold by my daughter’s Girl Scout troop are now called ‘Caramel deLites’ instead of ‘Samoas.’ Why?” Carrie Stetler wrote in the Star Ledger in 2008. “I’m outaged — yes, outraged – that Girl Scout Cookies have new names.”

That cookie loyalty is legendary, and not so hard to instill. In fact, Parisi says that the organization has found that the top reason people don’t buy Girl Scout Cookies is that they’re not asked — perhaps why the Girl Scouts went to CES this year to teach people how they can buy their cookies online or on their smart phones via an app.

They’ve certainly come a long way since selling cookies from Grandma’s kitchen. But 83-year-old Rutledge isn’t surprised with the innovation. “Things are always changing,” she notes.

And besides, the Girl Scouts have always prided themselves in being ahead of their time.

“We had our first badge in Electrical Engineering in 1913,” Parisi says. “It was for showing girls show to rewire things. We have been innovative from the beginning.”

TIME health

The Science of Why We Learn to Love Foods We Used to Hate

Getty Images

Repeated exposure and social pressure both have an effect

Not to be mean, but you’re a “benign masochist.” We all are to some extent. It’s a natural human trait, and it helps explain why we learn to love foods we initially hated.

Coffee, beer and chilies are all examples of food that little kids hate, but many adults can’t seem to get enough of. Alison Bruzek of NPR’s The Salt blog interviewed Paul Rozin, a cultural psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, who has researched this specific phenomenon.

“Benign masochism” is a term Rozin uses to express this human characteristic. Whether food or amusement park rides or going to see a sad movie, people learn to want what our body rejects. And yet these things don’t hurt us; they’re benign.

What causes us to act this way, however, is harder to pin down. Rozin believes that most of these behaviors are the result of social pressures. “I don’t know the answer,” he admitted in the interview. “Some part of it is social. Social forces affect what we like, and the advertising industry knows that — that’s why they have endorsements by famous people.”

Repeated exposure is also important. Rozin discussed how children in Mexico didn’t inherently love spicy chilies, but grew to appreciate them around the age of 4 or 5. “The experience of eating it a lot somehow converts what was an aversion to a preference.”

Another term Rozin used was “hedonistic reversal” – the ability of our brain to tell our senses we’re going to turn something we should avoid into a preference. That certainly explains why the guy who can eat the spiciest Buffalo wings really is revered as a badass.

This article originally appeared on FWx.com.

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