There's much more to vending machines than those tasty, preservative-laden treats temptingly lined up on display behind the glass casing.
Today we take a magical voyage to find out what these snack dispensers tell us about how we live, what we value, our stresses, and our restraints.
Along the way, we check in with a local author and Hartford Courant columnist who devoured one of each snack in her workplace vending machine one afternoon without being rushed to the hospital.
We discuss their role in the nation's obesity epidemic, and why they rarely offer healthy eating choices.
We discover the fascinatingly strange (warm corn chowder, camouflage watches), sometimes disgusting (used women's underpants) products they pump out in Japan.
And we look at what they are legally not able to offer here in Connecticut. As Yale students found out, that includes emergency contraceptives.
- Susan Campbell - University of New Haven distinguished lecturer and Hartford Courant columnist
- Dr. Deborah Cohen - Senior Physician Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation and author of A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Influences Behind the Obesity Epidemic--and How We Can End It
- Meghann Winters - Agricultural communications major at The Ohio State University and communications coordinator for the Ohio Pork Council who "baconifed" a vending machine on the university's campus.
- David Arconti - Democratic State Representative for Danbury's 109th District who's proposed legalizing self-serve alcoholic liquid machines in Connecticut
- Ileana Valdez - Yale College Council Senator who spearheaded a bid to make emergency contraceptives available to students 24/7 through an on-campus vending machine
- Tanner Greenring - Head of Community & Quizzes at Buzzfeed who ranked the weirdest vending machine items he discovered on his 2017 trip to Tokyo
- Emily Refermat - Editor of Vending Machine Watch
Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf, Kevin MacDermott, Betsy Kaplan, Catie Talarski, Carlos Mejia, and Seth Blair contributed to this show, which originally aired on April 11, 2019.