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Arts & Culture

Of Coils And Coin Drops: Tales From The Vending Machine

Carlos Mejia
Connecticut Public Radio

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.

Could self-pouring beer machines be in the state's near future? What about machine serving delicious, ready-to-eat bacon?

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Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf, Kevin MacDermott, Betsy Kaplan, Catie Talarski, Carlos Mejia, and Seth Blair contributed to this show.  

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