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DMC Debuts High-Tech, Healthy Snack Vending Machine

DETROIT (WWJ) - A trip the vending machine isn't always a healthy one, but now it can be. WWJ's Kathryn Larson introduces us to the new "smart" vending machine that has become all the rage at the Detroit Medical Center.

Larson met up with DMC Cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn inside the Children's Hospital of Michigan cafeteria, where the quick choice market place has a new and pretty popular vending machine.

"I really like these, these are amazing out of the machine, rice and beans. A lot of people now are dealing with issues that they've got to eat gluten-free, and this is actually a gluten-free selection, which is really nice for the 20 or 30 percent of people that are avoiding gluten," said Dr. Kahn.

The machine's called the "2bU" and its one of only a handful so far in Michigan. Dr. Kahn said healthy selections are easy to make when they're right in front of you. The vending machine even has a computer, so you can see the nutritional value and ingredients in your snack before you buy it.

The man behind the 2bU machine distribution, Continental Vending's Vice President Steve LaPorte, said his Sterling Heights-based company knows the junk food box is out. He said healthy snacks aren't just better for you, they're becoming a big part of their business.

"Five, six years ago, it used to be a very small amount of people that really cared so much about healthy and nutritional items. Now, it's exploded into something that's more like 20, 25 percent. So, that's why actually in our snack machines, you can see that it takes a whole different look than our traditional snack machines," said LaPorte.

Dr. Kahn said he's hoping more of these machines will pop up everywhere.

"This is real food from beans and nuts and fruits and, you know, flavored waters, and it's really where people can get a great education and a snack," he said.

Prices for the healthy snacks range from $1 to $2.50. DMC hopes to continue adding more 2bU vending machines across their campus. For more information on the machines, visit

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