June 14, 2019

Weekend reads: Just how much does the tooth fairy leave kids these days?

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    What's the sell-by date on those? Archaeologists in Austria have discovered three pieces of charred bread that are about 3,000 years old and look to be the remains of small bagels. The pieces were not complete rings, only pieces of what once was dough shaped like a ring. They were made from finely ground flour and a "wet cereal mixture," including barley, wheat, and other cereal ingredients, Nicholas Bakalar writes in the New York Times. At the site where the bread pieces were discovered, archaeologists also found ovens and containers of a variety of edible plants that could have ground to make the dough. Andreas Heiss, a postdoctoral fellow at the Austrian Archaeological Institute, said it's unknown whether these pieces of bread were used for eating or for ritual purposes, given the quality of ingredients and the food's shape.

    What red meat might do to your risk of early death. A new study adds to the evidence base that eating too much red meat could be tied to health problems. For the study, researchers analyzed data on the eating habits and mortality risk of 53,553 women and 27,916 men in the United States between 1986 and 2010. They found that an increase in red meat consumption of at least a half a serving per day was associated with a 10% increased risk of early death. A decrease in the consumption of red meats, however, was associated with a lower risk of early death. Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said the researchers found the increased risk of early death was "particularly high for people who increased their consumption of processed red meat."

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    The story of how almonds went from poisonous to sweet. The almonds we eat today are sweet and perfectly safe to consume, but thousands of years ago, a handful of "wild" almonds could kill a child, and consuming 50 of them could kill an adult. That's because wild almonds contain the toxic compound amygdalin, which breaks down into the deadly poison cyanide and bitter-tasting benzaldehyde. A study published in the journal Science this week reveals how farmers have managed to breed domesticated almond trees to produce sweet, non-deadly seeds. The sweet almonds we eat still have traces of the compound, but not enough to be dangerous.   

    How much do kids make from the tooth fairy? American parents with young children put a lot of "time, effort, and … money into convincing" their children the Tooth Fairy exists, Lindsay King-Miller writes for Vox. Delta Dental, the largest dental insurer in the United States, in its annual Original Tooth Fairy Poll found that children now make $3.70 per tooth, down from $4.50 in 2017, but up from $1.30 in 1998. King-Miller reports that the price of a single tooth has risen faster than inflation since 1998.

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