January 14, 2021

Weekend reads: Is it safe to eat bugs? Yes (at least in Europe).

Daily Briefing

    Gyms are moving online and outdoors, understanding so-called "mob mentality," and more.

    Ben Palmer's reads

    In case you were wondering, it's safe to eat bugs in Europe. The European Food Safety Authority announced Wednesday that it's safe for humans to eat insects. The declaration could allow entities in the European Union to use flour that's made from ground-up beetle larvae to make pasta and bread or to use the larvae whole in certain recipes. Don't expect to see the bug-products sold in European groceries store just yet, though. The European Commission must sign off on the safety authority's decision, and manufacturers would need get regulatory approval for the products' marketing and labeling.

    How does 'mob mentality' work? In light of last week's riot at the Capitol building, some may be wondering why large gatherings of people sometimes turn violent. Writing for the New York Times, Benedict Carey takes a look at how understanding crowd dynamics has changed over the centuries, and what social scientists have to say about so-called "mob mentality."  

    José Vasquez's reads

    Gyms are moving outdoors and online. Public health experts have warned about the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus when working out at an indoor gym, and as a result, some states have placed capacity restrictions on gyms and some Americans have been hesitant to go back to their indoor workout spots. But many gyms have gotten "creative" to help keep Americans activate during the coronavirus epidemic, the Wall Street Journal's Hilary Potkewitz writes. Potkewitz describes how some gyms have moved their classes online or outdoors to rooftops, parks, and even empty lots.

    Why you shouldn't suppress a fever. Temperature checks have become more commonplace amid the coronavirus pandemic—with restaurants, gyms, and other businesses using them as a way to screen people for Covid-19. But a fever might not be cause for immediate concern, the New York Times' Jane Brody writes.

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