August 24, 2018

Weekend reads: Animal crackers break free

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Is there weed killer in your cereal? Maybe, but don't worry. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an advocacy organization, last week said that it found glyphosate—a pesticide that's the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup—in a number of popular cereals and snack bars. While that may sound alarming, the EPA and a number of experts said there's not much evidence that glyphosate can cause cancer, and the amounts found are well within allowable limits. Fred Gould, head of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University, said he's not worried about the EWG's findings. "We are always taking risks. Comparatively, from everything that I see, this is a small risk," he said.

    Did you like gym in school? That might hint at your exercise habits today. How you felt about gym class as a kid might help predict your exercise habits today, according to a study published in the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Researchers in the study found that people who did not enjoy gym class as children were less likely to say they expected to exercise in the coming days. By contrast, people who enjoyed gym class were more likely to say they were active on weekends. The researchers said that peoples' memories of gym class were surprisingly "vivid and emotionally charged."

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    The animals are free. One of this week's most widely covered stories was the news that the iconic animal crackers box has gotten a makeover. Following calls from animal rights activists, Modelez International—Nabisco's parent company—redesigned the image on the package of Barnum's Animals crackers to depict the animals roaming free. Previously, the animals on the image had been in circus cages.  

    Wildfires make Seattle's air as bad as cigarette smoke. This week, Seattle's air quality was so poor that it's been compared to smoking seven cigarettes. The poor air quality comes from wildfires in the Cascades and British Columbia. While Seattle's wet weather usually clears smoke and flames from wildfires, the area has been especially hot and dry this year, which has let smoke linger, according to Andrew Wineke, a spokesperson for the state Ecology Department's air quality program.

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