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Researchers find out how to break spaghetti in just two pieces

Unless you own an enormous pot (or you’re a true Italian), chances are you snap your spaghetti in two before tossing it into the boiling water. But unless you’re superhuman, when you break that pasta in half you’ve probably dealt with those tiny pieces of dried pasta breaking off and whizzing through the air. At some point you may have wondered why spaghetti doesn’t just simply snap in half, or if there is a better way to do so. https://youtu.be/QwCJDEt8GfE As it turns out, in 2006, a pair of scientists took to solving this kitchen dilemma. Essentially, what happens is that the dry noodle bends before it breaks. This extra power means that when it finally breaks, it does so with more power and the vibrations it sends back through the remaining pieces cause them to bend and break as well. The discovery won the scientists an Ig Nobel, but…

Xtreme Eating Awards rank most unhealthy dishes in America

A breakfast burrito might sound like a wholesome way to start your day, but if you order it from the Cheesecake Factory, you might want to think twice. According to the 2018 Xtreme Eating Awards, the popular restaurant’s Breakfast Burrito — with it’s salty chorizo, bacon, cheese and sour cream — tops this year’s list of “honorees” of the most terrible-for-you meals available at any chain restaurant across America. The annual Xtreme Eating Awards are published annually by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) — the same organization responsible for lobbying the government to require chains to post calorie counts on menus. This isn’t the first time the decadent dining destination has been called out by the CSPI. The Cheesecake Factory’s shameful dish delivers 2.730 calories, 72 grams of saturated fat and 4,630 mg of sodium making it equal to eating “seven McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin” sandwiches, according…

The beach is good for your brain, studies show

Nearly 77% of employees don’t take all of their eligible time off, according to a survey from Glassdoor. And that’s a shame because slaying away at work and at home all day every day can take a toll. In case you needed more motivation to set that pile of work papers aside and hit the beach, know that recent research shows that spending time near the water does your body and mind a lot of good. According to an analysis of English census data published in the journal Health Place, people who live by the ocean report better physical and mental health than those who live inland. And living in a home with an ocean view can make you feel calmer than those without, according to a study published in the Journal of Coastal Zone Management. So it makes sense that Hawaii is regularly ranked as the happiest state in the United…

Book Lovers Day: Our Meghan Rodgers’ favorite food books

In honor of National Book Lovers Day, we had editor Meghan Rodgers compile a list of her favorite books about food, and we’re not just talking about cookbooks. Maybe you can find some inspiration in the following tomes: “Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us” by Michael Moss • • • “How Italian Food Conquered The World” by John F. Mariani • • • “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” by Michael Pollan • • • “The Sugar King Of Havana: The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba’s Last Tycoon” by John Paul Rathbone • • • “Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky • • • “The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food From the Lost WPA Files” by Mark Kurlansky • • • “Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon” by Cindy Ott • • • “Combat-Ready…

6 foods you should never wash before cooking

When you’re cooking, it’s natural to want to keep things clean and tidy in your kitchen — after all, 48 million people get sick from foodborne illness each year. While you should continue to keep your utensils and cutting surfaces super clean, sometimes the actual food your prepping should be left alone. If you think you’re beating bacteria by washing these 6 food items, thing again. Save yourself the time and trouble: Mushrooms Mushrooms act like little sponges and actually change texture and taste when they come in contact with water for too long. While this doesn’t mean they’re dangerous, mushrooms are extremely absorbent and can become soggy and rubbery if they’re soaked for too long. Instead, use a damp paper towel to clean them. Eggs You might have considered washing your eggs before cracking them open into that omelet — after all, eggs come out of you know where. But…

15 easy ways to use less plastic in your life

Straws are having a major moment. Not only are national fast-food and restaurant chains looking at reducing or eliminating them entirely, but individuals across the country are saying ‘no’ to sipping from the wasteful plastic single-use item. While the straw ban will certainly help, it’s really just the beginning. If you’re interested in other easy ways to cut back on plastic consumption, here are a few ideas. Recycling is great, but the best thing you can do for the environment is use less plastic to begin with. What’s great about reusing materials is that in most cases, you end up saving some cash for your efforts, too. Here are 15 ways to cut out plastic from your life: 1. Stay away from straws. Major corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks have started to eliminate plastic drinking straws from their restaurants, while whole cities have put a ban on them as well. Only…

International Beer Day: Most popular beers in 10 countries

In honor of International Beer Day on Aug. 3, here’s a look at the top 10 countries (by population) and their beer of choice. China Snow — This affordable lager produced by China Resources holds nearly a 25 percent market share in China, according to Forbes. India Kingfisher — United Breweries’ Kingfisher brand holds almost half of the country’s market, according to Beer Connoisseur. United States Bud Light — Although Budweiser calls itself the King of Beers, Bud Light is actually the tops in the country, with 33.1 million barrels shipped in 2017, according to 24/7 Wall Street. Indonesia Bintang — Multi Bintang Indonesia’s portfolio of beers, across several categories, has helped it maintain its status as the top-selling beer, according to EuroMonitor. Brazil Skol — Owned by ABInBev, one of the largest beer conglomerates in the world, owns a 34 percent market share, according to Statista. Pakistan Murree Brewery…

Is a dishwasher or washing dishes by hand a better option?

“If you want something done right you have to do it yourself.” This may be the case for lots of things, but when it comes to your dishes, you need to back off a bit. It’s 2018, and while most of us have dishwashers, there’s something that makes us think washing dishes by hand gets them cleaner. We might even do double time and wash dishes by hand and then put them in the dishwasher for a cycle. But according the Consumer Reports, we should just “let the dishwasher do its job.” Many people will argue that hand washing is better from an environmental perspective, but the truth is that the machines have grown so energy-efficient — especially the Energy Star-certified models — and require less and less water because of improved appliance standards. “While it may be possible to use less water/energy by washing dishes by hand, it is extremely…

Here’s why hotel room service is going away

If having a $25 hamburger delivered to your hotel room isn’t your idea of a deal, you’re not alone. Hotels know their room service prices aren’t very appetizing, so they’re looking to reinvent the way in-room dining handled. Cost is the main deterrent of room service for both guests and hoteliers. While hotel room service menus have a reputation for being wildly overpriced, running in-house dining is expensive for the hotel. “[Hotels are] just not seeing the return on this anymore,” Alex Susskind, associate professor of food-and-beverage management at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is quoted as saying in the industry trade journal Restaurant Hospitality. “It’s expensive to maintain and the quality is hard to keep up. They are backing off, but not just deserting guests.” Instead, some hotels are taking advantage of many travelers’ desire to eat the local fare, so they’re teaming up with nearby restaurants for what…

How to tell you have food poisoning and what may have caused it

Summer is a big season for food poisoning. All of those backyard parties and picnics can lead to some pretty questionable food handling habits. One in six Americans — about 48 million people — will deal with some type of foodborne illness this year, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means you’ve ingested bacteria, viruses or parasites that can really do a number on your body. But how do you distinguish funky food from a safe snack, and how do you know it’s not some other ailment? Food poisoning symptoms According to the Mayo Clinic, your food poisoning symptoms will differ depending on what your food was contaminated with, as well as your age. Very young or elderly people, pregnant women and those with weaker immune systems or chronic diseases face a high risk in contracting a foodborne illness, but food poisoning can affect anyone. Here are some…