We’re still in the very earliest days of January which means lots of folks are currently rocking New Year’s resolutions to avoid junk food and eat lots of lovely fruits and veggies. If you’re one of those people (and even if you’re not, really) you should probably go ahead and avoid romaine lettuce for at least a little while. Citing a recent E. coli outbreak that has struck at least 13 states as well as Canada, Consumer Reports is advising everyone to get their fix of greens elsewhere.
“Over the past seven weeks, 58 people in the U.S. and Canada have become ill from a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria, likely from eating romaine lettuce,” the group says. “Five people in the U.S. have been hospitalized and one has died.”
The CDC has been keeping a close eye on E. coli outbreak and says this particular strain can result in some extremely severe symptoms as well as kidney failure and death. Consumer Reports notes that while they can’t be certain that romaine lettuce is the cause, it seems to be the one link between all known cases of E. coli thus far. Children and the elderly are more vulnerable to the bacteria’s destructive potential, but everyone is at risk.
Thus far, health officials in the United States and Canada have avoided releasing information on where the potentially contaminated lettuce came from. With several documented cases and multiple deaths already resulting from the E. coli spread, you can be sure that food safety experts are attempting to nail down the companies that are producing and selling the dangerous veggies, and more specific information is likely to follow in the coming days.
For now, without any actionable information on what brands to avoid, the best advice is just to avoid all store-bought romaine lettuce, including salad mixes and bagged lettuce, regardless of the brand or what state you live in.
“Do not buy romaine lettuce and don’t use any that you may have in your refrigerator until there is more information on the source of contamination,” Consumer Reports warns. “Consumers should also check salad blends and mixes, and avoid those that contain romaine.”
Study Suggests Eating Pizza At Work Can Make You More Effective And Efficient
According to scientific research from Dan Ariely’s book, Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, it would take more than short breaks, meaningful tasks, or effective tools to work with to make a worker more productive. It appeared that the key ingredient to make you a more productive individual in the workforce is…drum roll…pizza!
Ariely studied four groups of workers in Israel at an Intel semiconductor factory. He then provided each group with different incentives to see which one made them work the most. One group received pizza as an incentive. The second received a cash bonus of around $30. The third group received a complimentary text message from the boss. The fourth group received nothing.
From the start, the group with the pizza incentive increased their productivity by 6.7 percent. The group with the complimentary text message incentive increased their productivity by 6.6 percent. The group with the cash bonus was behind with only a 4.9 percent increase in productivity. So, the pizza incentive was doing well above the other incentives.
After a week, the pizza and compliments group increased in productivity while the cash bonus group’s productivity actually decreased by 6.5 percent. At the end of the study, complimentary text message came out on top and the pizza incentive was a close second.
This result wouldn’t be too shocking to those who’ve read journalist Janice Kaplan’s book The Gratitude Diaries. Kaplan surveyed 2,000 Americans about their views on gratitude; 8 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss. Seventy percent said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss regularly thanked them. However, a compliment in the workplace is a rare occurrence with only 10 percent of respondents admitting to regularly giving their colleague gratitude.
Another research study, this time at the London School of Economics in 2011, published a review about workplace motivation. By analyzing more than 50 studies, their research discovered that feeling appreciated is what drives people in the workplace. According to the LSE researchers, financial incentives sometimes backfire because they undermine one’s intrinsic (or naturally occurring) motivations. Extrinsic (or external) motivators cease to mean much in the long run; a raise might feel overdue or a new title loses its luster.
If you’re reading this, bosses, either give compliments or pizza if you want your employees to work harder. Now all you have to figure out is: which toppings would your workers prefer on their pies?
Research says eating dinner at least two hours before going to sleep lowers the risk of cancer
From here on out, it’s a 9 A.M. dinner for me.
Researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain are fairly confident “people who eat dinner before 9 P.M. — or at least two hours before going to sleep — have a 20 percent lower risk of breast and prostate cancer than those who eat after 10 P.M. or go to bed shortly after supper.”
That’s great news for people like my parents, who used to pull me off the baseball diamond away from my friends so I could eat a subpar meatloaf dinner at 4:30 P.M. Then it was off to stay awake for another six hours.
“What we know from experimental studies is that we are conditioned to function in different parts of the day,” lead author Dr. Manolis Kogevinas said. “We — not only humans but all living organisms — have developed throughout time functioning differently in day and night.”
Researchers came to their conclusions after studying lifestyles, eating habits and sleeping habits. Specifically, they tested 621 people who had prostate cancer and 1,205 who had breast cancer. In addition, 872 male and 1,321 female patients without cancer were inspected. It didn’t matter that seven percent of them said they had a cookie or bowl of ice cream while watching Family Guy reruns later that evening. The study focused solely on full meals. If some of those meals happened to come after 10 P.M., it apparently means those people should expect to get screwed by cancer later in life.
FDA Declares Impossible Foods’ Meat-Free Burger Safe To Eat
There seems to be a growing call to create sustainable food products and more recently, meat has been put on that list where scientists are working to grow meat in a lab without the need to kill any animals. In fact one company by the name of Impossible Foods has created a burger from plants that is said to taste, look, and feel like an actual burger.
Now it looks like the company is one step closer to gaining wider acceptance because over in the US, the FDA has recently given them the stamp of approval where the agency has declared that the Impossible Burger is safe to eat. While Impossible Foods has submitted its application back in 2014, it seems that there was some contention regarding one key ingredient: soy leghemoglobin.
This is because soy leghemoglobin has the potential to cause allergies and other adverse effects. The protein is found in the roots of soy plants, but since that part is not eaten, there was concerns regarding its safety. However Impossible Foods has managed to convince the FDA through studies of the protein where it was found that consuming it as part of our diet doesn’t produce any bad effects, and that it has a “very low risk of allergenicity”.
According to the company’s CEO Dr. Patrick O. Brown, “Getting a no-questions letter goes above and beyond our strict compliance to all federal food-safety regulations. We have prioritized safety and transparency from day one, and they will always be core elements of our company culture.”
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