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OCTOBER 15, 2021
ISSUE NO. 74
WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO MEAN?

You made it to Friday, POLITI-Kids! 

Today marks the final day of Hispanic Heritage Month but the celebration does not have to stop now. Continue to learn about Latinx culture and make sure to let us know if you try out a new recipe or create a cool craft from a Hispanic country.

October also marks National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying can be really hard to talk about and sometimes even harder to spot. We wanted to dedicate this issue to helping you become an anti-bullying advocate in a few different ways and hope you find a new way to stand up for yourself and others against bullies. 

Signing off with kindess,
The POLITI-Kids Team
Aloïse Phelps & Alexa Velickovich

DRINKING AIR

(Image Source: Reuters/Jon Nazca)

Access to clean water is unfortunately not a universal guarantee. That's why a Spanish company has invented a machine that extracts drinking water from thin air! 

Enrique Veiga, the 82-year-old engineer and inventor, devised a system that uses electricity to cool air until it condenses into water, similar to how air-conditioning units cause condensation.

"The goal is to get to places like refugee camps that don't have drinking water," Veiga told Reuters.

Veiga's company, Aquaer, is already delivering clean, safe water to communities in Namibia and a Lebanese refugee camp.

Other water generators already exist, but they require "high ambient humidity and low temperatures to function effectively." Veiga's machines can work in high temperatures 
and low humidity. Small machines can produce up to 20 gallons a day, while bigger machines can produce up to 1,320 gallons a day.

Nhat Vuong, a Switzerland-based Vietnamese refugee, has partnered with Veiga to raise funds that will install solar panels at the company to bring down electricity costs and reduce the environmental impact of the project.
(Source: Reuters)

WORD OF THE WEEK: 
NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. During this month, communities across the country unite together to educate and raise awareness on the issue of bullying. Every day, thousands of young people experience bullying, whether from peers at school, during after school activities, or online, through social media and texts.

National Bullying Prevention Month began in October 2006 by the PACER organization. The goal is to "transform a society that accepts bullying into a society that recognizes that bullying must – and can – be addressed through education and support."

Unity Day, a time when people across the country wear orange as a show of support for students who have been bullied, is October 20. Don't forget to wear orange to show your support for kindness, acceptance and inclusion!
JOKE OF THE WEEK:

Q: What lies on its back 100 feet in the air?

A: A centipede!

Below is an excerpt from a POLITICO article, along with some questions to help guide your reading. 
To read the full article, click here.
Biden asks food makers to crack down on salt
By Hannah Farrow and Helena Bottemiller Evich
October 13, 2021

The FDA on Wednesday released long-delayed short-term sodium reduction targets, urging food makers to voluntarily cut back their use of salt to help Americans eat healthier.

The guidance sets voluntary sodium limits for more than 160 categories of processed foods, from pizza to toddler snacks, with the overall goal of helping consumers cut their average salt intake from 3,400 mg to 3,000 mg per day — about 12 percent — to reduce the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular disease.

The policy will be rolled out over the next two and a half years, allowing food companies to adjust to the recommendations. Although the policy is voluntary, the guidance is expected to be taken seriously by most food companies.

For example, the FDA recommends that the bakery industry cut salt across various types of bread and that the seafood industry reduce salt in escargot and caviar. Frozen food makers are being asked to slash sodium across foods like tater tots and corn dogs.

The goal is to slowly dial down the sodium used across the American food supply so consumers' palates can adjust to eating less salt over time.

Background: The move to formally urge less salt in processed foods has been in the works at FDA through several administrations, Democrat and Republican, but has faced numerous delays after some corners of the food industry fought the policy.

The FDA first released draft voluntary sodium reduction goals in 2016, amid the Obama administration's broader push to encourage better nutrition and combat childhood obesity. At the time, the agency noted that the average person consumed about 3,400 milligrams a day in sodium. The agency advised people to cut that back by one-third to meet federal dietary recommendations — to 2,300 mg a day, or about one teaspoon.

The government estimates that about 70 percent of the sodium Americans eat comes from sodium added during food processing and commercial food preparation.

During the Trump administration, then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb surprised some by sticking to the Obama administration's push to limit salt. In 2018, Gottlieb said there’s “no single more effective public health action related to nutrition than the reduction of sodium in the diet.”

Health effects: Eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which increases risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to the FDA, 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 10 children has high blood pressure — health officials on Wednesday said 95 percent of children aged 2 to 13 are “far exceeding” the recommended sodium intake. In 2019, high blood pressure contributed to the deaths of 516,955 people in the U.S.

The government and health advocates have argued that cutting sodium intake can save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in health care costs.

Cheering less salt: Health advocates lauded the FDA’s announcement, even as they called on the agency to go further.

The American Heart Association called the announcement “an important step forward,” while also contending it was “not enough” to only seek a 12 percent cut to salt intake when Americans are on average consuming roughly 50 percent more sodium than the government recommends.

Some food industry leaders also praised the new policy, recognizing that many consumers are seeking out healthier options and support lowering sodium stealthily.

For example, Mars, which makes brands like Ben’s Original and Tasty Bite, has long supported FDA’s salt reduction efforts, even when many other major food companies were lobbying against the policy.

The company said Wednesday that it is “very happy” to see the targets released. Mars is aiming to cut sodium by an average of 45 percent in most of its products, with virtually all of its products meeting or exceeding FDA’s short-term targets by 2025.

What’s next: The FDA released finalized reduction targets for the next two and a half years. Agency officials said they would be closely monitoring the food industry’s progress and plan to set stricter voluntary targets in the future.

“We plan this to be an iterative process, to keep reducing the targets,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock. The goal is to eventually get American consumers below the federal recommended guidance, but to do it slowly over time, officials said.

Agency leaders declined to say whether they would consider mandatory sodium reduction targets if the food industry doesn’t make enough progress cutting salt from their products in the next few years.



WHAT IS WRONG WITH TOO MUCH SALT?
Salt is a seasoning that can flavor food and act as a preservative. Nearly all unprocessed foods - veggies, fruits, nuts, meats, whole grains, and dairy foods - are low in sodium. Foods don't have to taste salty for them to be high in sodium. 

Our body only needs a small amount of sodium, about 1,500 milligrams of it everyday, but as the article says, the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day.

There are short and long term effects of eating too much sodium that can be very detrimental to your health. For starters, if your stomach feels swollen or tight (bloated), it can indicate that you've had too much sodium. Other noticeable changes due to too much salt include weight gain, constant dehydration and feelings of puffiness.

The article mentions two significant long term effects of too much sodium: cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Cardiovascular diseases are heart conditions that are typically a result of build up within the heart and increased risk of blood clots. Hypertension is  one cardiovascular disease where your blood pressure (how hard your heart is pumping to move blood through your body) is constantly very high. If blood pressure is too high, it forces your heart to work harder and increases your risk of serious heart problems. 




GUIDED ARTICLE  QUESTIONS:
1. What does it mean that the FDA's guidance is voluntary? Do you think food companies will abide by this policy? Why or why not?


2. Why is the policy being rolled out over two years instead of right away? What impact does this have?


3. What are some examples that the article includes of areas where sodium should be cut back?


4. How have other administrations approached this problem?


5. What has been the response of some food industry leaders? Does this surprise you? 

 
NOTABLE NEWS THIS WEEK
Use the guided reading questions in blue italics to help gain a deeper comprehension of this week's notable news.
 
According to Dr. Fauci, kids are safe to celebrate Halloween and trick or treat this year. The nation's top infectious disease doctor stated earlier this week that children and their families should enjoy the holiday and take part in this special time of year. His guidance follows that of the CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky who said that sticking to trick-or-treating in small groups and avoiding large crowds would be the best bet. With other holidays on the horizon, Dr. Fauci stressed the importance of getting vaccinated in order to have a safe holiday with family and friends. Did you expect trick-or-treating to get the green light from our nation's top docotors? Why or why not? 

Facebook will expand its current harassment policies. These new policies will further protect users from abuse and harmful content on the platform by banning content that degrade public figures, such as elected officials, celebrities, activist, and journalists. There are current policies in place that exist to protect ordinary users. Because what is deemed an abuse of this policy depends on the person who is being attacked, Facebook will rely on additional context from the person themselves in order to take action. Why do you think Facebook is taking this sort of action now? What are some potential challenges to this new policy?
PAW-LITICO OF THE WEEK: CHAPPY
Submitted by POLITI-Kid Shannon Foley
My name is Chappy, and I am a cavapoo — that’s a cavalier king charles mixed with a poodle. I am originally from North Carolina but have lived in D.C. for the past year. I recently turned one years old! I am curious and love to walk around the city. Fetch is my favorite game, and I like to play with dogs that are bigger than me. When no one is looking, I rip up toilet paper in the bathroom or hide mom’s slippers.

Do you want your pet to be next Paw-litico of the week?
Send us a photo and a bio to politikids@politico.com
RECIPE OF THE WEEK: 
AUTHENTIC MEXICAN STREET CORN
Adapted from MyLatinaTable
Mexican street corn ready to eat
Post Image
Ingredients:
– 8 Corn On the Cob
– 1-2 tbsp lime juice
– 2 tsp salt separated into two portions of 1 tsp.
– ½ cup mayonnaise
– 1 cup queso fresco queso cotija also works
– 1/4 cup chili powder
– 1-2 bay leaves
– 1-2 tsp dried thyme 


If you can find epazote in a Mexican market in the USA, use that instead of the bay leaves and thyme.
 
Directions:
1. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, bay leaves, and thyme (or epazote if that is what you are using) to boiling water.

2. Add the corn on the cob and cook for approximately 30 minutes.

3. Strain the water from the corn.

4. Cover each corn on the cob with lime juice and additional teaspoon of salt (you can use more if necessary).

5. Cover in mayonnaise.

6. Roll each corn on the cob in the queso fresco and sprinkle with chili powder.

 
CRAFT OF THE WEEK: 
ZAMPOÑAS
Adapted from Kinderart

The zampoña is an instrument of Andean origin used  in countries such as Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru
.
Supplies:
– Straws (the wider the diameter of the straw, the better the sound!)
– Small piece of sturdy cardboard
– Transparent tape
– Scissors
– Marker
A small length of ribbon for decoration (optional)

Instructions:

1. Cut a length of sturdy cardboard. A six to eight inch piece works well for a basic set of panpipes.

2. Next, cut slightly different lengths of straws and attach them to the cardboard with transparent tape from longest to shortest. Make sure you leave about one inch between the straws.

3. Test out your panpipes by blowing over them to see if you like the series of notes you’ve created. Add more pipes or take some away based on what you hear. 

4. Add a bit of decoration. Cover the outer cardboard area with a bit of cloth or ribbon and tape it into place. This gives the look of traditional zampoñas. You can also color or draw on the cardboard or add stickers to decorate your instrument as well.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the following POLITICO'sPOLITI-Kids and celebrities. Is your birthday coming up? Let us know by submitting your name and date of birth here!

October 15: Heather Caygle, Derin Oduye, Emril Lagasse

October 16: Kelly Hooper, Katie Williams, Bryce Harper, Naomi Osaka, John Mayer, Sue Bird

October 17: Angela Greiling Keane, Myah Ward, Jordan Wolman, Mae Jemison, Felicity Jones

October 18: Zac Efron, Tyler Posey

October 19: Kyle Cheney, Molly Sandza, Ashlyn Harris, Gillian Jacobs

October 20: Jean Chemnick, Chris Tassa, Vice President Kamala Harris, John Krasinski, Snoop Dogg

October 21: Ben Lefebvre, Victoria Blinn, Rachel Jongerius, Kim Kardashian West, Doja Cat, Judge Judy

October 22: Niina Farah, Jeff Goldblum, 21 Savage, Jesse Tyler Ferguson 

October 23: Jackie Heinz, Lauren Morello, Ryan Reynolds, Amandla Stenberg, Emilia Clarke

October 24: Monica Akhtar, Kellie Mejdrich, Drake

October 25: Bill Kuchman, Katy Perry, Pablo Picasso 

October 26: Hillary Clinton

October 27: President Theodore Roosevelt

October 28: Caroline Sullivan, Julia Roberts, Frank Ocean, Bill Gates, Caitlyn Jenner
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