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With New Vaccine Study, ‘a Truth Has Emerged’ on Autism

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The Centers for Disease Control and many others have long noted there’s no proven link between vaccines and autism, and now the agency has yet another study to back those claims. CNN reports that the research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal looked to see if there was a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, following more than 650,000 kids in Denmark, born between 1999 and 2010, from the age of 1 through the end of 2013. About 95% of the subjects received the vaccine, and 6,500 or so were diagnosed with autism. Scientists found, however, that “MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism [and] does not trigger autism in susceptible children.“ In fact, children in the study who received the MMR vaccine were 7% less likely to develop autism than kids who didn’t get their shots, NBC News notes.

Per CNN, the whole autism-vaccines connection began with a since-discredited 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield, flawed research that was latched onto by concerned parents, including celebrities and politicians. Meanwhile, an uptick in measles outbreaks in the US is now being tied to anti-vaxxers who continue to believe the debunked study. What was notable about this research was the inclusion of children said to be at risk for autism, says Dr. Paul Offit, a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia vaccination expert who wasn’t involved with the study. “At this point, you’ve had 17 previous studies done in seven countries, three different continents, involving hundreds of thousands of children,“ Offit tells CNN. “I think it’s fair to say a truth has emerged.“

Sunny Side’s Up: Americans Eat Nearly 300 Eggs a Year

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Poached, scrambled, sunny, or not: whatever the preference, Americans are eating the most eggs in almost five decades. The average number of huevos consumed is 279 per person per year, reports the Washington Post, the highest since 1973, though well down from the post-World War II peak of 405 in 1945. The low was 229 in 1995. The results, released in USDA forecasts, follow an upward four-year trajectory. The recent egg-naissance could be due to shifts in federal nutrition guidelines on, and our understanding of, cholesterol. In 2016, the government suggested that eating high-cholesterol foods such as eggs wasn’t all that bad, and in the same year egg consumption grew 6%. The view among nutritionists is shifting, to one in which high-cholesterol foods don’t necessarily raise cholesterol levels, and may not lead to increased risk of heart disease.

Brigitte Zeitlin, a private nutritionist from New York, explains that protein-heavy diets have also boosted the appeal of eggs. “Eating healthy fats doesn’t make you fat,” she adds, such as those found in eggs, fish, and olive oil. And a growing taste for eggs with avocado toast is likely to be boosting numbers. US egg production surged to 9.1 billion in January alone: Bloomberg reports that’s “enough to go to the moon and halfway back,“ if stacking eggs is your thing. Some 8.2 billion of these were used for eating, the rest to hatch more chickens. The FDA is currently reviewing its health guidelines, after realizing that health recommendations have changed. “Healthy” labels don’t currently apply to egg producers, as the levels of fat and cholesterol exceed the agency’s regulation levels.

‘We Have to Steal to Eat’: The Poetry of Bonnie and Clyde

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Outlaw poetry has a new entrant. An auction house in Dallas plans to sell a notebook of what appears to be poetry written by the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. The notebook is essentially a daily planner for 1933, Atlas Obscura reports, and Clyde Barrow’s family has had it since he was killed. Bonnie Parker was known to have written poetry, per the Guardian, but the notebook shows that Barrow did, too. Heritage Auctions says they wrote about “their life of crime and doomed efforts to elude capture.“ The pair robbed banks, gas stations, and the like—and killed people—for 21 months before their road ended in an ambush in Louisiana in 1934. The New York Times reported at the time that police “riddled them and their car with a deadly hail of bullets,“ per Smithsonian.com. The auction is planned for April.

The auction house compared the outlaws’ handwriting samples to the green notebook, though it can’t definitively authenticate it. But Heritage cites references in letters to the poems and the fact that the notebook’s source is the Barrow family. A draft of Parker’s best-known poem—one that ends, “but it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde”—originally was in the notebook, but it was ripped out. That poem was put in an envelope labeled “Bonnie & Clyde. Written by Bonnie,“ per Atlas Obscura. Miscellaneous verses from that poem appear throughout the notebook. A poem thought to be by Barrow seems to answer hers: “Bonnie’s Just Written a poem/ the Story of Bonnie & Clyde. So/ I will try my hand at Poetry/ With her riding by my side.“ Later, he wrote: “We donte want to hurt anney one/ but we have to Steal to eat./ and if it’s a shoot out/ to live that’s the way it/ will have to bee.“

SKILLET PIZZA

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Making pizza at home is gratifying, and it almost always tastes better than what you can get from delivery. But achieving a pizza with a crisp crust in the home oven can also be a real challenge.

You need to stretch the dough carefully, preheat a heavy baking stone, and then swiftly slide the topped dough round into a hot oven, making sure the pizza maintains its shape.

In searching for a foolproof method for cooking pizza whenever the mood struck, we found that making truly great pizza is a breeze in a skillet. Our dough came together quickly in the food processor; after we let it rise, we rolled it thin and then transferred it to a cool oiled skillet, where we topped it with a fast no-cook sauce and slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.

We placed the skillet over a hot burner to get it good and hot and to set the bottom of the crust. Once the crust began to brown, we simply slid the skillet into a 500-F oven. In the oven, the hot skillet functioned like a pizza stone, crisping up our crust in just minutes and melting the cheese.

We’ve featured a Margherita pizza topping here, adorning the sauce and cheese with just a sprinkle of basil. But if you’d like a more substantial topping for your pizza, feel free to sprinkle pepperoni, sauteed mushrooms, or browned sausage over the cheese before baking; just be sure to keep the toppings light or they may weigh down the thin crust and make it soggy.

The sauce will yield more than is needed in the recipe; extra sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to one month.


SKILLET PIZZA

Servings: 8 (Makes two 11-inch pizzas)

Start to finish: 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 hours (Rising time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours)

Dough:

2 cups (11 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons bread flour

1 1/8 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup (6 ounces) ice water

Sauce and Toppings:

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick and patted dry with paper towels

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

For the dough: Pulse flour, yeast, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. With processor running, add oil, then water, and process until rough ball forms, 30 to 40 seconds. Let dough rest for 2 minutes, then process for 30 seconds longer.

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in lightly greased large bowl or container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Unrisen dough can be refrigerated for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping)

For the sauce and toppings: Process tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper in clean, dry workbowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to 2-cup liquid measuring cup and add reserved tomato juice until sauce measures 2 cups. Reserve 1 cup sauce; set aside remaining sauce for another use.

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 F. Grease 12-inch oven-safe skillet with 2 tablespoons oil.

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and cover loosely with greased plastic. Press and roll 1 piece of dough (keep remaining piece covered) into 11-inch round of even thickness.

Transfer dough to prepared skillet and reshape as needed. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. Top with half of mozzarella.

Set skillet over high heat and cook until outside edge of dough is set, pizza is lightly puffed, and bottom of crust looks spotty brown when gently lifted with spatula, about 3 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake pizza until edges are brown and cheese is melted and spotty brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Using potholders, remove skillet from oven and slide pizza onto wire rack; let cool slightly. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon basil, cut into wedges, and serve. Being careful of hot skillet, repeat with remaining oil, dough, 1/2 cup sauce, remaining mozzarella, and basil.

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Nutrition information per serving: 322 calories; 152 calories from fat; 17 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 657 mg sodium; 30 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 10 g protein.

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