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24 Jun 04:27

Why Cilantro Tastes Like Soap to Some People

by Lori Dorn

In a recent episode of SciShow, host Hank Green explains why cilantro tastes like soap to some people, but not to others.

The genetics firm 23andMe decided to take a closer look. They analyzed the genomes of almost 30,000 people asking each subject whether they like cilantro and what they thought it tasted like. Subjects who said that cilantro made salsa taste like bubble bath had similarities in a cluster of smell receptor genes that – surprise – detect the smell of soap. They tended to share one gene in particular which codes for the receptor that picks up the scent of aldehyde chemicals. Aldehyde chemicals are organic molecules that contain an aldehyde group, a carbon bonded to a hydrogen and double bonded oxygen. There’s a bunch of different aldehydes that have really distinctive smell. There’s vanillin which smells like vanilla and cinnamaldehyde which is what gives cinnamon its smell. There is more than one aldehyde responsible for giving cilantro its distinctive smell and they also happen to be a byproduct of soap making.

07 Apr 16:57

Guess how much more mac and cheese would cost at Walmart if they paid their employees a living wage

by Abraham

On average, 40 employees at a Walmart store use food stamps. Then guess where they spend them?

Yep, Walmart.

This video shows how Walmart is “the single biggest beneficiary of the food stamp economy” and then shows how it would cost them virtually nothing to change this and instead pay all their employees enough that none of them qualify for food stamps. In the process, taxpayers would save $300 million every year.

If they did this, taking Mac and Cheese as an example product, guess how much prices would increase for Walmart shoppers…

Will they do this? Of course not. But the number crunching and ensuing indignation is still fascinating…