A $15 Salad: Why Do New Yorkers Pay So Much?

How much would you pay for a salad?

Many Americans can get a gourmet-style salad with all the toppings they went for about $12. Even a gorgeous Caesar salad at Panera with chicken retails for $10.39 in 2021.

Why is it that New Yorkers are willing to shell out $15 for a takeaway salad that you can eat at your desk?

You might have heard about NYC’s bodega culture, but it is the city’s salad culture that can be hit or miss. If you can yell your order at your favorite spot, you can grab a decent meal for $15. When you don’t get that chance, you might be eating a sad bowl of Romaine for the same price. 

Food Trends Often Start in New York City

Before pasta primavera became popular as a go-to home meal, NYC restaurants were serving it left and right in the 1980s.

It wasn’t until the 1990s, when NYC streamlined the idea of sushi, that it became a popular trend in several countries.

Who can forget the cupcake craziness that happened after Sex and the City?

The newest trend for New Yorkers is the takeaway salad place. If you can find the right spot, different chains offer a customized meal that you can pick up for a fair price. Everything from roasted shrimp to quinoa is on the menu. 

Since salads are considered healthy, at least based on what you put into it, choosing one feels like a better option than a massive burger.

If anything, you could say New Yorkers pay $15 to avoid offending their coworkers. With people returning to the office after Covid, that’s not a bad approach to take.

We Eat 46 Million Turkeys Each Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the holiday we see as the kickoff to the winter season. It opens the door to all the December events while celebrating the success of the latest harvest.

Globally, over 46 million turkeys get eaten each Thanksgiving.

The feast doesn’t stop with the turkey. In total, the average American consumes about 3,100 calories when they eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal. That figure includes 150g of fat. 

Those figures don’t even account for the times when you head back to the kitchen to grab seconds!

Different Ways to View the Annual Thanksgiving Meal

When you look at the 3,100 calories that the average American eats at Thanksgiving, that figure can translate into some incredible comparisons. 

Here are some equivalent dishes and food products to consider that would create a similar caloric intake.

  • Six Big Macs from McDonald’s.
  • Ten Caesar salads ordered at Panera.
  • A dozen vanilla ice cream servings from Haagen-Dazs.
  • Fourteen strawberry-iced doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

If you weigh 160 pounds, it will take 30 miles of walking to burn off that 3,100-calorie meal from Thanksgiving. As an alternative, you could put in about five hours of swimming.

Since the feast includes high-fat products, Thanksgiving is also when hospitals get overrun with gallbladder problems and stomach issues. You can plan ahead by targeting low-fat alternatives and lighter meals in the days after the holiday to support your physical health.

Some people starve themselves on Thanksgiving to “make room” for the meal. It’s better to eat a low-fat, high-protein item at the start of t

J&J Recalls 5 Sunscreens Over Carcinogenic Ingredients

Johnson & Johnson announced in July that it recalled five aerosol sunscreen products. The reason behind this effort involves samples that contained low benzene levels.

Benzene is a chemical that is a known carcinogen. It’s linked to several blood cancers, such as leukemia. 

The recall from J&J involves four Neutrogena products.

  • Beach Defense
  • Cool Dry Sport
  • Invisible Daily Defense
  • Ultra Sheer

Aveeno Protect and Refresh sunscreen is the fifth item on the list. Although the healthcare giant stated that using the products wouldn’t be expected to cause adverse effects, the voluntary recall was happening to be cautious.

As an alternative, you can consider products from brands like Wondercide or MyChelle Dermaceuticals.

Benzene Isn’t Part of the Manufacturing Process

Since benzene isn’t directly added to these sunscreens and sunblocks, Johnson & Johnson immediately evaluated its supply chain after the testing results returned. That process included looking at the raw materials that go into its products.


The investigation into how benzene got into the five products is still ongoing. 

If you’re using a cream from one of those brands, the item is not on the recall list. It only applies to the aerosol containers.

You can find benzene in gasoline. It’s also used as a solvent for waxes and rubber. It’s a highly flammable product that can cause several cancers with repeated and long-term exposure.

Its effects vary based on how it enters the body. You can ingest or inhale it, but the skin can also absorb it. People experience dizziness and an irregular heartbeat most often.

If you have any of the products on the recall list, you’re encouraged to throw the items away. You can call 1 (800) 458-1673 to request a full refund. 

100 Years of Communist Party Leadership Celebrated in China

Although the Chinese Communist Party hasn’t been in charge of the country for a century, it has been in existence for that time. As it celebrates its centenary in 2021, China’s leadership has plenty of statistics that promote its benefits.

In June, Xi Jinping delivered a speech that said China would not have achieved its current power and prosperity without struggles against domestic exploitation and foreign aggression. 

Although the government likes to whitewash history, especially Mao’s cultural revolution, the staging does try to focus on a future image that seems secure and confident.

No Military Parades Were Part of the Celebration

Whether it was to conserve resources or avoid another 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, no military parades were held to commemorate 100 years of party existence.

Instead of a show of force, China used a military flyover while offering a 100-gun salute.

The celebration organizers carefully picked who would get to sit to listen to Xi’s speech. It was primarily workers, students, and party members, all considered loyalists to the cause. 

The Chinese Communist Party has been the sole governing ruler of the government since 1949.

Several celebrations coincided with the event, including one in Hong Kong commemorating the 24th anniversary of Great Britain handing over the colony back to China. A police officer was stabbed in a suicide attack, with officials warning people that laying flowers where the suspect died could result in a terrorism charge. 

The ceremony ended with a couple of performances. Nine commemorative coins from the People’s Bank of China were produced to remember the day.

$850 Million Settlement Reached for Boy Scout Abuse Victims

After years of litigation, the Boy Scouts of America reached an $850 million settlement with thousands of sexual abuse victims.

This settlement is the largest figure to come from a child sexual abuse case in American history. 

Over 84,000 people were part of a class-action lawsuit against the organization. The claims of abuse date to the 1960s against its leaders and volunteers. The threat of the pending settlement was large enough that the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2020. 

Attorneys say that the settlement is a start, but their clients also deserve more. The majority of clients are people in their 60s or 70s who had the abuse happen to them while they were teenagers.

The Settlement Occurred Out of Court

The BSA said that the settlement marked an important step forward for the organization. It’ll help each local council contribute to the Trust without draining additional assets, allowing them to move forward with the organization as it emerges from bankruptcy.

Leaders in the Boy Scouts of America say that their organization and activities are safer now than at any other time. New policies and procedures limit one-on-one adult-to-child contact to virtually zero.

90% of the claims against the BSA happened more than 30 years ago.

Although it will take time to move forward, the BSA is using background checks, youth protection training, and other opportunities to protect youth and adults from harm. Several steps still need to be taken to finalize everything, but the goal is to continue carrying out the mission for many years. 

NFL Settlement of $1 Billion Reached Following Race-Norming Lawsuit

The lead attorney for about 20,000 former NFL players and the league reached an agreement in June 2021 to end the practice of race-norming.

What is race-norming? It is a controversial practice that curves the cognitive test scores of Black and African-American players with data that assumes those individuals have a lower functioning level.

That information served as part of the payout process in the class-action settlement on concussions. The settlement doesn’t require the NFL to admit to discrimination in the payment administration process that began in 2017.

Since the initial settlement, over $800 million has been sent to over 1,000 former players who have been diagnosed with brain-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Race-Norming Is a Practice in Neuropsychology

Although the NFL receives ample criticism for embracing race-norming, it is crucial to point out that neuropsychology considers it a valid, if not disputed, practice.

Doctors use it to determine cognitive impairments or the presence of a brain disease, using race as a proxy for learning and memory tests. Additional factors, including an individual’s education and overall socioeconomic background, contribute to the eventual diagnosis.

Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport brought a lawsuit against the league in 2020, stating that they could not get settlement payouts because of the race-norming structure. Davenport’s doctor diagnosed him with dementia, but the NFL appealed, with the demand that the test scores get curved with this neuropsychology practice.

Since 70% of former NFL players are Black or African-American, the league could save millions by using this technique.

The settlement should stop this practice for good, and attention can now be given to other sports news.

Bruins Coach Gets a $25,000 Fine After Ref Criticism

Referees have a tough job. Everyone knows it, but that doesn’t excuse things when they make the wrong call.

The NHL fined coach Bruce Cassidy $25,000 for his criticism of the refs after Game 5 of Boston’s second-round playoff series against New York. The Islanders beat the Bruins 5-4, partially due to the assistance of three power-play goals from four opportunities.

Cassidy said that the teams were treated differently even though they both have similar playing styles. He said the exact calls that happened to his team were not consistently administered to their opponents that night.

New York coach Barry Trotz noted that the Islanders were one of the least penalized teams during the NHL regular season. In comparison, the Bruins had the most minor penalties called on them throughout the year.

Cassidy Said the Calls Were for Often Ignored Plays

The Bruins coach said that the game involved ref calls for situations that most officials typically ignore during an NHL game.

Although he said he wasn’t going to say that every call sucks or that the referees had a clear bias, the lack of consistency when comparing similar plays bothered him.

Consistency is an essential trait in hockey, other sports, and everyday situations that life throws at everyone. If your mood doesn’t set the correct foundation for logical thinking and mental processing, an emotional decision could cost you more than $25,000.

That’s why having products from brands like Douglas Laboratories and Boiron is helpful. You can keep your mood level and consistent while taking on the challenges that life offers.

The Islanders would go on to beat the Bruins in six, but they lost to Tampa Bay in seven in the conference finals.

25% of Gasoline Tanker Trucks Idle with Driver Shortage

After a 2020 that kept many families stuck at home, the summer of 2021 looks to become a vacation extravaganza. Millions of people are expected to hit the road or fly to see family, visit theme parks, and more.

Although there is plenty of fuel to get people to where they need to go, the number of tanker truck drivers making deliveries is significantly lower this year. About one out of every four trucks that were on the road in 2019 is not functioning today.

Special certifications are necessary to drive a tanker truck. Since that means several weeks of training after getting a commercial driver’s license, it isn’t an attractive option. It is often strenuous and challenging work.

That’s why driver turnover each year averages about 50%. In 2020, approximately 70% of drivers decided that they didn’t want to get behind the wheel.

Rising Pay Rates Aren’t Producing the Expected Results

Holly McCormick is the VP of Driver Recruitment and Retention for Groendyke Transport in Oklahoma. She says that she’s had to double her recruiting budget in 2021 to get the same driver numbers they had in the previous year.

What is causing the driver shortage?

Many workers move into construction jobs because the hours are better, the pay is similar, and there is less time away from home. Others are transitioning into new forms of remote work.

The result of this transition is that the higher recruiting costs cause the rates charged to customers to rise by the same amount. It’s a ripple effect already impacting the prices at the grocery stores.

If there is no fuel, there isn’t any business. If stations run out of gas, drivers keep stopping to top off their tanks. That action places even more pressure on the industry.

That’s why gas prices could see a surge in the summer of 2021.

1 U.S.A dollar banknotes

$15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Now Available for Government Contractors

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on April 27, 2021, to require some federal contractors to pay workers at least $15 per hour. This EO applies to those on government contracts, and the higher minimum wage goes into effect beginning January 30, 2022.

Biden also tied the minimum wage to be adjusted each year for inflation as part of the executive order. It will be at a rate set by the Labor Secretary.

The Biden administration hopes to enhance worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lower training and supervisory costs by taking these steps.

Agencies are “strongly encouraged” to make the pay raise active immediately as of the order date. New government contracts now include a clause mandating that covered contractors and subcontractors take the requirement into the lower-tier documents.

What Is the Impact on Tipped Minimum Wage?

Biden’s executive order makes changes to the tipped minimum wage for some federal contractors. Starting on the January 30, 2022, date, workers who get tips must receive a base pay of $10.50 per hour.

There are also provisions for the following years (2023 and 2024) that contractors must pay tipped workers 85% and the higher minimum wage, respectively.

If a tipped workers’ hourly wages don’t reach the higher amount, the contractor must increase salaries to make up the difference.

This EO replaces the one signed by Barack Obama in 2014. That order required federal contract workers to earn $10.10 per hour, indexed to inflation. Under that structure, the current hourly wage was $10.95 in 2021.

Although the wage difference is notable, the orders from Obama and Biden appear pretty similar in how they operate. Both focus on concessions and services without applying to tribal agreements.

Biden’s EO also revoked one of Trump’s orders that provided an exemption for recreational services on federal lands.

hermit crab walking on sand

After 32 Years, Island Hermit Is Leaving

Mauro Morandi has been living the good life on an Italian Island. After 32 years of being by himself, he has decided it is time to leave.

Morandi started living on the Isle of Budelli in a tiny hut in 1989. Now that he is 81 years old, he hopes that someone else takes over the caretaking role. The pink atoll offers stunning views, which led the former teacher to stay after landing there while trying to sail to Polynesia.

He took over for the previous caretaker not long after he landed there. Now that the island is part of La Maddalena’s National Park, the role has become defunct. Officials say that he has no legal right to live on the island, and has spent six years fighting the plans to turn his home into an observatory.

Tourists Are Already Trespassing on the Island

Morandi says that he has already had to chase people away from the off-limits pink-sand beach on the island. It is an unfortunate part of his duties, but he also enjoys it when people come to stay and learn from his experiences.

Before leaving, his duties included picking up the trash that came ashore. He stops intruders from creating mayhem on the island at night. His fear is that no one else will take up the surveillance work that keeps everything safe.

Over 70,000 people signed an online petition calling for Morandi to stay, but the national park’s president said that all illegal constructions in the park had to be managed. Since it is public land, there is no longer an ownership title available.

Romans used the island in the past, which sits just to the north of Sardinia. Today, the 1.6 square kilometers will continue to be used for conservation purposes. Construction is banned on the island, and access requires a permit.