The Chuck E. Cheese rat mascot with friends in the early years of the Silicon Valley pizza place. Via The Atlantic.

The Atlantic: Writer Alexis C. Madrigal knows that sometimes you weave your own narrative and other times—like when the founder of Chuck E. Cheese is telling you about his marketing department's "shitfit" over having a rat as a pizza mascot—you just let him tell his story and make a few interjections along the way. Apparently inside the origin story of America's second most-famous child-friendly rodent beats the heart of an early Silicon Valley startup.—Allecia Vermillion

Stanford Magazine: Perhaps as penance for the wackadoodle pronouncement last year out of Stanford University that organic foods don’t provide much health benefit over ordinary foods—this summer’s issue of Stanford Magazine is devoted to what we eat. Meet the nutrition researcher who has discovered that the most effective way to inspire better eating habits isn’t to warn individuals about their health—it’s to inspire them to save the world. “I can tell you to eat differently because it's good for you, and you'll never change,” he says. “But if I say, 'If you eat differently you can help others,' it can produce this huge shift in diet."  —Kathryn Robinson

The Atlantic: I’m looking forward to watching Fruit Hunters, a documentary Alesh Houdek previewed in a post this morning. Among the horrifying things I learned from the post was the fate of the Cavendish banana, the only banana— among the thousand different banana species on the planet—that most of us have likely ever tasted: “The Cavendish banana, meanwhile, is a genetic sitting duck. Sometime in the next decade (scientists have no way to predict the exact timing), experts say, the fungus will become perfectly evolved to attack the Cavendish, and will quickly spread to wipe out the banana stock worldwide.” —James Ross Gardner

New York Times: I didn't know Duane Reade had a salad bar. Apparently, getting chopped greens and things for lunch is experiencing such a boom that stalwart franchises like Subway are changing up menu options to accommodate the salad crowd—specifically those who want it chopped. The article claims that the dicing frenzy is regional to the Northeast, i.e. hasn’t arrived in Seattle yet. We’ll see—Seattle’s really good at obsessing. Remember the year we discovered the cupcake?—Rachel Breiwick

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