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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

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Monday, May 27, 2024   

In addition to honoring fallen service members, Memorial Day has come to be known as the unofficial start of summer, which can mean lots of ice cream, unless extreme temperatures cause people to forgo the treat.

Ice cream consumption is down, with some theorizing hotter temperatures due to climate change prompt more people to choose a cold drink over ice cream.

Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University, said when people buy just a pint rather than a quart or more, cost is another big factor.

"You can easily spend $5 on an ice cream cone," Nestle observed. "I can remember when it was a nickel. And that's a lot more than inflation has gone up. So, it's become a very, very expensive commodity."

In 2022, Americans ate on average about 13 pounds of regular ice cream -- the traditional kind made with full-fat milk -- per capita, down from 18 pounds in 1975. A recent poll showed Baskin-Robbins is the ice cream of choice in New Mexico, while folks in neighboring Colorado preferred Blue Bell. Other favorites among Americans are Ben & Jerry's, Breyer's and Tillamook.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said consumption of regular ice cream has been falling off for several years. Nestle pointed out some consumers folks may be trying to cut back on dairy or sugar intake, or they have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant. As a nutritionist, she believes dairy products are "neutral" -- foods like any other -- but eating too much of them is not a good idea.

"Nobody ever said ice cream was a health food. It's a treat," Nestle acknowledged. "If you buy a pint of ice cream, you know how many calories it is, because the calories are on the package. If you go to an ice cream store, you don't, but it's going to have the same number of calories as the stuff in the package."

If you are worried ice cream is bad for you, take heart. In 2018, a Harvard doctoral student studying the relationship between dairy foods and chronic disease found those who ate ice cream no more than twice a week appeared to be 12% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, compared to those who did not eat ice cream.


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