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The History of The Oreo
By Kelsey Gulick, Grade 9

Did you know that the original Oreo cookie was mound shaped? Did you know that the current design for this famous cookie first appeared in 1952, about forty years after the first Oreo was created? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 'America's Favorite Cookie.'

Once upon a time, in 1912, Nabisco decided to create a mound shaped cookie to replace the British markets' ‘ordinary biscuits.’* Little did they know that this creme filled treat would become the best selling cookie of the 20th century! Oreos were originally sold for twenty-five cents a pound in--get this--a can. That's right, your favorite cookie used to be delivered in a can.

In the 1920's, Nabisco discontinued a lemon meringue flavored Oreo that was also being distributed. Since the chocolate and creme filled flavor was far more sought after, they decided there wasn’t much logic in keeping the other less popular flavor on the market. You have to agree; however good lemon meringue sounds, you’d never want to replace that wonderful creme filled cookie we have now!

The Oreo has gone by many names over the years: the Oreo Biscuit, the Oreo Sandwich, the Oreo Creme Sandwich,  and the Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie, not to mention the many varieties of Oreo that have come about over the years (far too many to name, I'm afraid).

Not suprisingly, Oreos have even had their fame in the music industry. In 1990, "Weird Al” Yankovic created a parody of 'You Got It (The Right Stuff)' by the New Kids On The Block. He entitled his spoof 'The White Stuff' as a tribute to the Oreo cookie. In the same year, 'The Oreo Cookie Blues' was created by Lonnie Mack. Oreos are even mentioned in a line from 'Flaming Red' by Abi Lester!

Unfortunately, some countries have only just recently received this wonderful cookie. China began to distribute Oreos in 1996, Norway in 2004, and the UK in 2008. Poland, Croatia, and India only began distribution this year! But the Oreo truly has been America's favorite cookie for the last 59 years. (Please note that many other countries do have Oreos. Do not have a heart attack, people.)

This is only a brief history on one of the best snacks the 20th century has to offer, but I hope that you have all enjoyed learning about the cookie we all love.

*It is speculated that Nabisco obtained the idea of the Oreo from a similar cookie, The Hydrox, produced by Sunshine.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oreo

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Saving the Planet...One Act at a Time
By Nayah Boucaud, Grade 8

Have you ever watched Animal Planet or National Geographic? Have you ever gone camping, or taken a walk in the forest? Surprisingly enough, these things do have something in common; they are provided by our environment. Without our ‘Mother Earth,’ we would have nothing. Even manmade products contain materials which come from the Earth. What would happen to us without our environment?

For a start, we wouldn’t have any food. The water and carbon cycles, which are important for many environmental processes (such as photosynthesis), would not exist. Without photosynthesis, the entire food web would collapse. Besides being without food, we would also have to devise a way to survive without water and air.

As you can see, we depend on our environment more than we think; yet so many times, we fail to appreciate what our planet does for us. But maybe it is not too late to save the Earth! If we all pitch in to develop eco-friendly habits, we can make a difference. For instance, you can help your world on a day-to-day basis just by following the simple steps below.

1. Start a garden! - If you have the space, then why not plant some fruits and veggies? This controls not only your intake of pesticides, but also the amount of packaging that is used for store-bought produce (face it--you probably won’t recycle it later). In addition, gardening has been proven to prevent heart disease through cardiovascular musclular exercise.

2. Use cold water - If you use room temperature water instead of hot water during your daily showers, you will not only be using less energy, but you will also be helping your skin. Cold water is known to open and cleanse the skin pores, reducing the chance of painful blemishes.

3.  Be grateful for what you have! - Eco-friendly habits are an important part of our lives, but don’t forget that appreciating what you have starts with enjoying it. So put down that Wii remote, and stop IMing! Get outside and get active--just don’t forget to hydrate and wear plenty of sunscreen. One fun way to appreciate the Earth would be to take a hike in a local wildlife preserve.

By following these steps, not only will you be helping the environment, but you will also be helping yourself. “Being green” doesn’t necessarily mean doing something drastic, like becoming a vegan or substituting all the lamps in your house with candles. You can help your planet in small steps. If we work together, we will not only leave behind a better planet for the future generations, but we will also be able to enjoy a better planet in the present.

Sources:
http://www.helium.com/items/910565-health-benefits-of-gardening
http://www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/2008/04/4-reasons-why-you-need-to-take-cold-showers/
http://seql.org/100ways.cfm
Photograph by Priscilla G., Grade 9


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