According to University of Washington researchers, those snickerdoodles you scarfed down during the holidays could have an impact on the water system.
Associate professor of chemical oceanography Rick Keil and researcher Jacquelin Neibauer tested sewage sent into Puget Sound near Seattle from the nearby West Point treatment plant. They showed that from Nov. 14 to Dec. 9, levels of cinnamon, vanilla, and artificial vanilla rose dramatically, with the biggest spike occurring right after Turkey Day.
While the scientists are unclear how the baked goodies might affect public health, they theorize that the chemicals might affect fish in the water—salmon, for example, who rely on their sense of smell to find their home stream during spawning season. Also, based on data, scientists estimated that people in the area served by the plant ate 160,000 butter and chocolate-chip cookies and 80,000 cinnamon-flavored cookies during Thanksgiving weekend.