Today’s quick hits, November 8, 2019

Fish threatened by fishing gear (The Guardian): Dumped commercial fishing equipment — nets, lines, traps, and other gear — is the top cause of large plastic pollution in the ocean, endangering a wide range of marine life, says Greenpeace.

Not-so-happy meal (Washington Post): McDonald’s is marking the 40th anniversary of the Happy Meal, though not everyone is celebrating; nutrition advocates consider the kids’ meal a symbol of childhood obesity.

‘Soda tax’ mayor coasts to re-election (Philadelphia Inquirer): Mayor Jim Kenney, who engineered a 1.5 cent-per-ounce soda tax in Philadelphia to help pay for preschool and community services, won a second term with more than 80 percent of the vote in an election that “served as a kind of ratification” of the levy.

Iowa nitrate runoff doubles since 2003 (University of Iowa): Researcher Chris Jones calculates in a blog that nitrate runoff in Iowa has doubled since 2003. More than 90 percent of nitrate in the state’s streams comes from agriculture, a heavy user of nitrogen fertilizer.

A diet one-fifth of the world can’t afford (New Food Economy): The “planetary health diet” recommended by the EAT-Lancet Commission — less meat and more fruits and vegetables — “is simply unaffordable” for 1.6 billion people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, say researchers from Tufts University and the IFPRI think tank.