Summer means more paternity leave
Summertime means more Swedish fathers' are attracted to the thought of staying at home with their kids, that is paternity leave. Swedish men happily prolong their vacation with parental days, according to statistics from Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency). These statistics show that the number of men on parental leave increases during summer; in August Swedish fathers make up for one third of all parental days taken, in December the equivalent percentage is 20. According to Roger Klinth, Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Linköping University, who researches Swedish fathers, this has to do with women still bearing the primary responsibility for the children in many families. It is still mainly men who can control when to take parental leave. “The father is more of a bonus figure who comes in whenever it suits him. This mirrors a deeper pattern regarding who is who and who gets to take the leftovers,” Klinth says. In the beginning of the 1990’s, the fathers took out only 10% of the parental days. In order to even out the numbers, Försäkringskassan issued campaigns, advising the men about the possibility to prolong the vacation with parental leaves. “It actually advised men to do exactly what we see them doing in these patterns,” says Klinth.

No need to rinse fruit
Anneli Widenfalk, a toxicologist at Livsmedelsverket (the National Food Agency) says there's no need to fear the pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables within the European Union. “You don’t even have to rinse the fruit,” Widenfalk says. This is a response to an article in daily DN, about how a shop assistant at a Hemköp store in Stockholm’s Blackeberg, sprayed the insecticide Radar Raid over fruit to get rid of fruit flies. Widenfalk doesn’t think that sort of incident should have to happen, but says that Radar Raid poses no danger for humans, if you should eat fruit or vegetables that have been sprayed with it. “It is not toxic, it is a kinder sort of insecticide, which breaks down by sunlight.” It is, however, the first time she hears of someone spraying insecticide over fruit and vegetables in a grocery store in Sweden: “It is not allowed. In Sweden insecticide is only allowed during growing and not after harvest.” Widenfalk says that many substances, like a few organophosphates, have been banned within the EU, and that nowadays there are much less toxic substances in fruit and vegetables. “It’s become much better. You should be able to eat fruit as it is, without rinsing it – with the levels of pesticides that the EU have decided to allow.” Widenfalk herself though admits to rinsing fruit before consuming it. “But only to wash away dirt and bacteria,” she adds.