This headline caught my eye this morning, “Mexico Fights Discarded Gum Problem By Telling People to Swallow It”.

Some interesting things in the article are:

  • The average square yard of Mexico City sidewalk has 70 blobs of discarded chew.
  • Mexico is responding with innovations ranging from expensive sidewalk steam-cleaners to natural chewing gum that breaks down quickly.
  • Modern chewing gum was born in the 1860s when Mexican Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna brought some Mexican chicle to U.S. inventor Thomas Adams, who first experimented with it as a possible rubber substitute but later added flavorings and sold it as a treat.
  • Mexicans chew an average of 2.6 pounds of gum each year.
  • That is half of what Americans chew.
  • The Mayans chewed unflavored chicle to clean their teeth.
  • Singapore once famously banned chewing gum outright to save its sidewalks, and still requires chewers to register at the pharmacy.

(Source: Fox News); (Image by: 7-how-7 on flickr)