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Lauren O'Neal

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Lauren O'Neal is a freelance writer, a senior editor at Midnight Breakfast, and cohost of the podcast Sunday School Dropouts. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal.
How did the pumpkin spice latte get so popular? Not just popular but mega-popular, so ubiquitous that it could become a cultural symbol of “basicness,” laden with psychic baggage about gender and race and pop culture itself? How did it come to inspire copycat drinks at virtually every other coffee chain and pumpkin-spice editions of nearly every snack food imaginable, from breakfast cereal to yogurt to potato chips? It’s counterintuitive. Pumpkin—a catch-all term we use...

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