Saturday, August 31, 2019

International Bacon Day - Food Safety and Nutrition

International Bacon Day is an unofficial holiday observed since 2009 on the Saturday before Labor Day in the United States. Bacon day celebrations typically include social gatherings during which participants create and consume dishes containing bacon, including bacon-themed breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and drinks.

It's the "B" in a BLT sandwich, the star of breakfast buffets, the garnish on a spinach salad, and the "pork" in pork-and-beans. Bacon imparts a smoky flavor to many dishes. This ancient, cured meat now appears in such modern forms as shelf-stable or refrigerated fully cooked strips, bacon made from turkey and/or beef, and meats certified as organic.

The term "bacon" is used to describe the cured belly of a swine (hog) carcass. If meat from other portions of the carcass is used, the product name must identify the portions where the bacon comes from, e.g., "Pork Shoulder Bacon." Bacon is generally produced from young animals (6 to 7 months old) that weigh between 175 to 240 pounds.



Bacon and Food Safety
Bacon is made with salt as a curing agent, and nitrite (but not nitrate) is the other most frequently used additive. Bacon may also contain other additives such as sugars, maple sugar, wood smoke, flavorings, and spices.

Under certain conditions not yet fully understood, the products from the natural breakdown of proteins known as "amines" can combine with nitrites to form compounds known as "nitrosamines." There are many different types of nitrosamines, most of which are known carcinogens in test animals.

Not all cured meat products contain nitrosamines; however, when present, they usually are in very minute amounts. Many variables influence nitrosamine levels: amount of nitrite added during processing, concentrations of amines in meat, type and amounts of other ingredients used in processing, actual processing conditions, length of storage, storage temperatures, method of cooking, and degree of doneness.

Researchers at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that the addition of vitamin C (ascorbate) and vitamin E (tocopherol) reduced the levels of nitrosamines in fried bacon and in nitrite-cured products. The findings led to changes in Federal regulations and industry processing to minimize consumer exposure to nitrosamines. USDA now requires adding 550 ppm (parts per million) of either sodium ascorbate or sodium erythorbate to pumped bacon. This addition greatly reduces the amount of free nitrite and, thus, minimizes the formation of nitrosamines. This regulation is found in 9 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 424.22 (b)(1).



Nutrition Information


BLT Sandwich


References
1. Wikipedia, List of bacon dishes
2. WebMD, 
Can Bacon Be Part of a Healthy Diet? Elaine Magee, MPH, RDN
3. Eat Right Chicago, Is Everything Really ‘Better with Bacon?’
4. USDA, Bacon and Food Safety
An educated consumer has the knowledge to make healthy choices - Choose Moderation




August, National Sandwich Month - Use Your Creativity


August is National Sandwich Month. The sandwich was named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. During the 1700s, it is said John Montagu created the sandwich because he wanted to eat his meal with one hand.



The nutrition information for the sandwiches presented in the collage can be found on Dietitians Online Facebook album, "All About Sandwiches." 

Resource: Build a Better Sandwich, @produceforkids 

Greatest Movie Sandwiches



August 31, National Trail Mix Day
The Food Label Detective:
Emerald Trail Mix


*FDA 21 CFR 101.9 Nutrition labeling of food. FDA regulation allows manufacturers to round a number of servings to the nearest 0.5 serving, as long as they use the term “about”. Serving size is based on RACC = Reference Amount Customarily Consumed per Eating Occasion.


One Serving Size: 1oz (28g)
130 calories per Servings
Package Size: Net Wt. 2.25 oz (63.8g)
About 2 Servings per package

Findings
Actual Serving per Package = 2.3
299 Calories per Package

Read the Label; an Educated Consumer has the knowledge

to make the Best Choices.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

August 29, More Herbs, Less Salt Day and
National Lemon Juice Day

Instead of salt, use spices, herbs, lemon juice,
and/or vinegar to 
enhance the taste of your food.
The health benefits are life-long.



Wikipedia has provided an extensive list of culinary herbs and spices. The list does not contain salt (which is a mineral) or plants used primarily as herbal teas or medicinal herbs. Explore the different flavors and cultures.

Tips for Selecting and Storing
Herbs and Spices


Spice it Up with
Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD


Where does sodium come from?
Sodium comes from natural sources or is added to foods. Most foods in their natural state contain some sodium. However, the majority of sodium Americans consume comes from sodium added to processed foods by manufacturers. While some of this sodium is added to foods for safety reasons, the amount of salt added to processed foods is above what is required for the safety and function of the food supply.

Reading Labels
When you buy prepared and packaged foods, read the labels. You can tell the sodium content by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel of a food. Listed are the amount for sodium, in milligrams (mg), and the “% Daily Value.” Also read the ingredient list to watch for the words "soda" (referring to sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda), "sodium" and the symbol "Na" to see if the product contains sodium.

Salt and/or Sodium Descriptors

Salt-Free:  Meets requirements for "sodium-free."
Sodium Free: Fewer than 5 milligrams sodium per serving.
Very Low Sodium:  35 milligrams or less sodium per serving.
Low Sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving 
Reduced Sodium:  At least 25 percent less sodium per serving.
Unsalted:  Has no salt added during processing. To use this term, the product it resembles must normally be processed with salt and the label must note that the food is not a sodium-free food if it does not meet the requirements for "sodium-free".

The FDA and USDA state an individual food that has the claim "healthy" must not exceed 480 mg sodium per reference amount. "Meal type" products must not exceed 600 mg sodium per labeled serving size.

Sodium and Hypertension.
In order for a food to make an Allowable Health Claim, it must contain a defined amount of nutrients. In relationship to sodium and Hypertension, the amount is 140 milligrams or less sodium per serving.

American Heart Association (AHA)
The American Heart Association recommends you choose and prepare foods with little or no salt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day (less than 3/4 teaspoon of salt).
The AHA is working with federal agencies to identify ways to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply. The association is encouraging food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium in foods by 50 percent over a 10-year period. AHA will help Americans lower the amount of sodium they consume by the following strategies:
 1. Reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply,
 2. Make more healthy foods available (e.g., more fruits and vegetables); and
 3. Provide consumers with education and decision-making tools to make better choices.

 
Tips for reducing sodium in the diet
 1.  Choose fresh, frozen or canned food items without added salts.
 2.  Select unsalted nuts or seeds, dried beans, peas, and lentils.
 3.  Limit salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
 4.  Avoid adding salt and canned vegetables to homemade dishes.
 5.  Select unsalted, lower sodium, fat-free broths, bouillons or soups.
 6.  Select fat-free or low-fat milk, low-sodium, low-fat cheeses, and low-fat yogurt.
 7.  Use spices and herbs to enhance the taste of your food. 
 8.  Add fresh lemon juice instead of salt to fish and vegetables.
 9.  When dining out, ask for your dish to be prepared without salt.
10. Don’t use the salt shaker.





National Water Quality Month - How much do kids Need?





When the water in our rivers, lakes, and oceans becomes polluted, the effects can be far reaching. It can endanger wildlife, make our drinking water unsafe and threaten the waters where we swim and fish.


The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that protects public drinking water supplies throughout the nation. Under the SDWA, the 
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for drinking water quality and with its partners implements various technical and financial programs to ensure drinking water safety.




The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA's purpose is to ensure that: all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work; national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information; federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively; environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy; all parts of society - communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments - have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks; environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment. So what happened in Flint, Michigan and are other communities are at risk?



Drinking Water in your Home
Many people choose to filter or test the drinking water that comes out of their tap or from their private well for a variety of reasons. And whether at home, at work or while traveling, many Americans drink bottled water.





Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Kids Eat Right Month - The Kid Friendly Kitchen


Help your kids start young and master simple cooking tasks before moving on to more complex skills. Use these age-appropriate ideas to keep your kids excited, safe and well-educated in the kitchen! To learn more, visit Kids Eat Right at Kid-Friendly Kitchen Tasks Infographic





Tuesday, August 27, 2019

August 27, Banana Lovers Day: Nutrition, Selection, Storage, and Recipes



Selection
Choose bananas that are firm and free of bruises. Bananas are best to eat when the skin color is solid yellow and speckled with brown. Bananas with green tips or with practically no yellow color have not developed their full flavor. Bananas are overripe when they have a strong odor.


Storage
To ripen bananas leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Once ripe store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. The peel may turn brown in the refrigerator, but the fruit will not change.


Recipes
If you love bananas, Eating Well has a collection of Banana Recipes you are sure to enjoy.


Chiquita Banana The Original Commercial 
Produced by Disney Studios in the 40's, this commercial appeared only in movie theaters, and for over 50 years kept us humming its catchy tune.


DOLE Banana Growing and Planting
Dole explains the growing and planting of bananas.


Banana Farm
The banana farm at EARTH University uses socially and environmentally responsible practices at every stage of the process. The farm plants trees along river banks to promote biodiversity and reduce harmful erosion. In addition, they do not use herbicides. The farm's eco-friendly practices produce some of the most flavorful bananas in the world.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

August 25, National Banana Split Day - Fruit Festival




Ingredients
1 Banana, split in half
1 Kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
4 Strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup Cherries, sliced
1/2 cup Orange Segments
1/2 cup Low Fat Ice Cream, optional









Thursday, August 22, 2019

August 22, Eat a Peach Day - Nutrition, Safety and Presentation

Presentation. Transform a peach into an eloquent dessert. Cut the peach into slices or cubes and serve in a dessert glass. Somehow the presentation makes the peach taste sweeter and the experience filling.



Peach Nutrition
Low fat; saturated fat-free; sodium free; cholesterol free; 
good source of vitamin C.





From Fruits and Veggies, More Matters:
Peaches
How to Select
Choose peaches with firm, fuzzy skins that yield to gentle pressure when ripe. Avoid blemishes.

How to Store Peaches and Nectarines
Store unripe peaches in a paper bag. When ripe, store at room temperature for use within 1-2 days.


Resources.
Georgia Peach Council
Fruits and Veggies, More Matters. Peaches
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Peaches 





National Tooth Fairy Day
Nutrition and Your Child's Dental Health


Healthy teeth are important to your child's overall health. From the time your child is born, there are things you can do to promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. For babies, you should clean teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby's toothbrush. Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle and check teeth regularly for spots or stains.

For all children, you should
1. Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they are two years old. You might start sooner if a dentist or doctor suggests it.
2. Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks
3. Schedule regular dental check-ups

Forming good habits at a young age can help your child have healthy teeth for life.






Resources
1. WebMD. Nutrition and Your Child's Teeth
2. National Institute of Health, Child DentalHealth







Wednesday, August 21, 2019

August 21, National Senior Citizen Day - Keep Older Americans Healthy and Fit

National Senior Citizens Day 

On August 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5847 creating National Senior Citizens Day to be August 21.

On this day, we are encouraged to recognize and show appreciation for the value and contribution of older people to home, family and society. It is an opportunity for us to show our gratitude for what seniors have achieved in their lives and their contributions to our communities.

Things to do with Older Adults
- Spend time together.
- Show our appreciation.
- Volunteer to help.
- Enjoy a walk together.
- Go out for dinner.

If you are a senior citizen, enjoy your day. Make sure to take advantage of senior citizen discounts and specials.


The goal is to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. 


Benefits of Getting Older

Global Aging


Shopping and nutrition tips
for senior citizens

from Elisa Zeid, MS, RD

Resources and References
to Help Eating Well as We Age

Monday, August 19, 2019

National Potato Day

Potatoes are one of the vegetables in the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which includes eggplant, tomatoes and bell peppers. It is a starchy, tuberous crop. Potatoes are the world's fourth-largest food crop, following maize, wheat, and rice.
Nutrition


One medium potato (5.3 oz) with the skin contains:
110 Calories; Vitamin C (45 % DV); 620 mg potassium; Vitamin B6 (10 % DV); No Fat; No Sodium; No Cholesterol; and Trace amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. 
Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids and flavonoids.

About 20% of the potato’s nutrition is found in the skin.  Most of the vitamin C and potassium are found in the potato’s flesh, but the fiber is found in the skin.  That’s why it’s best to enjoy every part of the potato.

According to MyPlate, Potatoes are a vegetable.  It counts toward the total recommended servings of vegetables. One medium-sized potato (5.3 oz.) counts as 1 cup of starchy vegetables.


Recipe
Rose, Gold, and Purple Potato Salad




Ingredients
5 Small Round Potatoes: 
  1 Honey Gold 
  2 Enchanted Rose
  2 Purple Splendor
Dash Curry Powder
2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Italian Dressing, fat-free

Directions
1. Roast potatoes and dice.
2. In a bowl combine curry, mustard, and Italian dressing. Mix.
3. Add potatoes to marinade and coat well.

Nutrition Information


August 19 - World Humanitarian Day - Inspire Humanitarian Work Around the World




This year’s focus salutes the efforts of women humanitarian workers across the world who rally to people in need and are often the first to respond and the last to leave.

“From supporting civilians caught up in crisis to addressing disease outbreaks, women humanitarians are on the front lines”, said Secretary-General António Guterres.



These unsung heroes have long been working in their own communities in some of the most difficult terrains – from the war-wounded in Afghanistan, to the food insecure in the Sahel, to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods in places such as Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“Their presence makes aid operations more effective by increasing their reach”, said the UN chief. “It also improves the humanitarian response to gender-based violence, which increases during emergencies”.

Across the globe, 250,000 aid workers are women – a figure that amounts to more than 40 percent of the humanitarian workforce. But aid work is becoming increasingly dangerous.




Since August 2003, more than 4,500 aid workers of all genders have been killed, injured, detained, assaulted or kidnapped while carrying out their work. That averages out to five attacks per week.

Moreover, women humanitarians are at particularly high risk of robbery, sexual assault, and other violence.


World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 UN staff. 

Natural disasters, conflicts and other emergencies threaten the lives and health of millions of people every year. In the middle of such crises, thousands of dedicated humanitarian workers strive to care for those who have been affected and support local authorities to deliver assistance. On World Humanitarian Day, WHO and other international bodies are highlighting the roles performed by humanitarian workers, and remembering aid workers who have been killed or injured while performing their vital roles. 


World Humanitarian Day offers the chance:

· for the public to learn more about the humanitarian community, what aid workers do and the challenges they face;

· for nongovernmental and international bodies and UN agencies, to demonstrate their humanitarian activities;

· to pay respect to those who have died or been injured in the course of their humanitarian work.

To show your support for World Humanitarian Day visit  
http://worldhumanitarianday.org/


Interaction between Older Adults and Children Benefit Both


The Healthy Aging Partnership offers these suggestions for grandparents and others who want to play a bigger role in young lives:

  • Be yourself. Youngsters will benefit from and enjoy having someone who listens and gives them their undivided attention. All too often parents don't have enough time to spend with their children and that's where you can help. Be a mentor and a friend.
  • Arts and crafts, such as making a scrapbook, create great memories and allow you and a child to learn something new together.
  • Youngsters love to help in the kitchen. The hands-on cooking exercise can be as simple as baking a box cake, with a little measuring and mixing.
  • Gardening is another kid favorite. Dig in the dirt. Plant. Water. Sow fast-sprouting bean, pumpkin or sunflower seeds that grow with every visit.
  • Go to the library. Computers and video games may be a new thing, but you can never go wrong with a great story. Teach them about something you love. If you're excited about it, they will be too.
  • If you don't have grandchildren of your own, volunteer to share an interest or skill with a local youth organization. The American Red Cross, Intergenerational Innovations and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, just to name a few, can help connect older adults with young people in their community.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Plate Size Matters

The History of Plate Sizes

Fast foods do not have a monopoly on supersize. The plate industry has had its own growth spurt during the past 50 years. In the 1960s dinner plates were about 8.5 to 9-inches in diameter and held about 800 calories; by 2009 plate size had grown to 12-inches with the capacity to hold about 1900 calories. The calorie differences are illustrated in the graphic below. (Calorie amounts will vary depending on the foods you choose.)


Portion Control Matters - Kids Eat Right



Resources
1. WebMD, Portion Size Guide
2. Kids and Portion Control, Jo Ellen Shield, RDN, Kids Eat Right
3. 
How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls to Help Manage Your Weight, CDC
4. 
What is the difference between a serving and a portion? NIH



 

 

Edible Flowers by Guest Blogger: Brittaney Bialas, MS, RD


Spring is a warm, bright, and sunny time of year when you may schedule time for outdoor picnics at local parks and beaches. While you are at it, you might as well pencil in some time to brighten up your herb or vegetable garden with some tasty flowers – edible flowers, that is! 

You may have seen floral garnishes adorning fancy meals or flashy desserts; but you may not know that you can eat many of these flowers fresh from the plant after rinsing. Edible flowers can be cooked like a vegetable, sprinkled on top of a favorite dish, used to make soups and sauces, or stuffed and sautéed as a main part of a recipe. They can be made into vinegar, syrups, butters, and jellies, or used in custards, sorbets, and other desserts. They can also be frozen into ice cubes to add extra excitement to an otherwise boring beverage on a hot day. Now is the time of year when many edible flowers are in peak bloom. They may even be in your garden already - just waiting to be added to your next dish!




Some of the edible flowers that may be in your backyard or vases include pansies, violas, chrysanthemums, carnations, fuchsias, geraniums, jasmine, lavender, violets, and certain roses. Flavors range from sweet and honey-like to spicy and peppery, while scents can add a floral aroma or a citrusy tang. Nasturtiums are a popular edible flower that adds a spicy, peppery kick. The purple flowers of banana trees and blossoms of citrus trees (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, kumquat) are edible fruit flowers that may be in your back yard. Many herb flowers, including alliums (garlic, chives, leeks), cilantro/coriander, chicory, dill, mint, sage, and thyme are also safe to eat. Most of the flavors of herbal flowers resemble those of the herbs they come from. These can be added to a dish along with or in place of the herb itself. Several vegetable flowers probably already make a regular appearance in your diet, such as cauliflower (who would have thought?), broccoli, and artichoke, which are all flower blossoms. In addition, the flowers of arugula, okra, radishes, peas, and squash are edible. Squash blossoms appear quite often in the produce stands and taste a bit like the raw gourd from which it came.

Best of all, many edible flowers have vitamin C, vitamin A, and other beneficial essential nutrients. Edible flowers can replace sodium and sugar when used in conjunction with herbs and spices, adding more flavor and aroma to foods. However, keep in mind that edible flowers have a delicate taste that is detected best when added to simple dishes that do not have overpowering flavors.




Many flowers can be safely tossed onto our plates; but there are flowers that are poisonous and should never be eaten. Always make sure a flower is edible before adding it to your food. Some resources that list some edible flowers are at Colorado State Extension  and North Carolina State University. In general, edible flowers are best when they are picked during the morning when they have the most moisture. They can be rinsed and placed in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator for storage. Use within a short period to maintain quality.

There are also some safety rules to follow regarding where you find your edible flowers. Do not pick flowers from the side of the road where fumes from vehicles and other contaminants can make the plants unsafe to eat. Do not purchase edible flowers from nurseries or garden centers unless they are grown specifically for consumption. Do consume edible flowers that you have grown from seeds as long as you do not use pesticides or other chemicals. Do introduce small amounts of new flowers one at a time since pollen from the plants may trigger allergies. Do research which parts should and should not be used since each type of edible flower is different.

Flowers are nice to have. Their colors brighten a room, they give off a pleasing aroma, and they bring joy to people who take the time to notice them.

However, one of the most exciting reasons for dietitians to love flowers is that they may be food! Spring is the perfect time to try something new and let an edible flower be a part of your dining room table – and not just as an accent piece in a vase! 


Pansy Herb Salad 
4 cups mixed greens 
1/4 cup fresh sprigs of dill 
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 
4 large basil leaves, rolled up and thinly sliced crosswise 
1 large lemon, halved 
Pinch of salt 
Fresh ground black pepper to taste 
1 /2 cup toasted walnuts 
3/4 cup crumbled feta 
1 cup fresh pansy flowers 

Toss salad greens and herbs in a large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice (without the seeds) over the greens and season with salt and pepper. Toss again. Add walnuts and feta and toss well. Divide salad and pansies among four serving plates and serve.

Nutrition Fact Per Serving (Serves 4)
Calories: 179; Fat: 16g; Carbohydrate: 5g. Adapted from Pansy Herb Salad





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