Saturday, April 30, 2022

National Raisin Day


Raisins are dried grapes. They are fat and cholesterol free; gluten free; naturally low in sodium; a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.

Raisins contain the phytochemicals, resveratrol and anthocyanin. Studies suggest resveratrol may provide protection against certain cancers, coronary heart disease, and infections. Anthocyanins may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke; reverse the short-term memory loss associated with aging; reduce the risk of several types of cancer; help control high blood pressure; and help boost the immune system.

Serving Ideas
Eat them plain as a snack or add raisins to
·   Breakfast cereal
·   Yogurt or Ice Cream
·   Baked goods
·   Stuffing, Rice, Pasta
·   Salads
·   Trail Mix

Raisins and Sulfites
Commercially grown dried raisins are often treated with sulfur dioxide during processing in order to extend their shelf life. The sulfites used may cause adverse reactions in people who suffer from asthma.

Federal regulations prohibit the use of sulfites in foods classified as "organic."

Warning.
Raisins can cause renal failure in dogs. The cause is unknown.




1986 - The California Raisins



Growing and Harvesting Raisins

Resource   
Fruits and Veggies More Matters: Raisins








Friday, April 29, 2022

National Arbor Day

"Arbor Day is a time to celebrate the wonders of nature, and to plan for an even greener future by planting and caring for trees."

Our Mango Trees

Last year our mango tree produced over 80 fruits.
This year looks like another high yield.


Our Banana Plant(s)

I asked for a Banana Plant for my birthday (July 5, 2020).
It stood about 2 feet high. In less than 10 months the
banana plant grew to a height exceeding 10 feet.
In November 2021, the Banana Plant produced an
amazing first harvest. In addition, that
one Banana Plant is now 4 Banana Plants.
Banana plants appear to multiply as fast as rabbits.




John Denver - Plant a Tree

While growing up in East Meadow, New York, we had a huge apple tree in our yard. I would climb up the tree and sit on the branches for hours. I loved eating the apples while watching the world below.

When Jake and I moved into our home in 1998 we planted a mango tree. We watched it grow and flourish. Then in 2005, Hurricane Wilma hit and damaged the tree. For years we tried to nurse the tree back to health, but the infection had spread into the roots.

Finally, on April 25, 2012, we had the old tree removed; and we replanted a new Valencia pride mango tree. Today, the tree stands tall, even after surviving Hurricane Irma.

In  April 2018, we decided to plant another Mango Tree. This time we planted it near the road, so if people walked or drove by they could grab a mango.


Planting a fruit tree is good for the environment, economics, and marks special moments in one’s life.

Visit the Arbor Day Foundation. Resources, membership, free trees, and a lot more.

Our Nation's Forests are National Treasures


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

World Day for Safety and Health at Work
Foodborne Disease Control and Prevention





"Worldwide, occupational diseases continue to be the leading cause of work-related deaths. According to ILO estimates, out of 2.34 million occupational fatalities every year, only 321,000 are due to accidents. The remaining 2.02 million deaths are caused by various types of work-related diseases, which correspond to a daily average of more than 5,500 deaths. This is an unacceptable Decent Work deficit.

The inadequate prevention of occupational diseases has profound negative effects not only on workers and their families but also on society at large due to the tremendous costs that it generates; particularly, in terms of loss of productivity and burdening of social security systems."



On Apr 28, 1970 (signed into law in 1971) was the founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Safety in Restaurants
Slips and Falls


Foodborne Disease OSHA Standards
Control and Prevention

Control of foodborne diseases is based on avoidance of contaminated food, destruction of contaminants, and prevention of further spread of contaminants. Prevention is dependent upon proper cooking and storing practices, and personal hygiene of food handlers.

The quality of food and controls used to prevent foodborne diseases are primarily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local public health authorities. These diseases may be occupationally related if they affect the food processors (e.g., poultry processing workers), food preparers and servers (e.g., cooks, waiters), or workers who are provided food at the worksite.

Section 5(a)(1) of the OSHA Act, often referred to as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to "furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees". Section 5(a)(2) requires employers to "comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act".

Resources
1. Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention for Healthcare Workers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health


National Office
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Monday, April 25, 2022

National Soft Pretzel Month and April 26 National Pretzel Day

In the 20th century, soft pretzels became popular in other regions of the United States. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York became renowned for their soft pretzels. The key to success was the introduction of the new mass-production methods of the industrialized age, which increased the availability and quantity, and the opening up of multiple points of distribution at schools, convenience and grocery stores, and entertainment venues such as movie theaters, arenas, concert halls, and sports stadiums. Prior to that, street vendors used to sell pretzels on street corners in wooden glass-enclosed cases.



Pretzel Dips

Nutrition Information

Pretzel Recipe: Pizza Pretzel with
Pasta Sauce

In 2003, Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell declares April 26 National Pretzel Day to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state's history and economy.

In particular, the S-shaped soft pretzel, often served with brown mustard, became iconic in Philadelphia and was established as a part of Philadelphia's cuisine for snacking at school, work, or home, and considered by most to be a quick meal. The average Philadelphian today consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average.

Pennsylvania today is the center of American pretzel production for both the hard-crispy and the soft-bread types of pretzels. Southeastern Pennsylvania, with its large population of German background, is considered the birthplace of the American pretzel industry, and many pretzel bakers are still located in the area. Pennsylvania produces 80% of the nation's pretzels.

The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million. The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg) of pretzels per year.

The privately run "Pretzel Museum" opened in Philadelphia in 1993. In 2003, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 "National Pretzel Day" to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state's history and economy. Philly Pretzel Factory stores offer a free pretzel to each customer on this day.





Resources
1, Pretzel, From Wikipedia
2. Soft Pretzels, Food Network


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Egg Salad Week - Food Safety and Recipes

Egg Salad Week (the week after Easter). Dedicated to the many delicious uses for all of the Easter eggs that have been cooked, colored, hidden, and found.

Food Safety
If you plan to eat the Easter eggs you decorate, be sure to use only food-grade dye. (Some people make two sets of eggs - one for decorating and hiding, another for eating. Others use plastic eggs for hiding.) For an Easter egg hunt, avoid cracking the eggshells. If the shells crack then bacteria could enter and contaminate the egg inside. Also, hide eggs in places that are protected from dirt, pets, and other bacteria sources and keep hard-cooked eggs chilled in the refrigerator until just before the hunt. The total time for hiding and hunting eggs should be no more than two hours. Then be sure to refrigerate the "found" eggs right away until you eat them. Eggs found hours later or the next day should be thrown out — not eaten! 


When shell eggs are hard-cooked, the protective coating is washed away, leaving open pores in the shell where harmful bacteria could enter. Be sure to refrigerate eggs within two hours of cooking and use them within a week. Check your refrigerator temperature with an appliance thermometer and adjust the refrigerator temperature to 40°F (Fahrenheit) or below. 


Egg Salad Sandwich with Spinach and Tomato

INGREDIENTS
1 hard-cooked egg and 1 hard-cooked egg white. chopped
1 tablespoon 0% plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped onion
ground black pepper
garlic powder
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
2 slices tomato
1 whole-grain bread

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, mayo, celery, and onion. Add the pepper and garlic powder to taste. Place the egg salad, spinach, and tomato on a slice of whole-grain bread.

Resources
1. 
Egg Salad, Lightened Up. Egg salad can be high in fat, cholesterol, and calories but with a few simple tweaks, you can make light and delicious versions of this comfort food classic. Dana Angelo White #RDN



Friday, April 22, 2022

National Picnic Day - Food Safety


Picnic Food Safety


Before you begin setting out your picnic feast, make sure hands and surfaces are clean.

Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood should be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.

Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. This will prevent the perishable foods from being exposed to warm outdoor temperatures.

Limit the number of times the cooler is opened so as to keep the contents cold longer.

Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating prepared and cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler.


For more food safety tips, visit 


 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

April 22, Earth Day
Small Changes Make a Big Difference



Small Changes, Make a Big Difference


April 22, 1970, was the first Earth Day and it awakened almost 20 million Americans from all walks of life to launch the modern environmental movement. From that first earth day came the passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and many other environmental laws. Today the Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 75,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.


Earth is Our Home—Let's Protect It
National Geographic 


A Billion Acts of Green®
A Billion Acts of Green® – the largest environmental service campaign in the world – inspires and rewards simple individual acts and larger organizational initiatives that further the goal of measurably reducing carbon emissions and supporting sustainability. 


Earth - Small Changes Make a Big Difference

YouTube has a wide range of resources, from the young, older, news, family, scientist, schools, communities, governments, and industry describing how they are making a difference and how we can make a difference in saving our Earth.

Mobilize The Earth


Green Mom

Cost of Food
Americans have been spending less and less on what we eat. But those savings come with a high cost: obesity, diabetes, and big health care bills. Here's a look at how our diet has changed over the last 50 years, and what we can do to make it better.


Recycle Guys


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Lima Bean Respect Day



Lima beans are fresh in summer, though they are most commonly found dried, canned or frozen, all year long. Lima beans are also known as "Butter Beans"  in many parts of the United States.

There are warnings to avoid raw lima beans because they contain linamarin (also called cyanogens), which releases a cyanide compound when the seed coat is opened," according to Fruits and Veggies Matter. Linamarin is deactivated during cooking.

Modified Recipes
Lima Bean Burgers

Serves 4
Ingredients
1 (16 ounces) can lima beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray baking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray. 
2. In a medium bowl, mash lima beans with a fork until thick and pasty. Finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic and stir into mashed beans.
3. In a small bowl, stir together egg whites, chili powder, and cumin. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. 
4. Divide mixture into four patties. 
5. Place patties on a baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes on each side.
6. Serve on a whole-wheat hamburger bun with kale, onion, tomato slices, and avocado.

Nutrition Facts: 255 Calories; 12g Protein; 44g Carbohydrates; 9g Dietary Fiber; 6g Total Sugars; 5g Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 28mcg Folate; 4mg  Iron; 358mg Sodium


The Delaware Department of Agriculture
presents a Food for Thought 
video on Lima Beans.


Monday, April 18, 2022

National Garlic Day
Effectiveness of Garlic as a Medical Treatment


Garlic comes from the lily family and is the edible bulb from a plant. It is used as a spice to enhance the flavor of foods and in medicine, Garlic claims have been made to cure heart disease, cancer, colds, hair loss, bug repellant, and many other medical conditions.

The medical research on the safety and effectiveness of garlic has been limited, flawed, inconclusive, or failed to prove its curative powers in most of the claims made.

The following conditions have been rated based on the scientific evidence available as to the effectiveness of Garlic as a treatment. From Medline, service to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services. 

Ratings
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use;
B: Good scientific evidence for this use;
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use;
D: Fair scientific evidence against this use;
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use.

High Cholesterol (Rate B). Multiple studies in humans have reported small reductions in total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins ("bad cholesterol") over short periods of time (4 to 12 weeks). It is not clear if there are benefits after this amount of time. Effects on high-density lipoproteins ("good cholesterol") are not clear. This remains an area of controversy. Well-designed and longer studies are needed in this area.

Anti-fungal, applied to the skin (Rate C). Several studies describe the application of garlic to the skin to treat fungal infections, including yeast infections. Garlic can cause severe burns and rash when applied to the skin of sensitive individuals.

Anti-platelet effects, blood thinning (Rate C).   Garlic has been associated with several cases of bleeding, therapy should be applied with caution (particularly in patients using other agents that may precipitate bleeding).

Atherosclerosis, hardening" of the arteries (Rate C).   Preliminary research in humans suggests that deposits of cholesterol in blood vessels may not grow as quickly in people who take garlic. It is not clear if this is due to the ability of garlic to lower cholesterol levels, or to other effects of garlic.

Cancer (Rate C).  Preliminary human studies suggest that regular consumption of garlic (particularly unprocessed garlic) may reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer including gastric and colorectal malignancies. Some studies use multi-ingredient products so it is difficult to determine if garlic alone may play a beneficial role. Further, well designed human clinical trials are needed to conclude whether eating garlic or taking garlic supplements may prevent or treat cancer.

High blood pressure (Rate C).  Numerous human studies report that garlic can lower blood pressure by a small amount, but larger, well-designed studies are needed to confirm this possible effect.

Tick repellant (Rate C).  In early study, self-reports of tick bites were significantly less in people receiving garlic over a placebo "sugar" pill. Further, a well-designed study is needed to confirm these results.

Upper respiratory tract infection (Rate C).  Preliminary reports suggest that garlic may reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. However, this has not been demonstrated in well-designed human studies.

Diabetes (Rate D).  Animal studies suggest that garlic may lower blood sugar and increase the release of insulin, but studies in humans do not confirm this effect.


Heart Smart® Tip of the Day: Garlic with
Darlene Zimmerman, RDN



Why go to the market,
when you can grow garlic in your garden.




Sunday, April 17, 2022

National Animal Crackers Day


Animal crackers are usually in the shape of circus animals such as lions, tigers, bears, and elephants. During the late 1800's, animal crackers were imported from England to the United States. The first batch of animal crackers was made by Stauffer's Biscuit Company in 1871 in York, Pennsylvania. Other local bakeries soon came together under the National Biscuit Company, or "Nabisco Brands." In 1902, the animal cracker's box officially became "Barnum's Animals" with the circus-themed box.



Animal Cracker Nutrition


Create Fun and Healthier Snacks





Shirley Temple - Animal Crackers in My Soup



Saturday, April 16, 2022

Day of the Mushroom


Growing Your Own Mushrooms


Different Ways to Enjoy Mushrooms

1. Add mushrooms to egg white omelet.
2. Sauté, Grill, Broil, Roast, or Steam mushrooms. Add to soup, salads, pasta, rice - the combinations are numerous.
3. Add fresh mushrooms to a salad.

4. Stuff mushrooms

by Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit 

Resources
1. Fruits and Veggies, More Matters: Mushrooms: Nutrition, Selection, and Storage
2. Wikipedia, Mushrooms
3. Kitchen Dictionary: Mushroom








Thursday, April 14, 2022

Wishing you the Joy of Easter
















The Easter Egg





Where did the colored Easter eggs come from? The egg is a symbol of new life, rebirth, and the celebration of spring. The early Christians describe the egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.

After a long hard winter with small amounts of food, an egg for Easter was quite a treasure. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during Lent. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.


Nutrition Facts
A medium-sized chicken egg is only 70 calories and rich in protein. Check the chocolate eggs below and compare.


Wishing you the Joy of Easter

Foods Symbolic of the Passover Seder




Shalom Sesame
Khalikidan's Passover Seder
Khalikidan and her family came to Israel from Ethiopia. 
Join her family for a Passover Seder, and 
share Khalikidan's excitement in reciting the four questions.


The Symbols of the Passover Seder
 

Passover is a holiday rich in symbols retelling the story of the Jewish people's exodus from Egypt. The seder is a ceremonial dinner observed on the first night of Passover, and in many homes on the second night as well. The seder table is set with a seder plate, salt water, matzo, kosher wine, Cup of Elijah, Miriam's Cup, and a copy of the Haggadah for each guest.

Matzo
Matzo is an unleavened bread made solely from flour and water and is not allowed to rise. Matzo symbolizes freedom. As the Jewish people fled Egypt there was no time to wait for the bread to rise. A plate of three whole matzahs are stacked and separated from each other by cloths or napkins. The middle matzo is broken in half and put aside for the afikoman.

The afikoman is eaten as a dessert. The person leading the seder will hide the afikoman and ask all the children to find it. Children will receive toys or other gifts as a reward for returning the afikoman.

The top and other half of the middle matzo is used for the hamotzi (blessing over bread), and the bottom matzo is used for the korech (Hillel sandwich).

Haggadah.
The book containing the story of the Exodus and the ritual of the Seder. It is read at the Passover Seder.

Many of the symbols are displayed on the seder plate, which is the centerpiece of the seder table.
 
Karpas (Vegetable). This part of the seder plate dates back to a first and second century tradition in Jerusalem. At the beginning of the seder a vegetable, usually lettuce, radish or parsley is dipped in salt water and eaten. It is said the salt water represents the tears our ancestors shed during their years of enslavement.

Z'roa (Shank bone). The roasted shank bone of a lamb reminds us of when the Jewish people marked the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a lamb as a signal that death should pass over them. The shank bone also reminds us of the sacrificial lamb killed and eaten during the days when the Temple stood. In modern times, some Jewish families will use a poultry neck instead. Vegetarians will often replace the shank bone with a roasted beet, which has the color of blood and is shaped like a bone, but is not derived from an animal.


Baytzah (Hard Boiled Egg). There are two interpretations of the symbolism of the hard boiled egg. One is an ancient fertility symbol. The other is a symbol of mourning for the loss of the two Temples, the first of which was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. and the second of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. Hard boiled eggs were traditionally the food of mourners and became symbolic for the loss of these sacred sites.

Charoset. A mixture of chopped apples, nuts, wine and spices representing the mortar the Jewish slaves used to build structures for the Egyptian Pharaoh.

Maror (Bitter Herbs) reminds us of the slavery the Jewish people endured in Egypt. Horseradish, either the root or a prepared paste is often used.

Hazeret
(Bitter Vegetable) also symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. Romaine lettuce is usually used. When hazeret is not represented on the seder plate some families will put a small bowl of salt water in its place.

Elijah's cup is placed at the center of the table. After the seder meal there is a custom to pour a cup of wine, the "Cup of Elijah," and open the front door of the home. According to tradition, at this moment our homes are graced by the presence of Elijah the Prophet.

Miriam's Cup is a new ritual object that is placed on the seder table beside the Cup of Elijah. Miriam's Cup is filled with water close to the beginning of the seder. It serves as a symbol of Miriam's Well, which was the source of water for the Jewish people in the desert. Putting a Miriam's Cup on your table is a way of making your seder more inclusive. It lets people know that the words of girls and boys, women and men, are welcome. It is also a way of drawing attention to the importance of Miriam and the other women of the Exodus story - women who have sometimes been overlooked. It is said, "If it wasn't for the righteousness of women of that generation we would not have been redeemed from Egypt"

To our Family and Friends, we wish you a Happy Passover.

Nutrition.gov News

Dietitian Blog List