Seafood Safe for You and the Oceans

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

Fish and shellfish are good sources of protein and iodine and lower in saturated fat than most meats, including chicken and turkey. Some varieties of fish and shellfish, including Albacore tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines, also provide omega-3 fatty acids which are important for heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower triglycerides (fats in the blood which raise the risk of heart disease) and prevent inflammation which plays a major role in the aging process as well as various health disorders.

Most people would benefit by eating at least 2 servings of fish a week. Substitute baked, broiled, poached, or grilled fish for meat. Try to avoid breaded or fried fish when possible, to reduce dietary fat and calories.

Worldwide, the demand for seafood is increasing. Many populations of the large fish have been overfished. As a result, the United States now imports over 80% of our seafood to meet the demand. Unfortunately, global demand is also promoting destructive fishing and fish-farming practices.

A “Complete List of Seafood Eco-Ratings” was posted by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on 10/03/08 and updated on 05/08/12. The EDF list represents one of the best sources of information regarding seafood currently deemed safe for consumption, as well as for the ocean’s health and sustainability. Note that some fish of the same species may contain more environmental contaminants than others, depending on the geographic location and waters in which they are caught.

Try to select “Eco-Best”seafood which is abundant, well-managed, and caught or farmed using environmentally-friendly practices from the following alphabetized list to reduce your intake of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other contaminants:

  • Abalone: All farmed abalone
  • Alewife
  • Anchovies
  • Arctic Char: farmed*
  • Barramundi from U.S.
  • Catfish from U.S.
  • Clams: Both farmed and soft-shell
  • Cobia: U.S. farmed
  • Cod: Pacific (U.S. non-trawled), AK cod caught by longline
  • Crab: Both Dungeness and Stone
  • Crawfish from U.S.
  • Croaker: Atlantic, not caught by trawl
  • Haddock: from U.S. caught by hook and line
  • Halibut: Pacific caught in Alaska and Canada
  • Herring from Atlantic*
  • Lobster: California spiny lobster (U.S.) and caribbean spiny lobster (U.S.)
  • Mackerel: Atlantic mackerel from Canada
  • Mahimahi: U.S., caught by troll/pole
  • Mullet: Striped mullet
  • Mussels: Farmed
  • Oysters: Farmed (eco-best) or wild (eco-ok)*
  • Sablefish/black cod from Alaska and Canada*
  • Salmon: Wild Alaskan salmon (canned, fresh, or prefrozen)*
  • Sardines: Pacific sardines from U.S.*
  • Scallops: Farmed bay scallops
  • Sea urchin from Canada
  • Shrimp: Pink shrimp from Oregon, spot prawns from Canada
  • Smelt
  • Spotted seatrout from Louisiana and Florida
  • Striped bass: farmed (Limit consumption of wild striped bass due to concerns about mercury or other contaminants)
  • Squid: Longfin from U.S.
  • Tilapia from U.S.
  • Trout: Rainbow (U.S.farmed)*
  • Tuna: Albacore from Canada and U.S. Pacific (troll/pole); Skipjack and yellowfin from U.S. Atlantic caught by troll/pole* **
  • Wreckfish

*Fish high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in environmental contaminants include: Arctic char, Atlantic herring, oysters, sablefish/black cod, canned salmon, wild Alaskan salmon, Pacific sardines from the U.S., farmed rainbow trout, albacore tuna from the U.S. or Canada, and yellowfin tuna from the U.S. Atlantic caught by troll/pole.

**Fish high in mercury or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) include: All bluefish, Chilean sea bass, blue crab, summer flounder , lingcod, blue marlin from Hawaii, striped marlin, opah, orange roughy, yellow perch from Lake Huron or Lake Ontario, rockfish, wild salmon from California, Oregon, and Washington, farmed or Atlantic salmon, mutton snapper, Atlantic and imported wild sturgeon, U.S. and imported swordfish, tilefish, canned white/albacore and bluefin tuna, wahoo, and walleye.

References:

  1. “Complete List of Seafood Eco-Ratings: Which fish are safe for you and the oceans?” Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), 257 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010. General Information: (800) 684-3322. Copyright © 2011 Environmental Defense Fund. All Rights Reserved. Posted: 10/03/08; Updated: 05/08/12. (Source: apps.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1540).
  2. “Seafood Selector: Fish choices that are good for you and the ocean.” Downloadable and printable Pocket Guide (PDF). Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). 06/2011. (Source: www.edf.org/).
  3. “Safe Seafood Selector.” Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). 05/02/12.(Source: www.edf.org/).
  4. “Seafood Watch: National Sustainable Seafood Guide.” Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation. January 2012. (Source: www.seafoodwatch.org).
  5. www.edf.org/seafoodhealth

 

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Weight Loss Tips in a Nutshell!

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

  1. Drink plenty of clean, fresh water each day: About 8-10 cups on average, or as much as you comfortably can, with and between meals. Hydrate yourself more when extremely active, in the heat and sun, or engaged in athletics.
  2. Try to establish a routine and eat at the same time each day.
  3. Eat slowly: Take time to savor and chew each bite of food carefully and thoughtfully.
  4. Start the day with a nutritious breakfast: A whole fresh fruit (apple, banana, grapefruit, orange, papaya, pear, etc.), instead of juice. A boiled or poached egg, or serving of lowfat or nonfat plain kefir, yogurt, or cottage cheese with a sprinkling of wheat germ, ground flaxseeds, walnuts, or other nuts, or bowl of old-fashioned or steel-cut oatmeal cooked with skim milk or water, or other high-fiber cereal without sugar or flavorings added, like shredded wheat, bran flakes, kamut, cream of wheat, can keep you satisfied and prevent your blood sugar from dropping significantly for several hours.
  5. At lunch and dinner, fill half or more of your plate with vegetables and/or fruit, one quarter of the plate with whole grains, and one quarter with a nutritious source of protein. Include three ounces of protein at each meal like beans, edamame, lentils, tofu, eggs, non-fat or low-fat dairy products, fish, chicken and turkey from which all skin and fat have been removed, or lean beef from which all fat has been trimmed. Protein helps to maintain steady blood glucose levels and curbs the appetite longer than carbohydrates.
  6. Have a cup of unsweetened, non-caffeinated, herbal tea following dinner, with a piece of fresh fruit, instead of a rich dessert or unhealthy snack.
  7. When you shop, buy unprocessed, “nutrient-dense” foods (i.e., foods with many natural nutrients, minerals, and vitamins per calorie) as close to the way Mother Nature grew them as possible. If you can afford them, choose U.S.D.A. organic foods when available, in order to reduce your intake of pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones.
  8. Avoid between-meal snacks.
  9. Snack on fresh vegetables and fruit, when you’re unable to avoid between-meal snacking.
  10. Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, especially when in season and grown locally. Wholesome, unflavored, frozen versions of such produce can be just as nutritious and satisfying and often has been treated with fewer pesticides than comparable fresh produce.
  11. Slowly increase your intake of foods naturally high in dietary fiber, and drink plenty of fluids, in order to avoid bloating and gas: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains (barley, brown rice, kamut, old-fashioned or steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, shredded wheat, wheat berries, spelt or whole wheat pasta, etc.), legumes (beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds), more often. High-fiber foods can help you lose weight and maintain your weight loss, because they take longer to chew than processed foods and provide a sense of fullness and satisfaction with fewer calories. Moreover, intake of foods naturally high in dietary fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, constipation, diabetes, diverticulitis, obesity. Both edamame (soybeans) and quinoa provide compete protein. Drink extra water whenever you increase your intake of fiber-rich foods, in order to improve their digestion and facilitate passage through the intestine.
  12. Make vegetables a main course.
  13. Eat more beans and legumes, instead of  meat and full-fat dairy products.
  14. Avoid foods containing sugar, salt, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, modified food starch, artificial colorings, flavorings, or sweeteners, preservatives such as BHT, BHA, sodium benzoate (a preservative in most sodas and many processed foods), saturated animal fats, trans fats, and partially hydrogenated ingredients.
  15. Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible for maximum concentration of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
  16. Avoid or minimize intake of foods prepared with white flour: White bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, pastries, as well as processed, and prepared foods.
  17. Eat unsweetened fruit in place of juices and rich desserts.
  18. Cook food in ways that reduce fat, e.g., baking, boiling, broiling, grilling, roasting, stewing. Skim any fat that solidifies on the surface after the food has been refrigerated.
  19. Don’t eat in front of the TV, or while using a cell phone, computer, or other distracting technology: Enjoy your meal with family or friends, at a table or counter, focus on what you are eating, and chew slowly.
  20. Turn off the TV! Sitting in front of the television lowers your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories), slows circulation of blood, contributes to inflammation, heart and vascular disease, weakens your immune system, and promotes munching of extra calories and fattening snack foods.
  21. Sleep longer: At least 8-10 hours of sleep  each night, to naturally improve your daily energy level, ability to focus and concentrate, and reduce fatigue, as well as, the risk of accidents and mistakes.
  22. Get regular physical activity: Walk and exercise as much as possible each day, climb stairs, avoid taking the elevator or escalator whenever you can, limit how long you sit, whether in front of the computer, television, while watching a movie, or sitting in an airplane. Try to exercise at least three times a week, or get some chores done before sitting down to breakfast. Your heart, blood vessels, muscles, organs, skeleton, and waistline will all benefit. Furthermore you will concentrate, focus, and feel better, more positive, and less depressed, as well as improve your flexibility, range of motion. Encourage your friend(s), spouse, or significant other to accompany you when you go for a long walk.
  23. Lift light weights periodically to improve and maintain muscle strength and tone.
  24. Maintain a “diet history” by recording your daily food (and snack) intake: Try to approximate your daily calorie intake with this list. It may motivate you to select more nutrient-dense foods and discourage you from over indulging in empty calories as the day progresses.
  25. “Eat to live” a heart-healthy life. “Don’t live to eat.”

References:

  1. Danziger, Lucy and the staff at SELF. “Seven Secrets of Slim People.” YAHOO! HEALTH. March 22, 2011.
  2. “Eat like the Greeks for better health: Mediterranean diet shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular, chronic diseases.” Heart Center News. Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Nutrition and Food Services. April 27, 2009.
  3. “High-fiber Diets and Weight Loss.” WebMD: Better Information, Better Health. 2010. (Article link: http://www.webmd.com/diet/fiber-health-benefits-11/fiber-weight-control)
  4. “Hippocrates.” World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 9. World Book, Inc.: Chicago, 1986. page 227.
  5. Pratt, Steven and Kathy Matthews. Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life: Superfoods Rx. Harper  Collins Publishers, New York: 2004. pp. 90, 172.
  6. Sizer, Frances Sienkiewicz and Ellie Whitney. Nutrition Concepts and Controversies: 11th Edition. Thomson Wadsworth, California: 2008, pp. 180-184.
  7. “The Mediterranean Diet: A Better Way to Eat?” Consumer Reports on Health. Vol. 6, No. 11, November 1994.
  8. “Why Should I Lose Weight?.” American Heart Association. Publication: 10/07LS1466. October, 2007.
  9. Williams, Spice. “History of Health and Medicine” and “Health and Medicine Quotes.” The Spice of Life. (Source: www.spice-of-life.com/quotes.html)
  10. www.americanpregnancy.org/…fishmercury.htm

 

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Old-Fashioned Ailments From Classic Literature:     Modern Equivalent:

  1. Ague……………………………………………………………….Malarial fever
  2. Bilious fever…………………………………………………….Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis
  3. Biliousness………………………………………………………Jaundice associated with liver disease
  4. Black plague or death……………………………………….Bubonic plague
  5. Brain fever………………………………………………………Meningitis
  6. Catalepsy…………………………………………………………Seizures, trances
  7. Catarrh……………………………………………………………Inflammation leading to mucous discharge from nose or throat
  8. Chilblain………………………………………………………….Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold
  9. Child bed fever…………………………………………………Infection following birth of a child
  10. Chin cough………………………………………………………Whooping cough
  11. Chlorosis…………………………………………………………Iron-deficiency anemia
  12. Consumption…………………………………………………..Tuberculosis
  13. Falling sickness………………………………………………..Epilepsy
  14. Fatty liver………………………………………………………..Cirrhosis of the liver
  15. Fits………………………………………………………………….Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity
  16. Flux of humour………………………………………………..Circulation
  17. Grippe…………………………………………………………….Influenza
  18. Humid tetter……………………………………………………Eczema
  19. Jail fever or ship fever……………………………………..Typhus
  20. Low spirits………………………………………………………Depression
  21. Lues venereal…………………………………………………..Syphillis
  22. Morphew…………………………………………………………Scurvy blisters caused by insufficient levels of vitamin C
  23. Mortification…………………………………………………..Gangrene
  24. Podagra…………………………………………………………..Gout
  25. Puerperal exhaustion……………………………………….Death due to childbirth
  26. Puerperal fever………………………………………………..Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant
  27. Puking fever…………………………………………………….Milk sickness
  28. Putrid fever……………………………………………………..Diphtheria
  29. Stopping………………………………………………………….Constipation
  30. Variola…………………………………………………………….Smallpox
  31. Water on the brain……………………………………………Enlarged head
  32. White swelling………………………………………………….Tuberculosis of the bone
  33. Winter fever…………………………………………………….Pneumonia
  34. Womb fever……………………………………………………..Infection of the uterus
  35. Worm fit………………………………………………………….Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature, or diarrhea

Note that one disease name could refer to multiple afflictions, e.g., “brain fever” may refer to meningitis, encephalitis, malaria, and other conditions involving brain inflammation.

Reference:

  1. “Old Time Medical Ailments.” Barlow Genealogy. (Source: www.barlowgeneology.com/resources/sick.html).
  2. “Quick Cures/Quack Cures: New Name, Ye Same Olde Ailment.” The Wall Street Journal: Health and Wellness Section. 05/01/12. p. D3.
  3. Shaner, Arlene. Reference librarian for historical collections at the New York Academy of Medicine. 2012.

 

 

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Easy Lentil Soup (Faki Soupa)

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

This heart-healthy soup is nutritious, rich in antioxidants and fiber, filling, and delicious, hot or cold. To obtain complete protein, serve with crusty whole-grain bread, flatbread, or cooked whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, bulgar, millet, wheat berries, or pasta. I usually serve lentil soup hot over brown basmati rice, and add fresh fruit or a salad for a complete meal.

Ingredients for 12-16 servings:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 large onions, chopped
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped, or 1 (16-ounce) bag of baby carrots left whole or cut in half
  • 4-6 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper (I use about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices or 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1 pound dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 quarts low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (or more) fresh spinach, swiss chard, kale, or collard greens, rinsed and thinly sliced, or pre-washed baby spinach leaves

Optional ingredients:

  • 4-6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 tablespoons red wine vinegar stirred in at end of cooking
  • 1/4 cup brown rice, barley, farro, quinoa, or other whole grain
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried, basil, mint, oregano, or parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) curry powder

Directions:

Heat oil in a large soup pot (I always use my 12-quart pot to be safe, since I’m always adding more vegetables!) over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and stir to coat evenly with oil. Add the garlic and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender (but not browned) and the onions become translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and herbs and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer over low heat, until the lentils are almost tender, about 30-45 minutes.

When using any of the optional ingredients, except for the spinach and other leafy green vegetables, add them to the pot along with the other ingredients. Spinach and other leafy green vegetables should be added to the finished soup. Stir in the greens and cook until they are just tender but still bright green. Spinach takes about a minute; kale and collard greens take longer.

This soup can easily be frozen.

Nutrition:

Per serving: Approximately 200 calories (10 from fat), 1 gram total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 44 g sodium, 34 g total carbohydrate (8 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein

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A healthy diet is important for every family member, regardless of age, gender, activity level, or athletic involvement, and associated with:

  • Improved cardiovascular health, including better blood flow, delivery of oxygen and blood pressure.
  • Improved respiratory function.
  • A stronger immune system.
  • Stronger bones and muscles.
  • Improved metabolism to keep the body burning calories.

Parents of active children should encourage their families to develop healthy lifestyle habits such as:

  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs, spices, and citrus juices, instead of salt, to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • The importance of enjoying healthy meals with family and friends.

 

Always provide:

  • Whole grains: plain old-fashioned oatmeal, shredded wheat, wheat berries, quinoa, breads, whole wheat or spelt pasta, brown rice
  • Lean protein: organic eggs; quinoa; legumes ( A class of vegetables that include lentils, peas, and beans.); low-fat yogurt, kefir, milk; fish low in mercury and other contaminants such as Arctic Char, wild Alaskan salmon, wild Pacific cod and halibut, mahi mahi, tilapia from the U.S.A.; chicken and red meat trimmed of fat and baked, broiled, roasted, cooked in stews, or grilled.
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, hummus, wheat germ, avocados, organic or natural almond and peanut butter, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Vegetables: asparagus, carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, collards, kale, turnips, mustard greens, spinach, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes.
  • Fruits: orange and grapefruit segments, bananas, berries, apples, pears, plums.
  • Drinks: water served throughout the day, low-fat organic milk.

Sometimes provide:

  • Prepared foods: baked chicken tenders, deli turkey, wholesome frozen meals.
  • Packaged “healthy” snacks: raisins, baby carrots, whole grain crackers and pretzels, cereal or nutrition bars (made without brown rice syrup which was recently found to contain arsenic), low-calorie ice cream or Stoneyfield organic nonfat frozen yogurt, peanut-butter crackers.
  • Sports drinks (while playing sports).
  • Canned goods: low-sodium, all natural, and preferably organic soups, vegetables, fruit, apple sauce.

Rarely provide:

  • Drinks: soda, sweet tea, fruit juices, lemonade, Kool-Aid and other “drinks”.
  • Candy: Chocolate bars, hard candy, sugary gum.
  • Highly processed foods: Pop-Tarts, “kids” cereals, cakes, cookies, danish, donuts, cheese doodles, potato chips, reduced-calorie snack packs.
  • High saturated-fat foods: bacon, sausage, most fast food, cakes, cookies, danish, donuts, hot dogs, pizza.

Never provide:

  • Processed white-flour foods: white bread, white crackers.
  • Drinks: Caffeinated energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster, 5-hour Energy).
  • Snack cakes: Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Swiss Rolls, Tastycakes.
  • Deep-fried processed foods: ramen noodles, chicken nuggets.
  • Vegetable oils: Coconut oil, palm oil, trans fats such any partially-hydrogenated oils.

*Try to select U.S.D.A. or certified organic fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods, as well as, lean meats without hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals, whenever possible. Remember to set a good example by choosing healthful foods for yourself and the rest of the family, and encourage age-appropriate play and exercise each day to help your child develop strength, flexibility, good movement patterns, and body control.

 

References:

  1. Diane. “The Mediterranean Diet: Delicious, Nutritious, and Heart-Healthy.” Dianesays.com. 12/31/11.
  2. Goodson, Amy. “Mom, I’m Hungry! Your Guide to a Kid’s Diet.” Golf Digest. May, 2012. p. 64. (Additional Source: www.golfdigest.com)

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In recent years there have been several reports of glass bakeware unexpectedly shattering and, in some cases, causing serious injury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that from 1998 to 2007, almost 12,000 people went to emergency rooms for treatment of injuries from glass bakeware that was dropped and broken, or shattered during use. The number of consumers who have reported that their glass bakeware broke unexpectedly may seem small, compared to the billions of pieces of glass bakeware safely and reliably used in American kitchens for years. However, changes have occurred within the last 30 years in both the glassware and appliance industries. Therefore, cooks and their families must heed precautions to reduce the risk of serious personal injury or property damage when using any glass bakeware (4).
Since 1915, glass bakeware had been manufactured in the United States with borosilicate, a type of glass made with silica and boron oxide. Borosilicate glass is known for being more resistant to heat and thermal shock and less affected by thermal expansion or stress than any other common glass.
Today, however, all U.S.-manufactured glass bakeware, regardless of manufacturer, is made with tempered soda-lime-silicate glass. This is because, on the rare occasions when tempered soda-lime-silicate does break, it tends to break into small pieces without sharp edges. Tempered or heat-strengthened bakeware is designed to strengthen the glass to be more durable and stronger than other glass products. A similar, although not identical tempering process is used for other glass products where safety is also important, such as automobile windows, sliding glass doors, and shower doors. As a result of this tempering process, when tempered bakeware breaks, similar to other tempered safety glass products, it breaks into a many pieces, most relatively small, although some may be larger. Unlike non-tempered glass products, the tempered broken pieces generally lack sharp edges, resulting in a lower likelihood of severe cuts from the broken glass.

But when a product fails, it releases a small amount of energy, which can result in a loud sound and the glass can travel outward.

Three primary risks associated with using glassware for cooking:

  • Breakage due to a sudden temperature change applied to the glassware.
  • Breakage due to impact if the glassware is dropped or knocked against a hard object.
  • Burning when handling hot bakeware.

What causes glass bakeware to break?

Glass bakeware is a healthier alternative to metal bakeware because no hazardous materials leach into your food, and it helps to retain moisture and cooks more evenly than metal bakeware. However, like all glass, it can break. Anchor Hocking and Pyrex bakeware are safe when their care and use instructions are followed. Regardless of safety measures taken by both companies to strengthen and ensure the quality of their products, misuse can lead to failure of the bakeware.

Anchor Hocking states that the vast majority of failures are due to mishandling or improper care of the product. The misuse often happens over time, and the actual failure may occur at a later date. A few examples of mishandling are (2):

  • Scouring or improperly cleaning the bakeware.
  • Causing severe thermal shock by adding liquid to a hot dish, placing a hot dish into dishwater, or placing  a hot dish directly on a countertop, rather than using pot holders, pad or trivet.
  • Discarding chipped, cracked, or noticeably scratched bakeware products.
  • Hard hits or impacts occuring during usage, washing, or storing.
  • Cooking at a higher temperature than 425 degrees F.
  • Using glass bakeware on a stove top, or in a broiler, or toaster oven.
  • Placing glass bakeware on a recently used or still warm stovetop burner.

All glass, whether soda lime or borosilicate, can experience thermal breakage if exposed to sudden or uneven temperature changes. Avoid the most common causes of thermal breakage by following four simple rules (2, 5):

  1. Always place hot glass bakeware on a dry, cloth potholder or towel. Never place hot glass bakeware on top of a stove, metal trivet, damp potholder or towel, or directly on a countertop or other cold or wet surface, or in a sink.
  2. Never put glass bakeware directly on a heat source such as a burner, hot range, grill, or under a broiler or in a toaster oven.
  3. Always allow the oven to fully preheat before placing glass bakeware in the oven.
  4. Always cover the bottom of the glass bakeware dish with liquid before cooking meat or vegetables. The liquid, whether chicken or vegetable stock, apple juice, or water, will keep the temperature of the baking dish even and your food moist and tender.

Follow these warnings from Pyrex and World Kitchen LLC to reduce the risk of personal injury or property damage, as well as, glassware breaking or shattering immediately or later (5):

  • Do not add liquid to hot glassware. This can cause a sudden temperature change.
  • If using a dish in a microwave, do not use browning elements, and avoid overheating oil or butter.
  • Do not take dishes directly from the freezer to the oven or vice versa.
  • Inspect your glassware for chips, cracks, and scratches. Discard items with such damage.
  • To avoid risks associated with glass dishes, consider using metal bakeware for conventional and convection ovens.
  • Avoid sudden temperature changes to glassware. DO NOT add liquid to hot glassware; place hot glassware on a wet or cool surface, directly on countertop or metal surface, or in sink; or handle hot glassware with wet cloth. Allow hot glassware to cool on a cooling rack, potholder or dry cloth. Be sure to allow hot glassware to cool as provided above before washing, refrigerating or freezing.
  • Oven must be preheated before inserting glassware.
  • DO NOT use on or under a flame or other direct heat source, including on a stove top, under a broiler, on a grill or in a toaster oven.
  • Add a small amount of liquid sufficient to cover the bottom of the dish prior to cooking foods that may release liquid
  • Avoid handling hot glassware (including ware with silicone gripping surfaces) without dry potholders.
  • Avoid microwave misuse. DO NOT use glassware to microwave popcorn or foods wrapped in heat-concentrating material (such as special browning wrappers), heat empty or nearly empty glassware in microwave, or overheat oil or butter in microwave (use minimum amount of cooking time).
  • Be careful when handling broken glass because pieces may be extremely sharp and difficult to locate.
  • Handling your glassware without an appropriate degree of care could result in breakage, chipping, cracking or severe scratching. DO NOT use or repair any glassware that is chipped, cracked or severely scratched.
  • DO NOT drop or hit glassware against a hard object or strike utensils against it.

To reduce the risk of glass bakeware shattering:

  • Read and save the safety instructions on the product’s packaging.
  • Instruct all family members in the proper care and use of glass bakeware to maintain its integrity and safety.
  • Always exercise care when using glass products, especially when cooking food at high temperatures.
  • Use appropriate protection for hands, such as potholders or gloves, when handling any hot glassware.

References:

  1. Anchor Hocking Consumer Affairs Department: Allows consumers to ask any questions about using tempered glass bakeware. Contact information for the Consumer Affairs Department: Anchor Hocking, 519 Pierce Avenue, Lancaster, OH 43130 (consumer@anchorhocking.com). Hotline Telephone: 1- 800-562-7511 ext.2478.
  2. “Anchor Hocking’s Safety Record.” Complete Care and Use Instructions are available  at http://www.anchorhocking.com/Bakeware_Facts.html.
  3. “Borosilicate Glass.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 01/28/12.
  4. “Glass Bakeware that Shatters.” Consumer Reports. Yonkers, New York. January 2011. pp. 44-48.
  5. “Glassware Safety and Usage Instructions.” (Source: “Pyrex Products-Making Cooking a Little Easier.” www.pyrexware.com)
  6. “Pyrex.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 02/22/12.
  7. Wolf, Barbara.”Statement to ABC News From Anchor Hocking.” Discussed on Good Morning America: 12/07/10. Originally announced by Barbara Wolf, Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, Anchor Hocking regarding January 2011 article in Consumer Reports on Tempered Glass Bakeware on 12/06/10.

 

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Safety Concerns With Glass Bakeware

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

In recent years there have been several reports of glass bakeware unexpectedly shattering and, in some cases, causing serious injury. The number of consumers who have reported that their Anchor Hocking or Pyrex glassware broke unexpectedly is small compared to the billions of pieces of Anchor Hocking and Pyrex glassware safely and reliably used in American kitchens for generations. However, cooks and their families must heed certain precautions to reduce the risk of serious personal injury or property damage when using any glass bakeware (4).

 

Glass bakeware before 1980:

In 1915, Corning Glass Works introduced Pyrex kitchenware made with borosilicate glass, a type of glass made with silica and boron oxide. Borosilicate glass had first been made by the German chemist and glass technologist Otto Schott in 1893, 22 years before Corning produced the Pyrex brand (3, 6).

Borosilicate glass is known for being more resistant to thermal shock and less affected by thermal expansion or stress than any other common glass. Consequently, it is commonly used for the construction of reagent bottles used in laboratories. Borosilicate glass is sold under such trade names as Pyrex and Simax (3).

For years, cooks have safely used billions of pieces of Anchor Hocking and Pyrex glass bakeware made from borosilicate in the kitchen. Such kitchenware is generally durable, reliable, safe, and convenient for baking, serving, and storing leftovers, all in the same dish, when used according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Glass bakeware after 1980:

While European glass bakeware has always been and still is made from borosilicate, a change took place in the American glassware industry during the early 1980s. Tighter U.S. air pollution regulations and the need to reduce energy consumption caused a shift from using borosilicate to soda lime for the manufacture of glass bakeware, according to Philip Ross, a glass industry consultant in Laguna, Niguel, California. To comply with these regulations and still produce a safe and durable product, the Anchor Hocking Company changed its manufacturing process of glass bakeware, about 30 years ago, from annealed borosilicate to tempered soda-lime-silicate. Although Corning Incorporated began making some Pyrex glassware from soda lime during the 1940’s, older, clear-glass Pyrex manufactured by Corning before 1998 and Pyrex laboratory glassware has always been made of borosilicate glass (6). The European manufacturer of Pyrex, Arc International, still uses borosilicate glass in its Pyrex glass kitchen products; however, the U.S. manufacturer of Pyrex kitchenware uses tempered soda-lime glass. Therefore, Pyrex can refer to either soda-lime glass or borosilicate glass when discussing kitchen glassware, while Pyrex, Bomex, Duran, TGI and Simax all refer to borosilicate glass when discussing laboratory glassware.

 

In 1998, World Kitchen, a U.S. company based in Rosemont, Illinois, purchased the Pyrex consumer products business from Corning Incorporated. World Kitchen claims that it did not alter the product composition for Pyrex glass bakeware, has always manufactured Pyrex glass bakeware in the U.S., uses the same soda lime plant in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, to make Pyrex glass bakeware that Corning Incorporated used, and has not changed the manufacturing process or soda lime composition.

Pyrex glass cookware manufactured by World Kitchen is made of tempered soda-lime glass instead of borosilicate. World Kitchen supports this change, because soda-lime glass is cheaper to produce, the most common form of glass used in U.S. bakeware, and has higher mechanical strength than borosilicate — making it more resistant to breakage when dropped, which the company claims is the most common cause of breakage in glass bakeware. However, unlike borosilicate, it is not as heat-resistant (6).

The differences between Pyrex products depending on manufacturer have led to safety issues. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated that from 1998 to 2007, almost 12,000 people went to emergency rooms for treatment of injuries from glass bakeware that was dropped and broken, or shattered during use. The Commission has also received complaints that World Kitchen-produced Pyrex glassware has shattered at high temperatures. While shattering at high temperatures may be less common than breakage from being dropped, it poses a greater threat to consumers, since the glassware may break without warning. Consumer Reports magazine reviewed these complaints and determined that all of the bakeware users had assumed their bakeware would have the same characteristics and strength as the older borosilicate counterparts (4, 6).

Borosilicate versus tempered soda-lime glass:

While both borosilicate and soda lime are appropriate compositions for glass bakeware, heat-strengthened soda lime is more resistant to “impact breakage” – the far more likely cause of consumer injury, according to national emergency room data.

While more resistant to heat and thermal shock than other types of glass, borosilicate glass can still crack or shatter when subjected to rapid or uneven temperature variations. When broken, borosilicate glass tends to crack into large pieces rather than shattering. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data, consumers are far more likely to be injured by dropping glass bakeware than from breakage caused by sudden or uneven temperature changes.

Today, all U.S. manufactured glass bakeware, regardless of manufacturer, is made from tempered soda-lime-silicate glass. This is because, on the rare occasions when it does break, it tends to break into small pieces without sharp edges. Tempered or heat-strengthened bakeware is designed to strengthen the glass to be more durable and stronger than other glass products. A similar, although not identical tempering process is used for other glass products where safety is also important, such as automobile windows, sliding glass doors, and shower doors. As a result of this tempering process, when tempered bakeware breaks, similar to other tempered safety glass products, it breaks into a number of pieces, most relatively small, although some may be larger. Unlike non-tempered glass products, these pieces generally lack sharp edges when it does break, resulting in a lower likelihood of severe cuts from the broken glass. But when a product fails, it releases a small amount of energy, which can result in a loud sound and the glass can travel outward.

 

Three primary risks associated with using glassware for cooking:

  • Breakage due to a sudden temperature change applied to the glassware.
  • Breakage due to impact if the glassware is dropped or knocked against a hard object.
  • Burning when handling hot bakeware.

What causes glass bakeware to break?

Glass bakeware is a healthier alternative to metal bakeware because no hazardous materials leach into your food, and it helps to retain moisture and cooks more evenly than metal bakeware. However, like all glass, it can break. Anchor Hocking and Pyrex bakeware are safe when their care and use instructions are followed. Regardless of safety measures taken by both companies to strengthen and ensure the quality of their products, misuse can lead to failure of the bakeware.

Anchor Hocking states that the vast majority of failures are due to mishandling or improper care of the product. The misuse often happens over time, and the actual failure may occur at a later date. A few examples of mishandling are (2):

  • Scouring or improperly cleaning the bakeware.
  • Causing severe thermal shock by adding liquid to a hot dish, placing a hot dish into dishwater, or placing  a hot dish directly on a countertop, rather than using pot holders, pad or trivet.
  • Discarding chipped, cracked, or noticeably scratched bakeware products.
  • Hard hits or impacts occuring during usage, washing, or storing.
  • Cooking at a higher temperature than 425 degrees F.
  • Using glass bakeware on a stove top, or in a broiler, or toaster oven.
  • Placing glass bakeware on a recently used or still warm stovetop burner.

All glass, whether soda lime or borosilicate, can experience thermal breakage if exposed to sudden or uneven temperature changes. Avoid the most common causes of thermal breakage by following four simple rules (2, 5):

  1. Always place hot glass bakeware on a dry, cloth potholder or towel. Never place hot glass bakeware on top of a stove, metal trivet, damp potholder or towel, or directly on a countertop or other cold or wet surface, or in a sink.
  2. Never put glass bakeware directly on a heat source such as a burner, hot range, grill, or under a broiler or in a toaster oven.
  3. Always allow the oven to fully preheat before placing glass bakeware in the oven.
  4. Always cover the bottom of the glass bakeware dish with liquid before cooking meat or vegetables. The liquid, whether chicken or vegetable stock, apple juice, or water, will keep the temperature of the baking dish even and your food moist and tender.

Follow these warnings from Pyrex and World Kitchen LLC to reduce the risk of personal injury or property damage, as well as, glassware breaking or shattering immediately or later (5):

  • Do not add liquid to hot glassware. This can cause a sudden temperature change.
  • If using a dish in a microwave, do not use browning elements, and avoid overheating oil or butter.
  • Do not take dishes directly from the freezer to the oven or vice versa.
  • Inspect your glassware for chips, cracks, and scratches. Discard items with such damage.
  • To avoid risks associated with glass dishes, consider using metal bakeware for conventional and convection ovens.
  • Avoid sudden temperature changes to glassware. DO NOT add liquid to hot glassware; place hot glassware on a wet or cool surface, directly on countertop or metal surface, or in sink; or handle hot glassware with wet cloth. Allow hot glassware to cool on a cooling rack, potholder or dry cloth. Be sure to allow hot glassware to cool as provided above before washing, refrigerating or freezing.
  • Oven must be preheated before inserting glassware.
  • DO NOT use on or under a flame or other direct heat source, including on a stove top, under a broiler, on a grill or in a toaster oven.
  • Add a small amount of liquid sufficient to cover the bottom of the dish prior to cooking foods that may release liquid
  • Avoid handling hot glassware (including ware with silicone gripping surfaces) without dry potholders.
  • Avoid microwave misuse. DO NOT use glassware to microwave popcorn or foods wrapped in heat-concentrating material (such as special browning wrappers), heat empty or nearly empty glassware in microwave, or overheat oil or butter in microwave (use minimum amount of cooking time).
  • Be careful when handling broken glass because pieces may be extremely sharp and difficult to locate.
  • Handling your glassware without an appropriate degree of care could result in breakage, chipping, cracking or severe scratching. DO NOT use or repair any glassware that is chipped, cracked or severely scratched.
  • DO NOT drop or hit glassware against a hard object or strike utensils against it.

To reduce the risk of glass bakeware shattering:

  • Read and save the safety instructions on the product’s packaging.
  • Instruct all family members in the proper care and use of glass bakeware to maintain its integrity and safety.
  • Always exercise care when using glass products, especially when cooking food at high temperatures.
  • Use appropriate protection for hands, such as potholders or gloves, when handling any hot glassware.

References:

  1. Anchor Hocking Consumer Affairs Department: Allows consumers to ask any questions about using tempered glass bakeware. Contact information for the Consumer Affairs Department: Anchor Hocking, 519 Pierce Avenue, Lancaster, OH 43130 (consumer@anchorhocking.com). Hotline Telephone: 1- 800-562-7511 ext.2478.
  2. “Anchor Hocking’s Safety Record.” Complete Care and Use Instructions are available  at http://www.anchorhocking.com/Bakeware_Facts.html.
  3. “Borosilicate Glass.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 01/28/12.
  4. “Glass Bakeware that Shatters.” Consumer Reports. Yonkers, New York. January 2011. pp. 44-48.
  5. “Glassware Safety and Usage Instructions.” (Source: “Pyrex Products-Making Cooking a Little Easier.” www.pyrexware.com)
  6. “Pyrex.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 02/22/12.
  7. Wolf, Barbara.”Statement to ABC News From Anchor Hocking.” Discussed on Good Morning America: 12/07/10. Originally announced by Barbara Wolf, Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, Anchor Hocking regarding January 2011 article in Consumer Reports on Tempered Glass Bakeware on 12/06/10.

 

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Dancing: Fitness the Fun Way!

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

Young ballroom dancers in formal costumes posing against a solid background in a studio Stock Photo - 9621450

For thousands of years, dance has been an important part of celebrations, customs, and rituals in many cultures throughout the world. The universal appeal of dance is due to it’s ability to brighten people’s monotonous lives, be enjoyed by virtually any age group, unite individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and generations, inspire new romances or rekindle old ones, provide an outlet for one’s energy and creativity, as well as, an exhilarating mind-body workout, and thereby improve one’s health and sense of well-being. Whether it’s ballet, ballroom, belly, clogging, country, folk, hip hop, jazz, Latin, square, step, tap, wheelchair, or zumba dancing, people of all ages and physical abilities can benefit from the magical and transforming effect of dance movements and the wonderful music to which they are done.

Ballroom dancing, in particular, is a perfect combination of physical and low-impact aerobic activity, range of motion exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Regardless of your ability level, dancing will help you to improve your health, flexibility, muscle tone, mental outlook, social life, and enjoyment of leisure.

Dancing:

  • Is fun.
  • Improves your cardiovascular system.
  • Improves your muscle tone, strength, and endurance.
  • Improves your coordination and balance, which can prevent accidents and falls.
  • Keeps you fit and flexible.
  • Helps to strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Helps to reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.
  • Builds self confidence.
  • Increases self esteem.
  • Improves your spatial awareness.
  • Enhances an overall sense of well-being and promotes a positive outlook.
  • Improves your posture.
  • Can help you lose weight.
  • Helps you to meet new people.
  • Improves your social skills.
  • Provides a temporary escape from normal daily activities, a chance to relax, relieve stress, and have a great time.
  • Helps a man to become a better, more considerate and precise leader.
  • Helps a lady to become a better, more attentive and desirable dance partner.

 

Full length image of a happy retired couple enjoying a dance together on white Stock Photo - 5925354

 

 

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Heart-Healthy Popcorn

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

Popcorn, or popping corn, is corn (maize) which expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Corn is able to pop because, like sorghum, quinoa, and millet, its’ kernels have a hard, moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior. This allows pressure to build inside the kernel until an explosive “pop” results. Some strains of corn are now cultivated specifically as popping corns.

There are many techniques for popping corn. Commercial large-scale popcorn machines were invented by Charles Cretors in the late 19th century. Many small-scale home methods for popping corn also exist, with the most popular in the United States being prepackaged (7).

In addition to being a popular snack food, popcorn also has non-food applications, ranging from holiday decorations to packaging materials.

 

History:

Popcorn was first discovered thousands of years ago by Native Americans. It is one of the oldest forms of corn: evidence of popcorn dating as early as 4700 B.C. was found in Peru and 3600 B.C. in New Mexico. Popcorn kernels have also been found in the remains of Central American settlements dating back almost 7000 years (7, 8, 12)!

The English who came to America in the 16th and 17th centuries learned about popcorn from Native Americans.

During the Great Depression, popcorn was relatively cheap at 5–10 cents a bag and became popular. While other businesses failed, the popcorn business thrived and became a source of income for many struggling farmers. During World War II, sugar rations reduced candy production, causing Americans to eat three times more popcorn than they had before.

At least six localities (all in the Midwestern United States) claim to be the “Popcorn Capital of the World”:

  • Ridgway, Illinois
  • Valparaiso, Indiana
  • Van Buren,Indiana
  • Schaller, Iowa
  • Marion, Ohio
  • North Loup, Nebraska

The United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) states that most corn used for popcorn production is specifically planted for this purpose and is grown in Nebraska and Indiana, with increasing area in Texas (13).

As the result of an elementary school project, popcorn became the official state snack food of Illinois (4)!

 

Nutritional value:

Air-popped popcorn is a wonderful whole grain snack that is naturally high in dietary fiber, low in calories and fat (20 calories and 1 gram of fat in 1 cup of air-popped corn), and contains no sodium, sugar, cholesterol, saturated animal fat, or trans fat. However, how we pop the corn kernels and what we add to season the popcorn can turn this healthy snack into an unhealthy one high in calories, fat, and sodium. If you want to eat a healthier popcorn snack, keep it as simple and natural as possible.

According to “Jolly Time: American’s Best Yellow Pop Corn,” one serving (2 tablespoons of unpopped corn kernels) should yield about 5 cups of air-popped popcorn containing a total of 110 calories and 7 grams of fiber, or 20 calories and 1 gram of fiber per cup of air-popped popcorn (1). I have not  been so lucky. Usually, a half cup of this or other brands of unpopped corn cooked in my microwave produces about 4 cups (1 quart) when popped.

 

Nutrition Facts: Popcorn, No Additives (1):

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp. (33 g) Unpopped or 1 Cup Air-popped

Calories:                                       110                                                                    20

Calories from fat:                        10                                                                     2

Total fat:                                       1 g    (2% Daily Value)                               0 g    (0%)

Saturated fat:                    0 g                                                                    0 g    (0%)

Trans fat:                           0 g                                                                    0 g

Cholesterol:                                0 mg  (0%)                                                     0 mg  (0%)

Sodium:                                       0 mg                                                                 0 mg  (0%)

Total Carbohydrate:                26 g     (9% Daily Value)                              5 g    (2%)

Dietary Fiber:                    7 g     (27% Daily Value)                            1 g    (5%)

Sugar:                                <1 g                                                                    0 g

Protein:                                         4 g                                                                  <1 g

 

Health risks:

Most processed popcorn snacks, especially microwavable varieties, contain chemicals, saturated fats including partially-hydrogenated trans fats, and other unhealthy additives. Microwaveable popcorn represents a special case, since it is designed to be cooked along with its flavoring agents. One of these common artificial-butter flavorants, diacetyl, has been implicated in causing respiratory ailments (3).

Movie theatre popcorn is often enhanced with unhealthy artificial butter, salt, and/or sugar. In the mid-1990s, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (C.S.P.I.) produced a report about “Movie Popcorn” which became the subject of a widespread publicity campaign. The movie theaters surveyed used coconut oil to pop the corn, and then topped it with butter or margarine. The report stated that “a medium-size buttered popcorn contains more fat than a breakfast of bacon and eggs, a Big Mac and fries, and a steak dinner combined.” The practice continues today! For example, according to DietFacts.com, a small popcorn from Regal Cinema Group, the largest theater chain in the United States, still contains 29 g of saturated fat, as much as three Big Macs (6) and the equivalent of a full day-and-a-half’s reference daily intake (2, 5, 10, 11)

Popcorn is included on the list of foods that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not serving to children under four, because of the risk of choking. Special “hull-less” popcorn has been developed that offers an alternative for small children and for people with braces or other dental problems who may otherwise need to avoid popcorn (7).

 

Storage: Store unpopped corn kernels in an air-tight container.

 

Tips to keep popcorn a healthy snack:

  • Choose organic popcorn to reduce your intake of pesticide residues: Conventional (non-organic)  popcorn has been listed on the Food and Drug Administration’s (F.D.A.) top ten of the most commonly contaminated foods with pesticides and chemicals.
  • Learn to pop your own popcorn and avoid the microwave packets (There are still health concerns about microwave popcorn packets and the chemicals added to promote popping and less sticking): (1) Use an electric air popper to eliminate the need for oil or fat. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions. (2) If you have a microwave, but no air popper, an easy and healthy way to pop corn kernels is in a paper lunch bag, in the microwave. Pour about 1/4 -1/3 cup of popcorn kernels into the bag. Fold the top of the bag a few times, or use a small piece of tape to secure the folded top, leaving plenty of room in the rest of the bag for popping. Allow about 2-3 minutes for popping, depending upon the wattage of your microwave oven. Stop the microwave when the popping sounds slow down considerably but are not finished, or the popcorn may start to burn. Pour popcorn into a bowl and add desired toppings. The bag may be reused. (3) No butter or oil is necessary for popping when a wire popper is used over coals or the stove. This method work best for 1/4 cup of corn kernels at a time. (4) To make popcorn the old-fashioned way, heat a large pan on top of the stove, dry or with about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (the kernels will pop better with heated oil). Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup corn kernels, place a lid on the pot, and shake gently back and forth, with one hand holding the pan handle and one holding the lid to keep them together, over medium-high heat. Allow steam to escape from the popping kernels. Remove the pan from heat as soon as popping stops, and pour the popped kernels into a large bowl. Season to taste.
  • Avoid adding butter, salt, or artificial flavorings to popcorn
  • Use healthier popcorn toppings: (1) In place of butter or salt, try adding herbs, salt-free spices or seasoning. Stir in some curry or garlic powder, rosemary and black pepper (my favorite), or your favorite mixture of natural spices. (2) For spicy or chili-flavored popcorn, add cayenne, or salt-free chili seasoning, or chili-flavored oil. (3) Use olive oil in place of butter. Otherwise, use unsalted butter in moderation. Olive oil is a healthier alternative to butter, as it contains no hydrogenated oils or trans fats, yet still tastes delicious and buttery. Stir olive oil (or melted organic butter) into popcorn first to help seasonings stick. (4) The nutty flavor of cheese and butter (without the fat) can be gotten by sprinkling popcorn with some nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast provides B vitamins and is an easy and delicious way to make your popcorn snack more healthy.
  • For sweetened popcorn, drizzle a bit of agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup over the popped kernels and stir: Just remember that while these sweeteners are relatively healthy in moderation, they are still metabolized by the body as sugar.
  • Use olive oil or water, instead of butter (a source of artery-clogging, saturated animal fat), to help your toppings stick to popcorn. Place a bit of water in a clean spray bottle with a fine mist sprayer, spritz the popcorn lightly, and stir in or sprinkle on your healthy toppings.
  • Healthy trail mix to go: Mix plain popcorn with nuts, dried fruits (e.g., raisins, apricots, dates, figs), coconut, granola, and/or vegan chocolate chips, for a delicious snack.

 

Shake popcorn with one or more of the following seasonings in a large paper bag to make mixing easy:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, with or without freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder with or without black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Chopped, unsalted nuts
  • Dried fruits like natural raisins, apricots, dates, figs, coconut
  • Granola
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Wheat germ, ground flax seeds, or nutritional yeast


Rachel Ray’s “Sweet Sesame Five-Spice Popcorn” Recipe (9):

Used extensively in chinese cooking, this pungent mixture of five ground spices usually consists of equal parts of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, szechuan peppercorns. Prepackaged five-spice powder is available in Asian markets and most supermarkets.

Total time: 10 minutes

Prep: 2 minutes

Cook: 8 minutes

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unpopped corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I would use less)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I would use less)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Place unpopped corn kernels, sugar, oil, five-spice powder, and salt in a large kettle or pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. When corn begins to pop, shake the pot constantly. When popping slows, remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and transfer popped kettle corn to a bowl.

 

References:

  1. “Jolly Time: American’s Best Yellow Pop Corn.” Popcorn product produced by American Pop Corn Company, Sioux City, Iowa, 51102. 2010.
  2. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Daily Reference Values.” Fda.gov. 01/13/10. Retrieved 01/20/10.
  3. Geis, Sonya. “Flavoring Suspected in Illness: California Considers Banning Chemical Used in Microwave Popcorn.” The Washington Post. 05/07/07.
  4. “Governor Signs Official Snack Bill: School Project Becomes Law.” (Press release). Office of the Governor: Rod R. Blagojevich-Governor (08/04/03). Illinois Government News Network. Retrieved 08/25/07.
  5. Grimes, William. “How About Some Popcorn With Your Fat?” The New York Times. Published 05/01/94. Retrieved 01/20/10.
  6. McDonald’s Corporation Nutritional Information.
  7. “Popcorn.” Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. 02/15/12.
  8. “Popcorn Was Popular in Ancient Peru, Discovery Suggests.” History.com. 01/20/12.
  9. Ray, Rachel. “Sweet Sesame Five-Spice Popcorn.” Rachaelray.com: Rachel Ray’s Official Website. (Source: www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=1635).
  10. “Regal Cinemas Nutrition Information.” Dietfacts.com. 10/06/04. Retrieved 01/20/10.
  11. “Regal Entertainment: About Us.” Regmovies.com. Retrieved 01/20/10.
  12. “Study suggests ancient Peruvians ‘ate popcorn’.” BBC News. 01/19/12. Retrieved 01/26/12.
  13. United States Department of Agriculture-1982 Popcorn Report.”

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Wisdom Through the Ages

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

In Greek mythology and religion, Athena (also called Athene, Pallas Athena) was known as the goddess of wisdom, divine intelligence, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, fair warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Her Roman incarnation, Minerva, embodied the same traits. Although Athena was also considered a goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without purpose and preferred to use wisdom to settle predicaments. Her parents were Zeus and Metis, and she lived on Mount Olympus.

Aeschylus 525-456 B.C. (Earliest writer of Greek tragedy who wrote 80 plays for theatre):

“A peoples’ voice is a mighty power.”

Archimedes 287?-212 B.C. (Greek mathematician and inventor):

“Eureka! I have found it.”

Aristotle 384 B.C.-322 B.C. (Greek philosopher and polymath, student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great, who wrote about physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology. Focused on morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics):

  • “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”
  • “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”
  • “The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.”
  • “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”
  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Cleovoulos (Cleobulus) of Rhodes 6th century B.C. (Greek poet, a native of Lindos, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece):

  • “Pan metrion ariston”: “Everything in moderation,” “All in good measure,” “Everything must have a limit,” “Moderation in all things.”
  • “Pan metron ariston”: “πάν μέτρον άριστον” from Phillipians 4:5 reads: “Let your moderation be known to all men.” The phrase best known in Greek culture for “everything in moderation.” The line “Moderation in all things” from Andria, written in the second century B.C. by the Roman playwright Terence, echoes the “Golden Mean” emphasized two centuries earlier by Aristotle. But the concept of moderation as a means to a virtuous life is believed to have been inspired by the Seven Sages (c650-c550 B.C.), including Thales, Solon, Periander, Cleobulus, Chilon, Bias and Pittacus, who as a group and individually are credited for many sayings throughout antiquity.

Diocenes (Democracy):

“The most beautiful thing in the world is freedom of speech.”

Epictetus A.D. 55-c. 135 (Greek philosopher associated with the Stoics):

  • “Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.”
  • “First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.”
  • “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”
  • “Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig. I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”
  • “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
  • “We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope.”
  • “When we are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.”

Herophilos 335-280 BC (Greek physician born in Chalcedon who spent the majority of his life in Alexandria, was the first scientist to systematically perform scientific dissections of human cadavers, is considered to be the first anatomist and an early pioneer of the Scientific Method. Herophilos recorded his findings in over nine works which are all lost. Together with Erasistratus, he is regarded as a founder of the great medical school of Alexandria.):

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”

Homer 800-700 B.C.? (Ancient Greek poet who wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey):

“Two heads are better than one.”

Menander 342?-291? B.C. (Greek playwright who wrote over 100 comedies, noted for plot construction, characterization, clear style, and sympathetic view of humanity.):

“He who labors diligently need never despair, for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.”

The Oracle of Delphi:

“Miden agan.” (“Exaggerate nothing”)

Pindar 522?-443? B.C. (Greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece):

“Every gift, though it be small, is in reality great if given with affection.”

Pythagoras 570-495 B.C. (Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and scientist, who is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name, a theorem in geometry that states that in a right-angled triangle the area of the square on the hypotenuse [the side opposite the right angle] is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of the other two sides—that is, a2b2c2.):

“Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few.”

Simonides 556-468 B.C. (Greek lyric poet and “one of the wisest of men” who had a tolerant, humanistic outlook that celebrated ordinary goodness and recognized the immense pressures that life places on human beings; inventor of a system of mnemonics, as well as, some letters of the Greek alphabet [ω, η, ξ, ψ ]). He is popularly associated with epitaphs commemorating fallen warriors):

“Painting is silent poetry and poetry is a speaking picture.”

Socrates 470-399 B.C. (Classical Greek Athenian philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy and renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, epistemology, logic, Socratic irony, and Socratic method. The latter remains a commonly used tool in many discussions, and is a type of pedagogy in which questions are asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand):

  • “Virtue is when you avoid exaggerations.”
  • “By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
  • “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”
  • “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”

Solon 638– 558 B.C. (Athenian statesman, lawmaker, poet, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece,remembered for his efforts to legislate against political, economic, and moral decline in ancient Athens, and credited with having laid the foundations for Athenian democracy.):

“Reprove thy friend privately, commend him publicly.”

Charles-Louis de Secondat Montesquieu 1721:

“Men are like plants–they never grow happily unless they are well cultivated.”

François-Marie Arouet Voltaire 1694-1778 (French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist, who supported the toleration of other religions and ethnicities):

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 (Writer, philosopher, scientist, politician, patriot, Founding Father, inventor, publisher. Helped with the founding of the United States of America and changed the world with his discoveries about electricity. His writings such as Poor Richards’ Almanac have provided wisdom for 17 years to the colonies.)

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882 (American essayist, lecturer, and poet):

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi 1869-1948 (The father of India who helped free India from British control through nonviolent resistance):

  • “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
  • “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
  • “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
  • “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
  • “The future depends on what you do today.”
  • “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
  • “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
  • “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”
  • “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
  • “Where there is love there is life.”

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

Dalai Lama (A high “lama” [teacher, guru] in the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” branch of Tibetan Buddhism. Traditionally, the Dalai Lama is thought of as the latest reincarnation of a series of spiritual leaders who have chosen to be reborn, in order to enlighten others.):

“Just because ‘everyone is doing it’ doesn’t make it right. Just because ‘no one is doing it’ doesn’t make it wrong.”

Anonymous:

  • “The giant oak is an acorn that held it’s ground.”
  • “Without bridges we would all be islands.”

Marya Mannes 1904-1990 (Author, journalist and critic who wrote More in Anger: 1958):

  • “The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.”
  • “The more people are reached by mass communication, the less they communicate with each other.”
  • “The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control their emotions by the application of reason.”

Vincent J. Lombardi 1913 – 1970 (American football coach best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s):

  • “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
  • “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.”
  • “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
  • “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

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