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County Extension

  • What are your chances?

    I frequently write about pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses. I think the one people are most familiar with is Salmonella. But, what really are your chances of getting ill from salmonella in your chicken, or beef or pork?

  • Redbuds are showing that spring flower time is here

    Loropetalums, phlox, daffodils, crabapples, redbuds and cherries are in various stages of bloom. That must mean we’re in the main spring season in southeastern North Carolina. It’s a bit overwhelming with everything blooming at once. Sometimes I wish I could spread it out a bit.  But, it is a glorious time in the garden so get out and enjoy it.

  • Cleaning and sanitizing

    Looking to keep the germs down and prevent a foodborne illness in your home? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the two things you can do that make the biggest impact are washing your hands and cleaning kitchen surfaces.

    There are two steps to having a clean and sanitary kitchen. Think of this as if brushing your teeth is the cleaning and using mouthwash is the sanitizing. Two steps. Clean first and then sanitize.

  • Lawns already starting to ‘green up’ for spring

    We’ve had a weather roller coaster ride this year with record cold in January and record warmth in February. Things have settled into a more “normal” pattern for now, but our lawns are already greening up.

  • Food safety in the news

    There was an interesting and scary story going around the Internet a couple of weeks ago related to food safety. Perhaps you read about the man in California who pulled a five-foot tapeworm out of his body. Doctors are thinking this tapeworm came from a parasite found in raw salmon. The man confessed he loves sushi and eats it frequently.

    First, you may ask, could this really happen? Yes it could. The tapeworm is a form of parasite that can enter the body in food and then continue to live and grow within the host. Yikes!  

  • Eat the MED way

    Editor’s note: Last in a series of eight columns on “Med instead of Meds.”

    For the last two months I’ve been writing about “Med instead of Meds for Better Health,“ a way of eating that can help reduce your chances of a chronic illness and needing to take medication. The “med way” is modeled after the traditional eating style of people that live in the Mediterranean region.

  • Make your grains whole

    Editor’s note: Seventh in a series of eight columns on “Med instead of Meds.”

     

  • Blooms to consider next Valentine’s Day

    While the history of Valentine’s Day is muddled with the Romans, the Pagans and the Christians claiming credit, it’s a fair bet you had better show up every year with something for your sweetheart. And, getting the last arrangement from the cooler at the supermarket is not a winning strategy. 

    Roses are traditional but short-lived and, during this time, overpriced. If your significant other likes to play in the dirt, next year consider purchasing a rose that can be planted in the garden.

  • Meats, potatoes and veggies taste better with romesco sauce

    Romesco sauce is a classic and very popular Spanish condiment, a spicy almond and red pepper pesto-like mixture. It’s such a popular sauce in Spain that it has been referred to as the “ketchup” of Spain.

  • Change your protein

    Editor’s note: Sixth in a series of eight columns on “Med instead of Meds.”