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County Extension

  • Cooking for a crowd during this fall season

    It’s the time of year when local clubs, organizations and church groups are getting back together for the year. Many of these groups will be planning food functions. These could be fundraising dinners, bake sales or potluck lunches for members. Food events do present food safety risks. There have been multiple outbreaks and hundreds of illnesses linked to community-based meal events in the past decade.

  • Eat another meal with your family during the month of September

    September is National Family Meals Month, a national event designed to show the importance of family meals. One of the goals of this celebration is to challenge families to share one more meal at home each week.

  • Time to talk school lunches following summer’s end

    Wow, I know what you’re thinking (I’m wondering, too): Where did the summer go? Kids are starting back to school already. This brings up that annual question: what to do about their lunch?

    You might wonder what’s healthier, a packed lunch or school lunch? Obviously, the answer to this question depends on what’s on the menu at school or what’s in the bag. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior a few years ago compared school lunches with packed lunches and gave the nutrition edge to the school lunch.

  • Great food preservation resources for summer fruits and vegetables

    Summer fruits and vegetables are at their peak. This means it’s a good time to remind those preserving these foods about the need to have up-to date instructions and procedures. Food preservation techniques are constantly being studied and revised. Just because “you’ve always done it this way” or this is how your mother (or grandmother) taught you, it may not be the most up-to-date method. Also, just because you found a recipe on the Internet or saw it on a cooking show on television does not make it safe.

  • Fiber up: How to get enough fiber in your daily diet

    Only one in 20 Americans eats enough fiber! This means 95 percent of us are not getting enough fiber in our daily diet.

    Most people know fiber adds bulk to the diet and it is important for a healthy intestines and good bowel movements. But dietary fiber can also help to reduce the risks of developing high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Fiber is also great for people trying to lose weight because it makes you feel full and slows the emptying of the stomach.

  • Let’s talk E. coli, the new popular foodborne illness

    I spend a lot of my time teaching and writing about foodborne illnesses. Most people call it food poisoning, but the scientific term for when someone gets sick from something they ate or drank is a foodborne illness.

    The names of only a few of these illnesses roll off the tongues of the general public. But lately one has gotten a lot of press and more people have become aware of it. This is E. coli. Earlier this year, romaine lettuce was recalled across the nation because of the potential of foodborne illness caused by these bacteria.

    What is E. coli?

  • Be ready in case of emergency or natural disaster

    I originally wrote parts of this column several years ago when everyone in Brunswick County was busy preparing for Hurricane Irene. Fortunately we were spared major damage from that storm. But, I thought it might be a good idea to share this information again, before we’re all in a hurry to get things done before another storm.

  • How full (or empty) is your wine glass?

    I know you’ve heard the psychological question, “Is your glass half empty or half full?” When it comes to a wine glass, half full is probably the best response.

    It’s easy to just pour a glass of wine without thinking, but, have you ever really measured how much you pour into a wine glass? Chances are it’s more than you realize.

  • Try infused water to hydrate

    We’re definitely into the heat of summer now. Here’s a quick reminder: when it’s hot outside, you need to think more about hydrating. This simply means providing your body with the fluid it needs to keep itself healthy.

    Water regulates lots of different body processes including temperature control, cushioning and protecting organs, digestion and waste and heart rate. We lose water from our body every day by breathing, sweating and in urine.

  • More good news about chocolate

    This probably isn’t going to be a hard topic to sell … but there may be another good reason to eat chocolate. A new study out last month says eating dark chocolate may improve your eyesight.