County Extension

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • How to have a safe cookout, no matter what you call it

    I’m guessing that most of you had a cookout of some sort over the holiday. According to a survey commissioned by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), July 4 is the most popular grilling day of the year. Their survey shows 73 percent of consumers grill on that holiday.

    The survey also shows seven out of 10 U.S. adults own a grill or a smoker. Gas is the most popular grill type (64 percent), followed by charcoal (44 percent), then electric (9 percent).

  • Some problem insects like it hot

    The third week of June is usually when summer arrives with a vengeance. This is the first “typical” weather thing that has happened this year. Days of close-to-triple-digit temperatures have all of us looking for relief at the beach or somewhere climate controlled. 

    While we may be struggling with the heat, some of our problem insects— azalea lace bugs, bagworms and Japanese beetles — are loving the hot life.

  • Is it safe to eat eggs?

    With an egg recall still fresh in our minds, you may be wondering if it’s safe to eat eggs again. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the recent outbreak from Rose Acre Farms in Dare County is over. Forty-five people were infected with Salmonella in 10 different states. Overall, 11 people were hospitalized and, luckily, no deaths were reported. The company recalled more than 200 million eggs.