Power Outage Food Tips

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/power-outage-food-safety-hurricane-sandy_n_2039351.html?ir=Foodhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/29/food-safety_n_2038763.html?1351523569#slide=1694778www.FoodSafety.govhttp://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2012/08/will_we_be_cooking_without_pow.html & Anne’s brain.

Did you hear? FrankenSandy is on its way!!

Here are a few tips about Food Safety in case your power goes out for an extended time (or if you anticipate power loss).

Tips for before the outage: 

  • Fill some ziploc bags with water & stuff them into every nook and cranny of your freezer. A fuller freezer will stay colder longer because there’s more cold stuff in it! Plus, if things really get dire and you run out of water, you can drink the water in the bags! You’re welcome.
  • Grouping together your food in the freezer will help the food stay colder longer.
  • Use an appliance thermometer in the fridge and freezer. Fridge should be 40 degrees or lower and the freezer at 0 degrees or lower.
  • Consider freezing leftover items that you won’t need immediately, such as deli meats and milk. This will help keep these items at a safer temperature longer.
  • Have ice in the freezer in case the power goes out. A cooler with ice will allow you to prolong the life of your food. If you don’t have a cooler, you can also use the ice to keep the refrigerator cool.
  • For pantry items, store all food on higher shelves in case of flooding.
  • As the storm approaches, turn down the temperature of the fridge and freezer to the max to make it as cold as possible. Don’t forget to turn it back once the threat passes.

Foods to pack into your pantry for during the storm:

  • The usual: canned beans, fish and veggies, peanut butter & crackers.
  • More fun & interesting! (not all of these are BuzzNutrition-approved foods… but this is a crisis, people!):
    • Canned coconut milk, shredded coconut
    • Boboli pizza crust, pizza sauce in a squeeze bottle, summer sausage, dry salami.
    • Bulghur wheat (tabouli) does not require cooking. Hydrate, fluff it with a fork, add chopped vegetables and herbs.
    • Low-salt broth
    • Dijon mustard, Creole mustard
    • Dehydrated mushrooms to add to soups; reconstitute for other dishes
    • Real bacon bits in a jar to flavor bland dishes
    • Instant pudding to prepare with evaporated or powdered milk
    • Nuts
    • Individual tea bags that don’t require hot water
    • Instant coffee, creamer packets
    • Small condiment packages (mustard, relish, soy sauce, etc)
    • SPAM (Just kidding! Seriously, do not buy this.)

Cooking during a storm:

  • Even without electricity you can cook!: Use a: grill, camping cookstove, candle- or Sterno-fired fondue pot, indoor fireplace (be sure to open the flue).
  • Do like a Boy Scout & make a foil pack:  Wrap seasoned slices of raw fruits, veggies or meats in heavy-duty foil, seal and put them on the grill.
  • Do NOT use a charcoal or propane grill inside unless you want to perish from carbon monoxide fumes.

Tips for after an outage:

  • Spoiled food puts you at risk for food-borne illness (duh). Although small numbers of Salmonella and e.Coli are normal in a healthy gut, too many is a very bad thing.
  • Do all you can to keep the doors of your fridge/freezer CLOSED. If they stay sealed, your fridge can keep food cold for about four hours, and a full freezer for about 48 hours (24 hours if it’s half full).
  • Discard any perishables that have been stored above 40 degrees F for more than two hours, no matter what their appearance or odor.
  • Never taste food to determine its status… unless you are a crazy scientist.
  • Do not rely on your sniffer. Rotten food only smells rotten if lots of time has passed. Sniffing only works for milk.
  • “When in doubt, throw it out.” Worried about the lost money? Okay, eat it then, and reevaluate after you’ve had diarrhea for 12 hours.
  • If the frozen food contains water crystals, it should still be safe & can be refrozen, though the texture may be weird.
  • Check out these helpful tables: when to toss from fridge, when to toss from freezer 
  • If you have a lot of food that is still okay, but won’t last much longer, cook it up and have a party!
  • You may have stored this stuff in the fridge, but it’ll keep several days at room temperature.
    • Condiments: catsup, mustards, Barbecue, soy and Worcestershire sauces
    • Jams and jellies
    • Peanut butter
    • Oils & butter (if it’s hot out, put the butter in a bowl 🙂 )
    • Bread (aka. future croutons)
    • Hard cheeses (like parmesan, asiago, etc.) As for soft cheeses, eat them right away (brie, cottage cheese or cream cheese)
    • Unopened salad dressing or other condiments

Was there a flood?

  • If there’s a chance a food came in contact with flood waters, toss it (unless it’s in a waterproof container). Also discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers if they may have been in contact with flood waters.
  • Wash all metal pans, ceramic plates and utensils that may have come into contact with flood waters with hot soapy water. Sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.
  • Use only bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters. Otherwise, boil it.

Stay safe! 🙂

Using Food As First Aid

Source: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/05/21/the-peoples-pharmacy-first-aid-kit/

How do you like these random tips from Food Pharmacy?

  • Packets of yellow mustard: Use for leg cramps or burns. Some use to ease symptoms of heartburn.
  • Packets of soy sauce: Can ease the discomfort from a mild burn right after the area is immersed in cold water.
  • Finely ground black pepper: Can help stop bleeding from a minor cut or scrape.
  • Meat tenderizer: Mixing a paste of meat tenderizer and water or vinegar can ease the pain from a bee sting.
  • Vinegar: Small swig can combat muscle cramps or help relieve heartburn.
  • Castor oil: Helpful for fire ant bites, warts, bruises and sore joints.
  • Adhesive tape: Use to remove ticks you may find crawling on you.
  • Sugarless gum: Has a laxative effect. Can also stimulate saliva and ease symptoms of heartburn.
  • Ginger: Can relieve motion sickness. May also help headaches, coughs & heartburn.
  • Coffee: May aid in asthma attack: 2 or 3 cups of regular coffee can open airways in a pinch.

And then there’s Milk of Magnesia… not a food, of course, but it can be pretty helpful to have around!

  • If you have constipation, be sure to visit your local Registered Dietitian to figure out the root cause and remove it!
  • MoM can be used topically as a deodorant and to dry up skin eruptions like acne & poison ivy rash.
  • Also may help soothe eczema. But keep in mind, eczema is often caused by food allergy so please be sure to get some advice from a nutritionist so that you can eliminate the problem and keep your milk of magnesia in the closet.

Sugar Bears

20121013-042020.jpg
Sometimes Bears say it best… Watch this quick video to learn more about sugary sodas from some adorable bears.

From the website:
“It wasn’t so bad when soft drinks were the occasional treat.
But now sugary drinks are the number one source of calories in the American diet.
With one third of America overweight and another third obese, it’s a wonder
anyone is still swallowing what the soda companies are selling.”

…don’t forget that juice is sugar too!

Bacon: Dirty Word No More

Source: http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon

Bacon is much-loved yet maligned by most… under false pretenses!

  • High in saturated fat? Yeah, but who cares because saturated fat from natural sources is good for you!
  • Spikes cholesterol and clogs arteries? Wrong. Dietary cholesterol from clean sources does not affect blood cholesterol… and furthermore, cholesterol does not cause heart attacks.
  • Dripping with nitrates which can cause cancer… thanks to this recent article by Chris Kresser, the appropriate response is “big whoop!”

Nitrates/nitrates are used in the curing process. They are not going to kill you:

  • Study that first claimed nitrates increased cancer risk was subjected to a peer review and discredited
  • Extensive reviews of the scientific literature resulted in a thumbs up for nitrates/nitrites- yes, they not only do not seem to cause harm… they may just be beneficial to health!
  • Most nitrate/nitrite to which we are exposed comes from our own bodies: “salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure”
  • As far as food goes, 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables
    • “…one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them!”
    • So-called nitrate/nitrite-free foods still contain the chemicals, they just use natural sources like celery/beet juice/sea salt.
  • Nitrate/nitrite do not accumulate in body.
    • When ingested from food, nitrate turns into nitrite (after contacting saliva). 25% of nitrite is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion. If absorbed, nitrite disappears from our blood in under five minutes.
    • “Some nitrite in our stomach reacts with gastric contents, forming nitric oxide which may have many beneficial effects.”
  • May be health-promoting
    • Nitric oxide, formed when nitrite contacts stomach contents may improve blood pressure and reduce heart attack risk.
    • Nitrates may help boost the immune system and protect against pathogenic bacteria.
    • Curing pork products eliminates risk of infection with the nasty trichinosis parasite (similar to tape wom!)

Sad that this news should come alongside headlines warning of a coming “bacon shortage“, aka Aporkalypse. Apparently many pigs are fed corn (neither their natural nor preferred food) and corn prices are very high because of drought. But don’t fret: apparently experts say “reports of world-wide pork shortages in 2013 are a load of bull“.

===========================
Recipe to celebrate:
Source: www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-recipes/bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-chicken-bites

Images here: www.flickr.com/photos/40228850@N08/7437262518/, www.flickr.com/photos/40228850@N08/7437262740/

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites

Chicken spread with cream cheese and jalapenos, rolled and wrapped with bacon, then grilled.
Ingredients
  • 8 chicken tenders from a good source, flattened and cut in two
  • 3-ounce package softened full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 slices bacon from a good source, cut in half
Instructions
  1. Dab 1/2 teaspoon (more or less) of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle a scant 1/4 teaspoon of peppers over cream cheese. Fold or roll chicken to enclose cream cheese mixture. Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  2. Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.
Notes
Serves: 16 bite-sizes

Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. An inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be an unforgettable experience.

For reference, if you are substituting for the chicken tenders (i.e. dark meat, large pieces of chicken breast, game meat), the size of the tenders I used were 5-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide before flattening and cutting in half.

Try flattening meat inside a zip-lock bag as pictured above. No flying pieces, no contamination on your cutting board from the chicken, and cleanup is super easy.

Stuart Hall Assembly

Stuart Hall still shot 5 croppedAll kids are inspiring, but I have to give the students at Stuart Hall a “WOW”. I had the great pleasure of speaking to them about nutrition on Tuesday and it was a wonderful time! They listened intently, asked amazing questions and, best of all, laughed at my jokes. 🙂

I also admire and thank the teachers and administration for creating an environment that trains and encourages such impressive critical thinking skills.

The theme of the talk was inspired by a Stuart Hall philosophy that suggests every person has 4 facets: a body, mind, heart and spirit. I completely agree. Just as people have multiple facets, food is not just “food”. We talked about how each of our 4 bodies benefit from Real Food, and what exactly Real Food is!

We discussed topics that are important and relevant for people of all ages who are striving to find or maintain health.

Luckily, I had help videotaping the assembly. The first 5 minutes were lost due to technical difficulty, so in Part 1 (link below), I’ve dictated the first few slides in my living room. But after 3 minutes, the video launches triumphantly into the Stuart Hall auditorium.

If you have a moment to watch, let me know what you think.

Part 1 (~10 mins) *voice over until 3:13 because of technical glitch
Part 2 (~10 mins)
Q & A (~5 mins)

Honey, please pass the honey?

Source: www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/5-amazing-healing-honey-facts?utm_source=www.GreenMedInfo.com&utm_campaign=69240d9e58-Greenmedinfo&utm_medium=email

A few months ago, my parents decided to get a pet… then they decided to get 1,000 of them. Their bees are a’buzz in their hives, diligently making my parents a bucket full of honey.

Beyond adding a delicious touch of sweetness to a frothy mug of hot cocoa or bowl of oatmeal, honey has incredible medicinal properties. Check them out!

1) Raw honey feeds your good gut bacteria: increases the number of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantarum counts 10-100 fold compared with sucrose.

2) Honey fights “bad” bacteria: dissolves the biofilm (barrier that bacteria hide behind) made by MRSA (a really aggressive bacteria that’s resistant to antibiotics).

3) Honey Kills Dental Plaque-Causing Bacteria: Manuka honey, a special honey produced by the flowers of the manuka plant that grows in New Zealand and Australia, was shown at least as effective as the chemical chlorhexidine gluconate, often used in mouthwash, in reducing plaque formation as a mouthwash.

4) Honey Kills Herpes better than drugs:  A 2004 study published in the Medical Science Monitor, showed that topical  honey was far superior to the drug acyclovir (trade name Zovirax) in treating both labial (lip) and genital herpes lesion.

5) Honey Protects Against Gastric Damage: Honey has been shown to prevent alcohol-, indomethacin- (a NSAID pain-killer) and aspirin-induced lesions.

Hide and Seek with Liver

No, no! Um, no, there’s no liver in there…

And let’s say you’re done with Hide and Seek and feeling bold: these look like a scrumptious recipes!

It’s Liver Time!

No doubt only those who like liver proceeded to read this post… so I’ll consider myself in friendly company and that no faces are twisted in disgusted grimaces. 🙂

Liver from pastured animals is enormously nutritious. They contain more antioxidants than many fruits or vegetables and are replete with fat-soluble vitamins and minerals that we need to reach our full potential for vibrant health. Most should eat liver at least once a week*- pregnant/trying-to-be-pregnant folks should eat it more often (*This all depends on your Metabolic Type). (This blog compares 5 pounds of fruit to 1/4 pound of liver… guess who wins!)

Too bad liver is in such an unattractively-named category: offal. Who would ever want to eat offal? I think part of the decision to name offal something so awful was to reserve it as a prize for those brave enough to eat it despite its name or reputation. Frodo eats offal. Luke Skywalker eats offal. Ghandi would have eaten offal had he eaten meat… Heroes eat offal… or are they heroes because they eat offal? Only history will tell.

Many people ask me “aren’t livers filters for toxins? and so if i eat liver, i’m eating toxins?” No. A liver is not like an air or water filter that accumulates toxins over time. The liver is a metabolically active organ that converts toxins into safe molecules (and sometimes not-safe less-toxic toxins) and gets them on their way out of the body. The more toxins the animal has to clear, the more there will be in the liver- so eat a clean, well-cared for, well-fed, non-medicated animal. (More info on that + some studies and this quote “If you avoid liver because of toxins, you should probably avoid the rest of the animal, too.”)

I currently have 1 pound of liver from Donald’s Meat Processing defrosting in my fridge. I plan on making påté with it, which i will freeze in ice cube trays for my weekly hero training.

I’ll either eat the defrosted liver påté smeared on celery sticks, or add it to ground meat in a meat sauce over spaghetti squash pasta, meatballs, meatloaf or chili. Of course there’s also stir-fry and creative interpretations of things like Crispy Liver Hash Brown Patties.

Here are some other more elaborate recipes:

::UPDATE::

Okay. I didn’t have time to gather any fancy ingredients so this is what i did with my liver…

Liver slurry!!! I just threw the organ in my food processor, blended till smooth and scooped into ice cube trays.

I know- pretty gross-looking. And slurry sounds as bad as offal. But it was super easy and fast. With Frozen Liver Cubes, the possibilities are endless! I plan to throw 1-2 cubes into anything that I make with ground beef. It makes me sleep deeper at night to know I have such nutrient density in my freezer that’s rife with creative potential just waiting to be unleashed on my tastebuds!

I also did this: I saved a slice of liver to experiment… cubed it in to small 1/2″ cubes, dredged it with coconut flour, salt and cumin and then fried it in beef tallow. I’m not gonna lie. I’m a culinary genius. It was delicious. Fried Liver Cubes!… It was a Cube Party in the BuzzTestKitchen. I turned out the lights proud and satisfied (and replete in my fat-soluble vitamins and heart-healthy cholesterol) but mildly sad that I’d turned the other liver slices into slurry….

::UPDATE #2::

I finally used a liver cube tonight… and I dare say, it was delicious. Here’s what i did:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup collards, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1 liver cube!
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 hamburger patty, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 egg yolk

Method

  • Toss collards, cauliflower, broth, liver cube & salt into a pot. Simmer until veggies are at desired tenderness.
  • Crumble patty, sprinkle seeds and plop yolk into a bowl.
  • When veggies are done, pour contents of pot over bowl fixins.
  • Stir & slurp.
  • Optional: add other fixins like strips of toasted nori or miso.

Activated charcoal for bug bites!

Source: http://www.crunchybetty.com/activated-charcoal-for-bug-bites-and-other-itchy-situations

I recently mowed my lawn for the first time in my entire life… I was somehow able to dodge that chore as a kid and now that I’ve done it, that makes me sad because… I LOVED mowing my back yard! Check with me again after my 15th mow, but I’m pretty sure I’ll still enjoy it a lot.

The one thing I DON’T enjoy is the subsequent ITCHING! I slathered my skin with natural non-DEET bug spray and no one (human or insect) will convince me to “go chemical”. Also, I haven’t yet learned to identify poison ivy…

So, for the tenacious bugs that do slip through my herbal defenses and the poison ivy that reaches out to tickle my legs and wrists, I plan to use this solution next time.

Beware: this is very messy and the charcoal will likely stain anything it touches…

See the 3 methods on Crunch Betty’s blog (great pictures). They go from really messy to less messy as you move down the page.

*Activated charcoal is also good for whitening teeth!