On May 8, 1999 Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America proclaimed the month of July as "National Blueberry Month".
Spotlight on Blueberries
Blueberry Facts. Blueberries are a native North American fruit produced in 35 States.
Fresh blueberries are available for about eight months of the year from producers across the United States and Canada. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in mid-May through August.
Blueberries can be found in the market all year round, along with frozen, canned and dried blueberries.
Blueberries are low in calories and sodium and are a good source of fiber.
Blueberries rank high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases.
Researchers have found compounds in blueberries that may help prevent urinary tract infection.
How To Select and Store Blueberries
Purchasing Blueberries When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins and a silvery sheen. Check the color - reddish berries aren’t ripe, but can be used in cooking. Avoid soft or shriveled fruit, or any signs of mold. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised.
Storing Blueberries Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use. Use within 10 days of purchase.
Freezing Blueberries Freeze unwashed and completely dry. Discard berries that are bruised or shriveled. Blueberries can be frozen in their original plastic pack or in a resealable plastic or frozen bag or transfered to freezer container. Remember to rinse them before using.
Serving Suggestions *Add blueberries to your favorite muffin or pancake recipe. *Combine blueberries with yogurt and granola cereal. *Sprinkle blueberries over mixed greens. *Serve blueberries with sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese.
Celebrating Blueberries During the month of July, we enjoyed the sweet flavor of blueberries in various recipes. Below are some of the photographs taken to capture their versatility and beauty.
Recipe. Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat) with Fresh Blueberries
Recipe. Blueberry Ices with Kiwi and Blueberries
Recipe. Orange Sections and Fresh Blueberries
Recipe. Blueberries with Vanilla Ice Cream (light),
Blueberry Ices and Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat)
Recipe. Blueberry Crumb Ice Cream
with Fresh Blueberries
Recipe. Fruit Garden with Blueberries, Watermelon,
Pineapples, Grapes, and Kiwi
It’s fun, cold, delicious, comes in many flavors. Which one to choose? What meets your taste? Test the Brands, Read the portion size, check the calories and fat. An educated consumer has the knowledge to make the right decision. The third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day. Enjoy
Our Ice Cream Social
Berries, Light Vanilla Ice Cream,
Carmel Sauce and Whipped Cream
Nutrition Information. 212 Calories; 4 g Protein; 30 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat; 50 mg Cholesterol; 71 mg Sodium
Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
Nutrition Information. 151 Calories; 3 g Protein; 17 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat; 46 mg Cholesterol; 26 mg Sodium
Red Velvet Ice Cream and Vanilla Wafer
Nutrition Information. 157 Calories; 3 g Protein; 18 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Dietary Fiber; 9 g Fat; 49 mg Cholesterol; 59 mg Sodium
Kiwi, Blueberries and Strawberries with
Carmel Delight Ice Cream, Light
Nutrition Information. 131 Calories; 4 g Protein; 23 g Carbohydrates;
1 g Dietary Fiber; 4 g Fat; 30 mg Cholesterol; 46 mg Sodium
From the table below you can see ice cream has a variety of calories and amounts of fat. I have never been a fan of no sugar added ice cream. However, the flavor of some of the light brands I found to match those of the regular and premium brands. Try some of the light brands and see what you think?
The Sandwich Generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. It is a commemoration and celebration of dedication, patience and caring. The goal is to raise awareness of the tireless efforts of (and support available to) members of this growing generation.
Sandwich Generation Month is held every July and brings the community and families together to heighten understanding of the special needs of this generation. It also spotlights community support available to those working hard to maintain multi-generational families.
According to the Pew Research Center, just over 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent.
National Hot Dog and Sausage Council How It's Made - Hot Dogs U.S. Laws Regulating Hot Dogs Food Safety Hot Dogs and Nutrition Hot Dogs and Sodium Nitrate Choking risk Commercials Then and Now
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce designated July as National Hot Dog Month in 1957. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (http://www.hot-dog.org) is an organization created in 1994 by the American Meat Institute and is funded by contributions from hot dog and sausage manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, ingredients and services. The Council conducts scientific research and provides information to consumers and media on questions related to quality, safety, nutrition and preparation of hot dogs and sausages.
What's In A Hot Dog by Joy Bauer
How It's Made - Hot Dogs
U.S. Laws Regulating Hot Dogs
A hot dog, frankfurter or wiener is a cooked sausage. They are made from beef, pork, veal, turkey, chicken, or a combination and the label must state the type of meat and other foods used. Federal Standards of Identity.
1. Hot dogs may not contain more than 30% fat or no more than 10% water.
2. Beef or all-beef: Contains only beef with no soybean protein or dry milk solid fillers added.
3. Kosher: All-beef, usually heavily seasoned.
4. Frankfurter may contain up to 3.5 percent fillers and made from a combination of meats.
5. Turkey or Chicken Franks can contain turkey or chicken and turkey or chicken skin and fat in proportion to a turkey or chicken carcass.
6. If variety meats, cereal or soy fillers are used, the product name must be changed to "links" or the presence must be declared on the label. Hot dogs can be 15% byproducts; heart, kidney, liver or other organs. But it must be labeled.
7. Up to 3.5% non-meat binders and extenders (such as nonfat dry milk, cereal, or dried whole milk) or 2% isolated soy protein may be used, but must be shown in the ingredients statement on the product's label by its common name.
8. If a hot dog has a casing, or a thin skin and it is different than the meat used in the hot dog, the label must say so. For example, if a chicken hot dog has a pork casing, the label must list the pork casing on the ingredients list. If the casing is artificially colored, the label must indicate this
9. All ingredients in the product must be listed in the ingredients statement in order of predominance, from highest to lowest amounts.
10. To protect consumers against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, mechanically separated beef is considered inedible and is prohibited for use as food. It is not permitted in hot dogs or any other processed product. (Mechanically separated meat is a process whereby meat is separated from the bone by scraping, shaving, or pressing the meat from the bone without crushing, breaking or grinding the bone.)
11. Mechanically separated pork is permitted and must be labeled as "mechanically separated pork" in the ingredients statement. Hot dogs can contain no more than 20% mechanically separated pork.
12. Hot dogs can contain any amount of mechanically separated chicken or turkey.
A vegetarian hot dog is a hot dog produced completely from non-meat products. Vegetarian hot dogs are usually from some sort of soy protein, but some contain egg whites (not acceptable to vegans). There are also vegetarian hot dogs made from tofu.
Food Safety 1. Hot dogs should be reheated until steaming hot before eating, due to the threat of listeriosis.
2. If there is no product date, hot dogs can be safely stored in the refrigerator in the unopened package for 2 weeks; once opened, only 1 week.
3. Frozen hot dogs maintain their quality for about 1 or 2 months.
4. Do not leave hot dogs at room temperature for more than 2 hours and no more than 1 hour when the temperature goes above 90 °F.
Hot Dogs and Nutrition The traditional hot dog is high in fat and salt, and contains very little or no fiber. Yet Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs during Hot Dog Season which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Below is a list of hot dogs, from beef, pork, turkey, low fat, no fat and vegetarian. Moderation, individual needs and preferences are key to planning your meals. If you are someone that eats hot dogs more than once a week, it might be wise to choose a lower-fat variety.
The analysis provided is based on 2 ounces cooked. It is important to read the label and check the portion size. Some of the hot dogs listed below were rounded up to 2 ounces in order to show a comparison of equal weight.
Hot Dogs and Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite
Many brands of hot dogs contain sodium nitrite and nitrate. It is used as a food preservative, flavor enhancer, prevents spoilage and helps prevent botulism. Sodium nitrite and nitrate occur naturally in some vegetables, fruits, grains, spices and water. In the 1970’s there were a number of studies that linked the consumption of nitrite with cancer in laboratory rats.
As a result, the FDA and the USDA commissioned a comprehensive review of sodium nitrite's role as a food additive. The results from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) stated that nitrite does not cause cancer, although exposure to high nitrite levels in certain populations may be associated with cancers. The NAS recommended people's exposure to both nitrates and nitrites be reduced as much as possible without endangering the protection against botulism.
The meat industry made substantial changes in the past 20 years to address the concerns about nitrite in cured meats. It reduced the use of nitrite in the processing of cured meats and now averages one-tenth of what the regulations allow.
In a Consumer Report analysis, it was found that the nitrates and nitrites in all the hot dogs tested were well below the maximum level for the additives established by the USDA. A hot dog labeled uncured cannot add nitrates or nitrites, but that does not necessarily mean the product is free of them. The three uncured hot dogs tested contained nitrites and nitrates because the compounds occur naturally in spices and other natural ingredients added during processing.
As I reviewed the literature, it was clear the controversy over nitrites causing cancer still exists today. The American Institute for Cancer Research report found that consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat (about one hot dog) every day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent. According to the AICR, the average risk of colorectal cancer is 5.8 percent, but 7 percent when a hot dog is consumed daily over years.
Hot dogs present a significant choking risk, especially for children under 14 years of age. Seventeen percent of all food-related asphyxiations are caused by hot dogs. It is suggested the size, shape and texture of hot dogs be modified to reduce the risk of choking. Pediatric emergency doctors note that a wedged hot dog is almost impossible to dislodge from a child's windpipe. To serve hot dogs safely for children, one should slice the hot dog into bite-size pieces. For adults it is recommended to slice hot dogs down the middle length-wise.
Commercials Then and Now
Hebrew National Hotdog Commercial
1978 commercial for Oscar Mayer Hot Dog Wieners. Hot diggity!
The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”
Individuals and organisations are free to participate in Mandela Day as they wish. We do however urge everyone to adhere to the ethical framework of “service to one’s fellow human”.
Raffis' tribute to humanity's hero sprang from Mandelas' call to global leaders in 2000 to turn this world around, for the children. In 2001, Raffi sang this for Nelson Mandela at Torontos Ryerson University.
Nelson Mandela Tribute from George Stroumboulopoulos
A short biography of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela Day:
If the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s life and work is to be dynamic, it must be “owned” by current and future generations. It must be accessible to everyone, and applied in constantly changing contexts of time and place.
Grilling is a form of cooking involving dry heat applied to the surface of food, usually from above or below. Grilling involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly.
Grilling is often performed outdoors, using charcoal, real wood, preformed briquettes, or propane gas. Mesquite or hickory wood chips (damp) may be added on top of the coals to allow a smoldering effect that provides additional flavor to the food. Other hardwoods such as pecan, apple, maple and oak may also be used.
Gridironing is the cooking of meats or other foods using a grill suspended above a heat source. This cover can be used as smokers for grilling, roasting, or barbecuing.
Risks of Grilling
Studies show cooking beef, pork, poultry, and fish at high temperatures can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCA), benzopyrenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are carcinogens. Grilling is frequently presented as a healthy alternative to cooking with oil, although the fat and juices lost by grilling can contribute to drier food.
Healthy Grilling Tips
1. Grill Fruits and Vegetables. Grilling fruits and vegetables is a way to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, and some types of cancer.
PAHs and HCAs do not form on grilled fruits and vegetables. In addition, if you are having grilled meat, the fruits and vegetables will provide antioxidants.
2. Grill with Lean Meat. Choose lean meats or trim visible fat and skin to limit the amount of fat that drips on the coals.
3. Marinating. It is possible to reduce carcinogens when grilling meat, or lessen their effect. Garlic, rosemary, basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, olive oil, and cherries have been shown to reduce formation of both HCAs and PAHs by as much as 92% to 99%. Choosing the right marinade ingredients limits the fat dripping on the coal. Select wines, vinegars, lemon, lime juice, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, onions, herbs, spices, fat-free or low-fat marinades on your grilled meats, fish, and poultry.
Meats and poultry should marinate at least 1-2 hours; fish and vegetables usually only need to marinate for an hour. Marinating enhances the flavor of meats, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Cut Down on Grilling Time. Grill smaller portions of meat, poultry, and fish so they cook faster and spend less time on the grill. Another method is pre-cooking the meat in the microwave, and then draining meat juices so they do not fall onto flames, preventing the release of PAHs.
A skewer or brochette is a fun way to cook small pieces of food. The resulting food product is often called a "kabob" which means "to grill" in Persian.
5. Cooking Temperatures. Make sure to bring a cooking thermometer. Cook beef to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The graham cracker was invented in 1829 in New Jersey, by Sylvester Graham. The original graham cracker was made with graham flour, a combination of finely-ground unbleached-wheat flour with the wheat bran and germ coarsely-ground and added back in providing nutrition and flavor. Graham crackers started out as a bland food, unsweetened or mildly sweetened; today they are known as a sugar sweetened baked good, similar to the English term biscuit. Graham crackers are a common American snack for young children and older adults; often accompanied with fruit juice or milk.
The nutrition information provided below is based on 1/2 cup cooked beans, prepared from dry beans. No salt has been added, therefore sodium levels are insignificant. Beans contain no cholesterol and a small amount of fat. They are a great source of fiber, high in potassium and contain many of the B vitamins. Beans also provide between 7% to 18% of one's daily iron needs.
The US Dry Bean Council (USDBC) is a private trade association comprised of leaders in the bean industry with the common goal of promoting the U.S. edible bean trade, both in the United States and abroad, and educating U.S. consumers about the benefits of beans. The USDBC gives a voice to the bean industry and provides information to consumers, health professionals, buyers, suppliers and the media about the good taste, nutritional value and versatility of beans.
The USDBC also is a resource for information on U.S. exporters, overseas importers, U.S. dry bean classes, trade policy issues and the role of U.S.-grown beans in international food-aid efforts. USDBC also publishes foreign language newsletters and other publications designed to help overseas importers, packagers and canners better understand and maintain contact with the U.S. dry bean exporting trade.
As part of USDBC’s mission, the organization collaborates with public health organizations, research centers, universities, and the entire supply chain, from seed suppliers to farmers, processors, wholesalers, distributors and transporters.
While the USDBC is privately funded, its representatives work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in overseas markets, and often co-sponsors activities with the U.S. Government. These activities include hosting trade missions from foreign countries to visit U.S. production and processing facilities, participating in trade shows worldwide, coordinating trade missions of U.S. exporters and growers to visit overseas markets and producing education
The USDBC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a marketing office in Pierre, South Dakota. In addition, USDBC representatives around the world facilitate activities and dialog between U.S. and overseas trade.
Benefits Unlike meat-based proteins, beans are naturally low in fat and are a cholesterol-free source of protein. Research shows that a diet including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease.
A nutrient-rich food, beans contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals, such as folate, B-Vitamins, manganese, potassium and iron.
Folate, a vitamin very important for pregnant women and their unborn babies, is found in beans. During pregnancy, women need more folate. Expectant mothers who consume enough of the right nutrients can help reduce the risk of birth defects.
Beans are especially important for people with certain food allergies and intolerances. For example, some people can’t tolerate gluten, a natural protein present in wheat, barley and rye. Because beans don’t contain gluten, or major allergens found in various grains, substituting beans can help provide the fiber and other nutrients that people on restricted diets may be missing. Beans come in a variety of convenient forms (such as canned beans, bean flours and dehydrated beans) that can be used in place of allergenic and gluten-containing ingredients.
Black Bean Soup Garnished with
Black Bean Soup Garnished with Green Onions and
Reduced-fat Sour Cream Served in a Sourdough Roll