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Tips on Fishing and on Selecting Healthful Fish

tuna and salmonGone fishing yet this summer? No?  Well, before the pleasant weather ends, you may want to try it--unless, of course, hooking worms makes you squirm.  If so, the alternative is to go fishing at your local grocery or fish store.  There, you have many types of fish to choose from. Below is the scoop on the most--and least--healthful ones. Wherever your fish dinner comes from and whatever it is, safe handling is extremely important to minimize contaminants of various kinds. Read on for many tips on all these fish-related matters. 

Should Hot Food Go into the Fridge?

Hot FoodCooking for a crowd?  Then chances are, you’re planning to prepare some hot dishes a day or two in advance.  Then, you may ask yourself, can my casserole go right from the oven into the fridge, or is that a bad idea?  This quandary actually poses 3 questions: 


1) Will hot food damage my refrigerator?


2) Will adding hot food harm my already refrigerated food? 


3) Will immediate refrigeration be bad for the hot food?  We asked two members of our Advisory Board, Dr. Timothy Bowser, a food process engineer, and Dr. Karin Allen, a food scientist, to provide the answers.

Cucumbers: for Cool--and "Cool"--Summer Treats

cucumbersThe expression "cool as a cucumber" is both figurative and literal.  On a warm day, the inside of a field cucumber may be as much as 20°F cooler than the surrounding air.  Perhaps that's the reason dishes made with cucumbers are so appealing on warm summer days. Now is a good time to find out all about cukes--how to select a good one, store it properly, and serve it deliciously.  We'll also answer these questions:  Is the cucumber a fruit or a vegetable?  Will it really reduce puffiness under the eyes? Is it actually used to make facial masks?

Hot Dogs: What You Should Know about Them

hot dogDoug Sohn owns a Chicago restaurant named Hot Doug's, a popular spot celebrated for its sausage sandwiches. (Unfortunately, it's closing permanently on October 3rd.) When a Chicago Tribune reporter asked Doug to defend sausage as the perfect food, he had no trouble doing so: "It's salt, fat, and meat in one very easy-to-eat, hard-to-screw-up vessel.  It tastes good, it's happy, it's the food of the masses and it's available everywhere."  And don't forget that hot dogs are inexpensive, quick and easy to prepare, tolerant of whatever toppings the diner wants to throw on them, and beloved by all age groups from post-infancy to pre-demise. 


On the other hand, nutritionists point out that hot dogs are far from nutritious. Yet, says the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans purchase some 9 billion hot dogs a year in grocery stores and many more from street and ballpark vendors. Altogether, Americans consume about 20 billion wieners annually or 70 per person. 


The Chicago Tribune also tells us that 25% of Americans eat hot dogs only in the summer.  Among those who eat hot dogs or other sausages, 88% grill them.  The Chicago-style hot dog (a celebrity in a city known for its superior wieners) is steamed.  Whatever way you prepare them (perhaps even broiled, fried, or baked in a casserole), chances are they were consumed as part of your Labor Day festivities.  They're also generally on the menu at tailgating parties on college campuses during the football season. Therefore, this seems a good time to find out what's actually in a hot dog, whether they contain ingredients you should be concerned about, what health tips experts have to offer, and what shelf life advice you should follow.

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