Alcoholic Beverages: What You Should Know

Be honest now.  When alcoholic beverages are involved, what type of drinker are you--a teetotaler, a moderate drinker, a heavy drinker, or (I hope not) an excessive drinker? Let's see what research can tell us about the various categories.

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day Without Cabbage Stink

CabbageWhat’s the best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? With corned beef, cabbage, and beer, of course.  BUT, you reply, the smell of cooked cabbage can ruin the holiday for all.  Cheer up.  That tell-tale scent can be avoided.  Here’s a little-known fact that may help you a lot:  cabbage develops an unpleasant smell only when it’s overcooked.  Why?  Cabbage contains substances that, when broken down, turn into smelly sulfur compounds.  The longer the cabbage is cooked, the worse the odor.

Chocolate Is Even More Healthful Than You Thought

chocolate Thinking of giving--or sharing with--your sweetheart something sweet for Valentine' Day, for example a box of chocolates?  Well, why not?  Chocolate is not only delicious but, for an ever-increasing number of reasons, is actually healthful (in modest amounts).

There are many good reasons for eating chocolate regularly—from boosting your mood to contributing to your good health.  Moreover, Shelf Life Advice told you about a study proclaiming that chocolate may even help you stay thin!  To see that article, click here http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/latest-good-news-about-chocolate. To learn about many other benefits of eating chocolate, just keep reading.

Why I Shouldn't Cook Dinner

[Editor's note: Brutal winter weather has caused many of us to postpone supermarket trips and try to creatively make do with what's already in the kitchen. Hence, you may empathize with my daughter's culinary challenges. I think you'll also find her determination to produce dinner both admirable and humorous.]

Food Trends For 2019

If you enjoy trying food you've never had before, you'll love 2019. Are you ready for lab-made meat, cooking oils containing hemp, desserts made with hummus,or beverages made with oat milk?  There's a lot more that's novel to Americans (cheese tea, anyone, or taffy-like ice cream?) including items and food trends that have been around for awhile but are  expected to attract even more fans this year.

How To Protect Your Food During a Power Outage

Hurricanes, snowstorms, floods, and earthquakes are often predicted, while earthquakes  and tornadoes may take us by surprise.  Any of these weather-related disrupters can leave us without power and clean water.  Any of these can be a threat to our perishable refrigerated and frozen foods, our shelf-stable foods, and the water we need for drinking, cooking, and washing. 

 

The disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy encouraged us to pull together the following collection of tips about preparing for bad weather and handling food during bad weather.  It  suggests items to have in your home at all times, items to rush out and buy when weather-related trouble is imminent,  and steps to take while one of these incidents is in progress.  Our site's Advisory Board scientists made many contributions to this article.  

 

I Left It Out Too Long! Can I Still Eat It?

cantaloupeFunny thing, but almost every question we get from our site members is a variation of the same question.  Optimists phrase it positively: “Can I still eat it?”  Pessimists ask, “Do I have to throw it out?”  In either case, it’s a query about food that has been kept too long in the “danger zone” (40°F-140°F), in other words, a perishable food that hasn’t been kept hot enough or cold enough to prevent bacterial growth. No one wants to discard food that cost a lot and/or took a long time to prepare.  So we did some research and asked two food scientists on the Shelf Life Advice Advisory Board to provide specific and general answers to “Is it really spoiled?” questions.

Winter Food Storage—Can I leave It in the Car or in the Garage?

Food in CarSummer heat is riskier than winter chill in terms of food contamination, but  winter presents its own challenges for food spoilage or pathogen growth.  Let’s consider some typical winter situations involving food storage.

Sudden, Awful Intestinal Distress--Is it the Flu or a Foodborne Illness--or Both?

flu"Was it a bug or something I ate?" victims often wonder as they run repeatedly to the bathroom. But this is not really an either/or matter. There's a lot of overlapping of these categories. What we commonly call "stomach flu" is usually caused by the norovirus. This winter season, there's a particularly nasty strain of it spreading rapidly throughout the country.  It's easily contracted, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) from an infected person, food or water, or even contaminated objects.  It can come from a friend's sneeze (or kiss), salad, or, often, a public washroom doorknob.  But this highly contagious condition is different from the intestinal discomfort caused by eating food that has become contaminated due to mishandling.  The latter is not contagious, not transferable from person to person.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Anyone Who Cooks--or Wants to

Do your relatives and friends come to your house to eat because they hate cooking?  Then this is the wrong gift list for you.  But for those who cook because they must or because they actually enjoy puttering with food, you may find the perfect gift among these ideas, a combination of recommendations from the Shelf Life Advice board scientists and from publications that I (your SLA editor) looked at recently. 

 
 

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