Microwave Ovens—What’s Safe, What’s Not

Microwave OvenHere’s a nice holiday gift—one less thing to worry about.  The December, 2010 issue of the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter assures readers that, if used properly, microwave ovens present no health risks.  The newsletter points out that the FDA tests microwave ovens to be sure that they meet safety standards and do not present any radiation hazard.  “The FDA has never received any reports of radiation injury as a direct result of microwave exposure,” says the Tufts publication, “and there is little cause for concern about radiation leakage unless the door latch, hinges or seals are damaged.”


If You Don't Know Beans about Beans...

beansHow many different types of beans can you name?  Maybe 8 - 10?  Well, you missed a few. Wikipedia says, "The world's gene banks hold about 40,000 bean varieties, although only a fraction are mass-produced for regular consumption."  Why are the others being ignored? Food process engineer Dr. Timothy Bowser explains that mass-produced beans generally come from a few cultivated varieties that have special qualities which have been proven over the years to work well for growers, processors, and consumers.

Mustard and a Money-Saving Message

Many people who are concerned about food contamination tell me that they throw out everything in their fridge that's one week past the expiration (or "best by") date.  Let me first reiterate this important point:  in general, expiration dates (or /sell by/use by/best by dates)  are NOT about safety; they are about quality.


Going Away for All or Part of the Winter? Prepare Your Kitchen for your Absence


If you’re going to be vacationing away from home for a few weeks or even months, lucky you!  But you won’t feel so lucky if you come home to a smelly or germ-laden refrigerator and a freezer with a sticky mess of melted ice cream. When considering the proper way to prepare your kitchen for your absence, consider your answers to these questions:

Food Predictions for 2018

mushroom mainIn January of every year, Shelf Life Advice delights (or horrifies) its readers by posting an article predicting food trends for the new 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 following article  suggests  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.  


The Perfect Gift Solution: Kitchen Gifts Recommended by Our Board Scientists

Still looking for holiday presents?  Think about giving a gift to your favorite friends or relatives' kitchens. Those gifts would be seen and used often. Four of our Advisory Board scientists have told us about some nifty, novel kitchen ideas.  If none of these work as gifts from you, check this site's holiday lists from past years.

Tips on Reheating for Safe, Yummy Leftovers

leftover pizzaRemember "srevotfel"?  You ate it, but perhaps you didn't love it. No, this isn't an exotic imported dish; it's just "leftovers" spelled backwards to avoid calling a re-warmed meal by an unappealing name. You'll probably have leftovers in your not-too-distant future. After all, you don't want your holiday spread to look skimpy; you know that, when the pickings seem lean, guests take less. But, when you cook too much for the size of the crowd you're entertaining, leftovers are inevitable.  So what, of all this stuff they didn't eat, can be safely reheated, and how can we make srevotfel taste good enough to be devoured with enthusiasm?  In the following Q/As, we have expert answers from our Board scientists and the U.S. government.  Let's begin with safety.

Kitchen Gifts that Really Please

teamakerLet's face it, gift-giving can be a chore.  Even now, when online buying lets you avoid store lines, it's often difficult to decide what to give.  It's not always easy to think of items that the folks on your gift list will want and/or need.  And, admit it, you also want your gifts to show what a clever and imaginative gift-giver you are.  Shelf Life Advice is here to help. 


Since everyone eats, let's think food and cooking utensils--items that help a chef handle foods more safely, easily, or successfully.  Here are our 2013 gift suggestions, gleaned from our Advisory Board scientists, various publications, online sites, and our own huge collection of gadgets. In this list, you may find appropriate gifts for winter holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, house-warming, even grab bags. 

Tips for Winter Holiday Meals

New Years Eve party toastFrom eggnog to fruitcake and all that’s served in between, our Advisory Board members have provided tips to help make your holiday feast(s) safe and tasty. So let’s get started on our journey through the traditional holiday dinner.



Food process engineer Dr. Tim Bowser provides these tips on handling the season’s traditional alcoholic beverages.


Making and storing eggnog:

Of course, you can buy non-alcoholic eggnog in almost every grocery store this time of year and then add the alcohol. But if you want to make your own, you’ll find some of my favorite recipes are available at the following links.


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