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Chowline:Keep fresh produce healthy and safe

Rinse produce thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking it…..

I’m hearing more about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Should I start cleaning fresh produce with a commercial fruit and vegetable wash?

Antibiotic-resistant microbes, including bacteria, viruses and other bugs, are indeed a serious public health issue in the areas of both food safety and healthcare. But if you carefully follow standard guidelines to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from fresh produce, food safety experts say any added benefit you might get from commercial washes available today would be minimal at best.

You may be hearing more about antibiotic resistance because of a series of outbreaks that recently made news. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a strain of Shigella bacteria that is resistant to ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, a commonly used antibiotic, sickened 243 people in 32 states and Puerto Rico between May 2014 and February 2015. Most cases were traced to people who had recently traveled internationally. Shigellosis is transmitted person to person through (excuse the term) the fecal-oral route, often because people don’t wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.

Shigella can be spread through food if it is on an infected person’s hands when preparing or serving food, or in some cases if the food was grown or washed in contaminated water. It can also be spread through contaminated recreational water.

Foodborne illnesses that are most commonly associated with fresh produce include sickness caused by Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes. Such bacteria, as well as viruses and other types of bad bugs that can make people ill, can sometimes be resistant to antibiotics. Food isn’t grown or raised in sterile conditions, and so it’s always wise to take precautions when handling food.
chowline fresh produce

Recommendations include:

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after food preparation.

Rinse produce thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking it, whether it’s grown at home or purchased from a grocery store or farmers market, and whether it’s grown conventionally or organically.

Promptly refrigerate prepackaged lettuce and other produce labeled “ready to eat.” Although the washing during processing removes soil particles and does a good job minimizing the risk of foodborne pathogens, it doesn’t hurt to give it an extra rinse just before eating it.

Carefully handle produce with a rind, such as cantaloupe and watermelon. It should be scrubbed with a clean produce brush under running water before being cut into. If you laid it on a cutting board or other surface before washing it, clean and sanitize the surface before cutting into the fruit to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

For more ideas and some instructional videos, see The Ohio State University’s Food Safety website, foodsafety.osu.edu. Recommendations for consumers are under “Dine In.”

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1043, or filipic.3@osu.edu.

Chowline:Why choose whole foods over processed?

Between 2000 and 2012, researchers asked more than 157,000 households to scan barcodes of all foods and beverages they bought at grocery stores. Most households participated in the study for about four years……

I’m dating a guy who loves to cook, which is great, but he seems to rely on a lot of processed foods. Would it be worthwhile, health-wise, to try to shift him more toward fresh, whole foods? 

Probably, yes. But it depends on what you mean by “processed foods.”

Although foods that are minimally processed — frozen fruits and vegetables without sauces or seasonings, for example — fare comparably to their fresh counterparts, highly processed foods often are loaded with sodium, fat, added sugar and calories or are otherwise compromised, such as whole grains being processed into refined grains.

A recent study presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting indicates that processed foods may have larger health implications in the U.S. than previously thought.

The study, conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, examined the nutritional profile of highly processed foods and how pervasive they are in the typical grocery cart.  What it found was eye-opening.

Between 2000 and 2012, the researchers asked more than 157,000 households to scan barcodes of all foods and beverages they bought at grocery stores. Most households participated in the study for about four years. The researchers gathered information on each item, including nutrition, product description and ingredient listings, to determine how processed each food item was.

The researchers defined “highly processed” food items as those that contained multiple ingredients and industrially formulated mixtures, including soft drinks, cookies, chips, white bread, candy and prepared meals. In contrast, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, dried beans, and fresh meat were classified as unprocessed or minimally processed. The researchers also distinguished between foods that were ready to eat, such as candy and chips; foods that were ready to heat, such as frozen dinners; and foods that required cooking or preparation.

Chowline whole foods

Over the course of the study, the portion of calories from highly processed foods and beverages remained steady at just over 60 percent, the researchers said. By 2012, more than 80 percent of calories from a household’s purchases were in ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat form, and those foods tended to be higher in fat, sugar and salt than minimally processed foods. Their conclusion: While processed foods such as canned vegetables and whole-grain breakfast cereal can contribute to a healthful diet, more highly processed foods could be major culprits in overconsumption and obesity.

The researchers said they hope their findings encourage food manufacturers to boost the health and nutrition in processed food products. In the meantime, take a look at your own grocery cart.

Try to focus purchases on fresh, whole and minimally processed foods. Reading labels can help. Products labeled “whole grain” should have at least 2 grams of fiber per serving. Look for products with less than 5 percent of the recommended values for fat or sodium and that have less added sugar.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to  Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1043, or filipic.3@osu.edu.

NB McD’s Post Prom Benefit Night

North Baltimore High School Post Prom Benefit Night at NB – McDonald’s – Mark your calendar!

North Baltimore High School Post Prom Benefit Night

Thursday April 23, 2015

from 5:00-8:00 pm

McDonald’s – North Baltimore
12776 Deshler Road
North Baltimore, OH 45872

A portion of the proceeds from the counter and drive-thru will be donated and used for post prom activities.

Thank you from the NB Junior Class!!!

McDonald’s offering Tax Day relief

Wednesday is Tax Day, and in keeping with tradition, McDonald’s North Baltimore and McDonald’s of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan are offering consumers a bit of Tax Day relief!

Wednesday is Tax Day, and in keeping with tradition, McDonald’s North Baltimore and McDonald’s of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan are offering consumers a bit of Tax Day relief!

McDonald’s Relieving Last-Minute Tax Filers with Juicy Offer on April 15

Buy One Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Get the Second for 1¢

Waiting until the last minute to file your taxes? Participating McDonald’s restaurants in Northwest Ohio (including North Baltimore) and Southeast Michigan will give a quick respite to customers on Tax Day – buy one Big Mac or Quarter Pounder with Cheese, get the second for only a penny. 

Happy filing!

Help Wanted: Driver

Part-time (30 hour per week) position based at our Bowling Green Production Kitchen

Help Wanted: Driver

Part-time (30 hour per week) position based at our Bowling Green Production Kitchen – Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Examples of duties include: Packaging, prep and delivery of home-delivered and congregate meals, able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds consistently.

Qualifications:  Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, a proven record of working harmoniously with older adults as well as colleagues, be eligible for bonding and insurable under agency policy, possess a valid Ohio driver’s license with proof of auto coverage (state minimum), must have a minimum of 5 years driving experience and a demonstrated ability to operate large vehicles (CDL not required).  Successful candidate must successfully complete BMV and BCII background checks.

Agency application available at the Wood County Committee on Aging, 305 N. Main Street, Bowling Green, Ohio, on our website www.wccoa.net, or by calling 419.353.5661.  Deadline for submission of application is Friday, May 1, 2015.  EOE.

NB A & F of Florida Luncheon planned

The April luncheon of NB Alumni and Friends (or the unofficial Florida Chapter of North Baltimore Alumni) has been scheduled and you are invited!

The April luncheon of NB Alumni and Friends (or the unofficial Florida Chapter of North Baltimore Alumni) has been scheduled and you are invited!

The NB A & F Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 12:30 at the Palmetto Pines Country Club, 1940 S.W. 9th Court, Cape Coral FL.

If you are in the area, please join in for lots of grins, giggles and Memories of Growing Up in North Baltimore.

If you plan to attend, you can respond (on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/282490139524/)  or send an email to Anita Sharninghouse – asharn13@aol.com – who says, “Looking forward to another great time with old and new friends.”

“Tiger Cups” being sold by High School Band Members

Fundraiser to help offset the costs of next year’s Disney World performance.

Attention Sports Fans:
North Baltimore Band members are selling Tumbler Cups to help offset the costs of next year’s Disney World performance.

These cups are 16 ounces, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, high durable, American-made and come with a life-time guarantee.You have an opportunity to purchase North Baltimore Tigers Cups, along with numerous local college and professional sports teams. Cost is $20 per cup.

If you would like to purchase a cup, please see any current band member in grades 7-11 or contact Paula Beaupry in the office at 419-257-3464. This sale will last until April 20.

If you have any questions, please contact Ben Pack or Paula Beaupry at 419-257-3464 or by email at bpack@nbls.org

Thank you for your continued support of the music program at North Baltimore.
Tiger Cups flyer
NB Band Tumbler College Pro

Chowline: Sugar alcohols aren’t sugar or alcohol

There are quite a few different types of sugar alcohols. Also called polyols, they have been used for decades in the food industry as an alternative sweetener and as a thickener…..

What is sugar alcohol? I gave up sugar when I found out it will go into your fat cells if you don’t use it for energy. Does the same thing happen with sugar alcohols? And, is there a difference between different types of sugar alcohol?  

Sugar alcohols aren’t really sugar and aren’t really alcohol.

Without getting steeped in a chemistry lesson, the chemical structure of sugar alcohols resembles both sugar and alcohol (hence the name) but is different than both. That’s why you won’t get drunk on sugar alcohol, and why you might see it listed as an ingredient in gum, candy and other foods labeled as “sugar-free.”

Although they’re not sugar, sugar alcohols do contain calories — up to 3 calories per gram, compared with 4 calories per gram in regular sugar. That’s why you often see the notice “Not a calorie-free food” on sugar-free food items that contain sugar alcohol. It’s possible you may not be saving as many calories as you think.

The calories in sugar alcohols, just like other calories we consume, could end up in fat cells if the calories aren’t immediately used for energy.

There are quite a few different types of sugar alcohols. Also called polyols, they have been used for decades in the food industry as an alternative sweetener and as a thickener. Different types have varying levels of sweetness and varying numbers of calories per gram. For example, according to the International Food Information Council’s Sugar Alcohol Fact Sheet, online at www.foodinsight.org/Sugar_Alcohols_Fact_Sheet:

  • Xylitol has 100 percent of the sweetness of sugar but only 2.4 calories per gram, or 60 percent of the calories of regular sugar.
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate (or HSH) has just 25-50 percent of the sweetness of sugar but provides 3 calories per gram — 75 percent of the calories of regular sugar.
  • Erythritol has 60-80 percent of the sweetness of sugar but only about 0.2 calories per gram, a fraction of what’s in regular sugar.

A benefit of sugar alcohols is that, although they’re carbohydrates, they’re not absorbed as quickly in the body as regular sugar is, and they are metabolized differently, requiring little or no insulin. If you have diabetes, that could be important, as they won’t spike your blood sugar when you eat them.

Another upside of sugar alcohols is that they aren’t broken down by bacteria in the mouth like sugar is, so they don’t cause cavities.

However, there is a downside, too. Because the body doesn’t digest sugar alcohols very well, they can make their way through the digestive system and into the lower intestine, where, when in large enough quantities, they can cause bloating, gas and even a laxative effect.

These effects vary with different types of sugar alcohols. Erythritol, for example, appears less likely to cause such problems. If you consume sugar alcohols and find yourself with digestive issues, cut back on them for a while and see if it helps.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1043, or filipic.3@osu.edu.

‘All Corn Is the Same,’ and Other Foolishness about America’s King of Crops

News from the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University….

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In 2014, farmers across the United States harvested 14.2 billion bushels of corn from 83.1 million acres, for a total value of $51.9 billion.

Everything about corn is big in the United States. Corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the country, while America leads the world in production and consumption of this vital grain, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Grown by Native Americans well before the arrival of Europeans, corn has been part of the agricultural landscape, food traditions and culture of what is now the United States for millennia.

Despite its enormous influence and popularity, there are many things you may not know about corn — and others you think you know but are, in fact, incorrect. Here are some facts and myths about the king of U.S. crops that will boost your corn IQ:

• Not all corn is the same: We typically speak about corn in general terms as if it were just one crop. However, there are many types of corn, grown for different uses and featuring different colors. If you try munching on field corn, you will be disappointed: It’s been bred to be high in starch content and won’t be sweet or soft. Sweet corn, on the other hand, has a much higher sugar content, has more polysaccharides that make kernels creamy and is softer because it’s harvested early — when the kernels are still immature.

There are six major types of corn: dent (most field corn grown in the United States today), flint (the colorful varieties also known as Indian corn), pod (a wild type from which corn as we know it today originated), sweet (the type eaten on the cob), flour (composed largely of soft starch and easy to grind) and popcorn (which has a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior that puffs when heated).

corn

• Corn is actually a really tall grass: All corn known to humankind today originated some 10,000 years in Mexico from a single-stalked, grassy plant called teosinte, meaning “grain of the gods.” A teosinte ear is only 2 to 3 inches long with five to 12 kernels — compared to corn’s 12-inch ear that boasts 500 or more kernels. Early Mexican farmers domesticated teosinte and increased its yield and grain quality by selectively breeding for desirable traits.

Most corn produced in the United States is not eaten by people: The largest amount of corn produced by U.S. farmers (46.4 percent) is used as feed for animals. Another 30.5 percent is converted to ethanol, and 12.9 is exported. The rest is turned into sweeteners (5.7 percent), starch (1.8 percent) and alcoholic beverages (1 percent). Only 1.5 percent is used to make cereal and other foods. These percentages are based on USDA data for the 2014 harvest.

You may be wearing corn or walking or driving on it: Corn as a raw material is used to make an astonishing number of everyday products, including textiles, car tires, carpeting, plastics, paints, candles, drywall, soap and sandpaper.

Corn is not very nutritious. Or is it? There are some nutritional stigmas attached to corn because of its high starch content (in the case of field corn) and its sugar content (in the case of sweet corn). However, corn provides important nutrients as part of a varied diet. Sweet corn, classified as a vegetable by USDA, is a good source of fiber, folate, thiamin and phosphorus.

Additionally, yellow corn offers vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Blue, purple, red and other types of colorful Indian corn are also high in anthocyanins — the nutrients that provide such deep colors and that have the potential to help prevent cancer and other diseases.

Corn or maize? While the United States and a few other English-speaking countries use the word “corn” (from the Proto-Germanic kurnam, meaning “small seed”), the rest of the world refers to this crop as “maize” or maíz — which comes from the Taíno (a Caribbean indigenous culture) word mahiz.

Fundraiser for Custar Boy Scout Troop 357

Please come out and support Custar Boy Scout Troop 357. They will be fundraising to help the boys cover the cost of camping trips, summer camp and merit badges.

Please come out and support Custar Boy Scout Troop 357. They will be fundraising at McDonald’s (BG) to help the boys cover the cost of camping trips, summer camp and merit badges.

The boys will be working Wednesday, April 1, from 5-8pm at the McDonald’s on South Main Street in Bowling Green.

You can dine in, carry out or drive thru and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Troop.

Thanks for your support!