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Daily Tips

When it comes to food allergies, there is a big learning curve.  To help with the details, we are posting a daily tip about the top food allergens, cross contamination and how to avoid it, crazy hidden places that food allergies hide, cooking and baking tips, and more.  There will be a new one every day!  Read them with your morning beverage, forward to family & friends who need them, and discuss.




FDA Issues Warning About Lupin in Gluten-free Foods for those with Legume Allergies

Lupin isn't just a professor in a J.K. Rolling novel, or an absolutely beautiful flower. It is a generally harmless food that can trigger allergies in some people. It is now being used more in the United States as an ingredient in gluten-free foods.

We've discussed lupin (a legume) here in 2012 and a Norwegian study conducted earlier that year (read more). While the FDA has its list of top 8 allerges, European countries have their list of top allergens as well, and Lupin is one of the them. But now, it is showing up in gluten-free foods in the United States. The FDA has issued a warning for those with legume and peanut allergies to include lupin in your label reading. It might be wise to discuss with your doctor/allergist and include it also in your allergen testing.

Here is one of the articles from Prevention Magazine:



Use Banana Peels to Nourish Plants & Keep Away Pests

Bananas are loaded with Vitamin B6, manganese, biotin, potassium, and copper, not to mention a great source of fiber. Studies have shown that bananas also help regulate blood pressure, are good for the heart, and help support a certain type of good bacteria, called bifidobacteria, in the gut.

Read more fascinating health benefits from & studies about bananas from The World's Healthiest Foods.

Did you also know that the peels help feed your plants, especially roses and tomatoes?  Chop up the peels and bury at the base of the plant once a month. You can even put them in the blender with some water and pour on the soil around the plant. The peels decompose with ease, and help give any plant in your garden some essential nutrients, including micronutrients that plant life needs. The chopped peels also repel aphids, so you get a double dose of goodness for your plants, and save some space in the landfill. Since the peels decompose so easily, those of us who are a little lazy can just throw the peels on the dirt. However, whole peels could attract rodents, where chopped or blended peels do not.


Chef Tip: Pot Boiling Over? Place a Wooden Spoon on It.

If you are like me, you are easily distracted in the kitchen, and not terribly patient. I've spent many a 5-minute interval waiting for that pot to boil. As soon as I turn my back to accomplish an actual task, the contents of the pot are all over the stove. 

A simple solution is a wooden spoon. Place it over the top of your pot, and it absorbs and bursts the bubbles enough to keep the liquid in the pot where it belongs. This actually works.

Your 5 minute intervals are no longer lost in wasted waiting. You're welcome.


Product Love: Allergy Tattoos

Allergy bracelets, necklaces.. and now tattoos? Here's another way to help alert others to your child's food allergies. What do you think, parents?
Safety Tats are water proof, smudge proof and last a few days. Great for a party, or when your kids are at camp if they have one or two severe allergies. If your child has multiple allergies, your little one could truly look like an air mailed package, and will run out of body parts to tattoo!
Here's Safety Tats website:

Two Advantages of Buying from Small, Local Farms 

There are many, many advantages for you, for the farmer, and for society at large to buy from small, local farms.

Here are two: 1) if organic, the farmer helps control pesticide use, incl. GMO seed  2) Small farms help keep the soil's immune system healthy by rotating & heirloom crops and by employing other practices that large farms do not.  The soil's immune system is like ours - it needs variety & healthy bacteria and practices that continue to infuse it w/ nutrients (not strip).

Learn where your state ranks in local farming and food: The 2014 Locavore Index: See Where Your State Ranks in Local Food

A chemical in certain pesticides that are used world wide, including pesticide containing GMO seeds / plants that are allowed only in the United States, are suspected to play a part in the massive bee death that is occuring in the United States and around the world right now. We need our polinators, without them, we have no food.

Health Canada issued a report in September indicating that detectable residues of neonicotinoid insecticides used to treat corn and soybean seeds were found in large numbers of dead bee samples taken in 2013.

"Residues of neonicotinoid insecticides were detected in samples from approximately 80 per cent of the beekeepers for which samples have been analyzed."

Here's a study being done on what this pesticide is doing to the gut bacteria of bees:

Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies.