Medical Health Insurance and Your Employer

For anyone in search of a new job, coverage under an employer’s health insurance plan should start right away (as soon as the job itself starts). This is an indication that the company that you are working for is legitimate. The importance of having a good insurance plan cannot be stressed enough, as the cost of medical bills are completely outrageous these days. There are those out there who simply convince themselves that they do not need health insurance, which is understandable due to the elevated costs involved. This is however, is a dangerous way to go about day to day life, because if you or a loved one becomes ill or injured, there will be no way to pay for the medical bills. There is Lower-priced health insurance available, however, just because the price is low enough for one person’s budget, does not mean that it is affordable for another. If you find an affordable health insurance option, be sure to evaluate exactly what is covered in it, in order to be sure that it covers all of your family’s needs and potential needs. What some do is elect the option of higher deductibles for the purpose of reducing their premiums, with the hope of not getting ill or injured often. This is not among the smartest of solutions.

It should be the company’s responsibility to offer access to multiple health insurance options for their employees, thus better accommodating their needs. There is available, throughout the entire United States, medicaid programs which offer affordable health insurance coverage for low-income families. These do include deductibles, as do most medical insurance plans, however certain deductibles involve low payments. By the same token, deductibles can be considerably high with some insurance plans. All medical health insurance plans allow the plan owner to pay in monthly installments, while providing medical coverage throughout the entire year. It is possible for anyone out there who is looking for health insurance, to find a plan that may fit their budget, whatever that budget may be.

Although the deductible is somewhat of an option in almost all medical health insurance plans, it can be low in cost, depending on the type of premium and coverage offered. An additional potential alternative is to join certain specific organizations, such as The Chamber of Commerce. They are known to offer great group insurance. Local city and state governments can also be of great help in helping you find affordable health insurance coverage in your area. Many companies out there would be much better able to determine the health insurance needs of their employees, simply by discussing the issue with them. There are many employed individuals out there who choose to simply settle for the health insurance that their company offers. The fact of the matter is that there more than likely are much better options out there, and if they are searched for, they will be found. If your stuck with a company that offers poor health care benefits, it might be a good idea to start the process of looking for a better employer to work for. A company who offers an affordable health insurance plan, with good benefits is an indication of a business that cares for the well being of their employees, and is a great place to work at, on many levels.

Fast Food is Everywhere in CA

A study released Jan. 19 by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy found that residents in California are more likely to stumble upon a fast food eatery than a grocery or produce store.

According to the results, Californians are four times more likely to find a place that serves fast food than they are to finding a market. As a result, this conclusion is being tied to the growing tides of obese children and adults in the country as well as an overall statement that consumers’ choices are somehow limited by this gross ratio.

The problem with this study and all others like it is not so much in the actual results, but the generalizations that researchers and health experts make in pushing their own agendas, which is that fast food companies are partially to blame for the expanding waistbands of Californians and the rest of America.

The argument that there are less choices because there are more fast food restaurants than there are grocery stores, is ridiculous. The reason why there are not more grocery stores is because grocery stores house an incredible selection of foods and most people only frequent grocery stores on a weekly basis.

Essentially, building an Albertsons in one shopping center and then a Stater Bros. in the shopping center across the street does not make sense because the two stores essentially sell the same items (at slightly different price points). The same cannot be said for fast food joints that sell different fair.

This is why developers can put a Taco Bell, Burger King and Carl’s Jr. in one shopping center and across the street, put in a McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Del Taco. The food is different. It does not mean people have less choices because everyone has the choice of going to the grocery store and making their own food rather than buying it already made.

The idea that somehow, people in the state of California are being forced to eat at fast food places is ridiculous. The reason for growing numbers of obese people is the difference between being lazy and buying meals from fast food places or taking the initiative to make your own food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

It’s a personal choice – not some sort of corporate takeover.

According to the study, the retail food environment index for Los Angeles County was 4.6 (meaning people were 4.6 times more likely to encounter a fast food or convenience store than a grocery store). San Bernardino residents were 5.72 times more likely to encounter a fast food place.

In wealthy Marin and Santa Cruz Counties, the residents were 1.85 and 1.84 times likely to run into a fast food place. Naturally, imagine how easy it will be for people to say that the rich are not being targeted as much as middle and lower income groups with fast food. This, of course, is ridiculous – along with the notion that Americans are fat because fast food companies made us that way.

Six Ways to Help Your Child Break Bad Eating Habits: Beyond Popeye and Spinach

All it takes is a quick look at the statistics – childhood obesity (17 percent of kids between 2 and 19 are overweight in the U.S.), type 2 diabetes (as many as 50 percent of new diabetes diagnoses in children are now type 2), soda consumption (now the top source of added sugars in young people’s diets), lack of fruits and vegetables (on any given day, one out of four babies and toddlers don’t eat any at all) – to know there are serious problems with the way our children eat today. Following are six ways to help you get your child away from unhealthy eating habits:

Make fast food an occasional treat, not a regular meal. Yes, fast food is just that – fast and easy, especially for busy working parents who get home with little time left to prepare meals. But cooking healthful meals doesn’t have to take long if you keep the right ingredients on hand, particularly in you have a microwave oven. Keep stocked up on sustainable shrimp and fish, free-range and antibiotic-free chicken, grass-fed beef and quick sides like organic beans, rice, tomatoes, barley, squash and spinach (stay away from processed foods, which are full of chemicals and expensive as well), and no meal needs to take more than a hour-hour to 45 minutes to prepare.

Help your kids understand where food comes from, and what it takes to raise it. Food comes from the earth, nurtured by sunlight, water and healthy soil, not from the grocery store. Provide your children with a hands-on appreciation of this by planting a few fruits or vegetables they can grow by themselves, whether in the backyard or in a few pots on a sunlight windowsill. Kids are more likely to give peas, squash, tomatoes, strawberries and onions a try if they’ve grown them themselves.

Take your kids to the source. From berries in the spring, apples in the fall and Christmas trees in November and December, there are many crops you and your children can gather yourselves at pick-your-own farms and orchards. Make a point of taking a pick-your-own trip at least two or three times a year.

Plan a food field trip. Do a little research to see if there are family farms, small dairy operations, egg farms, natural bakeries or artisanal cheese-makers in your area, and arrange for a visit with your kids. Seeing for themselves how food is produced can be an eye-opening experience for children who think food comes from cans, bottles, boxes and plastic-wrapped containers.

At least once a week, involve your children in the preparation of a healthful meal. Even toddlers can help stir mixed fresh vegetables in a bowl, while teens can help chop tomatoes or peel shrimp. Kids are more willing to try new foods if they’ve been a part of the cooking process.

Expose your kids to books and Websites that can teach them more about healthful, environmentally friendly foods and good eating. Visit the library to check out books like “The Race Against Junk Food (Adventures in Good Nutrition),” “Eat Healthy, Feel Great,” or Eric Schlosser’s “Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food,” a teen-oriented reworking of the material in his best-seller, “Fast-Food Nation.” Online resources that can help kids learn more about healthy eating include Kids Health (http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/pyramid.html), Smart-Mouth.org (http://www.cspinet.org/smartmouth/recipes_articles/index.html) and Empowered Kids (http://www.empoweredkidz.com/).

Five Junk Foods You Thought Were Good for You

Just because it looks like it may be good for you, does not always mean that it is. There are many things that seem like they are good for you, or even say they are good for you, but in reality they are not that good for you.

Banana Chips

While they may be all natural, this don’t mean they may be good for you. Often people buy these because they are sold at all the health food stores. Just because it gets sold there, does not always mean its good for you. When they make the banana chips they cut up bananas and fry them in coconut oil. They also add sugar and extra banana flavor. By the time you eat these, you could have went out and had a hamburger for the same amount of fat.

Pepperidge Farm Flaky crust pot pie

Found near your health food in the freezer section. The make this product seem like it’s now healthy because they have changed the crust. When you look at the nutritional information you think that it is indeed healthy. But if you look close you will find out why it has made this list. The nutritional value is for half of the pie. That’s right, they changed the servings on the case. I don’t know about you, But when you eat a pot pie, you eat the whole thing. Not half. Eat the whole pot pie and that’s 1020 calories. That’s just for one pot pie. Hope you like water, because that is about all you can have after eating this food.

McDonald’s Chicken Selects

So the kids are hungry and they want McDonald’s. Yeah, we have all been there. My kids love to eat at this place. It’s okay for them to have once in a while, after all if you eat there, they can run off all them extra calories. But for you, Not so good. You think it would be okay as long as you order something a bit more healthy. Well don’t choose these chicken selects because these selects have around the same calories as the plain chicken nuggets do. They have more sodium then a big mac has in it. So tell me are the Chicken selects any better then the rest of the food. Well the answer is easy for that one. No.

Veggie Chips

You think just because they say veggie on them they must be good for you. Wrong. If you look at most of the veggie chips they sell, there is not much difference then regular potato chips. On average veggie chips contain 140 calories per ounce. Now, look at your favorite potato chips and you will see on average there is around 150 calories for an ounce. So there is about a 10 calorie difference. To me, that’s not enough calories to convince me of giving up my favorite potato chips. The veggie chips are deep fried just like potato chips. Why would you think these would be so much better for you. The answer to my own questions is because they said veggie on them, you just assume that means they are good for you.

Yogurt Covered Raisins

Yogurt is good for you, Raisins are good for you, so why did these items put together make this list. The answer is simple. They add more things in these products to make them eatable. The saturated fat is high, the sugar is off the charts and the calories are very high for small servings.

These are just some of the foods that I came up with. There are many more. Start paying attention to what you eat, you never know it could be undercover.

Nutrition for Better Brain Balance and Health

Eating is a necessary activity we all routinely engage in, but rarely consider its purpose. You often eat because you’re hungry, but sometimes only because a clock tells you its lunchtime even when food isn’t really needed. It is also commonly a vehicle for spending time with people.

Is there a more foundational intent and how do you decide what to consume?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines nutrition, as “The process of aiding the growth and development of a living organism” and states, “The ingredients of nutritious food should be beneficial, healthful, and invigorating.” Growth refers to “Our progress toward maturity or greater complexity” and development indicates “Expansion or realization of our potential.” The food that you ingest should facilitate these important goals.

Food should serve to strengthen and advance your life and help propel you toward your full potential. Eating must therefore replenish the specific nutrients that optimize the functioning of your system. It needs to provide the building blocks for healthy tissue construction as well as the fuel and instructions needed to drive your various body processes.

How do you normally make your food selections? I contend that usually we are motivated by the pleasures of taste sensation but also by mostly unconscious drives for comfort and to modify our feeling states or moods. As a result, we often overeat, create nutrient deficiencies, and sustain potentially destructive addictive urges with little awareness.

Food changes your chemistry and modifies your feelings either toward greater well-being or distress just like many pharmaceutical and illicit drugs. A key factor is how food affects your brain and nervous system. It impacts various neurotransmitters that influence how you think and feel as well as the messages delivered to every organ system in your body.

Your brain and nervous system is responsible for perceiving and interpreting incoming sensory information, coordinating and controlling all bodily activities, and exercising thought and emotion. How important is all of this? It involves everything essential for your very existence plus the giving of value and meaning to your life.

Do you think it might be important to determine how what you eat affects your brain and nervous system and then make dining selections more oriented toward optimizing brain function? I believe this should be your primary food concern as your brain holds the key to you living a long, healthy, and happy life. It can cause you to enjoy playing lovingly with your young child one moment and then react with angry rage the next.

As we seek to understand nutrition for better brain balance and health, what is balance?

Balance is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “A stable physical, mental, and emotional state where equilibrium is maintained”, even as we live and work in a world of constant and potentially dangerous change.

Countless stressors threaten our stability every day. A critical nervous system function is to continually orchestrate our adaptation to our shifting environments. As part of the definition of balance, it must continue to create “A harmonious or satisfying chemical arrangement” from the nutrients we provide it in our diet to allow us to thrive.

Eric Braverman, M.D., in his book The Edge Effect, develops the ideas of world-renowned brain function researcher Rodolfo Llinas, M.D. illustrating how brain biochemical imbalances lead to decreased physical and mental health. He discusses “How electricity in the human body reaches the brain and is processed through four biochemical neurotransmitters: dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA, and serotonin.”

“Today we know that good health requires that for any given body function, all four neurotransmitters must be processed in a specific order and in precise amounts. Small imbalances can get amplified into bigger health problems. On the other hand, a chemically balanced brain could not only restore you to good health, but is essential to maintaining a sound mind and body over the long haul. It can create a sharpness that will enable you to love others, remain calm, and effectively put your intelligence to its best possible use.”

Dr. Braverman went on to say that brain biochemical balancing “Can be a powerful tool to manage memory, attention, personality and temperament, and physical health.” Pierce Howard, Ph.D., in his encyclopedic treatise, The Owner’s Manual for the Brain, also sheds valuable light upon our neurochemical functioning.

Neurons in your frontal lobe produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. It monitors your metabolism. It controls your energy, excitement about new ideas, and motivation. It influences blood pressure and digestion, intelligence, abstract thought, goal-setting, and long-term planning. Deficiencies can lead to addictive disorders, obesity, severe fatigue, and Parkinson’s disease.

Protein (from flesh, legumes, and tofu) is necessary to make dopamine and keep alertness elevated and your memory stable. Meat (especially chicken, turkey, and duck), cottage cheese, and wheat germ are powerful sources. The protein should also be rounded out with large amounts of fruits and vegetables.

Neurons in the parietal lobe produce acetylcholine, which is a building block for the myelin sheath surrounding nerves. It is responsible for facilitating information flow along the nerves and controls brain speed. When levels are balanced, you are creative and feel good about yourself. It is also necessary for activating REM dream sleep.

Fat from dairy, meat, or oils is the dietary source. Deficits lead to memory loss, generally decreased brain function, and advanced aging. This includes childhood learning disabilities on up to Alzheimer’s disease.

Temporal lobe neurons produce GABA, which controls the brain’s rhythm. It’s involved in the production of endorphins leading to calmness of body, mind, and spirit.

Complex carbohydrates from whole grains, vegetables, nuts, legumes, cantaloupe, and oranges are important components. It is also necessary to avoid refined sugar and flour products. Deficiencies of this biochemical can result in headaches, hypertension, palpitations, seizures, a diminished sex drive, and heart disorders.

The neurotransmitter serotonin is produced in the occipital lobes and regulates your brain’s ability to rest and resynchronize. It provides a healing, nourishing, satisfied feeling to the brain and body. It facilitates deep, peaceful sleep, the ability to enjoy food, and to think rationally.

Major dietary sources include pork and turkey, cottage cheese, wheat germ, and avocado. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and beans should accompany these generally. Deficiencies include depression, hormonal imbalances, PMS, sleep and eating disorders.

The food you eat for your body is fuel for your brain. Are you providing the right raw materials to facilitate your peak brain performance and optimal health?

You absolutely do not have to be a victim when it comes to your health status. You can choose to learn more and thrive with a high level of body, mind, and spirit vitality and your dietary choices play a crucial role. In addition to making wiser food selections for you and your family, it is smart to augment with scientific, pharmaceutical grade supplements to compensate for depleted soils and a stressful, hurried lifestyle of dining on the run.

Your brain is your most critical organ and a primary feature of your human uniqueness. Think about what you put in your mouth, because what you put in your mouth changes how you think!

A Healthy Diet to Avoid Constipation

If you are one of the many people who suffer from constipation, then you should know right away that there is something that you can do about it. Simply changing your diet and incorporating more physical activity into your life will be a big step towards relieving your problem. This will allow you to go to the bathroom with ease without having to rely on laxatives.

In regards to changing your diet, there are many different things that you can do and the following are the best foods to incorporate into your diet.

FiberThis is the most obvious one, as basically everyone knows that eating a high-fiber diet will help you to be regular. However, it can be difficult to make sure that you eat enough fiber everyday, especially without it becoming repetitive, but if you take some time and come up with some creative ideas, than you would be surprised at how many different ways there are to eat fiber.

For instance, you could make some muffins and put bran into them, or you could sprinkle fiber on your cereal in the morning or just eat a cereal that is already high in fiber. There are so many different things that you can do, you just have to determine what foods you like to begin with, and then find a way to incorporate bran into it, if you can. There are products such as Benefiber that allows you to sprinkle fiber on any of your favorite foods without any type of taste or odor.

Fruits and Vegetables. This is another incredibly important factor, as eating enough fruits and vegetables will help your body to not only lose weight and become fit, but as well will help you to stay regular. You do not have to go overboard with this, just make sure that you get the proper amount – or as close to as you can – of fruits and vegetables each day, and make sure that when you are out buying them you buy the most brightly colored fruits and vegetables that you can, as these are the healthiest and will prevent any bouts of constipation.

Water. This is yet another significant factor to be taken into consideration, as there are truly only an incredibly small percentage of people who actually drink enough water on a day to day basis. Drinking enough water is incredibly important for a number of different reasons; however, helping to keep regular is one of these reasons. Your body is made up of mostly water, and so therefore it makes sense as to why you need to drink so much water, all the time. Once you begin to drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day, you will see a significant difference in your bowel habits.

Eating right and exercising are the best methods to avoid constipation. However, if the problem persists, you should seek counsel from your family doctor.

Family Support Swat Team

Many people today suffer daily with extreme frustrations due to their disabilities. They want us to help them, even when they say they don’t. They may go on, and on, about wanting to buy something that they know you will say no about. The frustration in their minds may be so intense. Sometimes, when this happens they feel the need to compulse about something that entertains them, in order to ease their emotional pain. This is very real to them.

These individuals are smart in many ways. They know they need something to calm them down. They want this anxiety to go away. One way they try to do this is by using the outlet that gives them the most enjoyment at any specific time. Here are a few examples:

Over spending

Over eating

Over sleeping

Any subject of interest

These examples are all fine in moderation; however sometimes too much of a good thing can turn ugly. I know someone who has emotional problems due to an illness. She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Her illness leaves her mind all torn up when the slightest emotion upsets her.

During these times family support system is needed to be called into action whenever necessary. The family members of someone who has trouble with their emotions should stay in contact with the struggling victim with such anxieties.

This type of family support system may be thought of as a family swat team. It’s an emergency call to action that needs immediate care, and assistance. Individuals that suffer from these types of disabilities are frustrated more than the observers think they are.

Members of the family support swat team should give as many people their phone numbers as possible. Inform these people why you want them involved. Tell them about their emotional battles. Ask them for their feedback. Then work together when these types of onsets occur. Life is hard for both parties here. Having a good support system may just be the answer to calming loved ones tears.

Think how you would want to be treated. Then, the answers will be clearer when focus is restored.

Here is a link with many different types of support groups. Click the one that is of help to you for better understanding. It’s just a click away.

http://online.supportgroups.com/

Top 5 Healthy Superbowl Party Snacks

Last year, I went to a Superbowl party at a friend’s house …

It was a lot of fun and I happily ate a tasty assortment of typical Superbowl party selections: pizza, nachos, hot wings, etc. But by the end of the evening, I totally regretted eating all of that greasy, heavy food. I felt sluggish, bloated and really sleepy. I could actually feel my body working overtime to digest a stomach full of all of the wrong foods.

“Next year will be different.” I vowed, as I struggled to stay awake during the 15-minute drive back home.

This year’s Superbowl party will be at our house, and I’ve decided to add some healthy, guilt-free items to the menu. Here are my top five picks:

1. Guacamole and Chips – this is my all-time, number one favorite snack. Guacamole is chock full of nutritious raw ingredients: avocado, fresh garlic, diced tomato and onion, fresh cilantro and parsley. Add a generous squirt of fresh lime juice, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and it’s ready to eat. You can also find low-fat varieties of tortilla chips at most supermarkets. But sometimes I like to use whole wheat pitas. I cut them into little triangles and get them nice and crisp in my toaster oven.

Note: although avocado are high in fat, I eat them as often as I can because they are full of “the good fat” … the fat that actually helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Fresh Veggies and Dip – this is a standard crowd pleaser that’s super easy to make. Just slice up an assortment of your favorite raw veggies and add a bowl of dip. Most supermarkets have several healthy dip options, but I like to make my own. I start with plain greek yogurt, add fresh garlic, maybe some diced red bell peppers or chopped spinach, some grated parmesan cheese and my favorite spices.

3. Stuffed Mushrooms – another easy dish because you can stuff it with just about anything. Some of my favorite fillings are: chopped shrimp mixed with garlic and grated parmesan, low fat ground beef mixed with chopped onion/garlic and topped with a bit of mozzarella, whole wheat bread crumbs mixed with mashed chick peas and a bit of grated cheese … the options are endless. Just pop the stuffed mushrooms into the oven and bake until tender.

4. Panini Bites – also an easy and versatile option. Start with a healthy whole grain bread, and add any combination of low fat meats, cheeses or vegetables to the sandwich. My favorite sandwich dressing is mashed avocado, but I also use mustard and sometimes low fat garlic mayo. I cut the toasted panini into bite-size pieces and serve on a large platter with toothpicks. They are the perfect finger food!

5. No Regret Spicy Chicken Wings – the typical recipe for buffalo wings includes deep-fried, fatty, chicken wings and a rich, butter-filled buffalo sauce. I use skinless, boneless chicken breasts that are cut into small pieces, lightly breaded and baked. My own buffalo sauce has less than half of the butter called for in most recipes. The result? – same delicious taste that is much healthier for you.

Enjoy the Superbowl!

Debunking the Egg

Debunking the Egg

It has long been thought that eating eggs, in particular, the yolk of the egg could raise the level of cholesterol in the human body. New research has proven otherwise. In a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, evidence was presented that the risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women did not increase with eating more eggs. Conversely, it showed the opposite. Healthy test subjects had lower serum cholesterol levels than those subjects who abstained from eggs. In fact, people who ate eggs regularly, had a lower risk factor for developing both stroke and heart failure. Futher, in one study, when people ate three or more eggs per day, the cholesterol in their bodies was transformed from having artery-clogging tendencies to having artery-scrubbing or antiatherogenic properties.

In all, the egg contains many vitamins and minerals that the body needs, such as Vitamins E and B12, folate, antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, good for eye health, and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, not to mention 6 grams of protein. Eggs also contain vitamin D and A, iron, phosphorus and zinc. Also, one egg has a small amount of fat- only 5 grams- 1.5 grams saturated and 3.5 grams unsaturated. The latter numbers are important because research has shown that a diet high in saturated fat increases the level of LDL(good) cholesterol, and that dietary cholesterol(i.e. the cholesterol in eggs) has a relatively small effect on the LDL. Even more interesting, eating eggs may increase the HDL cholesterol which counteracts the effect of LDL cholesterol in the body, therefore lessening the heart disease risk.

Eggs are also an excellent source of choline, an essential nutrient that functions in the operations of all human cells, and in particular, proper functioning of the liver, brain and nervous system. Research has shown that people today are deficient in this vital nutrient.

In total, the egg definitely seems to be a super-food, perfectly balanced by nature, and filled with essential vitamins and minerals. Perhaps our ancestors knew what they were doing when they consumed protein-rich breakfasts, of which eggs were the number one component.

Veggie Patch Problems

Pests in the Garden

I remember both my mother and grandmother working in the gardens to keep the pest population under control. Some of what they did seemed both gross and silly at the time, but it was actually a good, safe and mostly organic solution to the problems.

Some plants, usually termed companion plants, can be very useful. A good example is the carrot family, especially parsley and cilantro. These are attractive to beneficial insects that will eat the bugs that are bugging you.

You can make a solution of members of the allium and hot pepper plants that will detract many insects. Be careful, as they can burn some plants…and your skin. A solution of mild dish soap can be sprayed on leaves to kill aphids.

Flour is good for a couple of reasons. First, it suffocates smaller insects and second, it is a deterrent to the higher order of garden pests…raccoons, deer and so on. The latter have learned that white powder means poison, even though the flour won’t hurt them.

On the gross side, my mother’s solution to some insects involved an old blender. She would (and still does) pick potato bugs off the plants, grind them up then spread them through the patch. Believe me, they got the idea in a hurry.

Poisons in Your Patch

There are two types of poisons to be aware of, and only one of them is caused by the plant itself. Many garden plants and trees have parts that should not be eaten. For example, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers all belong to the nightshade family. It’s very important not to eat any but the accepted food parts of these plants.

Members of the apple family can also pose problems. Apples, apricots, cherries, peaches and plums have cyanide in the seeds, leaves and bark. In small amounts, such as used for cough medicine, it is ok. However, it is best to let a professional make the syrup for you.

If you wonder how vegetables can cause outbreaks of e. coli and salmonella, I can give you one possible answer. As for e. coli, some farm workers don’t have access to a port-a-potty. They have to go right in the field. If they can, they go at the edge, but it can still be tracked right into the patch.

Another incident that explains why washing your produce is wise comes from an incident in Wisconsin . A fence was down and some animals got loose in a field of vegetables. Tests showed that salmonella was present and the lettuce had to be recalled. However, some may have been consumed before the recall occurred. Washing vegetables, even if they are organic, is a priority.

If you want to grow your own plants, it is a good idea to plan your garden carefully. By planting things in the right locations, drawing beneficial insects and making sure that children and pets can’t get to the plants that could cause harm, you can provide your family with healthy, wholesome food.