Healthy thoughts

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More than 350 years ago, our ancestors on this land were tall, strong and
healthy for the most part. Most ills could be cured or relieved by herbal
means. Good teeth and strong bones were not the victims of refined sugars
and flour as they are today. The people had endurance to work, run and live
in a non-toxic atmosphere. Pure water and pure food was part of their daily
lives. The taste buds were honest so they did not require salt or ketchup
in any quantity.

We are not stupid; we know very well that the sugars, fats, additives and
preservatives in our food today are bad. It is nearly impossible to buy any
item without something that adulterates it. If you grow it, harvest it,
cook it and eat it yourself, you'll be better off. In today's world, that
is very rare and nearly impossible. Like all things, it boils down to
choices, so all any of us can do is try our best to be vigilant about what
we eat.

The food supply in this country is probably the safest in the whole world,
but now and again we hear about food poisoning or contamination. The three
kinds of contamination we hear about the most are mold, E. coli and
salmonella.

E.coli is destroyed by heat, but it has been found in foods that you eat
cold like some vegetables and juices: a good case for washing your hands
before you touch food and washing any vegetables you are going to eat raw
very well. Salmonella bacteria show up frequently in raw or undercooked
eggs, meat, dairy and seafood. It, too, is destroyed by heat or
pasteurization.

The following are some healthy kitchen facts you probably know, but it
never hurts to go over things now and again:

A clean cutting board is essential. Wash the board and knives frequently
between food items and dry thoroughly before use. To be really safe, use
one cutting board for vegetables and another for meat, fish or poultry.

Refrigerate leftovers or freeze within two hours of cooking them. Make sure
they are steaming hot when you reheat them.

If you are not sure whether food is spoiled, use your nose. When in doubt,
don't eat it - throw it away.

When you cook fatty meats, broil, roast or grill on a rack with a pan under
it to catch the drippings.

Go easy on the salt and sugar. Check all labels when you shop. Do be
careful about the serving sizes: if one serving is 90 calories, one serving
could just be one cookie. It takes longer to shop, but you'll be wiser for
it.

Drink lots of water. It's a fact that water helps you digest food and helps
the body absorb nutrients. It's a valuable source of minerals that are
carried to your organs through the bloodstream.

Check your refrigerator every few days and dispose of outdated or spoiled
items. Give it a good warm soapy wash down once a week and wipe up spills
immediately.

Being healthy and staying healthy is entirely possible if you listen to
your own body and your own good built-in common sense.