COL More whole grains recommended
Americans average less than one serving a day of whole grains such as whole grain breads, cereals and pasta, says Joanne Slavin, a University of Minnesota food science and nutrition professor. But people should be consuming three daily servings.
"Whole grain consumption has been linked to less cancer incidence as well as protection against heart disease and diabetes,'' Slavin said. "We usually think of whole grains as an important source of dietary fiber, which they are. But whole grains also have physiological properties beyond those traditionally associated with dietary fiber, such as improved antioxidant status.''
In addition to whole grain breads, cereals and pasta, Slavin said using oatmeal in cooking, barley in soups and any grains in casseroles or salads is also recommended.
Keeping bugs outof stored foods
Certain moths and beetles can infest many different kinds of dry food products, including flour-based products, cornmeal, cereal, rice, spaghetti, macaroni, dried fruits, nuts, candy, birdseed, dry pet food and spices.
To prevent infestations, check foods at the time of purchase to be sure they are insect-free, says Kelly Kunkel, Nicollet County (Minn.) Extension educator. If the items are infested, place the contents in a glass, heavy plastic or metal container with a tight-fitting lid.
Keep storage areas clean, Vacuum shelves, cracks and crevices and other places where crumbs may gather. This is more effective than cleaning with soap and water because water can wash food particles into cracks and crevices. Empty and dispose of the vacuum cleaner outdoors.
Booklet helps teens, adults relate
Solid relationships with parents and other adults are the most important factor in helping teens develop successfully and to avoid risky behaviors. Although friends are important, research shows that teens come back to the values and actions of their parents and other positive adults as they mature, says Rose Allen, Ramsey County (Minn.) Extension educator.
"The teen-age years should be a good time for both parents and teens,'' she said. "Results of interviews with teens and parents give us a lot of hope. The teen years are good years and teens are good people.''
A 20-page handbook called "Thriving With Your Teen'' is designed to help parents and other adults develop positive relationships with teens. It's available for $3.10, which includes shipping and tax, from the University of Minnesota Extension Service's Distribution Center. Telephone the center at (612) 624-4900.
Pruning now puts trees at risk
A low-hanging oak limb may cry out to be pruned this spring, but cutting it off now is a bad idea, says Jennifer Juzwik, a plant pathologist with the U.S. Forest Service in St. Paul.
"The beetle that spreads the oak wilt fungus can come to a fresh wound on an oak tree within 15 minutes,'' she said. "Once temperatures get above 50 degrees or 60 degrees in spring, the beetles are flying and are attracted to the sap on fresh wounds.''
Don't prune or wound trees from April through June, which is the high-risk period for spread by insects.