Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Beat Back Cold And Flus With... Garlic!

By Dr. Mercola
If you want a simple way to increase the disease-fighting power of your meals, be generous with your use of high-quality herbs and spices. This applies year-round, but as cold and flu season nears, you may want to consider spicing things up more than you might normally.
There is no shortage of research showing that herbs and spices are among the healthiest you can consume. And they’re a “secret weapon” that just about everyone can take advantage of, regardless of your budget.
Garlic in particular has long been hailed for its healing powers, especially against infectious diseases like cold and flu.
This is likely due to its immune boosting effects. Fresh garlic is also a potent antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agent. But its therapeutic effects may go much further than that.

Garlic—An All-Around Health Boosting Herb

The featured article in Medical News Today1 contains an impressive list of garlic’s historical use as a natural medicine, and modern research to back up the wisdom of such antiquated claims. Green Med Info has also assembled a list of studies demonstrating more than 150 beneficial health effects of garlic! For example, studies show that regular consumption of (primarily raw) garlic:
  • May be effective against drug-resistant bacteria
  • Reduces risk for heart disease,2 including heart attack3 and stroke
  • Helps normalize your cholesterol4 and blood pressure
  • Protects against cancer,5, 6 including brain,7 lung,8 and prostate9 cancer
  • Reduces risk of osteoarthritis10
It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. Other health-promoting compounds include oligosaccharides, arginine-rich proteins, selenium and flavonoids.11
Research12 has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.
This is one of the reasons why I named garlic as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume. Garlic is also a triple threat against infections, offering antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Not only is it effective at killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, but it also fights yeast infections, viruses and parasites. Garlic must be fresh to give you optimal health benefits though.
The fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin.13 Allicin in turn rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to “activate” garlic’s medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.
A single medium size clove or two is usually sufficient, and is well-tolerated by most people. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless.
You also won’t reap all the health benefits garlic has to offer if you use jarred, powdered or dried versions. Worse yet, at least two supermarket-brands containing garlic powder imported from China have been found to be contaminated with high levels of lead, arsenic and added sulfites, according to a recent article by PreventDisease.com.14
If you develop a socially offensive odor, just decrease the amount of garlic you’re consuming until there is no odor present. If garlic makes you feel ill, this is probably your body's way of letting you know you should avoid it.

Garlic versus Tamiflu

Garlic may be particularly useful in preparation for cold and flu season, as it contains compounds capable of killing a wide variety of organisms, including viruses and bacteria that can cause earaches, colds and influenza. The respected research organization Cochrane Database—which has repeatedly reported that the science does not support the use of flu vaccine as a first-line defense—has also reviewed studies on the alternatives, such as the use of garlic.15
They found that those who took garlic daily for three months had fewer colds than those who took a placebo, and, when they did come down with a cold, the duration of illness was shorter—an average of 4.5 days compared to 5.5 days for the placebo group.
While this may not seem overly impressive, it’s still better than the results achieved by the much-advertised flu drug Tamiflu. If taken within 48 hours of onset of illness, Tamiflu might reduce the duration of flu symptoms by about a day to a day and a half. That's the extent of what this $100-plus treatment will get you. It’s virtually identical to just taking garlic on a regular basis!
However, some patients with influenza are at increased risk for secondary bacterial infections when on Tamiflu—a risk you won’t take by eating garlic... Other adverse events of Tamiflu include pediatric deaths, serious skin reactions, and neuropsychiatric events, including suicide committed while delirious.

Cold and Flu—Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

While colds and flus are caused by viral infections, compelling research suggests that your ability to "catch" these infections may actually be a symptom of an underlying vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is a potent antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. Suboptimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response, thereby making you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.
In the largest and most nationally representative study16 of its kind to date, involving about 19,000 Americans, people with the lowest vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu -- and the risk was even greater for those with chronic respiratory disorders like asthma. At least five additional studies also show an inverse association between lower respiratory tract infections and vitamin D levels.
The best source for vitamin D is direct sun exposure. While it may not be possible to get enough sun exposure during the winter, every effort should be made to attain vitamin D from UVB exposure as there are many additional benefits from this route other than vitamin D. The next best option to sunlight is the use of a safe indoor tanning device. As a last resort, if neither natural nor artificial sunlight is an option, you may taken an oral vitamin D3 supplement. However, if you do, you need to be aware of the following:
  • Make sure you’re taking the correct vitamin D supplement. You want D3, not D2, as the latter may end up doing more harm than good.
  • Based on the latest research from GrassrootsHealth, the average adult dose required to reach vitamin D levels of about 40 ng/ml is around 8,000 IU's of vitamin D3 per day. For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IU's of vitamin D per pound of body weight.
  • Get your vitamin D serum level checked at regular intervals to make sure you’re taking the appropriate dose to get within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.
  • If you’re taking high dose vitamin D supplements you also need to take vitamin K2—not K1 that is typically in vegetables as it will not work synergize with vitamin D. Vitamin K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, which includes inappropriate calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries. The reason for this is when you take vitamin D, your body creates more vitamin K2-dependent proteins that shuttle the calcium into the appropriate areas. Without vitamin K2, those proteins remain inactivated, so the benefits of those proteins remain unrealized.

Four Factors That Undermine Your Immune System

Again, it’s important to remember that both colds and various influenzas are caused by a wide variety of viruses, not bacteria. Hence, taking an antibiotic for your cold or flu will NOT do you any good whatsoever. Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, such as sinus, ear and lung infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia. The latter two are potential secondary infections that can develop from a serious bout of cold or flu, so you do want to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of such bacterial infections.
At the end of this article, you’ll find some guidelines to help you decide when it would be prudent to see a doctor.
Now, the most common way cold and flu viruses are spread is via hand-to-hand contact, so the easiest way to cut down your risk is to frequently wash your hands (see next section below). However, the key to remember is that being exposed to a cold virus does not mean that you're destined to get sick. Again, whether or not you’ll actually get sick is primarily dependent on the functioning of your immune system. If your immune system is operating at its peak, it should actually be quite easy for you to fend off the virus without ever getting sick.
As discussed above, vitamin D deficiency is a major factor that will depress your immune function, leaving the door open to invading viruses. Other lifestyle factors that can depress your immune system, alone or in combination, include:
  • Eating too much sugar/fructose and grains. Sugar in all its forms takes a heavy toll on your immune system. One of the ways it does this is by unbalancing your gut flora. Sugar is "fertilizer" for pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that can set your immune system up for an assault by a respiratory virus. Remember, 80 percent of your immune system lies in your gastrointestinal tract, which is why limiting your sugar intake is CRUCIAL for optimizing your immune system.
  • It would be wise to limit your total fructose consumption to below 25 grams a day if you're in good health, or below 15 grams a day if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or are insulin resistant or are trying to recover from an acute illness like the flu.
  • Lack of sleep. If you aren't getting enough restorative sleep, you'll be at increased risk for a hostile viral takeover. Your immune system is also the most effective when you're not sleep-deprived, so the more rested you are the quicker you'll recover. You can find 33 guidelines for a better night's sleep here.
  • Insufficient exercise. Regular exercise is a crucial strategy for increasing your resistance to illness. There is evidence that regular, moderate exercise can reduce your risk for respiratory illness by boosting your immune system. In fact, one study17 found that people who exercised regularly (five or more days a week) cut their risk of having a cold by close to 50 percent. And, in the event they did catch a cold, their symptoms were much less severe than among those who did not exercise.
  • Exercise likely cuts your risk of colds so significantly because it triggers a rise in immune system cells that can attack any potential invaders. Each time you exercise you can benefit from this boost to your immune system. It can also help boost your immune system acutely, by increasing your body temperature. This helps kill off invading pathogens, similarly to the fever your body produces when sick.
  • Using ineffective strategies to address stress. Emotional stressors can also predispose you to an infection while making cold symptoms worse. Finding ways to manage daily stress as well as your reactions to circumstances beyond your control will contribute to a strong and resilient immune system. Effective strategies include a variety of energy psychology tools, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

Other All-Natural Strategies That Send Pathogens Packin'

Frequently washing your hands with soap and water is one of the easiest ways to wipe out germs and viruses and reduce your chances of becoming sick. Don’t make the mistake of using antibacterial cleansers, as their widespread use contributes to strains of resistant bacteria, or "superbugs" that render antibiotics useless. Besides, research18 has shown that people who use antibacterial soaps and cleansers often develop a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms just as often as people who use plain soap and water. There’s no real justification for using an antibacterial soap when plain soap is safer, and just as effective.
Another strategy that many report success with is to administer a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into your ear canal. Quite frequently, people claim to have been able to cure a cold or flu within 12 to 14 hours this way. Simply put a few drops into your ear; wait until the bubbling and stinging subside (usually 5 to 10 minutes), then drain onto a tissue and repeat with the other ear.
There are also a number of supplements and simple treatments that can be beneficial for colds and influenza, but I believe they should only be used as adjuncts to an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle. For detailed instructions that will help set you the right path can be found in my optimized nutrition and lifestyle plan. Some of the more helpful options for cold and flu—besides vitamin D and garlic discussed above--include:
Zinc: Research on zinc has shown that when taken within one day of the first symptoms, zinc can cut down the time you have a cold by about 24 hours. Zinc was also found to greatly reduce the severity of symptoms. Suggested dosage: up to 50 mg/day. Zinc was not recommended for anyone with an underlying health condition, like lowered immune function, asthma or chronic illness. Vitamin C: A very potent antioxidant; use a natural form such as acerola, which contains associated micronutrients. You can take several grams every hour till you are better unless you start developing loose stools.
Olive leaf extract: Ancient Egyptians and Mediterranean cultures used it for a variety of health-promoting uses and it is widely known as a natural, non-toxic immune system builder. Propolis: A bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world; propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important compounds that aid in immune response.
Oregano Oil: The higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Carvacrol is the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oil. Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi, and turkey tail.
A tea made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system. Echinacea is one of the most widely used herbal medications in Europe to combat colds and infections. One review of more than 700 studies found that using Echinacea can reduce your risk of catching cold by as much as 58 percent.

When Should You Call Your Physician?

Generally speaking, if you have a cold, medical care is not necessary. Rest and attention to the lifestyle factors noted above—particularly the admonition to avoid sugar—will help you to recover quickly and, if you stick to them, will significantly reduce your chances of catching another cold anytime soon.
Getting back to garlic for a moment, a previous article by PreventDisease.com19 gives instructions for a garlic soup that can help destroy most viruses and help you recover a little quicker. Ideally though, you’d want to incorporate immune-boosting diet- and lifestyle strategies as soon as possible to prevent illness in the first place.
So, when should you call your doctor?
Sinus, ear, and lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia CAN be bacterial however, and if so, may respond to antibiotics. If you develop any of the following symptoms, these are signs you may be suffering from a bacterial infection rather than a cold, and you should call your physician's office:
  • Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius)
  • Ear pain
  • Pain around your eyes, especially with a green nasal discharge
  • Shortness of breath or a persistent uncontrollable cough
  • Persistently coughing up green and yellow sputum
Source:  articles.mercola.com

100+ Nutrition Facts About 25 Well-Known Foods

Some foods naturally contain disease-fighting, health promoting properties, while others contain elements that may hinder your health goals. Find out information that may surprise you with these helpful food facts.

Canning Glossary

acetic acid. A pungent, colorless liquid acid that is the primary acid in vinegar (vinegar is 5% acetic acid). Acetic acid is what makes vinegar sour.
acid. Any substance in a class of sour compounds.
antioxidant. A substance, such as citric acid (lemon or lime juice), ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or a blend of citric and ascorbic acids, that inhibits oxidation and controls browning of light-colored fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are believed to neutralize free radicals, harmful particles in your body that can cause long-term damage to cells and lead to disease.
artificial sweetener. Any one of many synthetically produced non-nutritive sweet substances. Artificial sweeteners vary in sweetness but are usually many times sweeter than granulated sugar.
ascorbic acid. The chemical name for vitamin C, a natural, water-soluble vitamin that is commercially available in a concentrated form as white, odorless crystals or powder. It is used as an antioxidant to inhibit oxidation and control browning of light-colored fruits and vegetables.
bacteria. Microorganisms, some of which are harmful, found in the soil, water and air around us. Some bacteria thrive in conditions common in low-acid preserved food and produce toxins that must be destroyed by heating to 240°F (116°C) for a specified length of time. For this reason, low-acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner.
blanch. To submerge a food in boiling water or steam for a short period of time, done to loosen the skin or peel or to inactivate enzymes. Blanching is immediately followed by rapidly cooling the food in ice water.
boil. To heat a liquid until bubbles break the surface. At sea level, this happens at 212°F (100°C). At elevations above 1,000 feet (305 m), the boiling point is reached at a lower temperature. A boil is achieved only when the liquid is continuously rolling or actively bubbling. See also boil gently or simmer or boil, full rolling.
boil gently or simmer. To cook food gently just below the boiling point (180°F to 200°F/82°C to 93°C). Bubbles rise from the pot bottom, only slightly disturbing the surface of the food.
boil, full rolling. A rapid boil, usually foaming or spurting, that cannot be stirred down, achieved at a temperature of 220°F (104°C). This stage is essential for attaining a gel when making cooked jams or jellies.
boiling point. The temperature at which liquid reaches a boil (212°F/100°C at sea level).
boiling water canner. A large, deep saucepan equipped with a lid and a rack to lift jars off direct heat. The pot must be deep enough to fully surround and immerse jars in water by 1 to 2 inches and allow for the water to boil rapidly with the lid on. If you don’t have a rack designed for preserving, use a cake cooling rack or extra bands tied together to cover the bottom of the pot.
boiling water method. The fresh preserving method used to process high-acid foods. Heat is transferred to the food product by the boiling water, which completely surrounds the jar and two-piece closure. A temperature of 212°F (100°C) is reached and must be maintained for the time specified by the recipe. This method is adequate to destroy molds, yeasts and some bacteria, as well as to inactivate enzymes. The boiling water method must not be used to process low-acid foods.
botulism. Food poisoning caused by the ingestion of the toxin produced by spores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulism can be fatal. The spores are usually present in the dust, wind and soil clinging to raw food. They belong to a species of bacteria that cannot grow in the presence of air, and they do not normally thrive in high-acid foods. The spores can survive and grow in any tightly sealed jar of low-acid food that has not been processed correctly. Using the correct processing temperature and time to preserve low-acid foods will destroy toxin-producing spores.
bouquet garni. A spice bag, or a square of cheesecloth tied into a bag, that is filled with whole herbs and spices and is used to flavor broth, soup, pickling liquid and other foods. This method allows for easy removal of the herbs and spices after cooking.
brine. A salt-water solution used in pickling or when preserving foods. Although salt and water are the main ingredients, sugar and spices are sometimes added.
brined pickles. See fermented pickles.
bubble remover. A non-metallic utensil used in fresh preserving to remove or free air bubbles trapped inside the jar. To ensure appropriate headspace, air bubbles should be removed before the two-piece closure is applied.

candy or jelly thermometer. A kitchen thermometer that usually comes with adjustable hooks or clips to allow it to be attached to the pan. During the preparation of soft spreads without added pectin, it is used to determine when the gel stage is reached (this occurs at 220°F/104°C, or 8°F/4°C) above the boiling point of water). Always insert the thermometer vertically into the jelly and ensure that it does not contact the pot surface.
canner. Either one of two pieces of equipment used in fresh preserving to process jars filled with a food product and covered with a two-piece closure. The two types of canners recommended for use in fresh preserving are a boiling water canner for high-acid foods and a pressure canner for low-acid foods.
canning/preserving liquid. Any one of many types of liquids, such as water, cooking liquid, pickling liquid, broth, juice or syrup, used to cover solid food products. Adding liquid prevents darkening of food exposed to the surface and allows for heat penetration.
cheesecloth. A lightweight, woven cloth that has many uses in the kitchen. For fresh preserving, it can be used in place of a jelly bag to strain juice from fruit pulp when making jelly or homemade juice, or it can be formed into a bag to hold whole herbs and spices during the cooking process, aiding in easy removal.
chutney. A combination of vegetables and/or fruits, spices and vinegar cooked for a long period of time to develop favorable flavor and texture. Chutneys are highly spiced and have a sweet-sour blending of flavors.
citric acid. A natural acid derived from citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes. It is available as white crystals or granules and is used as an ingredient in commercial produce protectors to prevent oxidation and in pectin products to aid in gel formation by increasing the acidity of the jam or jelly.
ClearJel®. A commercially available modified food starch that is approved for use in fresh preserving. Unlike regular cornstarch, products thickened with ClearJel® do not break down when heated to high temperatures and/or cooled and reheated. ClearJel® can be ordered from online sources or by mail order.
conserve. A soft spread similar to jam, made with a combination of two or more fruits, along with nuts and/or raisins. If nuts are used, they are added during the last five minutes of cooking.
cool place. A term used to describe the best storage temperature for fresh preserved products. The ideal temperature is 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C).
crisping agent. Any one of many substances that make pickles crisp and firm. Some older pickling recipes call for pickling lime, alum or grape leaves to crisp pickles, but these are no longer recommended. Using fresh, high-quality produce, the correct ingredient quantities and a current, tested fresh preserving recipe will produce firm pickles without the addition of crisping agents. The texture of some quick-process or fresh-pack pickles, however, can be enhanced with the use of a product called Pickle Crisp® powder.
cucumber, pickling. A small variety of cucumber used to make pickles. Pickling cucumbers are usually no more than 6 inches (15 cm) in length. Cucumbers deteriorate rapidly at room temperature and should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 24 hours of harvest.

dial-gauge pressure canner.
A pressure canner fitted with a one-piece pressure regulator and a gauge to visually indicate the correct pressure level.
E. coli. A species of bacteria that is normally present in the human intestines. A common strain, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, produces high levels of toxins and, when consumed, can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, chills, headaches and high fever. In some cases, it can be deadly.
fermentation. A reaction caused by yeasts that have not been destroyed during the processing of preserved food. Bubble formation and scum are signs that fermentation is taking place. With the exception of some pickles that use intentional fermentation in preparation, do not consume fermented fresh preserved foods.
fingertip-tight. The degree to which screw bands are properly applied to fresh preserving jars. Use your fingers to screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. Do not use a utensil or the full force of your hand to over-tighten bands.
fresh-pack pickles. Cucumbers that are preserved in a spicy vinegar solution without fermenting, although they are frequently brined for several hours or overnight. All fresh-pack pickles should stand for 4 to 6 weeks after processing to cure and develop optimal flavor.
fruit butter. A soft spread made by slowly cooking fruit pulp and sugar to a consistency thick enough to mound on a spoon and spread easily. Spices may be added.
fruit pickle. Fruit, usually whole, that is simmered in a spicy, sweet-sour syrup until it becomes tender or transparent.
funnel. A plastic utensil that is placed in the mouth of a fresh preserving jar to allow for easy pouring of a food product into the jar. Funnels help prevent spillage and waste.
gasket. A rubber ring that sits along the inside circumference of a pressure canner lid and comes in contact with the base when locked into place. The gasket provides a seal between the lid and the base so steam cannot escape.
gelling agent.Any substance that acts to form a gel-like structure by binding liquid.
gel stage. The point at which a soft spread becomes a full gel. The gelling point is 220°F (104°C), or 8°F (4°C) above the boiling point of water.
headspace. The unfilled space in a fresh preserving jar between the top of the food or liquid and the underside of the lid. The correct amount of headspace is essential to allow for food expansion as the jars are heated and for the formation of a strong vacuum seal as jars cool.
high-acid food. A food or food mixture that contains sufficient acid — naturally or added as an ingredient — to provide a pH value of 4.6 or lower. Fruits, fruit juices, tomatoes, jams, jellies and most soft spreads are naturally high-acid foods. Food mixtures such as pickles, relishes, salsas and chutneys contain added vinegar or citric acid, which lowers their pH, making them high-acid foods. High-acid foods can be safely processed in a boiling water canner.
hot-pack method. Filling jars with preheated, hot food prior to heat processing. Preheating food expels excess air, permits a tighter pack in the jar and reduces floating. This method is preferred over the raw-pack method, especially for firm foods.
jam. A soft spread made by combining crushed or chopped fruits with sugar and cooking to form a gel. Commercial pectin may or may not be added. Jams can be made with a single fruit or with a combination of fruits. They should be firm but spreadable. Jams do not hold the shape of the jar.

jelly. A soft spread made by combining fruit juice or acidified vegetable juice with sugar and cooking to form a gel. Commercial pectin may or may not be added.
jelly bag. A mesh cloth bag used to strain juice from fruit pulp when making jellies. A strainer lined with many layers of cheesecloth may be substituted. Both the jelly bag and cheesecloth need to be dampened before use.
jelly strainer. A stainless steel tripod stand fitted with a large ring. A jelly bag is placed over the ring. The stand has feet that hold it onto a bowl to allow juice to strain from the bag into the bowl.
lemon juice. Juice extracted from lemons that is added to food products to increase the acidity. Lemon juice can also be purchased commercially. In fresh preserving, lemon juice is added to certain foods to increase acidity and ensure proper processing. In some soft spread recipes, especially those prepared with added pectin, the acid in the lemon juice also aids with gelling. The acidity of freshly squeezed lemon juice is variable, depending on the lemon variety and harvest conditions, whereas bottled lemon juice is produced to consistent acidity standards. In recipes that specify bottled lemon juice, it is crucial for the success of the final product not to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Where bottled is not specified, either freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice may be used.
lid. A flat metal disc with a flanged edge lined with sealing compound used in combination with a metal screw band for vacuum-sealing fresh preserving jars.
low-acid food. A food that contains little natural acid and has a pH higher than 4.6. Vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood are all low-acid foods. Bacteria thrive in low-acid foods. The only recommended and practical means of destroying bacteria naturally found in low-acid foods is to heat the food to 240ºF (116ºC) (at sea level) for a specified time in a pressure canner.
marmalade. A soft spread that contains pieces of citrus fruit and peel evenly suspended in transparent jelly. Marmalade is cooked in small batches and brought rapidly to, or almost to, the gelling point. Marmalades are similar in structure to jam.
mold. Microscopic fungi that grow as silken threads and appear as fuzz on food. Molds thrive on acids and can produce mycotoxins. Mold is easily destroyed at processing temperatures between 140ºF and 190ºF (60ºC and 88ºC).
pectin. A naturally occurring carbohydrate found in fruits and vegetables that is responsible for cell structure. The natural pectin content decreases as fruits and vegetables ripen. Thus, they become soft and lose their structure. Pectin is available commercially in powdered and liquid forms. Commercial pectin is used to make jams, jellies and other soft spreads.
pickling. Preserving food, especially cucumbers and vegetables, in a high-acid (vinegar) solution, often with spices added for flavor. Pickled foods must be processed in a boiling water canner.
preserves. A soft spread in which the fruit is preserved with sugar so it retains its shape and is transparent, shiny, tender and plump. The syrup varies from the thickness of honey to that of soft jelly. A true preserve does not hold its shape when spooned from the jar.

preserve. To prepare foods to prevent spoilage or deterioration for long periods of time. Some methods of preservation are fresh preserving (home canning), freezing, dehydration, pickling, salting, smoking and refrigeration. The method used determines the length of time the food will be preserved.
pressure canner. A tall, usually heavy pot with a lid that is locked in place and a pressure-regulating device. The lid is fitted with a safety valve, a vent and a pressure gauge. Pressure canners are used to process low-acid foods, because steam at 10 lbs (68 kPa) of pressure (at sea level) will reach 240°F (116°C), the temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria that thrive in low-acid foods.
pressure canning/preserving method. The fresh preserving method used to heat-processs low-acid foods. Low-acid foods must be processed in a pressure canner in order to destroy potentially harmful bacteria, their spores and the toxins they produce.  In practical terms, this can be done at 240°F (116ºC). Because the steam inside the canner is pressurized, its temperature can exceed the boiling point of water (212°F/100°C). In a weighted-gauge canner at sea level, the temperature will reach 240°F (116ºC) at 10 lbs (68 kPa) of pressure.
processing time. The time in which filled jars are heated in a boiling water canner or a pressure canner. The processing time must be sufficient to heat the coldest spot in the jar. The processing time is specified for every current, tested fresh preserving recipe and depends on several factors, such as acidity, type of food product and size of jar.
raw-pack method.Filling jars with raw, unheated food prior to heat processing.
relish. A pickled product prepared using chopped fruits and/or vegetables cooked in a seasoned vinegar solution. If a sweet relish is desired, sugar is added. Hot peppers or other spices may also be added for flavor.
reprocessing. Repeating the heat processing of filled, capped jars when a lid does not seal within 24 hours. The original lid must be removed and the food and/or liquid reheated as recommended by the recipe. The food and/or liquid must be packed into clean, hot jars and covered with a new, clean lid with the screw band adjusted. The filled jars must then be reprocessed using the preserving method and full length of processing time recommended by the recipe.
salt, kosher. A coarse-grained, textured salt that is free of additives. Kosher salt may be used when making pickles. Because of the variance in density and form, contact kosher salt packers for information regarding equivalencies.
salt, pickling or preserving. A fine-grained salt used in pickling and fresh preserving. It is free of anti-caking agents, which can cause the pickling liquid to turn cloudy, and iodine, which can darken the pickles.
screw band. A threaded metal band used in combination with a flat metal lid to create vacuum seals for fresh preserved food. The band holds the lid in place during processing.
sealing compound. The red, shiny material, also called plastisol, found in the exterior channel on the underside of the flat metal lid. The sealing compound comes in contact with the lip of the jar and forms a seal when the jar cools after processing.
spice bag. A small muslin bag used to hold whole herbs and spices during cooking. The bag allows the flavor of the herbs and spices to seep into the food or liquid, and makes removing the spices easy when cooking is complete. Spice bags come in various sizes. If a spice bag is not available, tie herbs and spices in a square of cheesecloth.
syneresis. The separation of liquid from a gel. In fresh preserving, this can happen to soft spreads, usually during storage. It is not a safety concern.
syrup or canning/preserving syrup. A mixture of water (or juice) and sugar used to add liquid to canned food, usually fruit.
two-piece closure. A two-piece metal closure for vacuum-sealing fresh preserving jars. The set consists of a metal screw band and a flat metal lid with a flanged edge lined with sealing compound.
vacuum seal. The state of negative pressure in properly heat-processed jars of home-canned foods. When a jar is closed at room temperature, the atmospheric pressure is the same inside and outside the jar. When the jar is heated, the air and food inside expand, forcing air out and decreasing the internal pressure. As the jar cools and the contents shrink, a partial vacuum forms. The sealing compound found on the underside of fresh preserving lids prevents air from re-entering.
venting. 1.) Forcing air to escape from a closed jar by applying heat. As a food or liquid is heated, it expands upward and forces air from the jar through pressure buildup in the headspace. 2.) Permitting air to escape from a pressure canner, also called exhausting.
vinegar, distilled white. The standard form of vinegar. It is a clear, colorless acidic liquid derived from grain alcohol that possesses a sharp, pungent flavor. Unlike apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar, distilled white vinegar does not compete with the distinctive flavors of herbs and spices in brine. Because it is clear, it does not change the color of white or light-colored fruits and vegetables. In fresh preserving, use 5% acidity (50 grain).
vinegar, cider. A type of vinegar derived from apples that is light golden in color and has a tart fruit flavor. Cider vinegar has a milder flavor than distilled white vinegar. Because it has color, it may darken white or light-colored fruits and vegetables. In fresh preserving, use 5% acidity (50 grain).
vinegar, red or white wine. A type of vinegar derived from wine. The flavor reflects the source of the wine.
weighted-gauge pressure canner. A type of pressure canner that is fitted with either a three- or a one-piece weight unit, both with 5-, 10- and 15-lb (35, 69 and 103 kPa) pressure adjustments. (Only 10- and 15-lb/69 and 103 kPa pressure weights are used in fresh preserving. The 5-lb/35 kPa weight is used for cooking, but not preserving.) Steam, exhausted throughout the processing period, causes the weight(s) to rock, indicating that the pressure level has been achieved or is being maintained.
yeast. Microscopic fungi grown from spores that cause fermentation in foods. Yeasts are inactive in foods that are frozen and are easily destroyed by heat processing at a temperature of 212°F (100°C).

Source: sbcanning.com

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where God Ain't

He was just a little boy,
On a week's first day.
Wandering home from Bible school,
And dawdling on the way.

He scuffed his shoes into the grass;
He found a caterpillar.
He found a fluffy milkweed pod,
And blew out all the 'filler.' 

A bird's nest in a tree overhead, 
Wisely placed so high. 
Was just another wonder, 
That caught his eager eye. 

A neighbor watched his zig zag course, 
And hailed him from the lawn; 
Asked him where he'd been that day 
And what was going on. 

"I've been to Bible School ,"
He said and turned a piece of sod.
He picked up a wiggly worm replying,
"I've learned a lot about God."

"M'm very fine way," the neighbor said,
"For a boy to spend his time.
If you'll tell me where God is,
I'll give you a brand new dime." 

Quick as a flash the answer came!
Nor were his accents faint..
"I'll give you a dollar, Mister,
If you can tell me where God ain't."
~ Author Unknown ~

Tacky Cards

"I've always wanted to have someone to hold, someone to love.
After having met you, I've changed my mind."

"Looking back over the years that we've been together,
I can't help but wonder: What the heck was I thinking?"

"As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am that you're not
 here to ruin it for me."

"Congratulations on your promotion.
 Before you go, I would like you to take this knife
out of my back. You'll probably need it again."

"Someday I hope to get married, but not to you."

"I just want you to know that I'm sorry for what happened, especially since you survived."

"Happy Birthday! You look great for your age...
Almost Lifelike!"

"Congratulations on getting married!
It's not every day you decide to ruin your life!"

"I always wanted to be rich, powerful, and well respected.
While I'm dreaming, I wish you weren't so darn ugly."

Good News and Bad News

Bob gets a call from his doctor with the results of his blood test.
"I've got bad news and worse news," says the doctor.
"The bad news is that you've only got 24 hours to live."
"Oh no!" says Bob. "That's terrible, how can it get any worse than that?"
"I've been trying to reach you since yesterday."

Two old guys wonder if there's baseball in Heaven, and promise each other that the first to die will somehow let the other know. A week later one of them dies. And a week after that, his
 friend recognizes his voice coming from the clouds. "Joe, I've got some good news and some
bad news," the disembodied voice reports. "The good news is that there is a baseball team
in Heaven. the bad news is that you're pitching on Friday."

A man with a worried look on his face ran into a clinic and asked the doctor if he knew a way
to stop the hiccups. Without any warning, the doctor slapped him in the face. Amazed and angry,
the young man demanded the doctor explain his unusual behavior. "Well," said the doctor, "You don't have the hiccups now, do you?" "No," answered the young man, but my wife out in the car still does!"

The Girl And The Upturn

A girl walked up to the information desk in a hospital and asked to see the "upturn." asked the nurse on duty. "Yes," said the girl. "I want to have a 'contamination.'" "You mean 'examination,'" the nurse corrected her. "Well I want to go to the 'fraternity ward,' anyway."  "I'm sure you mean the maternity ward." To which the girl replied: "Upturn, intern; contamination,  examination; fraternity, maternity....What's the difference?  All I know is I haven't demonstrated in two months, and I think I'm stagnant."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"I'm 63 And I'm Tired"

I don’t think it mentioned that Hall got his lower legs blown off in ‘Nam. VERY GOOD READ! Robert A. Hall is the actor who plays the coroner on CSI if you watch that show. He also is a Marine Vietnam War veteran. 

This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in the United States of America.

"I'm 63 and I'm Tired" by Robert A. Hall

I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked hard since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.

I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought Mc Mansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela ..

I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari’s law tells them to.

I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madras Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I #@*# sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military.... Those are the citizens we need.

I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois, where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet.

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught.. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I'm tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter. 

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.
There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!

Source: Internet

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why Humans Live Longer Than Dogs? Answer By A Six Year Old

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
Take naps. Stretch before rising. Run, romp, and play daily. Thrive on attention and let people touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you’re not. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!

Author : Unknown

The Old Married Couple

An old married couple no sooner hit the pillows when the old man passes gas and says, 'Seven Points.' His wife rolls over and says, 'What in the world was that?' The old man replied, 'its fart football.' A few minutes later his wife lets one go and says, 'Touchdown, tie score...' After about five minutes the old man lets another one go and says, 'Aha. I'm ahead 14 to 7.' Not to be outdone the wife rips out another one and says, 'Touchdown, tie score.' Five seconds go by and she lets out a little squeaker and says, 'Field goal, I lead 17 to 14.' Now the pressure is on for the old man.He refuses to get beaten by a woman, so he strains real hard. Since defeat is totally unacceptable, he gives it everything he's got, and accidentally poops in the bed. The wife says, 'What the heck was that?' The old man says, 'Half time, switch sides.

If you don't laugh At this one, then you've got a terrible sense of humor

Source: Internet

Top Fast Food Chains By Sales Volume

1. McDonald's
Overall sales (in billions): $35.6
Total units: 14,157
2. Subway
Overall sales (in billions): $12.1
Total units: 25,549
3. Starbucks
Overall sales (in billions): $10.6
Total units: 11,128
4. Wendy's
Overall sales (in billions): $8.6
Total units: 5,817
5. Burger King
Overall sales (in billions): $8.587
Total units: 7,183
6. Taco Bell
Overall sales (in billions): $7.478
Total units: 5,262
7. Dunkin' Donuts
Overall sales (in billions): $6.264
Total units: 7,306
8. Pizza Hut
Overall sales (in billions): $5.666
Total units: 6,209
9. Chick-Fil-A
Overall sales (in billions): $4.621
Total units: 1,683
10. KFC
Overall sales (in billions): $4.459
Total units: 4,556
Source: HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Crazy Things Rich People Do With Their Money

Install ATM Machine In Kitchen

The super-rich enjoy having money at their finger tips. NBA star DeShawn Stevenson didn't like the idea of having to find an ATM machine to withdraw cash, so he put one in his kitchen.

Build Emergency Rooms In Homes

Some super-rich households bypass the long waiting room lines at hospitals by constructing emergency rooms -- costing over $1 million -- in their own homes.  

Buy Submarine To Visit Ocean's Deepest Part

No place is off-limits to the super-rich. Billionaire film director James Cameron bought a single-person submarine to venture seven miles below sea level to the deepest part in the ocean.

Receive Psychological Wealth Counseling

Some super-rich bank clients pay for therapists to help them deal with the psychological issues associated with having lots of money.

Get Doomsday-Safe Underground Luxury Condo

Super-rich buyers plan to survive the world's end in luxury condos built in a Cold War-era missile shaft below a Kansas prairie.

Purchase Ballistic Shield Briefcases 

The super-rich spend on ways to protect themselves and their stuff. China's Leison Global made a briefcase that turns into a ballistic shield. It's meant to safeguard rich businessmen and women.

Buy Humongous Private Planes

Rich people seem to hate lines, including the long security ques at airports. Like many wealthy people who have their own private jet, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov also bought one. But his is an AirBus A340, the largest one in Russia and quite possibly the whole of Europe. 

Throw Paper Planes Made Out Of Money

The super-rich can throw away money -- quite literally. Pavel Durov, the millionaire owner of the popular Russian social networking site VKontakte, tossed 5,000 ruble notes folded into paper planes out of his office window onto a crowd in St. Petersburg. 

Source: HuffingtonPost