food crumbscooking, food preparation, recipes, nutrition, food science


eggs in carton


Today, two percent (2 %) of the U.S. population live on farms producing food for the remaining 98 percent.

We have to marvel at that fact, realizing that here in America we have an abundance of high quality food, for everyone. It is raised and harvested by 2 % of the population. It is then processed, transported and marketed and available as nutritious, wholesome, delicious food for all of us. It is a fantastic accomplishment. Much of this food is very perishable and yet we receive it in find form, thanks to many, many hard-working, conscientious individuals in the food industry.

Eggs are one of those perishable foods that is brought to our grocery stores everyday – fresh and wholesome.

According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) there are 225.9 million eggs laid per day in egg producing companies across the United states.

The top ten egg producing states, ranked by number of hens in production: *egg diag-2

Iowa – – – –    53,202
Ohio – – – –    29,865
Indiana – – –  26,656
Pennsylvania – 23,585
California – –  15,571
Texas – – – –  15,000
Michigan – – – 12,799
Minnesota – –  10,159
Georgia – – –    9,477
Nebraska – – –  9,374
Hen health and egg quality are the top two priorities on egg farms, any day, every day.
Egg farms follow guidelines to ensure that hens are provided nutritious feed, clean water, proper lighting, and fresh air.

Eggs are Graded before retail sale. Grading is AA, A, B. There is no difference in nutritional value between different grades and all grades are sold retail – but few B grade go retail.

Grade AA – white is firm and has thick white surrounding the yolk and a small amount of thin white. Yolk is round and elevated.

Grade A — White is reasonably firm and has a considerable amount of thick white and a medium amount of thin white. Yolk is round and elevated.

Grade B — White is weak and watery, has no thick white and a large amount of thin white which is spread thinly. Yolk is wider and flat.
Eggs are sorted according to size & should be placed end up in cartons.

Eggs are shipped in refrigerated trucks. In U.S. most eggs reach the grocery store just one day after being laid and nearly all of the them with in 72 hours (3 days).

Eggs must be refrigerated. An egg can age more in day at room temperature than 1 week in the refrigerator.

Egg nutrition
Egg consumption by Americans is increasing.

America’s eggs today are a high quality product that provides all natural, high quality protein, that is now 14% lower in cholesterol (down from 215 mg to 185 mg) and 54% higher in Vitamin D.

90% of Americans believe eggs are a nutritious choice for Breakfast.

The number of ‘heavy’ egg users (purchase 3 or more dozen per month) has increased from 38% to 45% in the last four years.

Egg consumption, per capita, has grown to 252 eggs in 2013. An increase of 4 eggs per person in last 2 years


Shoppers know:

Eggs are all natural

Are a good source of high quality protein

Are a good source of vitamin D

Are 70 calories


Egg exports have also increased 27.4% since 2012.

In 2012 – there were 274 million dozen exported
In 2013 – there were 349 million dozen exported.
















* American Egg Board,











1 lemon
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb)
1 can (10 ½ oz) condensed cream of broccoli soup
¼ cup milk
1/8 tsp pepper

1. Cut 4 thin slices of lemon and set aside. Squeeze 2 tsp juice from remaining lemon and set aside.
2. Over medium heat, in skillet, in hot oil, cook chicken 10 minutes or until browned on both sides. Spoon off fat.
3. Meanwhile in small bowl, combine soup and milk.
Stir in reserved lemon juice and pepper.
Pour over chicken; top each chicken piece with a lemon slice.
4. Reduce heat to low. Cover, simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
Serve with rice, if desired.
4 servings.



2 slabs baby-back pork ribs ( about 1 -1 1/2 pounds each.)
To taste salt and pepper
½ cup Barbeque Sauce (purchased or make recipe-following)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Season ribs all over with salt and pepper.
3. Stack ribs on a large piece of heavy duty foil, seal tightly and place on rimmed baking sheet.
4. Cook until fork-tender, about 1 ½ hours.
5. Heat grill to medium-high. (Lightly oil grates)
6. Remove ribs from foil and brush with sauce, coating well.
7. Grill until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes. Serve with more sauce.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp mustard powder
1 tsp Red-pepper flakes
3 Tbsp light-brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp molasses
¼ tsp ground pepper

1. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add onion and garlic.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in mustard powder and red-pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds more.
5. Reduce heat to low and stir in sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, molasses and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5-10 minutes.



4 medium potatoes- leave peels on
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to season
1. Cook potatoes, add a pinch of salt and cover with water and cook until tender, about 15minutes.
2. When cooked, remove from potatoes from water and add dried rosemary and olive oil.
And salt and pepper to taste.
3. Toss gently with a fork to coat potatoes. Serve warm.



1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup tomato-based chili sauce
¼ cup milk
2 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 scallion or onion, thinly sliced
To taste salt and pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 4 wedges

1. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chili sauce, milk, vinegar, relish, parsley, scallion, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
2. Place lettuce wedges on a platter or divide among four plates;
Drizzle dressing over top, as desired or let each person add dressing.
Serve immediately. Serves four



3 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 ….. Shallot, minced
2 tsp capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 …. ripe tomatoes
To taste salt and pepper

1. Core tomatoes and cut into wedges and place into serving bowl and chill in refrigerator.
2. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar and olive oil.
3. Stir in shallot
4. Add capers
5. When ready to serve, Drizzle with dressing and season with salt and pepper.


images (2)
BAKED SQUASH – Acorn, Buttercup or Butternut
Method 1: Baking whole, uncut, best preserves flavor and texture.
1. Wash squash, unpeeled and uncut, and place on a baking sheet or in a baking pan.
2. Set oven for 350 degrees and allow about 45 minutes for a 1 pound squash and 1 ½ hours for a 3 pound squash.
3. When baked, insert fork or knife and when it goes in easily, it’s done.
4. Cut in half and remove the seeds.
5. Season with butter and salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Method 2:
1. Wash squash, peel and cut in half.
2. Place on baking sheet or in baking pan, cut side up.
3. Spread inside with butter.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until tender.
5. Add more butter, if desired, and salt and pepper. Serve hot.


2 Tbsp Butter
2 Packages (10 ounces each) fresh spinach
Pinch ground nutmeg
To taste salt and pepper

1. Wash spinach and cut off tough ends. Drain, but not dry-leaving some of the water clinging to the leaves.
2. In a saucepan with tight-fitting lid, melt butter, low heat.
3. Add spinach, cover and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes, stirring once.
4. Remove from heat. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve immediately with slotted spoon.








Radish  The RADISH – (Raphanus sativus) of the Brassicaceae family, is an edible root vegetable and usually eaten raw as a crunchy vegetable.

Scientists believe the origin is southeast Asia.  It was know in Europe in pre-Roman times. Radishes were first recorded in history in the 3rd century BC and by the 1st century AD the Greek and      Romans wrote about “small, large, round, long, mild and sharp varieties.” *

There are several varieties.  the outer skin color of most varieties ranges from white to pink to red.  There are some purple, yellow, green and black varieties, also.  One may be most familiar with    the small, red, round variety.  Also popular is the white, elongated radish.  When harvested, the radish tastes crisp and sweet.  If left in the soil too long, they become bitter and tough.

Radishes are fast-growing annuals, liking cool seasons.  They are easy to grow.  Seeds germinate in 3-4 days, preferring soil temperatures of 65-86 degrees F,  and air temperature of 50-65 degrees F.

Crops mature in 3-4 weeks.  They like full sun, light, sandy soil with a pH 6.5 – 7.0.  (In warmer temperatures, plant in the autumn.)  Can plant every two weeks to have a continuous crop.

The size of the root (radish) depends on the depth at which the seeds are planted.  For small radishes, plant 1 cm (0.4 in) deep.  For larger radishes, plant 4 cm (1.6 in) deep. When sprouted, thin plants to 1 inch apart.

After harvest, one can store 2-3 days at room temperature or a couple months at 0 degrees C (32 degrees F).


To use, cut off leaves and root end.  Wash.Radishes-WhNutritionally –  100 grams (3.5 ounces):    .

Energy –    –    –    16 kcalories                                     Total Fat  –    –    0 gm

download (1)Carbohydrates – – 3.4  gm                                           Saturated Fat –   0 gms

Sugar  –     –   –    1.86 gm                                          Cholesterol  –  –  0 gms

Dietary Fiber  –      1.6  gm                                           Protein  –   –   –   1 gm



Vitamin B1 V- Thiamine  –   0.012  mg              1%                          Vitamin A  –  –      0%

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin    –  0.039  mg               3%                        Iron  –  –  –   –  –     2%

Vitamin B3 – Niacin  –  –  –  0.254 mg  –  –           2 %                       Calcium  –  –  –      3%

Vitamin B6 –   –   –  –   –  –  0.011 mg   –  –         5%

Vitamin C   –  –   –   –   —  14.8 mg   –  –  –       18%


I have read comments attributing much nutritional value to radishes.  Although I believe radishes do contribute to our nutritional well-being, the amount one would need to consume is too large to allow enjoyment in eating. The above figures are for 100 grams or about a 1/2 cup serving. A half-cup or 1 cup of radishes is more than I prefer to eat at one time.  I like to eat radishes for fun, as an addition to a salad or as a garnish or just a couple raw radishes to enjoy.

Radishes, of course, can be eaten raw, just plain. Or mix them into your favorite greens salad or cold slaw.  Try adding them to sandwiches, like pickles. Or you may like to add them to your favorite dips or spread.








*  Wikipedia





Se - Sel

Selenium is a trace element that is naturally present in many foods, added to others and available as a dietary supplement. It is nutritionally essential for humans.

Selenium is a mineral in the soil. It appears in water and some foods. People only need a very small amount, however it is important in metabolism. Selenium has attracted attention because of its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect cells from damage.  Among healthy people in the U.S., selenium deficiencies are uncommon. But some conditions – such as HIV, Crohn’s disease and others, are associated with low selenium levels. People who are fed intravenously are also at risk for low selenium.

Selenium is a component of the unusual amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine. In humans, selenium is a trace element nutrient that functions as cofactor for reduction of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxides and certain forms of thioredoxin reductase found in some animals and some plants (this enzyme occurs in all living organisms, but not all forms of it in plants require selenium.)

Selenium also is important in the functioning of the thyroid gland and in every cell that uses thyroid hormone, by participating as a cofactor for the three of the four known types of thyroid hormone deiodinases which activate and then deactivate various thyroid hormones and their metabolites.

Four conditions in which Selenium may play a role:

Cancer – Because of its effects on DNA repair, apoptosis and the endocrine and immune systems, as well as other mechanisms, including its antioxidant properties, selenium may play a role in the prevention of cancer.

Cardiovascular disease - It may help in preventing platelets from aggregating.

Cognitive decline – Serum selenium concentrations decline with age and this decline may be associated with declines in brain function.

Thyroid disease – Selenium concentration is higher in the thyroid gland than in any other organ in the body and like iodine, selenium has an important function in thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.

More research is needed to better understand selenium and these relationships and to determine the role of selenium.

There are interactions between selenium and other nutrients, such as iodine and vitamin E.

Studies have implicated selenium deficiency in several serious or chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. In additions, selenium has been found to be a chemo preventive for some types of cancer in some rodents, however, in humans, such results have not been found.


Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals, meats, mushrooms, fish and eggs. Brazil nuts are the richest ordinary dietary source, though this is soil dependent. High concentrations of selenium are found in kidney, tuna, crab, and lobster.

Sources of Selenium – Seafoods and organ meats are the richest food sources of selenium. Other sources include muscle meat, cereals and other grains and dairy products. The major food sources in the American diet are breads, grains, meat, poultry, fish and eggs.

The human body’s content of selenium is believed to be in the 13-20 milligram range.


Recommended daily dietary allowances (RDA) for selenium are:

Pediatric:                                                                  Adult:

  • Children 1-3 years –   20 mcg                              * 19 years and older – 55 mcg
  • Children 4-8 years –  30 mcg                               * Pregnant women –   60 mcg
  • Children 9-13 years – 40 mcg                              * Breastfeeding women – 70 mcg
  • Children 14-18 years – 55 mcg


Selected Food Sources of Selenium:

.                (cooked portions)                            (mcg)/serving

Brazil nuts, I ounce (6-8 nuts)                            544

Tuna, 3 ounces                                                          92

Halibut, 3 ounces                                                     47

Sardines, 3 ounces                                                   45

Ham, 3 ounces                                                          42

Shrimp, 3 ounces                                                     40

Macaroni, 1 cup                                                        37

Beef steak, 3 ounces                                                33

Turkey, 3 ounces                                                      31

Beef Liver, 3 ounces                                                28

Chicken, 3 ounces                                                    22

Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice                                     13

Oatmeal, 1 cup                                                           13

Spinach, 1 cup                                                            11

Milk 1% fat, 1 cup                                                       8

Cashew nuts, 1 ounce                                                3

Banana, 1 cup                                                              2

Carrots, raw, 1 cup                                                     0

Lettuce, raw, 1 cup                                                     0

Most American consume adequate amounts of Selenium.

If you are healthy and eat a well balanced diet, you should get   enough selenium.


Deficiency –

Selenium deficiency is rare in healthy, well nourished individuals. It can occur in patients with severely comprised intestinal function, those undergoing total parenteral nutrition and in those of advanced age (over 90). Also persons dependent on food grown from selenium-deficient soil are at risk.

Selenium deficiency occurs only when a low selenium status is linked with an additional stress, such as high exposure to mercury or as a result of increased oxidant stress due to vitamin E deficiency.

Taken at normal doses, selenium does not usually have side effects.

Selenium deficiency produces biochemical changes that might predispose people who experience additional stress to develop certain illnesses.

Selenium deficiency is very rare in the United States or Canada. The following groups are among those most likely to have inadequate intakes of selenium:

People living in selenium-deficient regions – persons in countries whose diet consists primarily of vegetables grown in low selenium soils, such as areas in China, and in some areas in Europe among those mostly consuming vegan diets.

People receiving kidney dialysis – Selenium is removed from the blood during treatment and also from anorexia and dietary restrictions.

People living with HIV – Selenium is lower due to inadequate intake and excessive losses due to diarrhea and mal-absorption.


Low levels of selenium may occur if you:

  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Drink alcohol
  • Take birth control pills
  • Have a condition that prevents your body from absorbing selenium such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.


Toxicity –

Although selenium is an essential trace element, it is toxic if taken in excess. Exceeding the Tolerable Upper Level of 400 micrograms per day can lead to selenosis.

Health risk from excessive intake of selenium – Early indicators of excessive intake are garlic odor in the breath and a metallic taste in the mouth. The most common clinical signs of high selenium intake, or selenosis, are hair and nail loss or brittleness. Other symptoms include lesions in the skin and nervous system, nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, mottled teeth, fatigue, irritability and nervous system abnormalities. Acute selenium toxicity can cause severe gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms, acute respiratory syndrome, myocardial infarction, hair loss, muscle tenderness, tremors, sightedness, facial flushing, kidney failure, cardiac failure, cirrhosis of the liver, pulmonary edema, and in rare cases, death.

Although it is toxic in large doses, Increased dietary selenium intakes reduce the effects of mercury toxicity.

Selenium can interact with certain medications and some medications can have an adverse effect on selenium levels.

Selenium may interact with other medicines and supplements such as antacids, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, niacin, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and birth control pills. Selenium supplements are associated with a risk of skin cancer.


If one is being treated with any of the following medications, it is advised that one should not use selenium supplements without first talking to your health care provider.

  • Drugs that may affect (lower) selenium levels in the body, such as Cisplatin ( a chemotherapy drug), Clozapine (Clozaril), Corticosteroids (such as prednisone), Valproic acid (Depakote).
  • Anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs (blood thinners), such as Clopidogrel (Plavix), Warfarin (Coumadin), Heparin, Aspirin.
  • Barbiturates – (in animal tests, selenium seems to make the sedative effects of these drugs last longer) Butabarital, Mephabarbital, Phenobarbital, Secobarbital
  • Chemotherapy – It is thought that Selenium may interfere with the cancer fighting ability of chemotherapy medicines.
  • Cholesterol-lowering medication – Selenium may reduce the effectiveness of these medications such as (Zocor, Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor and Pravachol).
  • Birth control pills – Some researchers think that women taking birth control pills may have higher levels of selenium in their blood. If taking birth control pills, ask your doctor before taking additional selenium.
  • Gold salts – may lower levels of selenium in the body and cause symptoms of selenium deficiency.






* NIH – National Institut of Health, sheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/

** Selenium – University of Maryland Medical Center –


**** Wikipedia – Selenium








Lett-3C in the field

FOOD SAFETY in Produce – How safe is our produce?

We know that meat and dairy products have required government inspections and must meet strict governments guidelines. But what about produce – fruits and vegetables.

Consumers, today, are more aware of food borne illness than ever before and are very concerned.

The produce industry is also concerned and has been at work for years to provide quality products and safe food to consumers. There have been incidents of food borne illness from produce in recent years in the United States. No one is more alarmed about such tragedies than the produce industry. One incident alarms consumers and consequences can be un-repairable for an industry. Persons can become ill and even death. Also many dollars and hours are lost in investigating the problem and confidence in the safety of the particular product is severely damaged. Jobs and sales for the product in the future have been enormously reduced.

Many industry leaders and Health officials say that improper food handling is more dangerous than residues and have actively been working for many years to prevent problems. They have formed Alliances, Associations, Consortiums, Advisory Boards, etc., to find problem areas and to correct the problem and to educate all involved from the growers, to those harvesting, packaging, storing and transporting the food item.   SB in field


Efforts in California, in particular in the past twenty years, have been noteworthy.

Organizations like and including the Western Growers Association, California and Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Association, California Strawberry Commission, California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, etc., have developed guidelines, safety requirements, audits and educational materials to help inform, guide, and monitor the work of everyone in the Supply Chain to prevent food borne illness in produce. These include daily on site records of conditions (cleanliness, temperatures) formal inspections and audits with written and published reports of findings, and educational materials and records of attendance. Things monitored are Water, Wildlife Intrusion, Soil Amendments-fertilizer and other chemicals, worker hygiene and equipment sanitation.

Educational materials are in more than one language, with many pictures and illustrations to inform all workers what they must do. Materials are made large enough – to be noticed, easy to use – such as flip charts and portable, so they can be mounted on the “back of a pick-up truck” and taken to the work site. Workers throughout the supply chain have explained to them, their importance in providing safe food for the health of the consumers and of the continuing of work and income in the industry – how it is important and how it affects their job. Workers are given certifications for attendance at classes.

C on vine

These industries are going above and beyond the required work to assure wholesome and safe produce. To work with and support the Industry, Government mandates have built on work done by growers and buyers and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 (FSMA) was signed into law January 2011. * It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. It gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authorities to regulate the way foods are grown, harvested and processed. It gives the FDS several new powers, including mandatory recall.

The law was prompted in Congress after reported incidents of food-borne illnesses during the 2000s. Tainted food has cost the food industry billions of dollars in recalls, lost sales and legal expenses. The bill is similar to the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009.

The FDA has the power to oversee how foods are produced and how they are maintained in food markets. This puts greater emphasis on preventing food-borne illness. The better the system for producing, transporting and preparing foods the safer our food supply will be.

Fourteen percent (14%) of the food supply to the United States is imported from other countries.

The new law significantly enhances FDA’s ability to achieve greater oversight of the millions of food products coming into the United States from other countries each year.

The legislation affects every aspect of the U.S. food system, from farmers to manufactures to importers. It places significant responsibilities on farmers and food processors to prevent contamination.

Basics of the Proposed Produce Rule:

Agriculture Water – Farmers must ensure that water that is likely to contact produce or food-contact surfaces is safe with periodic testing.

Biological Soil Amendments of animal Origin – The proposed rule specifies types of treatment, methods of application and time intervals between application of certain soil amendments, including manure and crop harvest.

Health & Hygiene – Farm personnel must follow hygienic practices including hand washing, not working when sick and maintaining personal cleanliness.

Domesticated and Wild Animals – There must be waiting periods between grazing and crop harvest, farmers must monitor for wildlife intrusion and not harvest produce contaminated by animals.

Training – Training is required for supervisors and farm personnel.   Lett-leaf in field

There is a constant effort – to make it better.

Food safety is important throughout the Supply Chain from farm to consumers.

Lett-Hd in Field










*  Wikipedia – FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.