taxlady: (Default)
I thought it would be a good idea to cut down on plastic bag usage for taking out the garbage. So, we started putting the non-stinky, non-disgusting garbage straight into a garbage can. [livejournal.com profile] swestrup attached the lid with a wire and put our street number on the can and on the lid in great big numbers.

Okay, I'll admit that the can was pale blue and only two and a half to three feet tall, but it was shaped like an ordinary, plastic garbage bin.

The idiot garbage collectors threw it out! It's possible that someone stole it, but I don't really think so.
taxlady: (Default)
Here's my last crabby post about the food safety lady on TV.

Another suggestion was colour-coded cutting boards. Red for raw meat, yellow for poultry, green for fruits and veggies, and black for cooked or ready to eat. She also prefers plastic because of the cut marks you get on wood.

She didn't mention the cut marks on plastic. It's kind of controversial, which is better, wood or plastic. But, there was a study at the University of California (Davis) that shows that wood is safer: Food Safety: Comparing Plastic and Wood Cutting Boards By Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D. I have heard of other studies with similar results. I don't know this for sure, but I think she hasn't studied it and is just using "common sense" and what other "experts" say.

She owns five cutting boards. They didn't look very big. I have five white plastic cutting boards (three small, two large) and a wooden board. I don't want mine colour coded - I have a dishwasher. I just put the meat and poultry boards in the dishwasher as soon as I'm done with them. I might need another vegi board while the first one is dirty. Without colour coding, I just grab a clean white one. Yeah, I think wood would be better, but I still have an ingrained prejudice in favour of plastic. I guess the next one will be wood. The last three were cheap at a yard sale.
taxlady: (Default)
I will continue my critique of the advice given by the food safety specialist from the TV show.

She says to keep large utensils in a drawer. Yes, it's decorative to store your utensils in a container near the stove, but it isn't a good idea. You grab the utensil by the end that will be touching the food, rather than by the handle. You should put them handle end out of the container and wash the container regularly.

I don't keep the big utensils in a jar by the stove because it's decorative. I keep them there because it's handy when I'm cooking. It also means I don't have to touch the handles on my drawers. I wash my hands before I cook, so grabbing by the end that touches the food shouldn't be a problem. If one has dirty hands, it's probably irrelevant which end you touch, because you are going to get germs from your hands into the cooking anyways. If I stuck the utensils in the jar handle out, I would need three or four jars, not just two. It would also make it harder to grab the utensil I want.

Washing the jar regularly sounds like a good idea.
taxlady: (Default)
The food safety specialist from the TV show that I wrote about yesterday said to use a "thin dishcloth" to wash dishes instead of a sponge. (Personally, I prefer a brush followed by thorough rinsing or the dishwasher.) The "thin dishcloth" she showed was a reusable/semi disposable, non-woven cloth usually called by brand name: J-Cloth in Canada & the UK or Handi-Wipe in the US. (I will refer to them as "J-Cloths" for convenience.) I agree that sponges harbour far more germs than "J-Cloths" and a counter wiped with a used sponge can't really be considered clean. That's because "J-Cloths" are thin and dry quickly; sponges don't. Of course, that assumes that you hang the "J-Cloth" up to dry. She also said that if your dishrag smells of mildew, it's not drying properly and it's time to chuck it. Wait a minute, these are reusable; you can put them in the laundry with bleach.

She goes on to tell us that she prefers that we dry our hands with a paper towel (Holy environment Batman!) and that if we use a tea towel (dish towel), we should change it every day. My goodness. I was taught not to use my tea towel to dry my hands. I have a separate, terry towel for that. I even have yellow tea towels that I only use for drying fruit and vegetables.

I use "J-Cloths" instead of paper towels most of the time. Spill something on the floor - wipe it with a "J-Cloth" and toss the "J-Cloth" in the laundry. I save the paper towels for broken glass and other stuff that shouldn't be rinsed down the drain. I even use "J-Cloths" to dry meat. Of course I take a clean one and then rinse and toss it in the laundry.
taxlady: (Default)
I saw a TV show today that had a guest who was telling us all sorts of things to change in our kitchens to minimize food contamination. Some of the advice was good. Most of it had me sputtering.

Hand washing: Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap for at least 20 seconds.

Yikes. Anti-bacterial soap is one of my pet peeves. I have some for very special cases, but using it every day is equivalent to running a program to breed anti-bacterial soap resistant germs. Thorough washing with regular soap and water followed by a good rinse is plenty good enough. If you don't believe me, have a look at this article: Is antibacterial soap any better than regular soap?

20 seconds! If you are using anti-bacterial soap, you have to leave it on your hands for two minutes, if you want it to have special powers.

It even turns out that triclosan, the germ killing agent in most anti-bacterial soap, may mess with our thyroids and cause environmental problems: Researchers sour on antibacterial soap.

I will post the rest of my snarky observations over the next few days.
taxlady: (freak)
The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
--Franklin Delano Roosevelt
taxlady: (Saami reindeer)
2007 seems to be the year that concern for the environment becomes mainstream. I just heard some young, hot, celebrity saying that "Green is cool."

This is a good thing, right? So, why does it bother me? Is it my bat radar/spidey sense going off? Or am I just getting old and crotchety? Maybe it feels like it's a fad and that's what scares me.

Maybe it's all the newby greenies telling me what to do. Oprah Winfrey told us that we can all cut back two paper napkins per day and that this will save some huge number of trees. No, Oprah, I can't possibly cut back two paper napkins per day. I use cloth napkins. I doubt I use as much as two paper napkins per week on average (in restaurants and cafes). Maybe it's my ego getting wounded - all these Johnny come latelies acting like they invented the environmental movement.

I've been a greeny/tree hugger for over 30 years. Tell me something well thought through. Discuss it. Quit trying to teach your granny to suck eggs.

It was hard to get many people interested until the threat of global climate change. I'm more concerned about Colony Collapse Disorder, also known as Vanishing Bee Syndrome and what we are doing that changes the composition of our atmosphere.

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