Archive for the ‘Food-Nutrition-Health’ Category

Just how clean is your laundry?

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Laundry Soap Ingredients and Equipment

By Catherine Haug, July 26, 2017 (photo, right, from Sheree’s presentation on making your own laundry soap)

Washing your dirty laundry in 140°F water with real soap (not detergents) does the best job of killing bacteria and fungus germs; tumble-drying them for at least 30 minutes in a hot dryer also helps to kill those germs. But many washable fabrics will shrink in such hot water, and others may require drip-drying, so how is one supposed to keep germs in check?

This concern is especially important when there is a sick person in the house.

According to Mercola (1) there are several ways of reducing the potential of passing along bacteria or fungi from one piece of your clothing to the next without using dangerous toxins or opening yourself up to damage from microwave radiation. I’ve added one of my own as well. (more…)

Picking wild berries

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Huckleberries

By Catherine Haug, May 9, 2017 (Photo, right, by D. Morgan, used with permission)

Hey, all you huckleberry pickers out there (or those who pick other native berries such as serviceberries/June berries/saskatoons, choke cherries, etc.), this is for you. Of course, all those who have picked for their own use for years probably already know this, but those who pick for profit or are new to our area:

Don’t be greedy! Leave some berries on the bush for the bears and birds, so they can spread the seeds throughout the area to ensure the berries are there for future generations. You might think everyone knows this, but think again. (more…)

Event Notice: Spring Herb Walk with Swan Valley Herbs, May 12, 2017

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Ripening Hawthorn Berries (C. Haug photo)

by Catherine Haug, April 24, 2017  (Photo by C. Haug)

  • What: Spring Herb Walk with Tom Tracey
  • When: Friday, May 12, 2017, 10 AM; NOTE: In case of rain, the walk will be cancelled.
  • Where: Meet at at Wayfarer’s Park (8600 Mt. Hwy 35, Bigfork, MT 59911).
  • Who: No charge, adults welcome. No reservation needed.
  • These herb walks are very popular and there’s lots to learn from Tom, who is an herbalist, dietitian and nutritionist, and is very knowledgeable about native edible plants and healing herbs.

For More Information:

Contact Swan Valley Herbs in Bigfork, (406) 837-5747 or at the store: Swan Valley Herbs (429 Grand Dr, Bigfork, MT 59911)

How to store potatoes, sweet potatoes/yams, and true yams

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Red potatoes

By Catherine Haug, April 20, 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons).

Most grocers keep true potatoes in the refrigerated produce section, and sweet potatoes at room temperature, both under bright lights. But this doesn’t mean that’s where you should store them at home.

When stored improperly, “they might look OK; but when  cooked, they may emit harmful properties that they wouldn’t have, otherwise. They can become not just slightly shrunken and wrinkly, but potentially toxic.” Why?

How should they be stored? (more…)

Spring Cleaning: how to avoid potentially deadly hantavirus infection

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, April 13, 2017

Yesterday’s Daily Inter Lake had an interesting piece by Kathryn Houghton, titled “Spring Cleaning. Officials: Rats carrying hantavirus can be deadly.” (1) This caught my eye because it’s time to clean out my garage from all the salty dirt brought in on my car’s tires, and also to sort through my old moving boxes (after moving them from storage in Portland) for my enameled cookware.

You can read the complete article at reference (1) below, but here are the highlights.

  • Rodents (not just rats) carry the virus.
  • Montana has one of the highest rates of infection in the US. About 25% of Montana’s cases have resulted in death.
  • The virus is spread in dusty air; sweeping, vacuuming and other cleaning activities can stir up dust infected by saliva, urine or droppings from infected rodents.
  • Symptoms include: fatigue, fever, muscle aches early in the cycle. As the pulmonary disease progresses, symptoms will include coughing and extreme shortness of breath.
  • Precautions: see below.

(more…)

2017: Clean vs Dirty Dozen Food (whether to buy Organic)

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Free-range chicken farm

By Catherine Haug, March 13, 2017 (Photo, right, from Cornucopia (5)

Cat’s food-shopping tips:

  • Produce: If you can afford Organic, it is highly recommended you choose Certified Organic or Organically-grown. If your budget is limited, see the Clean Dozen and Dirty Dozen food lists, below.
  • Red meats: Pasture/grass raised and finished, locally-raised livestock provide the most healthful meats; see also my posting Why ‘Pasture-Raised’ trumps ‘Organic’.
  • Poultry meats: Your best choice locally raised poultry, provided they have access to the outdoors; and not just a small door to the outdoors, but a door you can use, too. Chickens eat not only seeds but also insects, grubs and worms, and they need the sun for the sunshine vitamin, just like we do.
  • Eggs: Your best choice is eggs from poultry raised in similar way as for ‘poultry meats’ above.
  • Dairy: Buying from a local farmer (who keeps his/her dairy livestock in pasture) is highly recommended. Organic commercial milk is ultra-pasteurized and, in my opinion, ultra-damaged. See my article on Cat’s Kitchen: Raw Milk: A Real, Natural & Perfect Food, which has a discussion about the problems with ultra-pasteurized milk. If drinking raw milk is not for you, choose simply ‘pasteurized’ milk (HTST) from a local dairy, such as Kalispell Kreamery here in the Flathead Valley. See Food Safety & Pasteurization on The EssentiaList for a description of the various pasteurization types.
  • Cheese: This is a dairy food but I give it its own bullet because we have a great source of raw-milk cheeses in Montana: Lifeline brand, from Victor MT. There are also local brands that use simply-pasteurized milk to make their cheeses, such as Flathead Lake Cheese (2) in Polson, and Amaltheia Dairy (3) in Belgrade.
  • Avoid processed foods, even if they say ‘organic’ on the label, because unless they are Certified Organic, they will contain up to 15% non-organic ingredients most of which are GMO. See my posting: Natural vs Organic Labeling for more.

Buying Organic can be expensive, so if your food budget is limited, read on. (more…)