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Yes, GMO’s are Safe

27 Feb

My son, Nicholas, decided to write an essay about GMO’s for his Language Arts class. I encouraged him to use researched based information or information based on scientific experiments. This is what we found:

dna• Genetic Modified Organisms are plants and animals with changes in their DNA. These changes are made to improve their performance and availability. These genetic changes have been occurring for ten thousand years when farming began.

• Today, nearly all foods have been genetically modified. However, there are only 9 commercially approved GM crops available in the U.S.: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya and potatoes. Soon GM apples will be coming to local markets. The nutrition and composition of these crops are the same as non-GMO’s foods. Also, our bodies digest them the same way as non-GM crops.

• These GMO’s do not present any new health risks—they do not cause new allergies, cancer, infertility, ADHD or any other diseases or conditions. Scientific authorities around the world such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have examined hundreds of scientific studies. In conclusion, they found that GMO food crops do not pose more risks to people, animals or the environment.

• Before they reach the market, crops from GM seeds are studied extensively to make sure they are safe for people, animals and the environment. Today’s GM products are the most researched and tested agricultural products in history. Global regulatory agencies in seventy countries have reviewed the safety information and found no risks. apples

• In  the United States, GM crops are reviewed by at least 2, and sometimes 3, federal regulatory agencies: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

While Facebook and other social media sites do an excellent job of spreading information, we have to remember that sometimes the information isn’t completely accurate. As with anything, the Extension office recommends using reputable sites and resources when doing research. The Extension office is glad to assist with researched based information for any questions or concerns you may have.


¿Almacenar agua como camellos?

31 Oct

camelEl otoño llegó, el aire se pone más seco y las temperaturas bajan. Los días son soleados y agradables. Durante esta época del año tengo que estar recordándome a mí misma tomar agua con frecuencia. Le he estado agregando pedazos de pepino cocombro y de limón a mi agua para añadirle sabor y para mantenerme tomándola. La mayoría de la gente se da cuenta de beber más agua cuando hace calor, esta húmedo y sudamos, pero pocos nos damos cuenta que el agua se evapora por la piel aun cuando hace frío.

El agua es muy importante en nuestro sistema. Nuestro cuerpo contiene grandes cantidades de agua. El porcentaje de nuestros cuerpos que se compone de agua oscila entre 75% cuando estamos recién nacidos a 50% cuando nos hacemos ancianos. Todos los tejidos del cuerpo contienen agua. Miren diferentes partes del cuerpo y su porcentaje de agua: Sangre 83%, músculo 73%, grasa corporal 25% e incluso los huesos 22%.

Podemos almacenar calorías extras en forma de grasa para cuando la comida escasea, pero no podemos almacenar agua extra como los camellos para cuando la necesitamos. A medida que envejecemos las señales de sed son muy inexactas, por eso es necesario beber más agua y con frecuencia aunque no sintamos sed. No solo perdemos agua al usar el baño, también perdemos agua al exhalar y al transpirar aun cuando hace frio.

Para reemplazar la pérdida diaria de fluidos necesitamos tomar de 8 a 10 vasos de agua o de otros fluidos por día. Cualquier cambio en nuestro medio ambiente o en nuestra salud puede aumentar nuestra necesidad de fluidos. La única manera de saber si usted está tomando suficiente es revisando el color de su orina. Si usted va al baño con poca frecuencia y el color de su orina es oscuro como el jugo de manzana o sidra es necesario beber más. Si es casi incolora o amarilla clara como el jugo de limón, usted está recibiendo suficiente cantidad de líquido.

Le presentamos algunas ideas de líquidos que son saludables para usted: Agua de la llave o de botella sin azúcar agregada; jugos 100%, no mezcla de jugos o bebidos con jugos; leche baja en grasa o sin grasa y leche de soya fortificada con calcio y vitamina D.

Escoja sus fluidos de manera inteligente. Son parte vital de buenos hábitos de salud.

And where is my watermelon?

30 Jun



This is probably the question that we hear the most, when we visit the 11 places that are scheduled on the itinerary of our mobile farmers market: FRESH on DEK! During the past 4 weeks of June, the DeKalb County Extension’s staff has served about 1,000 customers who have come to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, interested in eating them with their families while improving their lifestyles. But, almost every market day, we all smile when we hear the question: Do you have any watermelons today? I think it’s the most popular crop, but unfortunately our mobile market unit that brings fruits and vegetables to food desert or low access areas in our county, cannot store, load and distribute this usually heavy and large vegetable during our weekly stops. There are several publications from the University of Georgia on watermelons, and we can learn a lot about the requirements for transportation, storage, temperature and this delicious crop. Please visit, for more information.

I would like to share with you some interesting facts about this crop, which will be one of the most consumed during the 4th of July weekend holiday. Watermelon is a vegetable, if we consider the way it is planted, grown and harvested. It is used as a fruit because of its sweetness and versatility when it comes to eat it. While we have fun eating a good piece of watermelon we can also think about their health benefits. There are over 100 different varieties of this plant belonging to the family of squash and cucumbers, but they all varieties have very low calories. It is quite remarkable the amount of lycopene, (“lycopene” by name) on them, only surpassed by tomatoes. Lycopene is considered a crucial nutrient in the fight against cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. Other important nutrients that can be found in watermelons include vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

Other key facts about watermelons include their importance as part of Georgia’s agriculture and even having the city of Cordele, known and recognized as the Watermelon Capital within our state.  Although our mobile market cannot offer a good supply of watermelons, we hope that during this summer time you can enjoy the delicious taste in drinks, salads, frozen snacks, favorite recipes or just fresh. There are many ways to consume and use the whole watermelon, just remember to wash it before eating it and storing it at 32 degrees to prevent souring. Have a refreshing summer accompanied by a good piece of watermelon!sandia 1

Here is a link for a very refreshing recipe!

My Food is PINK! By Chasity Tompkins

20 May

According to the USDA My Plate initiative, you should focus on variety, amount, and nutrition, when planning your meals. You should also choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Fruits and vegetables should take up at least half of your plate at each meal with children getting between 1 – 2 cups of fruits a day and 1 -3 cups of vegetables a day. The key to achieving this is to have as many colors on your plate as you can.

Youth love eating foods that are colorful and more appealing. We can go get blueberries, purple eggplant, yellow corn, green lettuce, black beans, red strawberries, orange carrots, brown walnuts, and white cauliflower. There is one color, however, that is not commonly seen in the field or in our grocery stores. Pink. No, I am not referring to raw meat.

pinksoupAdd a little something new to your child’s menu by making their food pink for day. For breakfast, start with something full of fruits, like a Strawberry Banana Smoothie (see recipe below). For lunch, heat up a bowl of Beet Spinach Soup (see recipe below) to get them refueled and focused! Finish off their day with Roasted Salmon (see recipe below) and don’t forget to add steamed vegetables!

Each of these meals is tasty, nutritious, and helps your child reach their daily recommended values of fruits and vegetables. Your child will love the pink color and yummy taste and you will love seeing them enjoy their fruits!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie – 2 servings

Beet Spinach Soup – 4 servings

Roasted Salmon – 2 servings

Did you hear? It popped!

23 Feb

Everyone making sure that we are doing it right! FACS agents from NW District: Cindee Sweda (Cobb), Marybeth Kellet (Rockdale), Inés Beltrán (Gwinnett), Barbara Worley (Forsyth), Barbara Collins ( Muscogee), Alexis Roberts (Bartow), Keishon Thomas (Bibb) and Kaley Barkar ( Intern -Bibb).


One of the most fascinating experiences about being a Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Georgia Extension is to have the opportunity to participate in regular updates about the science of preserving food. Our very own specialist, Dr. Elizabeth Andress, a national leader and expert makes sure that agents are up to date in the latest research and developments related to: canning, freezing, making jams and jellies and market trends among other topics.

Last week a group of Extension Northwest District’s  county agents  met at the Extension office in Cartersville, GA to participate in a hands –on training. As a group we prepared apple jelly. If you are interested in making this delicious recipe you can find the information and all the steps at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website visiting the following link:

Food preservation will help us prevent the spoilage of the food we like and eat. Molds, yeast and bacteria are microorganisms that can spoil our food. Every time I attend a food preservation class I hear a very scary word: Clostridium botulinum, a bacteria that can make you really sick and can cause death. Following the proper food preservation procedures have the intention to eliminate this frightening bacteria from growing in our food. That is a very compelling reason to make sure we are following tested recipes, the right equipment and the right procedures recommended by serious and responsible institutions, when we prepare and preserve food for us or our love ones.

setp5ed  If you are an avid food preserver you might be using the So Easy to Preserve book. This fantastic resource is full of tested recipes and offers precise explanations of procedures and processes we all need to follow to ensure a safe and successful food preservation experience. Contact your local Extension office to inquire about ordering the latest version of the So Easy to Preserve book. We are getting ready for warmer months and the availability of fresh and delicious produce will increase. Consider using canning, freezing, drying or pickling processes. Prepare delicious jams and jellies with your favorite fruits and enjoy them all year round! And as part of the experience get ready to hear the jar pop!

Edda Cotto-Rivera, FACS agent in DeKalb County

Metabolismo y peso corporal

10 Feb

Todos los días como un buen desayuno al igual que snacks entre mis comidas. breakfast - CopyDurante los últimos 20 años he hecho ejercicio con frecuencia y mi peso se ha mantenido estable en los últimos 12 años. La gente me dice que debo agradecerle a mi alto metabolismo, así que decidí leer más sobre el metabolismo y sus efectos en el peso corporal. Esto fue lo que encontré:

El sobrepeso es más que todo el resultado del almacenamiento de energía en forma de grasa debido a su exceso. En ocasiones, problemas hormonales o una enfermedad puede afectar el metabolismo. Los siguientes son algunos factores relacionados con la edad que reducen la cantidad de energía necesaria y afectan nuestro peso:

Las hormonas: Los hombres producen menos testosterona y las mujeres menos estrógenos con la edad. El crecimiento hormonal en los humanos disminuye con la edad ocasionando una susceptibilidad más alta a subir de peso por la relación de músculo y grasa.

La menopausia: Al acercarse la menopausia ocurre una disminución en las hormonas ocasionándole al cuerpo más uso de energía. Los expertos dicen que la subida de peso en la menopausia y la pos-menopausia es debido en parte solo a los cambios hormonales, pero que ser menos activo físicamente sin reducir el consumo de calorías es la causa principal en muchos casos.

El género: Los hombres tienen una tasa metabólica basal (BMR) más alta que las mujeres porque su proporción de musculo a grasa es más alta que el de las mujeres. Esto quiere decir que un hombre quemara más calorías que una mujer de la misma edad y peso.

Aquí le presento las opciones para ayudarle a bajar o a mantener su peso sin importar sus factores de riesgo:

  1. Para bajar de peso, usted tiene que saber su requerimiento diario de calorías y asegurarse que no tiene ningún problema de salud que le pueda causar subir de peso. Aquí hay dos links que le ayudarán con la planeación de peso corporal y su nivel de actividad física:
  • Instituto Nacional de Diabetes y de enfermedades de riñones y de digestión

  • UGA Extensión Ciencias de la Familia y del Consumidor

  1. Usted debe concentrarse en tres factores fundamentales que contribuyen a bajar de peso y a mantener su peso ideas. Los siguientes factores también causan un impacto en el metabolismo:

¡Tome un poco de su tiempo para revisar la información de los links y comience su propio plan para una vida saludable!

The power of Kiwi!

20 Oct

When I do my grocery shopping I don’t buy Kiwi because isn’t sweet enough for my husband’s and son’s palate. In this past month, Kiwi is becoming part of our weekly diet thanks to the information passed from my mother to us.

kiwi2Kiwi is packed with vitamins, minerals, and soluble and insoluble fiber. These are some of the reasons why kiwi can help to protect against heart disease. Surprisingly, one large kiwi has twice the amount of Vitamin C than of an orange and is loaded with lutein, which reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. Also it has copper, which is important for bone strength, brain development, and building immunity; and potassium, which aids in efficient heart functioning and helps to control blood pressure. The fuzzy skin can be removed or eaten, as it also contains nutrients which are similar to the skin of a peach.

Add it to fruit salad, chicken salad, cereal, pancakes, or desserts for an extra punch of nutrients.


1 ½ cups cooked chicken, cubed

¼ cup celery, chopped

¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon salt

2 kiwifruit, pared, sliced, divided


  • Combine chicken, celery, walnuts, mayonnaise and salt
  • Quarter half of kiwifruit slices; gently stir into chicken mixture
  • Spoon onto 2 lettuce-lined salad plates.
  • Garnish each serving with remaining kiwifruit slices.

Serves 2.

Try kiwi in different recipes or use it as part of your smoothies. Kiwi is another power fruit!

La risa y la salud

2 Oct

Reírse a carcajadas puede ayudarle a disminuir su presión arterial alta, aumentar sus latidos del corazón, reducir su estrés, disminuir la tensión muscular, mejorar su respiración, aumentar su funcionamiento mental y quemar calorías. ¡Que ideal nutrir su cuerpo y mente con todos estos beneficios cuando se ríe!


¡Imagínese que a usted se le recete reírse para bajar de peso, no suena tan loco! El doctor William Fry Jr. inventó los términos “aeróbicos internos” y “correr en el mismo lugar” para describir los efectos físicos de una buena carcajada. Sus investigaciones han demostrado que la risa como el ejercicio físico aumenta los latidos del corazón, amplía la circulación y aumenta el consumo de oxígeno. De hecho, el calculó que de 100 a 200 carcajadas al día es el equivalente a un ejercicio de alto impacto que le ayuda a quemar 500 calorías.

Además, se sabe que la risa reduce el cortisol (la hormona de estrés en nuestro cuerpo), disminuye la tensión muscular, y aumenta el recuento de células T (las células T son un tipo de células blancas que circulan en nuestro cuerpo buscando anormalidades celulares e infecciones).

En el libro La risa, una investigación científica, del autor Robert R. Provine, se afirma que la risa es importante en los programas de salud mental. Los beneficios psicológicos de la risa incluyen: aumento de catecolamina (un neurotransmisor que ayuda con la función mental), aumento de los niveles de tolerancia al dolor, y reducción de los niveles de estrés.

¡Comience ahora mismo a nutrir su cuerpo y mente y ríase a carcajadas con más frecuencia! Reúnase con familiares y amigos, vea cómicos en la televisión y lea libros y revistas que lo hagan reír.

What is a Zucchini? An experience from our Mobile Farmers Market in DeKalb Extension

28 Aug

market 1

The afternoon was sunny and hot and I was working at one of the stops of our mobile farmers market at an apartment complex where a diverse group of seniors live. One of our clients came to our group and after checking all the products that were available for sale that day asked us the following question: What is a zucchini? According with his own words he didn’t know and has never tasted before.

You can imagine our surprise! Zucchini is one of the most abundant produce during summer, and is one of those we eat as a vegetable when in reality is a fruit.

Zucchini taste better when is about 6 to 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. When we buy it like that we can enjoy it when is tender and has a delicious flavor even if we eat it raw. You can shred the larger pieces and use them to bake zucchini bread and other bake goods.

Zucchini, with its intense green color is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, B and C and other nutrients. One cup of zucchini has approximately 35 calories, making it a perfect addition to a healthy eating diet.

Our friendly client left very pleased for visiting our mobile market that day. He left with a good supply of zucchini, learned something new about it and had the opportunity to taste one of our most popular recipes: Zucchini Italian Style. We invite you to prepare this quick and delicious recipe before summer goes away and take advantage of the plentiful zucchini at its best! Enjoy!


Cucurbita_pepo_Summer_Squash_Yellow_and_Green_Zucchini_zucchineZucchini Italian-Style


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

4 medium zucchini trimmed

1 canned stewed tomatoes, regular or low sodium

1/4 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs

1/4 teaspoon coarse—ground black pepper

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Wash hands and assemble clean equipment. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and zucchini; stir-fry for about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, Italian herbs, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and steam 4 to 5 minutes or until zucchini is still slightly crisp.Stir in cheese and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.


Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount Per Serving: 1 cup

Calories 132

9 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of protein, Cholesterol 5 mg,

2 g fiber

Sodium 365 mg or 153 mg with low sodium stew tomatoes

The Incredible ONIONS!

19 May

I cook almost every day at home, and when cooking I use onions as the main ingredient in my recipes. Besides the great flavor this vegetable add to my meals, it also provides wonderful nutrients. I want to share with you the information I found about the nutritional value of onions. I know that after reading this information you will cook more with onions:

One of the most significant sources of antioxidants in the human diet is onions, reports Cornell University Associate Professor Rui Hai Lui. These antioxidants provide this vegetable with its sweet flavors and distinct aroma. Consuming onions supplies your body with soluble fiber and flavonoids, antioxidant compounds that fight free radicals. These flavonoids assist in thinning your blood, decreasing inflammation and fighting cancer.  fotolia_14367447_XS[1]

The Western Yellow type contains 11 times more antioxidants than the Western White type and provides the strongest protection against the production of liver cancer cells. The Western Whites contain the least amount of antioxidants among onion varieties and offer the least protection against cancer cells. Shallots, Western Yellow, Northern Red and pungent yellow onions assist in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, which may protect against the development of colon and liver cancer.

Inflammation in your body can cause and exacerbate symptoms of asthma, arthritis and heart disease. According to a 2010 study published in “Molecular Aspects of Medicine,” regular consumption of organosulfur compounds from onions and garlic can prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

Onions may assist in thinning your blood, as they contain thiosulfinates – the agents that provide an onion with its pungent odor and cause teary eyes when you come in contact with this vegetable. Additionally, this sulfur compound prevents platelets in your blood from aggregating and operates as a natural blood thinner. When platelets cluster in your blood, your risk for experiencing a stroke or heart attack significantly increases. Eat your onions raw for maximum thiosulfinate content, as cooking onions significantly decreases the quantity of this compound. If you take a prescription blood thinner, consult with your physician about consuming onions in conjunction with your medication, as you do not want your blood to become too thin.

Onions also contain a special form of soluble fiber known as fructan. When you consume fructan, this soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance in your colon and converts to fatty acids. These fatty acids act as a natural laxative, stimulating bowel movements. The fructan in onions, inulin fructan, promotes the growth of good bacteria in your intestines, which may combat any infections in your colon.

So, what do you think? I think onions are amazing!