Whether you’re looking for a quick bite of information or want to drop some knowledge on your dinnertime companions, here’s our Featured 5 of the Week!
‘Seaspiracy,’ the new Netflix documentary highlights some major issues in the sustainable seafood industry. It made us think… can we trust any of our seafood? The answer is yes, but the process may require a few more steps. Here’s how you can do it!
1. Farmed vs. Wild-Caught
We always thought that wild-caught was more sustainable. However, that’s not the case. Sustainably managed farmed fish can be the best for our planet and our wallets. This is also the only way to ensure that the type of fish you’re buying is actually what you’re paying for. Otherwise, the wild-caught cod you’re buying could be flounder or something totally different.
2. Check where it’s coming from
Where your seafood is raised or caught matters, so do your research. Aside from the safety of fish farms, some countries have more sustainability measures than others, and their codes of conduct are much more strict. We found this guide from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch project to give you a good idea of where is best for which type of seafood.
3. Check the label
We say this all the time. Always check the label and make sure it’s reputable before purchasing. Many non-government organizations, or NGOs, like to slap on random labels to mark up the price of our food. For example, adding gluten-free products that naturally don’t contain any gluten just to charge more. So, when it comes to seafood, look for these things:
A reputable country that has sustainable seafood practices
A grade or indication (for example, “Prime” beef, or USDA “Organic”)
4. Where you buy your seafood matters
Although some retailers may have lower prices on seafood, this is where you can run into issues on being misled. First and foremost, if the grocer is selling U.S. -farmed seafood, chances are it’ll be seafood that’s been sustainably produced because the U.S. is a leader in global sustainable and responsibly managed fisheries. But, sometimes, U.S. -farmed seafood can be hard to find, especially since most aquaculture production is done in China and Southeast Asia.
When in doubt, research it out. You can never be too safe when feeding fresh, secure, and sustainably produced food to your family, and seafood is no different. If you prefer to eat only wild-caught seafood, this step is crucial. Know where your seafood is coming from, and make sure the labels are reputable.
Wild-caught Alaskan seafood is always a good choice. They feel it’s their duty to maintain the pristine conditions of their oceans and limit overfishing and bycatch. However, this option can get pretty expensive. Also, don’t buy seafloor captures, like trawls, seines, and dredges, because they can be dangerous to marine life.
We depend on food to get nutrients, and it’s best to get nutrients from whole foods. However, supplements like probiotics, EPA/DHA, and zinc, can help fill the void if we don’t get the right minerals and vitamins from whole foods.
But it’s hard to know when we’re putting too much trust in a green-water supplement that’s not backed by any reputable organization. So let’s start with the basics.
What is Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is a natural pigment found in plants that give vegetables, like spinach and other leafy greens, their green color. But more importantly, chlorophyll is essential for plant life. It’s a vital part of photosynthesis because it helps plants absorb energy from the sun and keeps plants healthy as they grow. Almost every growing plant you see in nature has chlorophyll in it.
Chlorophyll is a pigment, but the substance humans consume from chlorophyll is called chlorophyllin. Chlorophyllin is a semi-synthetic blend of sodium copper salts that comes from chlorophyll. One difference between the two is that chlorophyll has magnesium, but with chlorophyllin, the magnesium is replaced with copper and the phytol hydrocarbon tail disappears. Another difference is that chlorophyllin is water-soluble, making it easier for the body to absorb the chlorophyll and obtain its benefits.
In supplement form, chlorophyll is sold as a liquid that can be added to water, as a powder, as vitamins, and as Chlorophyll Water, a drink also containing vitamins A, B12, C, and D. It’s sold at most stores that sell supplements and also online.
These are some examples of different chlorophyll supplements online. You can see one supplement is chlorella. Chlorella is a type of single-celled, fresh-water algae that contains chlorophyll along with other antioxidants.
Is There Any Science Behind this Trend?
Unlike most viral diet trends, chlorophyll does have science behind it.
When it comes to skincare, studies have shown that a topical sodium copper chlorophyllin complex can reduce signs of aging and help reduce acne in women. However, some of the studies also had women use retinol, too, which may indicate that the combination of both may lead to better results.
Other chlorophyll studies have found antioxidant effects; specifically, it may reduce oxidative damage from carcinogens and radiation, aid in detoxification of carcinogens, and decrease chances of developing aflatoxin-associated liver cancer. Some people usechlorophyll therapeutically as an internal deodorant, especially in wound care, to slow bacteria growth in wound healing. Wheatgrass has even been shown to help in blood transfusions, ulcer healing, liver detoxing, and preventing tooth decay.
So How Much Should I Be Consuming?
Currently, the FDA states that people 12 years and older can take 300 milligrams of chlorophyll a day. To put it in perspective, we are supposed to eat four servings of leafy green vegetables a day. That amounts to about 30 milligrams, depending on the plant. Spinach is especially high in chlorophyll, with about 24 milligrams per one-cup serving. Parsley follows close behind with 19 milligrams per serving. This leaves space for extra chlorophyll from a supplement, if you desire.
Now, this doesn’t mean we should go crazy on the chlorophyll. Too much of anything isn’t good. And while supplements can help us get the nutrients we don’t get from food, taking too much of any particular supplement can harm you, according to Harvard Health. In general, the effects of too much chlorophyll are minor and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash or irritation when used as a topical solution.
Which Supplement Should I Buy?
Choosing the right chlorophyll supplement for you should start with a conversation with your doctor. Even though the FDA says we can consume 300 milligrams of chlorophyll a day, it’s good to talk with your doctor to find out if you should be consuming that much. If you eat lots of green veggies, you may not need any. Your doctor will be able to tell you which supplement and dosage are best for your lifestyle.
While liquid chlorophyll and other chlorophyllin supplements can be great for those not getting enough of the nutrient in whole foods, it’s healthier to increase the amount of veggies eaten than to take a supplement.
According to Harvard Health and several studies, all nutrients are most potent and best absorbed when they come from whole foods, not supplements. Also, any foods we eat that contain chlorophyll also have numerous other nutrients that our bodies need. This is why it’s critical to consume a variety of fruits and veggies every day and why most nutritionists recommend eating 5-7 servings. Each vegetable contains different nutrients that our bodies use for different functions and that feed different microbiome in the gut. This will ultimately benefit your immune system and overall health.
So, if you want to up your chlorophyll intake, consider altering your diet to include more veggies before running to the supplement aisle of the grocery store. Here are some chlorophyll-dense foods you can add to your diet:
As native Bostonians, my husband and I instinctively demand seafood in our diet. When planning a visit with our family in coastal New England, the first two things on the to-do list are placing an uncomfortably large order with the local lobster pound and buying up all the unsalted butter at the grocery store. It gets intense, to say the least: the array of surgical-looking utensils, wet naps strewn all over the table, and those silly-but-necessary lobster bibs. But we feel comfortable in our consumption, knowing it’s all locally sourced and sustainably caught. And that our cholesterol levels are reasonably low.
So when our marketing director, Hayley, asked if I had seen the Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, I guffawed and got a sudden pang for a buttered lobster roll. But then I started recalling my previous blindspots in our global food system and the deeply unsettling opacity of the seafood industry.
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices contribute to the mislabeling of seafood, as well as many other prohibited activities that Seaspiracy identifies throughout the film.
The producers of Seaspiracy know how to create a compelling journey; after all, Kip Andersen and Jim Greenbaum also produced the very dramatic, very anti-meat documentaries, Cowspiracy and What the Health.
Knowing this, I assumed my reasonably rational thinking and iron-clad stomach would pull me through. But, disappointingly, I definitely grew queasy during some of the really brutal scenes, which then triggered my anger at human nature to pollute with such wild abandon. These filmmakers know what they’re doing, that’s for sure.
I then tried to see the larger picture of the story. Despite the obfuscated facts and pro-vegan sentiment that concludes each of their films, it still brings a lot of frightening but necessary issues to light.
“Even if it’s chocked full of lies and half-truths, maybe [Seaspiracy] is still good overall if it introduces people to ocean issues and inspires a desire to make a difference.”
– Liz Allen, marine sustainability writer at Forbes
But does that mean we must throw the delicious, soft-shell chick lobsters out with the bathwater? I would still like to eat seafood, after all. Just maybe not yet.
Diving back in
To help me get back on the seafood track, I merged some of the broader points made in the film and some of the concepts we practice here at Dirt to Dinner to find a simple yet strategic way to improve my selection of sustainably sourced and responsibly managed seafood. Below are five key rules.
Rule #1: Farmed fish can be the most sustainable seafood
Despite common misconceptions (including my own), farmed fish that’s sustainably managed is the most cost-effective and planet-conscious choice. How else can you be 100% certain that the fish you’re paying for is actually what you think it is. For wild-caught, it could be flounder bottom-trawled off the coast of Southern Asia and not the $30/lb halibut from Norway.
Since farms facilitate the entire lifecycle development, filtration systems, and production management, farmed seafood offers an unparalleled level of transparency compared to wild-caught seafood, making consumer research much more accessible.
Rule #2: Where your seafood is raised or caught matters
Just like buying your beef, lamb, and chicken, it matters which regulatory food system is involved. But trying to find a nice, tidy little crib sheet of countries with the most stringent sustainability and safety guidelines is like seeking out the elusive Mid-Atlantic blue lobster.
Though the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has done an incredible job defining various codes of conduct for sustainable fisheries all over the world and is highly regarded by many countries, I had a hard time finding any detailed data that I could play around with on their site.
This resource is impressive – it offers highly specific recommendations for sustainable seafood and is very transparent. I used their search function to see the most consumed seafood in the U.S., like shrimp, salmon, albacore tuna, and tilapia. The regions most often cited as offering the “best choice” in terms of sustainability among these kinds of seafood are the U.S. & Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Japan.
But it’s important to note that more countries are following suit, like Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, and Palau. These countries will end harmful subsidies contributing to overfishing by 2025 as part of their sustainability initiative.
Rule #3: Labels can be an easy way to dress up a questionable product
I expect the producers of Seaspiracy and the Dirt to Dinner team to agree on this rule wholeheartedly: non-government-issued third-party verification package labels displaying a qualified, certified, or recommended product are generally garbage.
Unless you see a government department on the label from reputable countries with sustainable seafood practices and accompanied with some sort of grade or indication (think USDA “Choice” or “Prime” beef; USDA “Organic” products), focus on rules 1 and 2.
At best, labels allow non-government organizations (NGOs) to “certify” products to the degree they feel necessary. The organization then gets paid royalties by a food producer to apply the NGO’s label on their products. But at their worst, they can prey on our most basic survival instincts of fear and mistrust to manipulate us toward their often-obscured agenda. And I believe some organizations with these highly visible labels, like the Non-GMO Project and MSC, lie somewhere deep within that spectrum.
Rule #4: When in a rush, buy your seafood from highly reputable stores with not-too-cheap prices
First things first: I genuinely believe any decent grocer with U.S.-farmed seafood will have sustainably-produced fish that’s fresh and safe.
So I was disheartened to read the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)’s assessment that U.S. production only accounts for $1 billion in a $100-billion global aquaculture market. Hungry for more market data? Please check out their site – it’s surprisingly easy-to-read and fact-heavy.
But as far as retailers are concerned, it appears that Whole Foods, Hy-Vee, Aldi, and Target are all great picks. These stores have seafood procurement departments that only purchase from sustainably caught or raised fisheries that are also responsibly managed.
There are some great home-delivery seafood options, too, like Crowd Cow. We really like the information they provide on where and how their fish are caught, and your selections arrive at your doorstep within a couple of days. Give online retailers like this a try by checking out how transparent they are with their sourcing and supply chain.
Rule #5: For wild-caught, dive deeper into your research…and wallet
Still want to stick with wild-caught fish? That’s ok! But you’re gonna have to check out a few more things and pony up a little more dough if sustainability is important to you.
Basically, nothing compares to wild-caught Alaskan seafood. Period. Producers feel incredibly responsible for maintaining their unique and pristine marine life, so everything is carefully managed to limit overfishing and bycatch. But this will affect your food budget, so prepare accordingly. And, again, if you stick with those aforementioned countries, you’re on the right path.
Need some time for research but craving shrimp pad thai tonight? Consider these tips:
Do your research about the meat & seafood philosophy of the restaurant and its holding company before you leave the house. This may help reduce awkward staredowns with your waitperson.
Feel free to ask questions that are important to you, like if they sell sustainable seafood, if it’s farmed or wild-caught, and which country it’s from. If the waitperson doesn’t know, ask them to check with the chef. If the chef doesn’t know, order the burger.
Are you a sushi lover who’s curious about sustainable yellowfin tuna? Or only interested in fish locally caught in the South? Seafood Watch has a guide for you. Seriously, this site has almost everything you need to make informed decisions about what you eat.
How we can create demand for responsibly managed fisheries
Yes, government and academic sources are great for a particular industry. But if you’re eager to find a company you feel you can stand behind, ask your local fish market where they buy their seafood from. And then check out the producer’s site. The more information the site has, the better.
And if you really like a tilapia that’s caught in a country not listed here, that’s fine! Fisheries aren’t inherently “good” or “bad” based on overgeneralized criteria – those are for finding our way initially. As with most things ag-related, it depends on the producer and their practices, so more reason for research.
And, if you’re open to it and it’s available, please give U.S. aquaculture a shot. We need to drive demand for responsible seafood by standing behind products that do just that. It’ll help drive down food waste, transportation costs, carbon emissions, and unfair labor practices while supporting supply chain transparency, marine biodiversity, and future generations to fully reap the benefits of our waters.
Drought conditions have been reported around the world, often involving some of the major agricultural producing nations.
In the United States, drought remains a very serious issue across much of the Western States and large portions of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, including important production regions for wheat, feed grains, and oilseeds. California agricultural growing areas—including key centers for production of fruits, vegetables, and dairy — have been experiencing drought conditions described as “extreme” and “exceptional.” Conditions in the North and Southeast also are described as “moderate drought.”
Prolonged drought in these areas can have a significant effect on overall U.S. food supplies. California, for example, provides one-quarter of our total U.S. food supply. The Golden State is the nation’s largest dairy producer and grows as much as 80 percent of all the fruits and vegetables produced in the United States. North Dakota farmers provide more than half of all U.S, durum and spring wheat, key components of pasta and bread.
In contrast, conditions across much of the Midwest, South, and other portions of the country are generally in good shape for moisture.
Seriously dry conditions have steadily expanded across South America since at least 2018, moving from key areas in Brazil to include parts of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina.
Regional and local droughts also have plagued major crop production areas in Australia, Ukraine, and parts of Africa and Asia in recent years.
The mixed bag of conditions has farmers and others across the agricultural sector keeping a close eye on weather patterns. Timely rains during the growing season can help make up for the early lack of moisture to some degree. At present, forecasts call for another good year of overall food production. But as with any “average” assessment, the forecasts mask the severity of potential damage to the most hard-hit areas.
What are the causes of drought?
The debate over climate change has produced some widely divergent points of view about the causes of drought and extreme weather conditions in general. Most experts tend to agree that the reasons most likely involve a combination of natural and man-made causes. But opinions vary on the relative importance of each set of factors.
Uneven heating and atmospheric pressure close to the earth’s surface cause global winds. These winds then push around large air masses, which meet and collide to create storms or clear skies.
In the atmosphere, jet streams send weather systems, heat, and moisture around the globe.
El Nino and La Nina are significant factors for temperature, rainfall, air pressure, atmospheric and ocean circulation that influence each other
Variations in the location and size of the ozone layer
Climate activists, in particular, are quick to note the importance of human behavior in creating water issues. Reducing fossil fuel use, employing more aggressive water conservation and water-use practices, curtailing agricultural practices that require intensive use of water, protecting water supplies from contamination and other practices are major goals. Whether such efforts deal with the causes of climate change and drought or merely its symptoms, continue to be debated.
What effects will drought have on our food system and our families?
Drought affects both crop and livestock production, obviously. Dealing with the problem poses different sets of problems and issues for both.
Livestock producers can reduce herds and flocks or bring in water supplies to deal with temporary needs. Bigger issues emerge for them when drought limits their ability to grow their own feed stocks.
Of equal concern, drought harms crop yields. That means we have less food from the land in production. Just watch the below clips of Western Growers interviewing farmers who had to abandon their crops due to drought conditions.
Joe Del Bosque, farmer, had to sacrifice his asparagus field due to drought conditions. As a result, 70 people lost their jobs. Click here to view an almond farmer and del Bosque’s melon farm. Source: Western Growers via YouTube.
The amount of reduction in food production can vary widely, depending on the severity of the dry conditions.
Academic studies show divergent projections of the effect of climate change on global food production. One study led by Cornell University estimated that global food productivity has been reduced by 21 percent by climate change. Other studies by USDA’s Economic Research Service project yield declines across corn, soybeans, sorghum, rice, oats, cotton, and silage as a result of climate change (and alterations to irrigation patterns that are driven by water concerns). The journal One Earth warns that forecast increases in global temperatures will alter rainfall patterns and shrink the globe’s food-productive areas by as much as a third.
Buried within what is likely a mish-mash of science, hyperbole, ideological bias, and sincere passion is a single obvious truth: the world faces changing climatological conditions that already are affecting our ability to produce the food the world needs. What we do in response will determine how significant the effect of drought and other possible manifestations of climate change will be on our long-term food security.
Are our prime growing areas changing?
Where drought occurs is a critical factor, too. When drought hits major production areas for cornerstone commodities – food grains, feed grains, or oilseeds, for example, the adverse effects are magnified across the entire global food system. Reduced supplies in the face of continuing strong demand result in higher prices, or even spot shortages. Smaller crops of fruits and vegetables can hit consumers harder and more quickly, especially if the normal distribution system that supplies products from distant sources has been disrupted.
Those sorts of traditional concerns regarding the effects of drought have been joined by rising concerns about climate change. Some scientists worry that an increase in the frequency, duration, and severity of drought conditions could signal a fundamental shift in climatic conditions and weather patterns.
If so, that would mean the areas of historically highest productivity – the prime growing areas of many crops – could be shifting, moving generally northwards in the Northern Hemisphere and southerly in the Southern Hemisphere. Imagine the heart of the American corn belt stretching from Ohio to the Dakotas moving north into Canada, or traditional southern crops like cotton and sorghum migrating north. Such new cropping patterns would mean a massive change in the structure and functioning of the current global food system.
What can be done?
The issue of drought – and the larger matter of climate change — won’t be resolved by any single action or practice but rather through a comprehensive long-term approach that touches on virtually every sector of our society. Remember, humans are resilient and innovative. We will adopt new solutions to address our changing climate.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t take immediate steps to deal with the issue of drought that has plagued humankind long before the term “climate change” was coined.
More attention to soil health. The use of cover crops reduced tillage, regenerative agriculture, and other practices that help make the soil “spongier” and better suited to the retention of moisture
Better conservation of water and water use techniques
Better use of technology to monitor and manage soil conditions
Continued reliance on open trade is a critical tool in assuring a steady supply of the foods consumers want and need every day
What about us consumers?
Perhaps the most important role the consumer can play in dealing with drought and other climate-related problems is that of an active participant in our food system.
Consumers can recognize the up-and-down nature of food prices as a result of disruptions to normal food production patterns. Even with severe and pronounced drought in areas around the world, there is no shortage of food. Our food security is not at risk.
But we all have a role to play in assuring that we react positively to the possibility of longer-term changes to our food system, driven by climate issues. The days of profligate and extravagant use of water or other natural resources in our food system are gone – long gone. Farmers and others across the food chain are working hard to adapt to this new reality, and consumers can speed that process by demanding responsibly produced food products.
Look for food products that have been produced sustainably, using the techniques and tools available to us to make the best use of water and other natural resources. Speak up to food suppliers about it. Look for labels and other product information that makes the techniques and standards used in food production, manufacturing, and packaging more transparent. Your voice counts, so make it heard. Email us at [email protected]!
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite of information or want to drop some knowledge on your dinnertime companions, here’s our Featured 5 of the Week!
Summer is here! And, if you’re like us, you love a refreshing cocktail on a hot and humid day. But we don’t really want all those extra calories in our drinks. That’s why we’ve created these healthier summer cocktails that you can sip on guilt-free all summer long!
1. Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
Strawberry Daiquiris are one of our favorite frozen drinks, but when you get one from a restaurant or bar, there can be many added sweeteners. That’s why we’ve created this!
All you’ll need are frozen strawberries, rum, and lime juice. Add these ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, and serve. Give it a taste test, and add more lime juice as needed.
2. Moscow Mule
There’s nothing better than a light Moscow Mule on a warm summer night. And, with our version, you can save on carbs too. It’s easy; just swap out standard Ginger Beer with Diet. Regular Ginger Beer has over 100 calories, 31 grams of net carbs, and 10 grams of sugar. But, with diet, you can cut the calories, carbs, and sugar in half or more, depending on which brand you buy. For example, Gosling’s Diet Ginger Beer has 0 calories, 0 carbs, and 0 total sugars.
3. Vodka Lemonade
This one is as easy as it sounds. Vodka lemonades are perfect for a day by the pool, but lemonade can contain a lot of extra sugar. However, you can swap out the sugary lemonade with freshly-squeezed lemon juice mixed with water and stevia (or sweetener of your choice), Crystal Light Sugar-Free Lemonade, or Minute Maid Zero Sugar Lemonade. You’ll still get the same great taste, but it’ll be a lot better for you.
4. Watermelon Margarita
Of course, we had to add a margarita to this list, and this one is tried and true by both our followers and us! This watermelon margarita only has four ingredients and takes seconds to make. You can make them frozen or on the rocks, and it’s perfect for sharing with friends.
A Pina Colada is like ice cream in a cup, and if you use all of the sugary, full-calorie ingredients, it’s just as unhealthy, too. But, with this version, you can enjoy tropical paradise guilt-free. All you’ll need is a shot of rum, 1/4 cup of light coconut milk or coconut cream, fresh pineapple or sugar-free pineapple syrup to taste, and ice. You can also add half a banana for added texture and sweetness, if you’d like. Blend and garnish with fresh fruit.
Before you fire up the grill, let’s review safe food storage, handling, and preparation to help you protect yourself, your families, and your guests from foodborne illnesses.
Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill
The Be Food Safe campaign was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the Partnership for Food Safety Education, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness of the importance of safe food handling in American households. The campaign recommends just four simple steps: clean, separate, cook and chill.
Wash Your Hands, Wash Your Utensils
Wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash between your fingers and fingernails as well.
Use gloves to handle food if you have a cut or infection.
Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item, especially after using them for cutting raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, launder them often in the hot cycle. Put sponges in the microwave for sixty seconds or more to kill bacteria
Maintaining cutting boards: If not properly maintained, cutting boards can harbor harmful bacteria. Cutting boards with nonporous surfaces, such as plastic, marble, glass, or pyro-ceramic, are easier to clean and can hold on to fewer bacteria. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline recommends consumers use wood or a nonporous surface for cutting raw meat and poultry.
Which foods should you clean before eating?
MEAT: DO NOT WASH
Washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it is NOT recommended by the FDA, USDA, and food safety experts. When meat is washed, water may splash harmful bacteria present on the raw meat spreading them to surrounding surfaces, including the clothes of the person washing the meat. Since cooking meat to the appropriate temperature kills disease-causing bacteria, washing meats prior to cooking is not necessary.
EGGS: DO NOT WASH
Eggs contain a natural coating that prevents bacteria from permeating the shell. And during commercial egg production, eggs are washed and sprayed with edible mineral oil to protect them from bacterial contamination. Washing eggs at home will remove these protective coatings and makes the eggs more susceptible to contamination.
FRUITS & VEGGIES: WASH Raw fruits and vegetables can carry harmful bacteria, be sure to wash them under running tap water to remove any lingering dirt. When preparing fruits and vegetables, remove any damaged or bruised areas. These are prime spots for bacteria to thrive. In some cases, like with berries, it is best to not wash the produce until you are ready to eat them so they so they stay fresh.
Cook: Use a thermometer— even on your hamburger on the grill! Cooking food to a high enough temperature destroys harmful bacteria. To make sure food is heated to the appropriate internal temperature, the use of a food thermometer is highly recommended. You cannot see, smell, or taste bacteria that cause foodborne illness so it is imperative that you use a thermometer to determine when food is safe to eat.
Chill: Refrigeration is essential. The “danger zone,” where bacteria grow most rapidly, is the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140°F. Within this temperature range, bacteria can double in number in as little as 20 minutes. Keeping your food out of the “danger zone” is imperative to food safety in the kitchen.
Storage: USDA has developed guidelines recommending safe time limits for keeping refrigerated foods from becoming dangerous to eat. (Maximum freezing times are recommended for quality purposes only.)