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April 7, 2010     The Julian News
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April 7, 2010
 

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ala 12 The Julian News Propane Service Planning A Successful Vegetable Garden (NAPSA)-Edible gardening will continue to be a popular trend this year, according to a recent survey by the Garden Writers Association. More than 41 million U.S. households grew a vegetable garden last year and 37 percent plan to do more edible gardening in 2010. (Only 1 percent planned to plant less this year.) A combination of factors is driving the trend: The desire to consume locally grown foods and save money as well as Gen X and Y consumers embracing the idea of self-sufficiency. Add the year- old White House vegetable garden to the mix and seed companies tapping into reserves to keep up with demand and you've got a gardening boom. "In this economy, everyone is looking for a way to make their money go farther," says Bayer Advanced(tm) Garden Expert Lance Walheim, author of "Vegetable Gardening." "Growing your own healthy vegetables in your garden is a great way to reduce your grocery bill while creating a nutritious supply of food from your own backyard." Here are a few tips on making the most of your backyard vegetable garden: • Choose your veggies: Do your homework on seed, plant and variety options, and involve your family in the selection. • Pick a sunny spot for your garden: Most vegetables need six to eight hours of direct sun each day. The area you choose should drain well, but will still benefit from the addition of lots of organic matter, so you have the best growing conditions. continued on page 14 Questions & Answers About Our Environment Dear Earth Talk: I've often cooked canned foods in their own can, things like condensed milk and mushroom soup. I put the can without opening in the pressure cooker, cover it with water and let it cook for 30 minutes. The results are amazing. Is ff safe to do that? Can metals leach into my food? In order to prevent any such leaching--which is bad for the food and eater but also for the can (as it can cause corrosion)- the insides of most cans on grocery shelves today are coated with food-grade epoxy. But these liners have been shown to contain BisphenoI-A (BPA) and other potentially harmful chemicals. BPA is a synthetic plastic hardener that has been linked to human reproductive problems and an increased risk of cancer and diabetes. A 2009 analysis of common canned foods by the non-profit Consumers Union found measurable levels of BPA in a wide range of items including some bearing a "BPA Free" label. worked with its packaging manufacturer, Ball Corporation, back in 1999 to switch out traditional epoxy-based liners with a baked-on, BPA-free enamel lining derived from plant oils and resins. This technology is nothing new; in fact, Eden stumbled upon it by asking Ball what it used before epoxy liners became standard some three decades earlier. While the custom-made cans cost 14 percent more than industry-standard cans would, Eden maintains it's worth the extra expense (which amounts to some $300,000 extra per year). "It was the right thing to do," says Michael Potter, Eden's president. --Mercedes Kupres, via e-mail The U.S. Food and Drug "1 didn't want BPA in food I was Administration is currently serving to my kids, my grandkids For starters, can makers don't reviewing whether or not toor my customers." recommend using their products allow BPA to come into contact CONTACTS: Ball Corporation. for anything but storing food with food items at all, In the www, ball,com; Consumers unopened until it's ready to eat. meantime, some forward- Union, www.consumersunion. "Cans are reliable, recyclable, thinking companies aren't waiting org; U.S. Food and Drug durable packages that keep around for an FDA ruling. Eden Administration. www.fda.gov; beverages and foods fresh and Foods, which prides itself on the Eden Foods, www.edenfoods. allow them to be transported wholesomeness of its products, com. safely for thousands of miles, even into remote regions--but they were not made to be used as cooking containers," says Scott McCarty of Colorado-based Ball Corporation, a leading U.S. food and beverage packaging maker. Proponents of can-cooking cite the fact that many canned goods are already heated up in their cans to kill bacteria during the canning process, so what harm could a little more heating do? McCarty concedes that some cans are indeed heated during the packing process. "But that isn't all cans or all foods, and it is a carefully controlled and monitored process done in an environment that is made to do it." As for what metals may be leaching into your canned food, it depends. In the U.S., most food cans are made of steel while beverage cans are usually made out of aluminum. Chromium and nickel can find their way out of steel, but the amounts would be miniscule to nil. Slightly more troubling is the fact that aluminum--large amounts of which have been linked to nervous system disorders and other health problems--could in theory leach out of cans into their food or drink contents. Can makers say that cans are for keeping foods fresh and allowing them to be transported safely, not for use as cooking containers. The insides of most cans on grocery shelves today are coated with food-grade epoxy, which contains Bisphenol-A (BPA) and other potentially harmful chemicals. photo by Nic McPhee, courtesy Flickr GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk c/o E/The Environmental Magazine P.O. Box 5098 Westport, CT 06881 e-mail: earthtalk@emagazine.com. or submit it at: www.emagazine.com/ earthtalk/thisweek/ The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. -- William Ross Wallace April 7, 2010 8m, & 532 "B" Street P.O. Box 159. Ramona, CA 9206E (760) 789-0240 OPEN SUNDAYS! (NAPSA)--Versatile and deli- cious, California avocados con- ~itb:te "good fats" and nearly 20 ' 'ns, minerals and phytonu- trients to one's diet, For recipes that feature fresh California avo- cados, visit the California Avo- cado Commission Web site at ,CalfforniaAvocado,com. $$* Plants with bright colors can lift your spirits. For every pink Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea sold, Proven Winners ColorChoice will donate a dollar to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. To learn more, see www.invincibelle spirit.net. A great smile may be easier to get than you think. To find an orthodontist nearby and put your child's smile in the hands of an expert, ask your dentist for a referral or visit www.braces.org. 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