It’s Clean Your Refrigerator Day!

Gross RefigeratorDo you know how long to hold onto the food currently sitting in your fridge?

In honor of Clean Your Refrigerator Day, here is a guide to the foods that should go and the ones that can be kept around a little bit longer.

Bread

Ever wonder why that wonderful fresh loaf you bought at the bakery grows mold in a matter of days, while the grocery store variety can last for several weeks? The difference is preservatives, which can greatly extend the shelf life of mass-produced bread. But you also play a role in how long bread survives in your kitchen. Too much of this creates a prime environment for bread to mold.

Cheese

When it comes to its edible lifespan, not all cheese is created equal. Experts say hard cheeses can literally last for years, but soft cheeses will mold much sooner. The difference is in the amount of moisture in the cheese — ones with more moisture grow mold much faster.

Milk

There are two good guidelines to follow when trying to decide if the milk in your fridge is spoiled: Check the date on the carton and give it a sniff. If milk smells sour, chances are it won’t taste very good in your coffee or cereal. There’s no difference in the lifespan between organic and non-organic milk, but the amount of this in the milk can impact its shelf life.

Eggs

Keeping eggs safe means keeping them cool. Make sure you purchase them from a refrigerated case and store them at home — in their carton — in the refrigerator. You can also use a specific stamp that’s usually on the carton as your safe-eating guide.

Cold cuts

If you buy your lunch meats freshly sliced from the deli counter, you’ll want to make sure to eat them within three to five days (and keep them cool in the fridge during that time). An unopened package of turkey, ham, bologna, salami or other deli meat can be stored longer. But once you break that factory seal, those meats will need to find their way onto a sandwich soon.

Mayonnaise

Since mayonnaise contains this ingredient, it’s not made to last forever. But when it’s commercially manufactured, the condiment also contains ingredients to help preserve it and extend its shelf (and fridge) life. Besides reading the “best by” date, a good way to determine when mayo is bad is to follow your nose. If it smells sour, it’s likely past its prime.

Lettuce

When you buy a head of lettuce at the store, it should keep, intact, for a few weeks. But once you open up the head and cut up the lettuce, it will start to spoil faster. Leaf lettuces that are sold in bags or containers can last longer than a head you cut up yourself because they are better protected from oxygen.

Fresh meat and poultry

As a general rule, you should plan to use or freeze fresh meats within days of purchasing them. The good news is that meat keeps much longer in the freezer. If you don’t think you’ll have a chance to cook what you’ve bought, toss it in the freezer and know that you can safely defrost and cook it any time over the next year.

And Now you Know!!!

Source: Sally Wadkya for MSN Healthy Living

 

 

Any Hayrides in your plans this week?

Sittin’ on a Bale of Hay – 7 Ways to Stay Safe on Hayrides

There’s perhaps nothing that more embodies fall than heading down to the local pumpkin patch. You can pick out the perfect gourd for carving, purchase apple cider and donuts, wander through a corn maze and hop on a hayride. Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy riding through a farm or orchard while sitting on a bale of hay? I’ve enjoyed plenty of them. But I’m also a living testament to the dangers they present. Twenty-one years ago, I fell off a hayride and was almost completely run over. Fortunately, other riders saw me fall off and were able to get the driver to stop quickly.

I don’t remember all that much from the event because I blacked out. I remember the fall itself and waking up with the wheel of the trailer pressed against my torso. While I spent three days in the hospital, I only had to deal with three broken ribs, a bruised lung, a bruised liver and plenty of road rash. All and all, I was pretty lucky.

And I was pretty dumb. I fell because I stood up on the ride. My injuries were 100% my fault. I was a bright kid, who often shied away from taking risks, but it was easy to get caught up in the fun and I forgot the rules. That’s why it’s important for adults to be extra observant and stress the importance of safety on hayrides.

Surprisingly, when searching for hayride safety tips online, I found few articles. The best resource I could find, from the Haunted House Association, is written for operators, but we can easily apply their recommendations as safety tips for riders.

  • Follow the posted rules. A reputable business operating a hayride should have posted rules, probably near the waiting area or cash register. Read them, and take some time to explain them to your children.
  • Listen to ticket takers, attendants and operators.  These people not only know the rules of the hayride, but are also probably reciting them. They will correct anyone they see doing something wrong.
  • Do not stand on the ride. Learn from my mistake. Once the ride starts, don’t stand, plain and simple. Hay can be slippery, and a moving wagon is not a stable surface to stand on.
  • Do not throw straw. Here’s another admission: I stood because other riders started a hay fight. I wanted to participate. This is another unsafe behavior, don’t do it. 
  • Do not use cameras or other devices that will distract you. You may really want to take a quick photo of your family on the hayride to post on Facebook. Please don’t. While the ride is moving, it’s important to keep your focus on the ride.
  • Hold on. It’s one simple way to help ensure you won’t fall off the ride.
  • Keep arms and legs inside the wagon. You don’t know the trail the wagon will travel. There might be some tight spaces. Keeping your arms and legs inside the wagon will help make sure nothing hits you.

It’s a lot of common sense, but like a said earlier, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and forget the rules. And hayrides are a lot of fun — more so when everyone is safe.

Source: blog.foremost

Are you Part of the 98%?

A recent survey showed that 98% of the consumers questioned did not have enough life insurance to replace their lifetime income, although one-third cited income replacement as their most important consideration when buying life insurance.

Couple

According to a survey by Nationwide Financial, almost no consumers who are married, partnered or have dependents had enough life insurance to replace their income. The survey showed that 98% of the consumers questioned did not have enough insurance to replace their lifetime income.

The average consumer surveyed will earn $1.5 million in a lifetime and has $300,000 in life insurance coverage. This would replace 16% of they will earn before retirement, even though 33% of those surveyed said their most important consideration when purchasing life insurance was replacing their income.

The survey found that consumers are willing to pay $99 a month on average to insure their family. For this amount, a healthy 35-year-old man can purchase a 20-year term life policy worth more than $2.3 million, and a healthy 35-year-old woman can purchase more than $2.6 million in life insurance, but only 29% of those surveyed believed they could afford enough life insurance to replace their income.

Two-thirds of those who have life insurance are “somewhat” or “very certain” they have enough insurance to replace the income they or their spouse or partner would make during the remainder of their working careers. However, when asked how long their family could maintain its standard of living if a breadwinner died, 62% say they either don’t know, or think they could do so for just four years or less.

And while 35% of those surveyed worked with an insurance agent or financial advisor to figure out how much life insurance coverage they need, 20% say they simply guessed how much coverage they needed.

If you are unsure as to the proper amount of life insurance for you, use either the Life Insurance Needs Calculator or the Human Life Value Calculator to determine what is appropriate for you. It’s Life Insurance Awareness Month—a great time to make sure you have enough coverage.

Contact Long’s Insurance Agency today and discuss your options.  We will develop a plan customized for your personal situation.  Call us Today!!

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