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Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks
June 19, 2014
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HERBS AND SPICES
by Kathy Wolfe
What’s in your cupboard? This week, Tidbits takes a look at the culinary and medicinal uses of the herbs and spices found in nearly everyone’s home. • The Egyptians were studying the use of herbs as far back as 3500 B.C., using them for medicine and in their religious rituals. Today, about 7,000 compounds used in medicine originate from plants. About 200 million pounds of herbs and spices are consumed in the U.S. annually. The most common are black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, paprika, chili powder, oregano, celery seed, and parsley. • There’s a difference between herbs and spices. Generally, herbs are the leaves of a plant, while spices are taken from the roots, bark, or seeds. This means rosemary, thyme, and mint are herbs, and cinnamon, paprika, coriander, and nutmeg are spices. • Botanically, peppermint is known as Mentha piperita. It not only freshens your breath, it’s been shown that inhaling peppermint oil can relieve motion sickness and an upset stomach. Some clinical trials indicate its effectiveness in relief of irritable bowel syndrome and tension headaches. Peppermint oil can even repel annoying bugs! Turn the page for more!
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5. Although this herb has medicinal value, its most popular use is in stuffing for turkey. What is it? 6. Which TV sitcom was set at the Stratford Inn? 7. How much faster does sound travel in water than in air? 8. Where is the macula in the human body? 9. Which Queen song mentions Scaramouche, Fandango & Galileo?
1. What country produces two-thirds of the world’s vanilla crop? 2. In the 17th century, some folks tied a bunch of this herb around their wrist as protection from the plague? 3. In Bram Stoker’s classic gothic novel “Dracula,” who uses garlic to protect a young women from vampires? 4. Which herb is frequently referred to as laurel?
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HERBS & SPICES (continued): • Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice and has been used in trade for more than 4,000 years. It comes from the dried threads of the saffron crocus plant, which grows to a height of 8 to 12 inches and bears only four flowers. One pound of dry saffron requires 50,000 to 75,000 flowers, with 40 hours of labor needed to pick 150,000 flowers. Retail prices for saffron can spike as high as $5,000 per pound. Some medical studies suggest that this spice has antioxidant and cancer-suppressing properties and might also be helpful in treating depression. In the kitchen, it’s used in Indian and Pakistani sweet dishes and Italian risotto. It’s also used in religious rituals in India. • Vanilla is second most expensive spice after saffron. It’s no wonder vanilla is an expensive commodity when you consider the labor required to process it. It comes from the pod of the only fruit-bearing orchid plant, with a waiting period of three years after being planted before the first flowers appear. The flower opens only one day a year, and each one is hand-pollinated in order to produce a pod. Those pods remain on the vine for another nine months and when harvested, have no flavor or fragrance. Those qualities develop during the extensive curing process, when the pods are treated with hot water before being placed in the sun for months. During this time, they shrink to about one-fifth of their original size. It’s another month or two of “resting” before the pods develop their distinctive aroma and taste. • Vanilla takes its name from the Spanish word Vaina, which translates “little pod.” Vanilla extract is made by finely chopping the beans and dripping alcohol on the pieces.
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CONTROLLING MOSQUITOES IN URBAN & RURAL AREAS
aking the time to learn a little bit about mosquitoes can make for an enjoyable summer. Communities that have comprehensive mosquito control programs benefit substantially by reducing the mosquito population and the risk of West Nile virus. Mosquito control is very expensive. Most small communities can’t afford a comprehensive mosquito program. So, trying to achieve successful mosquito control on a single farmyard or rural home is almost impossible. The cost per household would be too expensive for most. However, by taking a few simple steps, you may be able to reclaim your back yard. Here are four simple steps that will help reduce the mosquito population on your property in both rural and urban areas:
#1: Eliminate Breeding Habitat
#3: Protect Yourself
Mosquitoes can reproduce anyplace that water collects and remains for as little as one week. By eliminating standing water on your property, you can prevent mosquitoes from reproducing. Inspect your property weekly for any signs of standing water or water holding containers. If you have a rain barrel used for collecting rainwater, make sure it is completely sealed to prevent mosquitoes from gaining access to the water. If you have a low spot in your yard where water accumulates and remains for several days after a rain, fill it in or consider planting a water tolerant tree or shrub to soak up the water. Develop a property checklist and get your children or grandchildren involved with weekly inspections. Assign the responsibility to the kids. They’ll love it! It also gives them ownership in the success of reducing the mosquito population.
Wear protective clothing to cover exposed skin. Apply an effective insect repellent. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention recommends repellents that contain DEET. There are several new repellents on the market that go on dry. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, DEET is not recommended for children under 2 months old. Always follow the label directions when applying insect repellents.
#2: Make Your Property Undesirable for Mosquitoes The first step to making your property undesirable for mosquitoes is to eliminate breeding habitat. Then, learn a little bit about the biology of the mosquitoes in your region. The majority of the mosquitoes in the Grand Forks region are night biters. However, if kicked up during the day in shaded areas, you can expect to be bitten. They generally seek out their blood meals around sunset and may stay active until midnight. Once the temperature starts rising, they head for cover. During hot sunny days, mosquitoes look for cool, shaded, moist, areas to rest. Tall grass, weeds, and shrubbery provide ideal resting places during the day. If the tall grass, weeds, and shrubs are by your backyard deck, then you’ve pretty much invited the mosquitoes to your evening barbeque. By keeping your grass and weeds cut short and shrubbery trimmed, you’ll reduce the resting sites for mosquitoes.
#4: Apply Barrier Treatments Mosquito barrier treatments are products designed to repel or kill mosquitoes on contact. Many professional mosquito control programs use these products to get instant results in controlling mosquitoes in a selected area. Permethrin is a common active ingredient in these products. Barrier treatments are residual products, meaning they’ll continue working for an extended amount of time (1-3 weeks). When applying these products, try to spray areas that remain shaded during the day. The shaded areas are where the mosquitoes choose to rest during the day. Treating the shaded areas may also extend the effectiveness of the product. The active ingredient in these products break down rapidly from Ultra Violet sunlight. These products can usually be purchased from local retail stores and can be applied by the homeowner. Always read and follow the label directions when working with any chemicals.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to mosquito control visit our website at www.gfmsoquito.com or contact the Grand Forks Public Health Department at 701-787-8110
HERBS & SPICES (continued): • Nutmeg is harvested from the seeds of the fruit of the large evergreen nutmeg tree, native to the West Indies. This tree grows to a height of about 60 feet, and yields both nutmeg and mace. The seeds are grated to produce nutmeg, while mace comes from the lacy threads that surround the seed. Nutmeg may spice up your desserts, but its medicinal uses are many. Ancient Chinese medicine called for using its oil for digestive ailments, relieving inflammation, and reducing joint pain. Nutmeg is a good source of Vitamin C, many Bcomplex vitamins, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Some claim it promotes a restful night’s sleep when steamed and inhaled. Nutmeg contains the same essential oil as cloves, eugenol, that can be used for toothache relief. • Sweet aromatic cloves are used in baking and flavoring meats such as ham and lamb, as well as serving as an anesthetic for a toothache. Eugenol oil can also reduce blood sugar in diabetics and help relieve indigestion. Naturopaths claim that rubbing a mixture of oil of cloves and mustard into aching joints and muscles will reduce pain. Some people say that drinking water in which a few cloves have been boiled will help relieve a cough.
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• Cinnamon, one of the oldest known spices, comes from the bark of a cinnamon tree, bark that must be processed immediately after harvesting, while it is still wet. Cinnamon was a gift fit for a king in ancient times, and in Rome, a pound of the spice was worth ten months’ wages. It’s been shown to help with indigestion and upset stomach. Diabetics will be happy to know that cinnamon seems to contribute to reduced blood glucose levels and increased insulin production. Some studies indicate that it promotes lower cholesterol and relief of arthritis pain.
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HERBS & SPICES (continued): • The Scoville scale was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912 to measure the hotness of a food item. A food’s number is based on its concentration of the alkaloid compound capsaicin, which is what gives a strong pungent flavor. 120 N. Wash. St. 701-775-8602 Grand Forks The hotness of cayenne pepper measures about 50,000 Scoville Heat Units. (Compare this to the Carolina Reaper pepper which averages • Comics • Trading Cards 1,569,300 SHU’s!) Cayenne comes from a • Warhammer • Board Games small shrub about 39 inches tall, and is consid• RPGs • Dice • Gaming Rooms ered the best source of Vitamin A of all spices, as well as being rich in anti-oxidants. Studies indicate that capsaicin has anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. Cayenne has been successful in treating arthritis, sore muscles, and digestive ailments, as well as improving blood circulation.
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• We usually think of oregano as an herb to flavor our tomato sauces and Italian dishes. That is the Mediterranean species of oregano, which is a member of the mint family. It grows in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco, and has a strong, robust flavor. However, there is another completely different variety, Mexican oregano, a relative of lemon verbena, which has more of a citrusy licorice taste. The USDA tells us that one tablespoon of fresh oregano has just as much antioxidant properties as an apple. • If you’re cooking Mexican food, coriander, cumin, and cilantro are essential. Coriander actually comes from the seeds of the cilantro plant. While fresh cilantro will offer a bolder flavor, coriander adds more of a subtle taste. • When the dried fruit of the sweet red pepper Capsicum annuum is ground, the result is a red powder we know as paprika. We use it to season stews, soups, and sausages, particularly in Hungarian foods. It’s grown mainly in Spain, South America, California, and, of course, Hungary. • Why doesn’t our list include salt? Because salt is a mineral, not an herb or spice! www.tidbitsgf.com
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PETER JENNINGS • Peter Jennings was one of the most trusted and respected news anchors in the history of television news. As the son of a noted Canadian Broadcasting Company journalist, Peter got his start in broadcasting at age 9, hosting his own radio program, “Peter’s People,” on a Toronto station. • Although a gifted broadcaster, Jennings was not a gifted student. He admitted that his failure to pass 10th grade was due to “pure boredom.” In an interview he remarked, “I loved girls, I loved comic books. I was pretty lazy.” He dropped out at age 17, and although he tried to attend Carleton University a few years later, in his words, he “lasted about 10 minutes.” • Jennings was anxious to follow his father into broadcasting, but took a job as a bank teller at the Royal Bank of Canada. He got a break in his early 20s when he landed a job hosting a Canadian music program called “Club Thirteen,” followed by a teen dance show similar to “American Bandstand” called “Saturday Date.” • At age 24, Jennings was given the co-anchor position of a Canadian late-night national news broadcast, ironically, in competition with his father’s network. At 25, he was the first Canadian journalist to arrive in Dallas after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. After two years as anchor, he moved to the States for a position with ABC News. The following year, he was the anchor opposite the time slots of news greats, CBS’s Walter Cronkite and NBC’s David Brinkley.
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• Jennings took on a new challenge two years later when he shifted to a job as a foreign correspondent. He set up ABC’s news bureau in Beirut, the first TV news bureau in the Middle East, where he remained for 7 years. After similar positions in Rome and London, he came back to the U.S. to co-anchor World News Tonight, where we saw his face for the next 27 years. At one time, 14 million people watched Jennings every night. His awards included 16 Emmys and two George Foster Peabody awards. • Jennings was present at nearly every historic event during his tenure, including not only the building of the Berlin Wall in the 1960s, but also its fall in 1989. He was one of the first journalists to report from Vietnam, and was on hand at the 1972 Munich Olympics when terrorists attacked Israeli athletes. We heard about the space shuttle Challenger disaster and the Gulf War from Jennings. During the September 11th attacks in 2001, Jennings was at his anchor desk for 17 straight hours. After the tragedy, claiming a “deeper sense of connection to the United States,” he began studying for the citizenship test, and in 2003, he obtained dual citizenship, U.S. and Canadian. • In April, 2005, Jennings announced to viewers that he had lung cancer and would immediately begin chemotherapy. Just four months later, he succumbed to the disease. • Jennings was devoted to his family and was well-known as a loyal friend who enjoyed entertaining and listening to jazz with friends at his home in the Hamptons. He offered these words of wisdom: “Always have a sense of humor about life – you’ll need it – but always be courteous to boot.”
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Medicare plans made simple. For more call Medica’s Center for Healthy at 1-800-906-5432. 8 a.m. For moreinformation, information, call Medica’s CenterAging for toll-free Healthy AgingSM toll-free atto 8 p.m CT, 7 days a week. TTY users, please call the National Relay Center at 1-800-855-2880. You must continue to 1-800-906-5432, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT, 7 days a week. TTY users, please pay your Medicare Part B premium. Medica is a Cost plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in call Medica depends on contract renewal. Y0088_3450 CMS Accepted. You must continue to pay © 2013 Medica the National Relay Center at 1-800-855-2880. your Medicare Part B premium. Medica is a Cost plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Medica depends on contract renewal. The History Channel Y0088_3450 CMS Accepted © 2013 Medica. • On June 27, 1939, one of the most National Traffic and Motor Vehicle famous scenes in movie history is Safety Act. Among the first safety filmed -- Rhett Butler and Scarlett standards adopted were seat belts, O'Hara parting in "Gone With the impact-absorbing steering columns Wind." The scene also was shot us- and standardized bumper heights. ing an alternate line, "Frankly, my • On June 29, 1970, U.S. ground dear, I just don't care," in case the troops end two months of combat film censors objected to the word operations in Cambodia and return to "damn." The film was approved, but South Vietnam. News of the crossing producer David O. Selznick was into Cambodia set off a wave of anfined $5,000 for including the curse. tiwar demonstrations, including one • On June 25, 1942, Gen. Dwight at Kent State University in Ohio that Eisenhower becomes commander of resulted in the killing of four students all U.S. troops in the European theater by Army National Guard troops. of World War II. He would be appointed • On June 23, 1989, the film verSupreme Allied Commander of all forc- sion of the DC Comics hero Bates in Europe in 1943. "Ike" later would man is released in theaters. Warbecome America's 34th president. ner Brothers hyped "Batman" as a • On June 26, 1959, the St. Law- major summer "event" long before rence Seaway is officially opened, its release. The results were stuncreating a navigational channel ning, as the film grossed some from the Atlantic Ocean to all the $100 million in its first 10 days. Great Lakes. The seaway -- made • On June 28, 1997, Mike Tyson bites up of a system of canals, locks and a chunk out of Evander Holyfield's ear dredged waterways -- extends a dis- in the third round of their heavyweight tance of nearly 2,500 miles, from rematch. After the fight resumed, the Atlantic Ocean to Duluth, Minn. Tyson bit Holyfield's other ear. With 10 seconds left in the third round, • On June 24, 1966, the United States Tyson was disqualified from the Senate passes what will become the match and suspended from boxing. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
MOMENTS IN TIME
© 2014 by King Features Syndicate. All rights reserved
In keeping with our theme of spices, Tidbits now zeroes in on the culinary and medicinal benefits of garlic. • Garlic, or Allium sativum, is a member of the onion genus, along with shallots, leeks, and chives. A full-grown garlic plant is about 24 inches tall and yields between 8 and 20 bulbs. It’s one of the oldest cultivated food plants, and its use dates back over 7,000 years. Pictures of garlic have been found on ancient Egyptian tombs and the Greek physician Hippocrates promoted its therapeutic benefits for respiratory and digestion problems, low energy, and eliminating parasites. Olympic athletes in ancient Greece were fed garlic, probably to enhance their performance.
• Of course, the downside of ingesting large quantities of garlic is halitosis – bad breath! – as well as sweat that has a pungent smell. This is cause by Allyl Methyl Sulfide, a sulfurcontaining gas that is released when you eat garlic.
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• Did you ever wonder how the lollipop got its name? A man named George Smith first put the hard treat on the end of a stick, but candy-making wasn't his only interest. It seems that Smith also had a keen interest in horse racing, and he named the candy after a popular racehorse of the time, Lolly Pop. • If you took the entire surface area of the dwarf planet Pluto and laid it flat, it would fit inside Russia. • The next time you get caught outside in a hard rain, you can reflect on the fact that each drop that hits you is traveling at about 20 mph. * * * Thought for the Day: "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." -- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
• It was American writer and philosopher Elbert Hubbard who made the following sage observation: "Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street." • You probably know that the king cobra is one of the deadliest snakes: It can grow up to 18 feet long and is very aggressive, often attacking with little or no provocation. When it rears up to attack, the head can be 4 or 5 feet off the ground, and king cobra's venom is so deadly that a single bite can kill an elephant. You might not realize, though, that these snakes are protective parents. Both the female and the male stay close to the nest, guarding the eggs from any danger. • Those who study such things can tell your age, race and gender just by examining one of your hairs.
by Samantha Weaver
• The list of the health benefits of garlic goes on and on. Research has shown the cardiovascular benefits of garlic, as well as a reduction in cholesterol levels. It seems to help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent complications of diabetes. It has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, and was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World Wars I and II. In a study conducted by China’s Center for Disease Control, people who ate raw garlic twice a week had a 44% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Some naturopaths advocate its use for the prevention of prostate, breast, stomach, and colon cancers.
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GARLIC (continued): • Helsinki, Finland is home to Kynsilaukka, a DEERE.that JOHN DEERE. (continued): restaurant caters to garlic lovers. Even its • name It was while living in Illinois notranslates to “clove leek.” that TheyJohn serve all ticed garlic, the problems that beer, farmers when things including icefaced cream, and attempting In to the till soil. the areaboasts had cheesecake. U.S.,Because San Francisco formerly been woodland, the soil was rich “The Stinking Rose,” a restaurant where evwith hummus, clumped to ery menu item which features garlic.and Noclung wonder the blades of the plows farmers were accustheir marketing slogan is “Follow your nose to using. While repairing a broken cirtotomed the Stinking Rose.” cular saw, Deere stumbled upon an idea. He • Garlic isn’this justsmith for seasoning and medicinal employed skills to fashion the steel benefits. Even the sticky juice within blade into the shape of a plow.found He affixed the cloves is useful as an adhesive twobulb wooden spokes, then hitched the devicein mending glass porcelain. to a horse. It and plowed the heavy Illinois soil charm. In fact, farmerfor who happened • Iflike youadon’t have freshagarlic your recipes, to be observing the test run immediately put garlic powder can be used, although it does in an order for his own John Deere plow. have a different taste. If you do substitute the • powder In shortfor order, up his blacksmith the Deere fresh, gave 1/8 teaspoon of garlic shop and focused on making plows. The powder is the equivalent of one clove of fresh company grew steadily and added many emgarlic. ployees. In the late 1840s, John relocated the • Much the U.S.’s garlic supply produced entireofoperation to Moline, Illinois.isAshamed inofand around Gilroy, California, which has his own lack of education, John sent his been dubbed “Garlic Capital of the world.” children to the state’s finest schools. One of Ahis single farmdays in occurred the areawhen produces nearly proudest son Charles 25earned million pounds annually. Every July, this the equivalent of an MBA from Bell’s community 50,000inhosts the Gilroy Garlic CommercialofCollege Chicago. Festival, a celebration that has raised almost • With his son Charles managing the company, $9John million fortime assorted local philanthropic charities sincein-its found to pursue founding in 1979. terests. He co-founded both the First National Bank and the First • Although Gilroy callsCongregational itself the garlicChurch. capital, He was elected the mayor of Moline in 1873, it’s nowhere near the world’s top producer. where oneofof the his world’s first actions – the replace-in Over 77% garlic is grown ment of the city’s open drains with seweris China, about 23 billion pounds worth.a India pipe system – saved countless lives by reduca distant second with 4.1%, followed by South ing the of disease. Korea atspread 2%. The U.S. produces just 1.6% of • the The original John with Deere logo,grown registered in world’s garlic, some in every 1876, depicted a deer that was native to Afristate except Alaska. ca. Thirty-six years later, in 1912, it was replaced with the image of a North American white-tailed deer. In the decades that followed, the now-familiar “outline” logo.COM took Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks over as the symbol of the John Deere brand.
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