Monday, March 19, 2012

Shop Costco or Sam's Club? Things to Consider

Looking to save money by shopping at Costco or Sam's Club? Five things to keep in mind.

1.It’s important to take the annual fee into consideration when comparing overall prices.
2. Are you leaving Costco or Sam's Club with a lot more “unhealthy” items in your shopping cart that may offset your savings?
3. Are you buying your eggs at Costco? According to Cornucopia’s organic egg scorecard, Costco’s private label brand, Kirkland, got slammed and found “Ethically Deficient “ in comparison to other organic egg brands. To read the complete report, go to
4. Did you know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has established U.S. grade standards as measures of quality for many canned and frozen vegetables. These grade standards are used extensively by processors, buyers, and others in wholesale trading to establish the value of a product described by the grades. You may want to check out the grade of the items you are purchasing at Costco or Sam's Club.
5. Are you buying canned items? I’m concerned about BPA in the lining of cans and as far as I know, Eden Brands is one of the rare  brands currently out there with a BPA-free can. I don’t believe Costco or Sam's Club sell Eden Brand items but if they do, it may be a bargain.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

When to Toss a Plastic Cutting Board

I wondered so I sought out input from three experts and this is what they had to say:
“Once your cutting board becomes excessively worn or develops hard-to-clean grooves, replace them. These grooves can harbor harmful bacteria that even careful washing will not eliminate. So when you see those grooves, it’s probably time to purchase a new cutting board.” Diane Van, manager of the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
“Once cutting boards start to look grungy, it’s probably time to replace them. Of course, “grungy” is relative, so go with your instinct.” Marion Nestle, food safety expert
“Discard boards once they sustain cracks and cuts that can form a hiding place for raw food and bacteria, making them harder to clean completely.” Mariette Mifflin, houseware/appliance expert
Looks like I'll be replacing my cutting board soon. I've heard lots of good things about the OXO brand cutting boards so will be on the lookout for an OXO.
In 2003, Laura Bruzas founded Healthy Dining Chicago to offer practical information and valuable resources to help time-pressed consumers make informed choices that are kind to Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants. Follow on Twitter @HealthyDiningIL to get a free tip a day.