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You should never cook frozen chicken in a crock pot, USDA says

Crock-pots are all about convenience. You throw in some ingredients, go about your business, and whip out a delicious, hot meal a few hours later. No one takes the time to prep ingredients a whole day before for a crock-pot. That’s why it was so disconcerting to learn that taking chicken directly from the freezer and plopping it in the popular countertop appliance is a big no-no. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) website, slow cookers, as a whole, are safe. But in a section called “Slow Cookers and Food Safety,” the department elaborates and says that you should, “Always thaw meat or poultry before putting it in a slow cooker.” Unfortunately, microwaving it last minute isn’t even an option! Man, these guys are tough. The reasons are based on bacteria. The USDA explains that because your slow cooker is, well, slow to reach any cooking temperature…

A vegan guide to condiments

What’s actually in wasabi anyway? Doesn’t soy sauce contain fish or something? When it comes to common condiments, sometimes their specific ingredients are a mystery to us. Condiments can pose a real problem for vegans or people looking to eat fewer animals products, so many will skip them entirely for a while or just stick to one or two they know to be safe. But since everyone loves to dip and dunk their food, that means no fun — and much less flavor. Here is a quick PETA-approved guide to show you which condiments are safe for vegans and which ones you should steer clear of. Vegan-Friendly condiments A1 Steak sauce A1 Steak sauce is delicious on grilled vegetables and sandwiches. If you’re vegan, no need to worry here. This flavorful sauce contains tomato purée, raisin paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, orange purée, and a blend of spices. Barbecue sauce With barbecue,…

Soda could cause cancer tumors to grow, study shows

Think your 3 p.m. Coca-Cola pick-me-up isn’t a huge problem? You might want to reconsider. New research revealed that your sugary soda addiction could actually cause serious health problems — even cancer. According to The Sun, it was the increase in bowel cancer cases in people under 35 that spurred the interest of Dr. Lewis Cantley, of Cornell University, to look for answers. Cantley, along with his colleagues, suspected that an increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup was to blame. To test the theory, cancer-prone mice were fed high-fructose corn syrup (amounting to about one can of Coke per day for a human). The study showed that the tumors were “directly eating the sugar… the cancer was using fructose and glucose together to more than double its growth rate.” Yikes! Excluding skin cancers, bowel cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States. According to the American Cancer…

This is the most popular type of cuisine in the world, according to a survey

It may come as no surprise that the cuisine that claims pizza and pasta is a world-wide favorite. That’s right. A survey found that Italian food is the most popular cuisine in the world. The global survey of more than 25,000 across 24 countries, conducted by YouGov, found that 99 percent of Italians love Italian food (duh!), and more than 90 percent of Spaniards, French, Swedes, Philippines, Australians, and Brits also favorite the saucy fare above any other foreign cuisines. Considering all of the delicious foods of the world, taking the number one spot is quite the culinary honor, and it’s a big step for a food that once considered lower-class fare. John F. Mariani, author of, “How Italian Food Conquered the World,” once wrote that Italian food “never received anything like the respect accorded French cuisine, even though the ingredients used in French kitchens were no better than in…

Americans spent $40 billion while drunk shopping

Your bar tab might be high, but that might not be the the highest bill you receive for your evening. A new report found that Americans picked up the credit card and spent close to $40 billion on drunk purchases last year — that’s right, BILLIONS! According to Finder.com, 26 percent of people made one or more booze-fueled buying decisions in 2018, which equals out to be a whopping 53.4 million people drunk shopping. More than half of the 2,100 individuals polled claim some of those late-night orders were purely hunger-fueled, but 10 percent admitted to buying cars, and 14 percent admitted to buying vacations. The number of people drunk shopping has actually decreased in recent years, but how much they’re spending is way up. Collectively, Americans dropped $39.4 billion on drunk purchases in the past 12 months — up from $30.43 in 2018. Finder reports that on average, we spent…

The 2019 Dirty Dozen reveals fruits and vegetables with most pesticides present

Exactly how safe is that produce in your kitchen? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its annual “Dirty Dozen” report naming the fruits and vegetables contaminated with the highest number of pesticides — and the list is full of everyday, household favorites. The EWG analyzed data from the United States Department of Agriculture. Overall, the USDA found 225 different pesticides on the common fruits and veggies Americans eat everyday. The tests were conducted before produce was washed or peeled — which shows that simple washing isn’t enough to eliminate pesticides from your produce. As a reminder, researchers have long-warned us that consuming pesticides can lead to a number of health issues including cancer and low fertility. Some fruits and vegetables that appear on the 2019 Dirty Dozen list are regulars (hello again, strawberries), but some are newcomers to the pesticide-laden list of shame. This year, kale seems to be…

6 Benefits of eating spicy foods

Eating spicy foods can be a point of pride for some people. Friends compete to see who can eat the hottest wings without crying. Restaurants tout their Ghost Pepper salsas, and TV show crews travel thousands of miles to film their hosts taking on spicy food challenges at fairs and festivals. But aside from a badge of honor — and maybe the thrill of it — there are several benefits to eating spicy foods. Of course, if you already have reflux or gastro issues, eating spicy foods may make you feel worse. But, if you don’t have these issues and your stomach is strong, you may experience some of these health benefits of spicy foods: 1. A boost in metabolism. Studies have shown that people who eat spicy foods burned more calories and had less of an appetite after eating red pepper. Spicy foods, like hot peppers, contain the capsaicin,…

Where to get ‘Game of Thrones’ Wine

In less than one month, Game of Thrones fans will finally get the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the season 8 premiere. In anticipation of the April 14 return, creators of the epic HBO fantasy drama have licensed some GOT-themed products to help you throw the most amazing watch-party ever. While you can stock up on GOT Oreos, GOT beer, and even a 2-pound chocolate dragon egg, no product is more cosplay appropriate than GOT wine. Fans of the show are familiar with the characters they love (and love to hate) slowly sipping big bulbs of wine, while sneering and articulating plans for dominating the seven kingdom and executing enemies. Now you too can sip officially licensed GOT wine — just hopefully with a lot less disdain for your fellow man. Wines are available on the Game of Thrones website. Choose from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Red Wine…

Foods you should never freeze

Your freezer allows you to do everything from plan meals ahead to eliminate food waste. While you can usually throw in most dinner dishes or leftovers and be fine, the super cold temperature isn’t ideal for all foods. Certain ingredients can morph into something gross once thawed or even become a health hazard. The freezer has it’s limits. Here are some foods that just shouldn’t be frozen: Milk While it would be nice to have a few quarts of this staple item stowed away, milk stored in the freezer can separate into chunks and turn watery when it thaws. It is still technically safe to consume when this happens, but the consistency won’t be anything like what you would expect for your morning coffee or cereal. If you absolutely must free milk, try putting it in an ice cube tray to lessen the effect. Pull it out, and you won’t…

How to clean your stainless steel sink, while being green

When’s the last time your cleaned your stainless steel sink? Like, really made it shine? If all of those spots and stains are grossing you out but you keep putting them off, you’ve come to the right place. Your sink is probably coated in a layer of grime — whether you know it or not — and the longer you let it linger, the harder it’s going to be to get clean. But the good news is that you can ditch the dangerous chemicals and get your sink super clean by scrubbing it with baking soda and lemon. It’s an inexpensive cleaning trick that will make your sink shine like new, and you don’t have to worry about inhaling anything harmful. Sure, it’s still cleaning — and no one likes to do that — but at least being green about it makes the job a little more tolerable. And it…