How To Buy Organic Foods

how-buy-organic-foods

When it comes to food safety, the amount of pesticides used in grown produce plays a very important role. Therefore, EWG (The Environmental Working Group) tests a wide range of different vegetables and fruits to measure the amount of pesticides applied in conventionally grown produce. One thing must be noticed is that they test these foods as they typically eaten. This means peeled and when applicable, washed. For example, grapes and peaches are washed before testing, while bananas are peeled.

If the produce is highest in pesticide residue, it will be highlighted as the Dirty Dozen™ Plus. Pesticides in foods are harmful to our health. So we have enough reason to avoid these foods polluted by the pesticides. If you plan to avoid exposure to bug and weed killers, you should try to buy these organic foods. At least, they are relatively safe than others which are applied a great amount of pesticides during grown procedure.

This organic list includes:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Grapes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Kale / Collard Greens
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Snap Peas
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

However, this list only includes a few foods which can limit our choices. And these organic foods are much more expensive. Alternatively, the Clean Fifteen™ foods list is also included. The items in this list are lower in pesticide load. If you are on a budget or just want to try other foods, you can consider buying these items additionally.

This Clean Fifteen™ list includes:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Sweat Peas
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Potatoes

The EWG has tested 51 produce items and you can see their testing methodology and rankings on their website.

However, we also should pay attention to the safety of animal products. If you want to reduce your exposure to antibiotics, and GMOs and growth hormones, locally raised, or organically raised meat and animal products are your best choice.

4 Steps to Organize Kitchen Appliances

organize-kitchen-appliances

You may have many kitchen appliances or you may only have one or two appliances. Well, how to organize these kitchen appliances? This depends on what type of cook you are. If you are a vegan, your pressure cooker may be front-and-center. If you are a meat-eater, a slow cooker and indoor grill are your best assistants. Well, the blender is mainly perfect if you are a raw food nut. No matter what type you are, the following 4 steps can help you welly organize your small kitchen appliances.

1. Try to purchase multi-use kitchen appliances

If your kitchen countertop space is very small, it is very important to have multi-use appliances, or there is no space for all of them. Check your appliances and make sure their uses are robust.

Tips:

  • A high-quality blender can work as a blender and a food processor which you don’t need to buy separately.
  • If you already have a waffle iron, why do you need a Panini press?
  • If you don’t use a rice cooker every day, why not use a stock pot instead.
  • TIP: A good rule is to own multi-use appliances.

2. Cut cabinet clutter

The following step is to make your cabinets organized, so that you can get what you want ASAP.

Tips:

  • If you plan to store the appliances in the cabinet, make sure the cord is wrapped.
  • Store appliances that you may not use daily on higher shelves. You need to buy a step-stool.
  • Through always appliance manuals, because you will seldom use them. You can bookmark them online or save them in Google Docs.
  • If you have pesky, smaller parts (such as attachments to appliances), zip lock bags are perfect for them and you can label them according. This can make your cabinet organized well.
  • Every week choose a day to organize your cabinet.

3. Store kitchen appliances by use

If you have many appliances, you will find you use one or two of them often but use others seldom. This gives us the idea to store them accordingly.

  • You can put our frequently used appliance directly on your counter top or the lowest shelves in the cabinet.
  • Rarely used appliances can be stored at the top of your kitchen cabinet.
  • You’d better assess your never used items. You can sell or donated them, or just throw them away if they cannot work anymore.

4. Maintain and upgrade

If you can always keep your kitchen appliances organized, you will find it will take less time when you want to use them. At least, you should go through your cabinet twice a year.

Tips:

  • Label each shelf “wine glasses,“dishes”, “food processor”.
  • Keep an inventory list taped to the cabinet door.

 

 

What is a Carbon Filter & How does it work?

carbon-water-filter

What is a carbon filter?

If you ask me which is the cheapest, most practical and basic type of water filter, my answer is a carbon filter.

Carbon filters are very popular and are used in many fields, such as filtering drinking water, keeping a fish aquarium’s water clean. They can reduce nasty chlorine residue, reduce odors and remove some particles which cloud the water, so it can improve smell, taste and clarity of water. However, as one type of water filtration methods, it has its limitations. For example, it is unhelpful to remove or reduce microbe, bacterial and other contaminants. Therefore, when you decide to get one carbon filter, you should know these limitations, or it is a waste of money.

How does a carbon filter purify water?

When we use a filter to purify water, water will pass through activated carbon that is porous and certain particles will be trapped and attracted to the porous material. The size of particles trapped depends on the size of these pores or micron rating. However, not all the particles have the same size. Therefore, the active carbon filter cannot trap all particles. If these pores are full of particles, it will lose its ability to attract new particles. And this process is not invertible. So it must be changed to get it effective.

The most common element that is used to activate carbon filters is coal. However, in order to enhance carbon filters, the manufacturers often use other elements and blends of materials in their products. For example, spun fibers are widely used. These layered filters are more effective for the reason that they can filter much smaller particles from the water. Therefore, different design may lead to different ability to filter out waterborne particles. And there are many types of carbon filter s different in design, size, intensity, efficiency, lifecycle and function. When you choose one, you should pay attention to these parameters.

The limitations

Different activated carbon filters allow different certain flows of water to pass through. And you’ll find the prices also vary. The effectiveness depends on the size of particles they can trap. This is This is referred to as microns. Generally, the higher number means worst or least effective, while the smallest number means the best. A higher micron number means only large particles can be removed and small particles can easily pass through it. If you choose a filter with a rating of 0.05 microns, this means even minute particles can be filtered out. The higher effectiveness also means you should pay much for it.

Sometimes, people don’t know the differences between carbon filters and sediment or sand filters that are usually installed at the house’s more water intake. Sediment or sand filers are designed to remove large visible particles, such as soil, sand, silt and other sediment. As I said before, filters in general are not effective to reduce hard water and cannot reduce or remove the amount of microbes and bacteria in water. If you want to remove or reduce bacteria and virus, a reverse osmosis system is much more effective, which is also much more expensive.

 

Why do you need a water cooler or dispenser for your family?

why-do-you-need-water-cooler

If you don’t have a water cooler or dispenser at home, the following facts can tell you that you have enough reasons to do that. It is really a great solution that it can help your family drink more clean and healthy water without drinking unhealthy bottled sodas, juices etc. And you will find you can save money.

You may think that your tap water is good enough and tastes and smells great. Why do you need such a water cooler or dispenser? Now, I give you the reasons:

  1. Your kids may love making their own ice drink in hot season, even as young as 2 or 3 years old. And you’ll find they’ll line up for icy water.
  2. Water is very important to our health. And adults love drinking more water when they can easily dispense it. Like little ones, we are no different. We should drink enough water every day.
  3. Such a water cooler or dispense can offer us cold water at any time. Therefore, we don’t need to run the tap and waiting for it to get cold.
  4. You can put it at any place you like, making it great in an outside-enclosed area, just like a potting shed or shop. So you don’t need to come inside your kitchen for a refresh drink. A good suggestion is to put it in your living room.
  5. Some models also offer a hot water tap. If you like to drink hot water in cold winter, it is great. Also the temperature is right for a quick cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
  6. Compared with buying bottled water, you’ll find large water bottles save you much money, because other drinks are much more expensive.
  7. When you plan to run out the door, you can refill your small bottles. This means you don’t need to buy bottled water which may be not healthy. This can help your family develop a good habit of drinking clean and healthy water.

5 Reasons to read customer reviews before making a buying decision

product-reviews

You may feel frustrated when you decide to make a buying decision, because there are so many items on the market and you don’t know which one is the ideal one for you. However, customer reviews can help you and let you know as the seller who knows which one is a great deal and which one is turned out to be a total flop. These product reviews were left by the customer who has bought and used this product. Therefore, their reviews can help you know whether the product meets your requirements.

As a would-be shopper, I was used to glance at the average rating and think this rating is enough for me to make a wise decision. However, this turned out to be a false. I’ve missed some of the valuable information which is not found in the advertised details and the manual. Now I tend to read the customer reviews first, because the rating is skewed and don’t tell us more information. The product we need is that one which meets our needs. Therefore, some reviews are not objective or only reflect one person’s experience. However, this can affect the rating. There is no perfect product in the world. The perfect product is the one meets my needs but may be not yours.

Therefore, reading through consumer reviews is able to allow you to make a wise buying decision. The key point is that you have to sift through the details and find the key features which really matter. The following tips can help you a lot.

1. Consumer Satisfaction

The first thing we need to focus on is the consumer satisfaction. You should know how the product performed. Does this product is liked by most of the consumers? If you decide to buy from the retailer’s site, customer comments are very important. However, the product rating is not affected by these factors that how badly the product was packaged and how timely the package reaches to your hands. So you can skip these retailer-related comments and only rely on the information how the consumer liked this item.

2. Function, Use & Care Tips

Although tips are useful, you also need to look for them in the review. You can find some useful practical information on how to use the functions and features. This can help you know how to take a good use of the product, making it more versatile and useful to you. Therefore, you can get the most out of your purchase.

You also need to pick up on design flaws and whether the product performs as the ads advocate. This can prevent you from purchasing a flawed item or one which doesn’t meet your needs.

Large retailers (amazon.com for example) provide the manufacturer. Therefore, if you find there are fewer comments, you can go straight to the manufacturer’s site to read more customer reviews, more product details and features, installation requirements, find care tips, FAQ’s and more.

However, I always find that manufacturers or retails offer less product details, making it more complicated to make a wise buying decision. This means browsing some review sites to get more information is a good start. You also need to consider the size of your space, especially for a large appliance. Therefore, reading the installation requirements is a good start before making a buying decision.

3. Special Installation Details

Some items need tools to assemble and install, while the package may not include these tools. You should pay attention to this. Some products are easy to install and you can do it yourself with your own ordinary tools. However, some products are so complicated and you will face the problem of lacking essential tools and you may need to hire a professional man to set it up, which may cost you more money. Reviews can make you know the level of difficulty, tools you need, or even a different set-up approach which you cannot discover in the manual. This can make the installation much easier and you can use it in a short time. Generally, if you do this without reading reviews, you may improperly set it up, which may cause downtime and cost your money for repair.

4. Overall Product Value

Generally, expensive models may not be the ideal one for you, because price acceptance is based on the lifestyle and budgets, which are different between consumers. Therefore, we should pay attention to the overall product value and find the most suitable product. And you will find some positive reviews and negative reviews. However, both of them only reflect the reviewers’ feeling, not yours. There are some functions you may not use in the future. Why do you need to pay for them? Therefore, you may find reasonable price-wise one which may not be suitable for someone else.

5. Comparable Pricing

We are prone to mention any great deals for the product, because we feel happy to buy it with fewer bucks. And this can influence where we buy it. By reading product reviews, we can also compare prices and decide where to buy to save our money. Reviewers usually compare the product to a similar one that they have used for many years. This is useful, because it can help you quickly short list between models or brands. The prices from different retailers may be huge, which can save you much money. Therefore, comparing prices between retailers can save you much.

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