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Archive for March 26, 2012

Mini Meatballs

Shape these tiny meatballs, then freeze for up to three months. There’s no need to thaw before using; they will cook quickly right out of the freezer.

  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Total Time 20 minutes
  • Yield Makes 40

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 slices bacon (2 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, bacon, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Shape mixture into 40 meatballs. (For equal-size meatballs, scoop out meat mixture with a teaspoon, using two scoops for each meatball. Then roll between your palms to shape into balls.)
  2. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or on two large plates. Freeze 1 hour. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag; label and date.
  3. To use the meatballs straight from the freezer, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Cook’s Note

Frozen mini-meatballs can also be used in soup or sauce: Simmer meatballs, covered, in liquid until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Read More: MarthaStewart

Stir-Fried Tofu With Cabbage, Carrots and Red Peppers

This is a beautiful stir-fry using vegetables that are easy to keep on hand, as they all stay fresh for more than a week in the refrigerator.

12 ounces firm tofu, sliced about 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (more to taste)

1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry

2 teaspoons dark Asian sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white pepper

1/4 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 medium carrot, cut in 1/4-by-2-inch matchsticks (about 1 cup julienne)

1 medium red bell pepper, cut in 1/4-by-2-inch matchsticks (about 1 cup julienne)

1 pound cabbage, cored and shredded

1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Place the tofu dominoes on paper towels. Place another paper towel on top and prepare the remaining ingredients.

2.  In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, and the sesame oil. Combine the salt, pepper and sugar in another small bowl. Have all the ingredients within arm’s length of your pan.

3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and swirling the pan, then add the tofu. Reduce the heat to medium and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, until the tofu begins to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds.

4. Swirl in the remaining oil and add the carrots, red pepper and cabbage. Turn the heat to high and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the salt, pepper and sugar, toss together and add the soy sauce mixture.  Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the cilantro, and serve with grains.

Yield: 4 servings.

Advance preparation: This is a last minute stir-fry, but you can have your ingredients prepared hours ahead of cooking.

Nutritional information per serving: 208 calories; 13 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 14 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 279 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 10 grams protein

Variation: You can substitute chicken breast for the tofu. Slice it thin, across the grain. Add it to the hot wok in one layer and cook one minute without stirring, then stir-fry for another minute or two and remove from the pan. Add it back to the pan after you have stir-fried the vegetables for 1 minute and proceed with the recipe.

 

Read More :NYT

Flat-Ab Pilates Workout

Move 1 Mermaid with Ball

Sit with the ball at your left side, and bend your left leg in front of you, your right leg behind you. Place your left hand on the ball, elbow slightly bent, and extend your right arm out to your side at shoulder level. Brace your core and roll the ball out to the left as far as you can while reaching your right arm over your head. Hold for two or three seconds, then roll the ball back toward your body and return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Finish all reps, then switch sides and repeat.

REPS
8-10
More Moves: WomensHealthMag

Nuclear medicine: a vital but troubled industry


An employee of French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) works at a handling post in the Osiris reactor hall in 2010

 

VIENNA —

Life begins at 40, but not for a small and aging fleet of nuclear reactors vital for millions of life-saving medical procedures each year and using material that could go in an atomic bomb.

Ahead of this week’s Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, there has been scant progress in addressing the concerns surrounding this other major use of atomic technology, despite the problems being known for years, experts say.

For almost all the world’s medical isotopes, used to diagnose cancers and other diseases in 30 million procedures every year, the world relies on eight research reactors, all but one of which is four decades old or more.

These reactors produce “irradiated targets”, which then go to five main producers of the most commonly used isotope, known as Mo-99, which decays into a radiopharmaceutical known as Tc-99, used once every second in procedures worldwide.

Of these eight reactors, the “big five” in Belgium, Canada, France, the Netherlands and South Africa, responsible for as much as 95 percent of global supply, are between 45 and 54 years old.

The other three are in Poland, 38 years old, the Czech Republic, 55, and in Australia, the youngster in the family at just five. There are also dozens of smaller plants around the world, including one in Iran, meeting domestic needs.

In its draft Nuclear Safety Review 2012 seen by AFP, the U.N. atomic agency says that the five main reactors have all reported “age-related problems,” meaning expensive repairs and production halts that have played havoc with global supply.

This is despite the wake-up call of 2009-10 when Canada’s National Research Universal (NRU), the biggest single producer and the main U.S. supplier, shut for 15 months for repairs.

The High Flux Reactor in the Netherlands was also out of action for five months at the same time, creating major supply problems.

“That crisis is over but the broader concerns still remain,” Ed Bradley, a nuclear engineer from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Research Reactors division, told AFP.

It is not just supply. Reliance on these facilities also raises bigger worries.

With the exception of OPAL in Australia and half of the Pelindaba plant’s capacity in South Africa, the remaining production capacity uses highly enriched uranium (HEU), which can be used to form the core of a nuclear bomb.

In 2007, armed men broke into Pelindaba, which at the time housed enough HEU for 30 nuclear weapons. Although they stole no radioactive material, the incident highlighted the potential risks.

To tackle these security and supply concerns, recent years have seen a concerted international drive to diversify the number of producers and to switch to much less risky low-enriched uranium (LEU).

This has borne some fruit, said Tilman Ruff, a University of Melbourne professor and a senior member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

Pelindaba’s production is half LEU, Canada scrapped plans for two new HEU reactors, and newer plants in Australia, Argentina and Indonesia may export more. Research into alternatives to reactors also looks promising.

But a great deal remains to be done.

“Governments have generally been complacent and lacking in leadership and willingness to provide financial support,” Ruff told AFP.

European conversion to LEU has been slow, while Canada’s main Tc-99 maker Nordion has signed a deal with a firm in Russia, home to the world’s biggest HEU stockpile, to supply it with uranium targets once NRU shuts for good in 2016.

The main reason for the lack of progress is economics, according to a 2010 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study that concluded that LEU-based production was “currently not supported by the market.”

One reason, the report from the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency said, was that the main reactors were originally built using government money and continue to be effectively subsidized, thereby putting off new entrants to the market.

For Ruff, part of the blame also lies with his fellow doctors, who he says have “not played an active and constructive leadership role.”

“Most doctors are still unaware of where the isotopes they use for their patients come from,” he says.

© 2012 AFP Read More: Japan Today

Calories to be cut by major food and drink companies


There are calls for better labelling on food to help people consume fewer calories

Food and drink companies have promised to cut calories in their products to help tackle obesity in the UK.

The 17 firms, which include Coca-Cola, Subway and Tesco, have signed up to the government scheme.

The Department of Health says England has one of Europe’s highest obesity rates and that consuming too many calories is the root of the problem.

Among ideas to help consumers will be resealable packaging on many chocolate bars, including Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

Under the new scheme, every chocolate bar made by Mars will have a cap of 250 calories, while the UK arm of Coca Cola says it will introduce a 30% reduction in some of its soft drinks by 2014.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

It is a great step in the right direction and will help millions of us eat and drink fewer calories”

Andrew Lansley Health Secretary

And some supermarkets, such as Asda, will develop a new low-calorie brand.

The “calorie reduction pledge” is part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, developed by the Department of Health.

More than three-quarters of the retail market has signed up, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said.

Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Kerry Foods, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, PepsiCo, Premier Foods, Unilever, Beefeater (Whitbread) and contract caterer Compass have also signed up.

Mr Lansley said: “We all have a role to play – from individuals to public, private and non-governmental organisations – if we are going to cut five billion calories from our national diet.

“This pledge is just the start of what must be a bigger, broader commitment from the food industry. But it is a great step in the right direction and will help millions of us eat and drink fewer calories.”

But Labour says the scheme is not the change needed in the nation’s diet, favouring instead better food labelling and shielding children from adverts for junk food should be the starting point.

Terry Jones from the Food Manufacturers Federation said companies were committed to making changes.

“This is fundamental – and very costly, actually – reformulation activity to take calories out of products.

“So products that you and I buy today many of them… by 2013/2014 some businesses are talking of taking 30% of the calories out of some of those products.”

‘Part of the problem’

However, food companies came in for criticism from the Children’s Food Campaign.

Campaign spokesman Charlie Powell said: “The food industry wants to be part of the solution but altogether refuses to admit that it’s a big part of the problem.

“And it’s to the government’s disgrace that the food industry is actually helping to set government health policy. I think we should look at what’s happening on the alcohol network and actually the government have decided that the way to go is actually to mandate companies in terms of their pricing.

“While they grapple with voluntary approaches, we’ll see these weasel word pledges continue.”

Read More: BBC

Top up on sunshine and vitamin D, says charity

Sunshine is a natural source of vitamin D

 

People should go outside and soak up some sunshine to help increase their vitamin D levels, a charity is urging.

Arthritis Research UK says vitamin D deficiency can cause bone loss, muscle function problems and, in some cases, rickets in children.

The government recommends vitamin D supplements for pregnant women and children aged under five.

But, on sunny days, a few minutes outdoors should achieve the same results, the charity says.

In January the chief medical officer for England said she was concerned that young children and some adults were not getting enough vitamin D.

Figures show that up to a quarter of the population has low levels of vitamin D in their blood and the majority of pregnant women do not take vitamin D supplements.

People aged over 65, pregnant and breast-feeding women and children aged six months to five years old are thought to be most at risk.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

From June to August just 15 minutes outside is generally enough time”

Arthritis Research UK

Vitamin D is essential to help the body absorb calcium from food.

Low levels can result in serious problems with the health of our bones.

Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, said the advice was simple: “When the days are sunny, go out for a few minutes and expose your face and arms to the sunshine.”

But he also had a warning on overexposure: “Don’t allow your skin to go red, and take care not to burn, particularly in strong sunshine and if you have fair or sensitive skin.

“From June to August just 15 minutes is generally enough time.”

The sun’s UV levels are not yet strong enough over the UK for our bodies alone to make enough vitamin D.

He said: “In less sunny months, we recommend that people top up the vitamin D in their diet by eating more oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, pilchards and sardines, and foods ‘fortified’ with vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals and some margarines.”

Read More : BBC

吸菸代價高 預估本世紀要10億人的命

2012-03-23 中國時報 諶悠文/綜合報導
由美國癌症學會(ACS)和世界肺臟基金會(WLF)發行的《菸草地圖》(Tobacco Atlas)廿一日在新加坡舉辦的第十五屆「世界菸草或健康大會」(World Conference on Tobacco or Health)上發表第四版,指出吸菸每年造成全球國內生產毛額(GDP)損失一到二%,而且本世紀可能造成十億人死亡。

這本書指出,吸菸會造成直接或間接經濟損失,如:治療吸菸相關疾病的健保支出,以及生產力流失等。本書主要作者、喬治亞州立大學公共衛生研究所所長艾瑞 克森(Michael Eriksen)指出,吸菸在開發中國家造成死亡人數不斷上升,尤其是亞洲、中東和非洲。共同作者羅斯女士(Hana Ross)表示,吸菸代價甚至可能更大,像吸菸者家屬或患者痛苦等無形的成本,就難以計算。

作者提到,中國大陸是全球最大香菸消費國,二○○九年占三八%,二○○○到二○○八年吸菸造成的損失成長逾四倍,達兩百八十九億美元,每年奪走一百廿萬人性命。

吸菸除傷害經濟還嚴重戕害健康,WLF表示,十年來吸菸導致死亡案例增加近三倍,每年約六十萬名非吸菸者暴露在二手菸環境中導致死亡,其中七五%是婦孺。若持續下去,本世紀將會有十億人以死於吸菸和二手菸,相當於每六秒就有一人因香菸喪命。

原文出处: 中國時報

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