Welcome to the Favorite Freezer Foods Ezine Issue #11: Oral Allergies?

June 4, 2010

What’s New This Month?
Do You Have Oral Allergy Syndrome?
Seven Freezer Containers That Don’t Work

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What‘s New This Month?

On the home front:There's one thing you won't find much of in my kitchen or on my menu for awhile: seafood.

Even if you live in a cave with no internet, tv, radio or newspaper, you've no doubt heard about the gulf coast oil spill. People are getting more and more upset as the oil hits the shore and we can see the destruction. But I can't imagine what an effect it's having out in the deep blue.

This isn't about the politics, I just don't think ocean life needs one more predator right now.

On www.FavoriteFreezerFoods.com: There's one really big change on the site you'll notice this month. Nearly every page of Favorite Freezer Foods now has comment boxes.

So if you have questions about a particular recipe or technique you can ask on that page instead of searching for a way to contact me. About time, ehh? ;)

Do You Have Oral Allergy Syndrome?

Food allergies are abundant these days and most people have heard of milk, nut, shellfish and gluten allergies, but few have heard of oral allergy syndrome or, for short, OAS.

I've always been an allergy sufferer and have tried everything from pills to shots, avoiding certain foods and eating others. I even tried neti, the ancient art of pouring water down one side of your nose and having it come out the other side to clean your sinus cavities.

There are two things I remember about my high school graduation party. The first was my grandpa sitting me down to say that the arts, things like music and writing, are hobbies and not what careers are made of.

The second was massive painful hives and itching in my mouth after eating from the raw vegetable platter. I assumed I was reacting to the pepper than touched the carrot I ate since I'd reacted to peppers before. Since then I avoided peppers but, as I learned 7 years later, I was wrong. It was OAS and it was from the carrot not the pepper.

If you've ever had itching, burning, tingling or swelling in your mouth, throat or on your lips after eating fresh fruits, veggies or nuts then, like me, you might be suffering from OAS. Runny nose, sneezing and itchy, water eyes can also be caused by OAS. Symptoms usually develop in minutes after eating the offending food but can take longer to appear and can be more severe.

With more light meals, salads and fruit and vegetable platters as we move into summer, eating more garden ripe, fresh, raw foods OAS is at it's peak.

Some fruits and vegetables have protein structures that are similar to the protein structures of common allergens such as trees, weeds or grasses.

The body can mistake certain raw fruits and vegetables for the allergen and release histamines that cause the symptoms of OAS.

Most allergenic proteins associated with OAS are "denatured" or changed by processing food and extremes temperatures. Thusly, OAS reactions are primarily caused by eating raw foods not cooked or frozen foods.

This is why you might not be able to eat a raw apple without problems while you can eat applesauce and apple pie or drink apple cider and never have a problem.

Nuts, unlike fruits and vegetables often cause a reaction even if they are cooked.

If you think you have OAS you should try to avoid the offending food in its raw state. Antihistamines can help control symptoms in mild cases.

Keeping a food diary, including what you ate, how it was prepared and how you reacted, will help your doctor get an accurate diagnosis and helps you decide what to eat and what to avoid.

P.S. Neti works really well once you get the hang of it. Worth a try for the serious allergy sufferer.

Learn more about OAS:
Wikipedia
About.com Allergies

Seven Freezer Containers That Don’t Work

Using the wrong freezer containers can destroy the quality of the food in your freezer. If you want to prevent freezer burn, nutrient loss and ice buildup on your frozen food you must avoid these seven containers.

Canning Jars
Although canning jars are easy to come by and cheap they are not suited to freezing food. First, the mouth of the jar is often smaller than the body so you have to thaw your food before you can get it out of the jar.

But worse, the glass jars can break or crack because of the cold temperatures in the freezer. If you overfill the jar and don’t leave enough room for expansion as the food freezes your increasing the odds of the jar breaking even more.

Margarine and Sour Cream Cartons
Plastic food grade containers are not automatically good enough to use in the freezer. These containers do not seal well, do not prevent freezer burn and can absorb smells. Though they may be OK for a week or two you should avoid them for longer storage times.

Cardboard Boxes
Often you’ll find bulk meat in a thin layer of plastic wrap and a cardboard box in the freezer at the grocery store. That meat is often frozen in an ice dip using the water to help prevent freezer burn.

Once that layer of ice melts, like as you shop, check out, drive home and put your food away, the freezer protection is gone. If your meat starts to thaw you need to repackage it in quality freezer containers.

Storage Bags
Storage bags and freezer bags are not the same thing. They may look alike but freezer bags are a different grade of plastic and include a moisture-vapor barrier that storage bags do not have.

Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is great for keeping foods from freezing to themselves but does not protect from freezer burn. Use it only inside of a quality freezer container to keep food separated.

Sandwich Boxes
Sandwich boxes are food grade plastic that often stains and absorbs smells easily. They are not air tight and will not protect against freezer burn.

Store Packaging
Store packaging such as Styrofoam containers and plastic wrap will not prevent freezer burn or protect against odors plus they have a lot of air trapped in the package.

If your freezing the meat for less than a month just slip the store package inside a freezer bag or wrap in tin foil and label. Otherwise you need to repackage it.

And avoid buying meat taken from the shelf and shoved in the freezer at the grocery store. It might be marked down but it's not very fresh and is likely to have freezer burn before you even take it home.

Learn more about what freezer containers you should use at http://www.favoritefreezerfoods.com/freezer-containers.html

Contact me:
If you have any comments, opinions, content ideas, or requests I'd love to hear from you. You can find me on Twitter, or on Favorite Freezer Foods' Facebook page

Eat Well!
Michelle Zack


 

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