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Parents: spring chicks may carry Salmonella


From the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture

Health officials at the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Community Health (MDCH) are warning parents that baby poultry may carry Salmonella, a common bacteria found in the droppings of poultry, which can cause illness in people.
“Raising birds can be a great experience, but children need to be supervised and wash their hands after handling chicks and other poultry,” said MDARD State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill. “Even birds appearing healthy can carry bacteria which can make people sick.”

“Live poultry, especially baby poultry, can carry Salmonella germs, so it’s important to not keep them in the house and to wash your hands immediately after touching poultry or anything in the area where they live or roam,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, MDCH Chief Medical Executive. “Treating poultry like you would a pet increases the risk for Salmonella infection in a household.”

Salmonella can make people sick with diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps lasting 4-7 days or more.

People should always assume baby chicks carry Salmonella and should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:
1. Children younger than five-years-of-age, older adults, or people with weak immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry because they are more likely to become severely ill.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.

3. Use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

4. Chicks should have a heat lamp and should be kept in a barn or garage, in a draft-free cage that keeps predators out.

5. Always keep poultry away from areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, or outdoor patios.

6. Do not kiss the chicks

7. Do not touch your mouth, smoke, eat, or drink after handling live poultry.

8. Clean all equipment such as cages, feed, water containers and other materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry outside the house.

For more information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellababybirds/

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Pine Rest Offers A Substance Use Disorder Family Recovery Group

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 5, 2015) – Pine Rest is offers a family recovery group led by certified advanced alcohol and drug counselors Pamela Huffman and Stacey Williamson-Nichols for those with a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder.

To attend the group people must attend a required orientation, which is held weekly on Tuesdays at the Pine Rest campus Retreat Center at 5 p.m. The group sessions are held every Tuesday from 5:30-7 p.m. and one topic per session is taught over a 10-week period.

Besides developing an understanding of addiction, participants will learn ways to cope, set appropriate boundaries, build self-esteem and assertiveness skills. The recovery group places an emphasis on the family or support person of an individual struggling with substance use. The goal is to keep the people supporting their loved one healthy and knowledgeable.

The Family Recovery Group is open to the public for a fee of $30 per session, and free of charge to family members who have a loved one participating in Pine Rest’s residential detox and the Retreat Center services at Pine Rest. Orientation is free for everyone. The Pine Rest Retreat Center address is 300 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids. To register, please call 616/258-7467.


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E – The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the “National Food Policy” that environmentalists and foodies are asking President Obama to enact by Executive Order, and how would it affect American diets?

  — Justin Brockway, Los Angeles, CA


Existing federal guidelines for the U.S. diet, known as MyPlate, recommend that half the food we eat should be fruits and vegetables, yet these foods are granted less than one percent of farm subsidies.

Existing federal guidelines for the U.S. diet, known as MyPlate, recommend that half the food we eat should be fruits and vegetables, yet these foods are granted less than one percent of farm subsidies.

A November 2014 op-ed piece in The Washington Post entitled “How a National Food Policy Could Save Millions of American Lives” makes the case for President Obama to sign into law an executive order establishing a national food policy for managing the nation’s food system as a whole.

Authored by food writers Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan, along with Union of Concerned Scientists’ Ricardo Salvador and United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, the op-ed states that because of unhealthy diets, a third of our kids will develop Type 2 diabetes—a preventable disease that was formerly rare in children.

“Type 2 diabetes is a disease that, along with its associated effects, now costs $245 billion, or 23 percent of the national deficit in 2012, to treat each year,” the authors note. “The good news is that solutions are within reach—precisely because the problems are largely a result of government policies.” The authors cite Brazil and Mexico—countries they consider “far ahead of the United States in developing food policies”—as examples for positive change: “Mexico’s recognition of food as a key driver of public health led to the passage last year of a national tax on junk food and soda, which in the first year has reduced consumption of sugary beverages by 10 percent and increased consumption of water.”

While the White House has not responded in any way to the suggestion thus far, the article’s message that the current food system has caused “incalculable damage” remains alarming.

Whether or not to pass our own tax on junk food and soda in the U.S. has been the subject of much debate in recent years. Some say it’s deceitful to suggest that a tax on sodas is necessary to curb obesity and Type 2 diabetes when numerous other unhealthy options like sugary caffeinated beverages, candy, ice cream, fast food and video games that promote sedentary behavior would still be widely available. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Public Economics suggests that soft drink taxation leads to a moderate reduction in soft drink consumption by children and adolescents; however “this reduction in soda consumption is completely offset by increases in consumption of other high-calorie drinks.” Furthermore, in 2010, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that “an extra 12 cents on a can of soda would raise nearly $1 billion,” which suggests that government officials expect people to continue buying soda despite the tax.

Even though passing a soda tax has proven to be controversial, The Washington Post op-ed clearly points out the federal government’s contradictions concerning food. Existing federal guidelines for the U.S. diet, known as MyPlate, recommend that half the food we eat should be fruits and vegetables, yet these foods are granted less than one percent of farm subsidies. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of subsidies go toward corn and other grains. The result, the op-ed states, is the “spectacle of Michelle Obama warning Americans to avoid high-fructose corn syrup at the same time the president is signing farm bills that subsidize its production.”

EarthTalk® is produced by Doug Moss & Roddy Scheer and is a registered trademark of Earth Action Network Inc. View past columns at: www.earthtalk.org. Or e-mail us your question: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

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Nutrition choices made easy in the grocery aisle

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus

(BPT) – Should you buy eggs instead of cereal? Popcorn in place of pretzels? For consumers seeking “better-for-you” foods at the grocery store, these types of decisions can feel overwhelming, and for some, time-consuming.

With the help of the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System, making healthier decisions at store shelves becomes easier and quicker. Developed by a team of recognized experts, led by Dr. David Katz of the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System was created as a direct response to America’s rapidly rising rates of obesity and diabetes in both adult and child populations. This team advocated the development of an independent and simplified nutritional scoring system to help improve public health.

The easy-to-use NuVal Nutritional Scoring System provides foods throughout participating grocery stores with a score of one to 100, 100 being the most nutritious. Scores are determined by an independent team of nutrition and medical experts who analyze more than 30 nutrition factors such as vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, saturated fat and calories. The experts do the research, so consumers can feel better about their food choices.

“Choosing the right foods at the grocery store can make or break your healthy meal plan for the week,” says registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames. “When walking the aisles, pick up wholesome foods that are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. For example, Eggland’s Best eggs are the highest-scoring egg on the NuVal scale and the only egg I recommend to my clients and serve my family due to their superior nutrition!”

Check out the foods Tammy recommends for your shopping cart next time you hit the grocery store:

* Fruits and vegetables top the list

With a score of 100, vegetables like broccoli and asparagus receive a perfect score due to their nutritional benefits. They provide important nutrients including vitamin A, which helps protect against infections, dietary fiber which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, and folate, which helps the body form red blood cells.

* Seafood catches top scores

Fishing for healthy foods? Try wild Atlantic salmon filets, which have a score of 96 on the NuVal scale. This fish selection offers calcium, which helps build strong bones, and phosphorus, which helps with digestion. Fish is also a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium.

* Eggs crack the NuVal Code

Eggs are a complete protein that keeps you full to prevent snacking and also include important nutrients your body needs throughout the day. Out of 56 brands of eggs reviewed, Eggland’s Best eggs scored the highest at 85. Compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs contain four times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and double the omega 3s.

Find fresh and nutritious recipe ideas, including this Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus, at www.egglandsbest.com or www.pinterest.com/egglandsbest.

Poached Eggs with Serrano Ham and Garlic Asparagus


8 Eggland’s Best Egg, large

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed

1/2 cup chicken broth

Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

4 large slices from round loaf of crusty Italian bread, toasted (3/4-inch thick)

4 ounces very thinly sliced Serrano ham

1/4 cup finely shredded Manchego cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

Ground Spanish paprika


In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute or until very lightly browned. Remove garlic with slotted spoon; reserve for later use. Add asparagus and broth to hot oil; simmer 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning asparagus occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add white vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Break Eggland’s Best eggs into custard cups, one at a time. Gently slide eggs into hot water, in 2 to 3 batches. Poach eggs 3 to 4 minutes or until egg whites are firm and yolks are slightly thickened. Remove eggs with slotted spoon.

Place toast on 4 serving plates. Top each evenly with Serrano ham, asparagus spears, asparagus broth and 2 poached eggs. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and reserved garlic. Drizzle plates evenly with remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

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Child tested negative for measles


The Kent County Health Department reported last Friday that an infant in Kent was being tested measles. The Michigan Department of Community Health reported Monday, February 23, that preliminary test results were negative for the disease. A child was also tested in Allegan County, and that also came back negative.

The KCHD reported that clinical information received from the treating physicians, for the Kent County child, was consistent with a rash illness, but not fully consistent with measles. Parents self-isolated the child based on CDC recommendations as a precaution.

“There are inconsistencies in the child’s symptoms compared to the case definition of measles. Still, this situation should remind all of us that community-based vaccination programs provide important protection for babies that are too young to receive the vaccine themselves,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department.

“All residents should make sure they are up-to-date on their MMR (Measles–Mumps–Rubella) vaccines and boosters. Contact your health care provider if you have questions/concerns.”

Measles was confirmed in an Oakland County adult late January, which may have been related to a recent Disneyland outbreak in California. “As we are seeing with the recent outbreak in California, measles is a highly communicable disease that can affect both children and adults,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the MDCH. “The best way to protect our families and communities against measles is to get vaccinated.”

Measles is a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles virus is highly contagious virus and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Because measles is highly communicable, vaccination is the best line of defense, and successful prevention and control requires high levels of immunity in all communities.

Last year, there were a total of five measles cases in Michigan. From 2001–2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60. According to the CDC, last year there were 644 cases in the United States, and the vast majority of cases were among persons who had no history of vaccination against measles. Between January 1 and February 20, 2015, there have been 154 cases reported in 17 states and Washington DC.

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine. The first of two routine childhood measles vaccine doses is given at 12 months of age. For international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles. The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally.

For more info, visit www.cdc.gov.

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Affordable health screenings 


HEA-LifeLineScreeningFebruary 28, at Solon Center Wesleyan

Residents living in and around the Cedar Springs, Michigan can learn about their risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other chronic, serious conditions with affordable screenings by Life Line Screening. Solon Center Wesleyan Church will host this community event on Saturday, February 28. The site is located at 15671 Algoma in Cedar Springs.  Steve Hennigar of Oscoda, MI attended a Life Line Screening and said, “I’m sure Life Line Screening saved my life.”

Screenings can check for:

  • The level of plaque buildup in your arteries, related to risk for heart disease, stroke and overall vascular health.
  • HDL and LDL Cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes risk
  • Bone density as a risk for possible osteoporosis
  • Kidney and thyroid function, and more

Screenings are affordable, convenient and accessible for wheelchairs and those with trouble walking. Free parking is also available.

Packages start at $149, but consultants will work with you to create a package that is right for you based on your age and risk factors. Call 1-877-237-1287 or visit our website at www.lifelinescreening.com. Pre-registration is required.

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Challenges for blind and visually Impaired 


Workshop Feb. 20

The ability to see is something that most people take for granted. Vision loss can be devastating as common tasks such as cooking, the ability to drive and reading the mail become difficult.

This can take an emotional toll on a person. The Kent County Disaster Mental Health and Human Services Committee is planning a blind and visually impaired workshop on Friday, February 20, 2015. This interactive workshop is designed to increase awareness of accessibility differences among people who are blind, visually impaired and sighted. Implications for emergency preparedness and response will be explored at the workshop.

Visual impairments are very common and affect all age groups. However, vision loss tends to advance with age. According to CDC, more than one million Americans are legally blind and 12 million are visually impaired. Half of all blindness can be prevented and the risk of blindness can be reduced with early detection and treatment. National and local governments have established programs and regulations to prevent and control visual impairment, as well as developed campaigns with the purpose of educating and creating awareness about the importance of visual function.

“Not all visual impairments are the same, and we need to be prepared for the needs of our community in times of emergency incidents,” explains Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. “It is important for emergency responders and public health staff to have a solid understanding of the various challenges in our community.”

Several speakers will be at the workshop, including a client advocate from the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a sociology professor from Ferris State University and a safety and security coordinator at Clark Retirement Community.

The workshop is open to all community members, public service workers, local officials and many others. The workshop will be at the Kent County Health Department located at 700 Fuller Avenue NE in Grand Rapids on Friday, February 20, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please call Pat Draper at 616-632-7292 to reserve your seat.

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Prevention of sudden cardiac death of the young 


Every year, sudden cardiac death of the young (SCDY) claims the lives of  more than 300 children and young adults under the age of 40 in Michigan. That’s why this February, Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) are joining the campaign to celebrate American Heart Month and promote ways to prevent death at a younger age due to cardiac conditions.

“Cardiac arrest is often an unexpected event and is especially frightening when a young person is involved,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive with the MDCH. “Early recognition and immediate intervention is critical for survival, and our hope is that all Michigan residents will know how to respond when someone has a cardiac arrest.”

SCDY is when a young, apparently healthy person dies suddenly from a cardiac arrest. SCDY is a tragic event for families and communities, and prevention of SCDY is of public health significance. Often, a sudden cardiac event is the first apparent sign in a young person, and therefore it is important to be prepared for cardiac emergencies. SCDY is sometimes caused by inherited conditions that affect the heart’s structure or how it beats. By raising awareness and with appropriate screening and care, young people at risk can be identified and live healthier lives. Evaluating heart health and knowing one’s personal and family heart history are keys to identifying those at risk and preventing SCDY.

Implementation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and an automated external defibrillator (AED) within 3-5 minutes is crucial for increasing the chance of survival for cardiac arrest victims. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the Chain of Survival that includes five important steps: early recognition of a cardiac arrest and calling 9-1-1; rapid bystander response with hands-only CPR; use of an AED; advanced life support; and, post cardiac care.

Since July 1, 2014, Michigan schools are required by state law to have a written cardiac emergency response plan. Michigan schools can also receive an honorary designation as a MI HEARTSafe School by taking additional steps to prepare for a cardiac event. In May 2014, 40 Michigan schools were awarded as a MI HEARTSafe School by MDCH, AHA, Michigan Department of Education, and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death. Cedar Springs High School is a MI HEARTSafe School.

For additional details about MI HEARTSafe Schools, or to apply to become one, visit www.migrc.org/miheartsafe. For more information about SCDY prevention in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/scdy.

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Cure cravings with satisfying snacks

Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.

Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.

(Family Features) When a snack attack hits you, your mood may influence the flavor you crave. Taking a more mindful approach will let you savor what you eat and give you a more satisfying snack experience.

Mindful eating is all about being more aware of what foods you choose – such as the connection to your senses and emotions.

Being more conscious of snacking habits can help you make smarter, well-balanced choices and be more intentional with your snacks to be sure you’re truly answering your craving.

Hone in on your senses of taste and touch with these ideas so you can sit down and savor your next snacking session:


•Enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit with a parfait by layering your favorite fruits with plain or vanilla yogurt and topping with a handful of granola.

•Top a slice of banana bread with a smear of rich, creamy spreadable cheese, such as The Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss, and add a crunchy protein punch with walnuts.


•Slice a potato in paper-thin pieces and bake in a single layer at 400°F for about 15 minutes, flipping half-way. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt before serving either alone or with dip.

•Jazz up plain popcorn with an assortment of lightly salted nuts and dried fruit.

For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza

For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza


•Dip pretzel sticks in a light coating of melted chocolate (roll in crushed nuts while chocolate is still wet for extra crunch).

•For a fresh take on traditional veggies, top mini bagels with a creamy sun-dried tomato and basil spread, such as the Creamy Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Flavor by The Laughing Cow, and add your favorite veggies (cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, etc.) for a delicious white pizza.


•Treat your taste buds with a richly flavored cheese spread, such as those available from The Laughing Cow, smeared over a thinly sliced baguette or multi-grain muffin.

•Mash an avocado with a dash of salt, pepper and garlic; add a squeeze of lime juice and some diced tomatoes for an instant guacamole dip to enjoy with corn chips or tortilla wedges.

For more satisfying snack suggestions, visit www.thelaughingcow.com.


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Show your heart some love

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Wellness tips for body, mind and heart

(Family Features) Each day offers new opportunities to make choices that impact your health and overall wellness. Though hectic schedules can cause many of us to let healthy habits fall to the wayside, it is important that we give our bodies the attention and care they deserve.

Consider these small steps to gradually improve your whole body and heart health, which can help you enjoy a happier, longer life:

Strike a balance. Take a simpler approach to the traditional idea of “dieting.” Balance calories in versus calories out with a combination of good food choices, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and regular exercise, such as walking or hiking. Incorporate low-calorie, naturally fat-free foods into your diet, such as new Dole Red Grapefruit Sunrise Fruit Bowls, which bring all-natural fruit together with 100 percent juice. They are a great way to start the day or just enjoy as a delicious snack. Grapefruit naturally offers a plentiful source of nutrients, including phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A and C.

Watch the middle. According to the Mayo Clinic, that extra weight you carry around the mid-section can cause serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Work to keep this common problem area in check by reducing caloric intake and increasing physical activity.

Skip the stress. While a little stress is part of being human, too much can be taxing on the heart. Find activities that engage your mind and naturally relieve stress such as knitting, crafting or working on a puzzle.

Dine in the a.m. Don’t let a rushed morning routine get in the way of enjoying a heart-healthy breakfast. A complete morning meal includes a combination of whole grains, protein, and fruits or vegetables. For a convenient, on-the-go option, throw an individually-sealed cup of Dole Red Grapefruit Sunrise in your laptop bag or purse. Each cup contains peak-of-ripeness, wholesome, peeled grapefruit and allows you to enjoy grapefruit all year around. Plus, they’re gluten free, contain no GMOs (genetically modified or engineered ingredients) or artificial sweeteners, and feature BPA-free packaging.

Drink more water. For your body to function properly, it needs the right amount of hydration. According to the Institute of Medicine, the average required intake for a male is about 13 cups, while a female requires about 9 cups. Switch out sodas and sugary drinks with water to reap its benefits, and to shave off extra “empty” calories that may contribute to weight gain.

Get routine exams. A yearly doctor’s examination keeps you more informed of your body’s ever-changing status, and it keeps your health care provider in the loop, too. Educate yourself and understand the import numbers for your heart, including blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.

A happy life starts with the right mindset and a few easy routines. For more ways to boost your body’s wellness and healthy snack ideas, visit www.Dole.com.


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