1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

August 16, 2008

:229 Grain Moth Control

Filed under: :229 Grain Moth Control — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:56 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:229 EcoTip: If you discover you have little moths flying around in your pantry – they are probably grain moths (also known as flour moths or pantry moths). If you see these moths it means you already have some form of grain or cereal that has their larva which are little worm-like creatures. To prevent grain moths try popping your grain based food products in the freezer for a few days to kill the eggs and larva. Once the moths are flying around, you should search out the source. Attractant bait traps can be used to catch and control the male moths until you discover the source. This will help reduce the female moths ability to breed and lay eggs.


 Additional Information:

Grain moth traps are available from ARBICO-organics

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July 7, 2008

:189 Wash Your Vegies

Filed under: :189 Wash your Vegies — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:57 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:189 EcoTip: Washing your fruits and vegetables is a great way to reduce the risk of getting sick from contaminated produce. If you can’t wash them then peel or cook them.

The purpose of this blog is to provide tips for improving our living space. I never intended to get into a discussion of food, but I’m getting tired of the many recent media broadcasts that are dealing with fecal contamination of field grown produce where they don’t discuss simple methods of rendering contaminated foods safe.


 Additional Information:

Of course there is an expectation that prepared foods will be safe. Reports of restaurants or other food service establishments serving contaminated foods is unacceptable. They should be taking the same steps for cleanliness as everyone else. But we must realize the foods that come from the farm will never be 100% safe. Sooner or later some bird is going to fly over a field somewhere and crap on my tomato. I want farmers to take as many precautions as possible, but there will always be accidental exposures to our food that will occur. We owe it to our families to be that last line of defense, So wash, peel or cook your fresh foods.

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March 4, 2008

:064 Non-stick cookware

Filed under: :064 Non-stick Cookware — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am


Suggested Review – none

1:5:10:064 Tip: Overheating non-stick cookware can lead to the release of toxic fumes. The fumes have killed pet birds and been implicated in causing a type of fume fever in people.

Health Canada says: “Nonstick coatings are a risk if they are heated to temperatures greater than 350°C or 650°F. This might happen if an empty pan is left on a burner. In this case, the coatings can give off irritating or poisonous fumes.”.


Additional Information

Here’s what Dupont has to say about safe cooking practices.



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January 6, 2008

:006 Make Soup

Filed under: :006 Make Soup — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – none

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

img_0142a.jpg  Peeling Onions

1:5:10:006 Tip: From the complex to the simple.

For the last few days my daily tips have required some complex explanations. Today I wanted to share an Tip that came to me as I was peeling onions for a family meal.

 For about 20 years I’ve been the designated onion peeler. It all started one year when my mother-in-law asked me to help in the kitchen. I have and use a respirator as a part of my work as an indoor air quality specialist, so it seemed logical to pop it on. Twenty years later the tear-free job of preparing the onions has remained mine.

Anyway, as I was peeling onions this year I began to contemplate the pile of wastes that was growing from each onion as I would discard the layer just under the skin. That outside layer was either blemished or a little bit too tough to use. Or was it? About that time I remembered the story of “Stone Soup”.

Anyway I saved the scraps, and it made quite a pile. Added to that were the scraps of celery from the dressing, the ends of tomatoes from the salad, potato and carrot peelings, an old wrinkled zucchini from the refrigerator ….

After the holiday meal, a lot of other scraps found their way into the pot as well.

These were all things that in previous years would have been thrown out, but this year with some water, spices and lentils for protein – It turned into a wonderful soup and a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle.


Additional Information:

If you have a child that’s a finicky eater and you don’t think they will eat the soup – try making stone soup.  The addition of a stone often times over comes their resistance.

The Stone Soup Legend


  • water
  • 1 clean stone
  • assorted contributions

Once upon a time, somewhere in Eastern Europe, there was a great famine. People jealously hoarded whatever food they could find, hiding it even from their friends and neighbors. One day a peddler drove his wagon into a village, sold a few of his wares, and began asking questions as if he planned to stay for the night.

“There’s not a bite to eat in the whole province,” he was told. “Better keep moving on.”

“Oh, I have everything I need,” he said. “In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you.” He pulled an iron cauldron from his wagon, filled it with water, and built a fire under it. Then, with great ceremony, he drew and ordinary looking stone from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water.

By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come to the square or watched from their windows. As the peddler sniffed the “broth” and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their skepticism.

“Ahhh,” the peddler said to himself rather loudly. “I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage, that’s hard to beat.”

A villager approached hesitantly, looked around, and pulled a small cabbage from under his coat. When he discreetly added it to the pot, the peddler beamed. “Excellent,” he cried, “You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a little morsel of mutton, and it was fit for a king.”

Then it was the village butcher who approached. He had a lamb bone under his apron. And so it went, some potatoes, some onions. Carrots, mushrooms, and so under. Until there finally was, indeed, a delicious meal for all. The villagers offered the peddler a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell and traveled on the next day. And from that time on, long after the famine had ended, the villagers reminisced about the finest soup they’d ever had.


Save the stone in your refrigerator. When boiled in the pot weekly it makes the soup better every time you use it – or so I’ve been told.


Journal Entry – mmm mmm better than good.

Make a note how much food made it into the soup pot and wasn’t discarded.


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