Some Fuel Saving Tips

Saving Fuel in the WinterHere is a summary of tips that I came across in the Detroit Free Press Article, Fuel-saving tips for winter driving by Mark Phelan, January 24, 2015.

There are some really good tips here:

Don’t sit idling to warm the engine up; that gets you 0 m.p.g. Most manufacturers recommend driving off after about 30 seconds. The engine will heat up more quickly being driven.

  • Check the tires’ air pressure regularly.
  • When possible, park somewhere warm, like a garage.
  • Combine trips so the engine and transmission stay at operating temperature.
  • Don’t use seat heaters or defrosters more than necessary.
  • If you have a plug-in hybrid, preheat while you’re plugged in. Use the seat and steering-wheel heaters rather than the cabin heater to stay warm while driving
  • If your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends a different oil grade for cold temperatures, switch to it at the beginning of the season.

Some good tips to think about and apply where possible to save gas this winter.

photo credit: MattCC716 via photopin cc

We need Farmers to Feed the World

Farmers Feed The WorldTake a second and check out this article, “The only thing that will feed the world is farmers” John Hart, Southeast Farm Press – December 17, 2104

“There is no single technology that will feed the world. The only thing that will feed the world is farmers,” Savage said at a forum on agricultural biotechnology held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh Nov. 18.

I could not agree more. There is so much talk about precision ag, new seed varieties, new biotech studies and other advances in technology. It still comes down to people and in this case farmers.

We need farmers who are gaining a better understanding of the advances of technology and applying that knowledge to their respective farm practices.

Check out some advances in technology and see how technology, along with people can make all the difference. We need a closer connection between technology and farmers. Getting farmer buy-in is the key! Anything less is a loss.

photo credit: iwantcheese via photopin cc

A Closer Look at Gluten

gluten flour dough

This is a must-see video!

See why high protein bread flour produces higher level loaves of bread. High protein bread flours contains a lot of gluten and makes bread rise and trap air. Cake flour dough contains a bit of gluten for structure but does not require extreme growth.

I thought this video really shows what a high gluten flour looks and acts like. It is quite interesting.

Check it out!

photo credit: jypsygen via photopin cc

Do You Know How To Load a Dishwasher Correctly?

Loading a Dishwasher StudyOften times, we experience those times when we take dishes out of the dishwasher and we wonder why they do not get clean. Well some people have taken this process a step further and analyzed the process to look at the effectiveness of dishwashers.

I came across this article, The best way to load a dishwasher, according to science by Jenny McGrath, January 15, 2105

Here are some highlights from the article:

It’s more about what’s on the dishes than whether they’re bowls or plates…

Dr. Raul Pérez-Mohedano conducted the research and recommends arranging the dishes in a circle, following the dishwasher’s rotating arms. These will be your filthiest dishes and encrusted with carbohydrates, like spaghetti. Meanwhile, dishes with protein stains, like from eggs, go around the edges of the dishwasher.

The carb-stained plates get the benefit of being in the direct line of the appliance’s jets, and the protein-stained plates soak a little longer in the detergent, helping break up the gunk.

Naturally, cramming too many dishes in the machine impedes the jets and nothing gets quite as clean.

Source: The best way to load a dishwasher, according to science by Jenny McGrath, January 15, 2105

The article has links to the in-depth study along with associated calculations supporting the research. My takeaway from this study is make sure dishes are rinsed pretty well to remove some of the junk on the plates to help insure a better wash altogether.

photo credit: Alex of Gothenburg via photopin cc

Using LED Lighting to Extend Beef Shelf Life

Ground Beef and LED LightingI came across this article, “Hoping to prevent gray ground beef, MU researchers see red with LED lights” by Steve Everly, January 18, 2015 and it looks at a study  using LED lights.

Light and oxygen help turn the color of ground beef into a light gray or brown color. However, those beef samples that were under the LED lighting fared much better. LED lighting is much cooler and as a result the temperature is not nearly as warm as traditional lighting. “As the article indicates, the discolored hamburger can still be safe, but the appearance makes it tough to sell”

With respect to shelf life, here was the biggest finding of the article,

That LEDs could change the math was clear in the University of Missouri tests. They added a day to bright red hamburger, and even after a week the patties still had some speckles of red. The fluorescent-lit patties started showing discoloring in the third day.

LED lighting is starting to be installed in several retail grocers in the Greater Kansas City ARea.

Jon McCormick, executive director of the Retail Grocers Association of Greater Kansas City, said area grocers have begun installing meat and other display cases lit with LEDs “across the Kansas City metro.” The cooler light is also helping in other ways such as helping prevent frost on the glass doors of frozen-food display cases.

In summary, the meat industry has tried to find ways to make meat last longer. Adding another day with LED technology would be a huge step toward in that direction.

photo credit: ilovebutter via photopin cc