Latest articles


Protect your skin when playing in the sun

More people get a skin cancer diagnosis than all of the other types of cancer combined

Several years ago, I had a couple of program assistants who loved to enter radio contests. One day they walked into my office to discuss the day’s activities. I was a little surprised when I looked up, but I think I maintained a poker face. “How are you doing today?” I asked. “Well, we won […] Read more


Are you inspired to do some spring cleaning?

Spring cleaning, especially in the kitchen, can have multiple health benefits

As I looked around my office, the inspiration for this weekly column was right in front of me. Spring cleaning needs to be on my to-do list. Fortunately, my office isn’t dusty, and the carpet was vacuumed recently. However, piles of paper accumulated on my desk and table during the winter, just like the deep […] Read more



Peanut allergies are serious business

Peanuts are among the foods most associated with allergic reactions and the symptoms can range from mild to severe

We have someone with a severe peanut allergy on board, so peanut-containing snacks will not be served,” the flight attendant announced. “Please refrain from eating any of your own snack foods with peanuts as an ingredient for the duration of the trip,” he continued. I had packs of peanut butter crackers and peanuts in my […] Read more


Looking back on nutrition trends

Though nutrition recommendations have changed over the years, moderation is still key

Where were you in 1979? I know some of my readers were adults at the time. Others were teens or children. Still others weren’t born yet. I was recently at the 40th anniversary meeting of a nutrition group that featured a keynote speaker who walked us through decades of changes in nutrition recommendations. Trust me: […] Read more



Keep a cap on fruit and vegetable spoilage

Fresh produce is among the foods consumers waste the most

“This would be a good followup article,” my husband said with a grin. I pondered his suggestion as I grabbed a grocery cart. A while back, I wrote about a grocery shopping trip I took with our son. I was providing a “kitchen warming” gift for him after he moved into his own place. I […] Read more


Is anyone else anxious for spring?

Now is a good time to think about what we put on our plate and perhaps growing some of the food we eat

The woman looked in my cart, glanced up at me and smiled. “I know how you feel,” she said. I didn’t look sad or dejected, by the way. I laughed and kept adding more items to my cart. What was I loading in my cart? I’ll give you a hint: I was in a hardware […] Read more



Where’s your food thermometer?

If you don’t have this essential piece of kitchen equipment, you need to get one

Hi, I’m Julie. What’s your name?” I asked the woman sitting at the table at a food safety conference. She responded with her name and place of work, and asked me where I work. “I work at North Dakota State University,” I replied. “I went to college there,” she said enthusiastically. “What was your major?” […] Read more


How do late-night snacks and beverages affect sleep?

Prairie Fare: Recent evidence shows that having a small bedtime snack might be good for us

I glanced at my alarm clock one morning. I was expecting the alarm would be going off any minute. I usually get up at 6 a.m. The clock said 7:24 a.m. I blinked hard and looked again. The time hadn’t changed. We had overslept. I jumped out of bed and knocked on my school-age daughter’s […] Read more



Does freezing weather increase the calories we burn?

Our environmental conditions can definitely affect our metabolism

When I arrived at work, the temperature was 14 C. At this temperature, the students on campus ordinarily would have packed away their winter coats, scarves, hats, mittens and boots. They are wearing shorts and flip-flops. Unfortunately, 14 C was the temperature in my office. The outdoor temperature was at least 35° colder, so my […] Read more


Add some international flair to your menus

Put the world on your plate with recipes from around the globe

Wow, score!” I thought to myself as I reached for a cookbook with more than 1,600 recipes from 17 countries. Better yet, the book was marked $3 at the antique store, and all books had an additional 25 per cent markdown that day. They were practically giving the book away. I retrieved my phone and […] Read more