Go Further with Food- Plan ahead to save money and reduce waste!

HEALTH

CCE Onondaga Eat Smart NY- March 2018

March is National Nutrition Month! A perfect time to celebrate the healthy and wholesome meals that bring us together with the people we care about. Healthy family meals can be low cost and easy to prepare. First, check out the food that you have on hand. Then make a list of additional ingredients needed to prepare recipes with foods that are readily available and best yet, in season. Bring family and friends around the table to create meaningful memories over a nourishing meal.

The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Go Further with Food”. The message reminds us to be mindful to choose health promoting foods and to reduce the amount of food we waste. Reducing food waste saves money, protects the environment and saves valuable nutrients that our body needs for energy, growth and to repair itself.

Wasting food is expensive. Not all food that is wasted can be saved and eaten, but a lot of food waste could be prevented. One of the obvious reasons to reduce food waste for many people is that it costs money. However, wasted food also results in wasted nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and seafood are often the foods that are wasted.

We are faced with higher food prices and lose money when food spoils at home or gets thrown out as plate waste. In addition, much of the food that is tossed out winds up in landfills, and over time this can cause negative changes in the earth’s climate.

Did you know that about 1,200 calories of food are wasted daily in the United States? When we think of the nutrition these foods provide, that amounts to losses of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D.

Ways to help prevent food waste:

• Buy only the amount of food that can be eaten or frozen within a few days.
• Place foods that spoil quickly within sight.
• Store produce properly.
• As with other foods, to prevent spoilage only buy the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you can use within a few days.
• Produce should always be washed before using, but some produce may spoil more quickly if it’s washed too far in advance.
• Refrigeration is recommended for a lot of produce, especially fruits and vegetables that are conveniently packaged or already cut up. Plus, some produce will last longer when refrigerated, such as apples and oranges. Whereas, other produce like onions and potatoes are best stored outside of the refrigerator.
• Because some produce, like apples can cause other fruits and vegetables to ripen more quickly it’s best to keep them in a separate crisper drawer.
• Regardless of the date stamped on the food or drink packaging, don’t risk eating or drinking anything that you suspect has spoiled. In some cases a food will not look or smell any different. That’s why it’s important to eat leftovers within 3 to 4 days (or freeze for up to 3 to 4 months).
• Always remember to practice good food safety!
• For more food safety information, visit www.homefoodsafety.org or check out the “Is My Food Safe” app.
• The USDA’s FoodKeeper app is another good resource. It helps you determine how long items may be kept in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry. Knowing this information will help you identify what needs to be used up when planning meals or deciding what to do with leftovers.

Save money and reduce food waste by:

• Planning meals based on foods you already have.

 Look in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry first for foods that need to be used up. These items will give you ideas about what recipes to make for the week.
 Find recipes that use those ingredients.
 Write a list of the food items you still need.

• Planning meals and snacks in advance is a good place to start and will help you use the foods you already have on hand.
• Another way to prevent food waste is to get creative with leftovers.
• A meal doesn’t always need to be eaten in the same way as a leftover. A lot of times, it can be transformed into another meal, a soup, salad, or even a sandwich.
• Roast a whole chicken or turkey for dinner. The leftovers could be shredded, reheated and added to a soup on Monday night or wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with low-fat cheese and veggies for lunch.
• Other ways to Go Further with Food include being mindful of portion sizes. Over the years, portions of most foods and drinks have increased in size.
• Choosing smaller portions will not only help to reduce food waste, but it will also help you stay within your calorie needs, as MyPlate recommends.
• If it’s not possible to request a smaller portion when eating out, just ask for a to-go container at the start of a meal. This will help you eat less. Plus, you’ll have a leftover to enjoy the next day.

For tasty, low cost recipes, tips and more go to www.eatsmartnewyork.org.

Southern Tier Eat Smart NY is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- SNAP. SNAP Provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. To find out more go to www.myBenefits.ny.gov or contact 1-800-342-3009. This Institution is an equal opportunity employer.

I HAD A WORK ACCIDENT…..NOW WHAT? (Part I)

By José Enrique Perez

New York State has a workers’ compensation law dealing with accidents of workers and occupational diseases.  The workers’ compensation law sets forth the procedure for obtaining benefits when you are out of work because of a work-related accident or occupational disease.  The law requires almost all employers to have coverage for all workers.  Even if an employer, however, does not have workers’ compensation coverage for its workers, you will be still entitled to benefits under the workers’ compensation law because the Uninsured Employers Fund unit will step into the shoes of that employer.

You should know that workers’ compensation is a type of insurance.  Therefore, the employer or the insurance carrier, and not you, will pay for medical treatment, and the wages you lose because you are injured on the job and/or become ill because of your job.  The benefits paid pursuant to the workers’ compensation law are determined pursuant to various degrees of disability (which I will describe in the May edition).

The employer or its insurance carrier cannot discriminate based on race, national region, color, immigration status, sex, age, religion, disability and/or sexual preference when providing benefits to the workers.

What Should You Do If You Are Injured On The Job?   The first thing you should do is to seek medical treatment for your injuries.  Thereafter, you should notify your employer about your injury (and you should do so preferably in writing) as soon as practicable, but no later than thirty days after the injury.  If you fail to notify your employer within thirty days of your injury, the employer may be able to raise a failure to notify and/or lack of notice defense which may affect your claim.  After you notify your employer, you should file a claim for compensation benefits as soon as practicable.  Remember that the workers’ compensation law sets a statute of limitation of two years.  The statute of limitation means that if you do not notify the Workers’ Compensation Board of your case and/or injury within two years after the accident, you will not be able to claim benefits under the workers’ compensation law.  The Workers’ Compensation Board is a New York State agency that oversees all claims for compensation under the workers’ compensation law.

How Do You File A Claim With The Workers’ Compensation Board?  You can ask your employer for a form C-3, Employee’s Claim for Compensation.  If your employer does not have the form C-3, you can do any of the following:

  • Call the Workers’ Compensation Board at (866) 396-8314 and ask the Board representative to complete it with you over the telephone;
  • Go online to www.wcb.state.ny.us/ and complete the form electronically;
  • Go online to www.wcb.state.ny.us/ and download form C-3, complete it, and mail it to the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office;
  • Go to the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office and ask a Board representative to help you complete the form. Please note that the employer will complete a similar form called C-2, Employer’s Report of Work-Related Injury/Illness, as soon as you notify it of your injury.
  • Who Is Covered Under The Workers’ Compensation Law?  Almost all workers are covered and may receive medical treatment and wages for time lost because of the injury and/or illness with only a few exceptions.  If you have any doubt about your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, you should still file the C-3 and contact either the Workers’ Compensation Board or an attorney to discuss your case.

    What Injuries Are Covered Under The Workers’ Compensation Law?  There are two types of coverage under the workers’ compensation law:

    On the job injuries:   All injuries sustained while working for an employer or in the course of employment are covered with only one exception:  If you sustain an injury as a result of your use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol, or from trying to self-inflict an injury or inflict an injury to someone else, you may lose the right to benefits under the workers’ compensation law.

    Occupational disease:   If you do not sustain an injury on the job or in the course of employment for the employer, and you, nonetheless, become ill, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  This is called occupational disease.  An occupational disease is contracted as a result of your work.  An occupational disease arises from a specific aspect of the work you do.  A typical example is a person who works with computers and develops carpal tunnel syndrome.  It is important you tell your doctor what your work involves because you may not even know you have an occupational disease.  Occupational disease guidelines and timeframes are complex and different from a regular on-the-job injury.  Therefore, you should notify your employer as soon as you learn about it and file a workers’ compensation claim.  You are entitled to the same benefits you would have if you had sustained an on-the-job injury.  However, you may not even know you are suffering an occupational disease because either you have not lost time from work or you think it’s unrelated to your work.  Therefore, you should talk to your doctor not only about your symptoms, but also about your job activities.

    What Benefits Are You Entitled To Under The Workers’ Compensation Law?

    Under the Workers’ Compensation law, you may be entitled to: wages; medical treatment; reduced earnings; rehabilitation and social work;  reinstatement;  disability benefits in case the employer and/or insurance carrier objects to your claim; death benefits; etc.  Please see the May edition for a full description of these benefits, and much more. (i.e., employer’s objections to your claim;  degrees of disability;  discrimination;  etc.)

    You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about potential workers’ compensation accidents.  Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with an accident.  Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

    I represent individuals in workers’ compensation cases.  If you have any questions or concerns about an accident, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the May edition.

    We need Juanita

    by Linda Brown-Robinson

    I am part of a team of people who have joined together to take the unusual move of forming a campaign committee to encourage one of our neighbors to run for Mayor of Syracuse in 2017. We all deserve a leader who brings honor, integrity, discipline and life experience to the office. I’m inviting you to join us in encouraging Juanita Perez Williams to run for Mayor in 2017. For those of you who don’t know her let me provide you with an introduction to our friend Juanita.

    Juanita Perez Williams was raised in southern California, the daughter of Ralph and Lydia Perez. Juanita’s family immigrated to America from Mexico in search of the American dream. Like so many of our family stories, Juanita’s family arrived with can-do spirit, a desire to work hard and a willingness to serve. Juanita was a product of Head Start and was a first generation college student. One of her core beliefs is that all the children of Syracuse deserve the same shot at success that she had.

    From an early age, Juanita had an insatiable desire to follow family footsteps into military service and get a great education. She received her undergraduate at the University of California San Diego and her Juris Doctor from the California Western School of Law. From law school, Juanita went on to serve our country with distinction in the United States Navy, ranking as Lt. Commander serving as JAG counsel.

    We are lucky that Juanita found home in Central New York after fulfilling her military obligation to raise her four lovely children while pursuing an astonishing career. Juanita worked as Regional Director of the New York State Education Department, Associate Dean of Students at Syracuse University and Assistant Attorney General for New York State. Many of us first became acquainted with Juanita as Corporation General Counsel for the city of Syracuse—the first Latina to hold that position. As the current regional director for the NYS Department of Labor, Juanita has hands on experience bringing workers, managers and business leaders together to create better opportunities for all.

    You may ask: Why do we need Juanita? There are two undeniable facts about the city of Syracuse today. The first is tough to admit, but we know it’s true. Many of our neighbors in Syracuse are living in poverty. The other undeniable fact about Syracuse is that, for all our current issues and concerns, we are resilient and we remain optimistic. Syracuse needs a leader as good as its people, someone who will inspire us to get behind her.

    Who better to tackle poverty than someone who comes from humble beginnings? We need Juanita not only because she can support and promote our economy, but also to speak to the souls of Syracuse children and tell them they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Who can better understand the demands and rewards of the sandwich generation better than Juanita who is sharing her home with three generations of family?

    As a mom and grandmother, Juanita understands our children are our most valuable asset, and if she runs, we trust she will make quality of life for our children a top priority. Moreover, she knows that we must attract and retain talented young people who have a place and purpose here….like us.

    If you know me, you know that I call them like I see them. At the end of the day, I firmly believe we need Juanita because we cannot afford otherwise. Selecting our next Mayor is an important choice. If we can convince Juanita to run, we know she would make positive changes for us, our children and their children.

    Running for Mayor is a daunting ask, a sacrifice taken on by one’s entire family. Juanita would need to make a career sacrifice were she to announce her intentions to run. These aren’t easy decisions to make. That is why we have banded together and unequivocally encourage Juanita to run.

    Please join the movement to encourage Juanita Perez Williams to run for Mayor of Syracuse, and visit our website at www.weneedjuanita.com

    Sincerely,

    Linda Brown-Robinson

    Founding member, “We Need Juanita” Committee

    Puerto Rico is in serious debt

    Letters from a Lesbian 

    Dear World,

    It is a sad, and well-known fact that the island of Puerto Rico is in debt. Serious debt. Over $70 billion in debt. Puerto Ricans have been waiting for Congress to do something – anything to help the struggling island to get out from under this giant burden. Desperation is so high, that there is consideration to drop minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, just like it is here in the States down to $4.25 per hour for Puerto Ricans under the age of twenty five. Puerto Rico has defaulted on deadlines and payments, and is expected to do so again. It’s a huge crisis with no solid solution.

    This dire situation did not happen overnight. This has been a long-time coming. Here are some important historical events that led to this current financial crisis. According to an article on

    http://www.marketplace.org/2016/04/08/world/stranded-puerto-rican-debt-no-end-sight :

    -In 1917, when Woodrow Wilson made Puerto Rico an American territory, he made some of their first shipping laws. When he did so, he made the bonds tax-exempt on local, state and federal levels. Thus, the bonds were very attractive to mutual funds. That meant that Puerto Rico was able to borrow a lot of money, but it was – and still is – money that the island is unable to pay back.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    ‘Tis the season for……FORECLOSURE?!

    As the popular American saying goes,“Tis the season.” For some,‘Tis the season for family time, traveling, shopping, gift giving, festivities, and good cheer. For others,‘Tis the season for increased debt, worry about money or lack thereof, skipping or missing payments, concern about the rising cost of living (especially heating costs in the Winter months), anxiety, depression, and stress. For many Americans with financial struggles, who are trying to make ends meet during the Holidays, it can be overwhelming. For homeowners in crisis and at risk of losing their homes, this can be an especially difficult time.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Why was your Credit Card transaction denied?

    We’ve all had these moments: You’re at a romantic restaurant and the evening went great. But just as you and your date are readying to leave, an embarrassed waiter appears and whispers, “I’m afraid your card has been denied.” So much for romance.

    The same thing can happen at the grocery store, when shopping online or worst of all, when you’re traveling and don’t have a back-up means of payment. Why do credit card transactions get denied and what can you do to prevent it?

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Do Your Homework Before Buying a Timeshare

    Full disclosure: I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of timeshares. I understand the appeal of having a guaranteed vacation home in an area you love and being able to swap your unit for a place halfway around the world.

    But I worry that many buyers don’t consider all associated costs and mistakenly think timeshares are sound financial investments that will appreciate in value. In fact, sellers rarely make a profit – some only get pennies on the dollar. Plus, the waters are filled with sharks eager to rip off people desperately trying to unload unwanted timeshares.

    Read the rest of this entry »