Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

Thanksgiving Schedule
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

The Tuscarora Landfill, the Grantsboro Transfer Station and Newport Transfer Station will be closed Thanksgiving Day. The Administrative offices will be closed November 27and 28.

We hope you have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Composting with Worms

3rd graders learning all about worms and how they help compost!

Monday, November 24, 2014

In Garbage City, trash is a way of life

The Zabbaleen keep Cairo's garbage in check by recycling 80 percent of what they collect — an incredible feat by any standard. But not everyone is happy.                          

The Zabbaleen are Christians in a city of Muslims, which is where the relationship with other residents begins to fray. (Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)
Not far outside the main area of Cairo, Egypt, is a city of trash.
And the citizens of Garbage City, as it's called, are surprisingly happy. Only one thing really seems to worry them: the thought that their livelihood dealing in Cairo’s trash will be taken away.
Different families in Garbage City focus on different sorts of trash. Some deal in metals, some in plastic bottles, some in paper — sorting each group into “sellable” and “unsellable.” Anything that can be reused or recycled is saved. Carts pulled by donkeys ply the streets, stacked sometimes 10 feet high with recyclables.
These expert dumpster-divers are known as Zabbaleen, that’s “garbage people” in Egyptian Arabic, and they recycle an amazing 80 percent of the waste they collect, compared with a mere 25 percent among garbage companies in Western cities.      
The Zabbaleen, who live mostly at the southern end of Manshiyat Naser ward, are consummate outsiders — and not just because they collect refuse for a living. They are Christians in a city of Muslims, and pig-farmers in a society that reviles swine.
But these outsiders do Cairo an enormous favor. For going on 80 years, they’ve collected, sorted and disposed of the solid waste of one of the world’s largest cities.
Children of the Zabbaleen in Cairo
For the Zabbaleen, garbage isn't just a lifestyle, it’s an identity. (Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)
With a population of around 25 million, Cairo makes mountains and mountains of solid waste every day. And the city’s 80,000 Zabbaleen are thankful for every bit of it, as are the many thousands of pigs that live among them.
They use the pigs to get rid of rotting food, which the animals are happy to eat. Women sit in the midst of a trash heap picking through the junk, tossing them decayed bits of fruit or meat.
As you’d expect, it’s a life of appalling smells and sights, but the Zabbaleen don’t mind. In fact, as they’re proud to admit, trash isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s an identity.    
An identity, however, that’s in constant peril of being taken away. The people of Cairo, even the government of Egypt itself, all seem to want the Zabbaleen gone.
Back in 2009, when swine flu was running rampant in many places, the Egyptian government decided to do away with all Egypt’s pigs, even though there was no swine flu there at the time. Some 300,000 pigs were slaughtered.
The country’s pig farmers, largely Zabbaleen and almost entirely Christian, were up in arms. They saw the move as an existential threat. The World Health Organization said Egypt’s decision had no scientific basis, and the United Nations called it “a real mistake.”
Before long, the government admitted that the pig-slaughter wasn’t about staving off a swine-flu epidemic. It was the first move, they said, in a plan to “clean up” the Zabbaleen.
It wasn’t the first time Egypt’s government had tried this. A few years before, government officials decided to contract out Cairo’s waste disposal to local companies. But the companies were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of waste, while the Zabbaleen largely went on doing what they’ve always done. For their efforts, they got little thanks from Cairo’s residents, who otherwise would have ended up living in a city of trash.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

‘Eat Smart, Move More, Weight Less’

Extension agent: ‘Eat Smart, Move More, Weight Less’ for holidays

By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

As the holiday season approaches, Mary Morris is helping others to enjoy their favorite dishes while not adding on pounds.
Promoting a healthy diet and exercise, it is vital to “incorporate things you enjoy,” said Morris, area extension agent, family and consumer sciences for Chowan and Bertie Counties.
Morris is instructing a Holiday Cooking School in Chowan and Bertie beginning on Nov. 19. The classes will focus on a variety of topics including: cooking on a budget, healthy substitutions for traditional recipes and innovative time saving recipes.
Morris said it is important to manage portion control and use healthy substitutions while planning and consuming meals especially during the holiday season when many people often gain up to five pounds.
To curb added consumption of calories, Morris suggests eating your vegetables first before filling up on breads and stuffing.
“Eat sweets in moderation,” said Morris.
For the last five years Morris has also instructed the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program.
The program is offering a free Holiday Challenge which people may register for online at Morris said people may also call her to sign up for the Holiday Challenge at 482-6585.
“The program’s motto is maintain, don’t gain,” said Morris. Morris said by registering for the Holiday Challenge, people will receive weekly newsletters and tips about healthy living during the holiday season.
The extension agent said the best aspect of her job is “working with people,” and helping them make changes in their lives to become healthier.
Morris lives with her husband and two children in Edenton. Morris said she likes to involve her children in the kitchen exposing them to healthy choices for preparing meals.
“I really enjoy being physically active,” said Morris who attends an adult dance class in Hertford.
Morris said when searching for exercise and sports activities it is helpful to reflect on what you found fun as a child and then find a similar outlet as an adult.
At home Morris enjoys experimenting with cooking and searching online sites like for new recipes.
If you make healthy lifestyle changes in moderation and incorporate the things you enjoy “you will be successful,” said Morris.
For more information about the programs visit

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Food Safety Tips

Some of us prepare for the holidays by making sure we have the perfect table setting, some start Christmas shopping, and some talk about the football game scheduled for the big day. But others of us look at the kitchen and have only one thought, “oh please don’t let my cooking kill the in-laws”! While sometimes in-laws can be irritating, you would never wish upon them the horrible fate of a holiday food borne illness.
Following a few easy steps and treating every bird as if it is contaminated you can protect you and your family.
The holiday season is often filled with guests, but some are unwanted — like the pathogens found on food that has been mishandled. First, there is Listeria which is like one of those unwanted party guess that will not leave and haunts in the leftovers in the refrigerator. It can usually be found in the cold foods served at buffets like deli meats and smoked salmon. Then there is Clostriduim Prefingens, it is most fond of meat, meat products and gravy. It tends to lurk in foods served in quantities that have been left out at room temperature. Staphylococcus Aureus gets into food and multiples rapidly at room temperature to produce a toxin that causes illness within 1-6 hours. It hangs out in foods that are made by hand and do not require additional cooking. Some other pathogens that have been linked to holiday meals are Salmonella and Camplobacter. Camplobacter  can be found in close to half of commercially available poultry, but will only make you sick if you mishandle the turkey. Mishandling food causes pathogens to grow to a toxic level which can then make you sick. Before you throw out the turkey and forgo the holiday tradition altogether, let me give you a few pointers on how to safely thaw, cook and store your bird.
First, when thawing a turkey make sure to follow the package recommendations. Many will direct you to thaw in the refrigerator for several days depending on the size. But this usually requires that you remember and plan to remove the turkey from the freezer several days ahead of time. It is likely you will find yourself in need of a quick thawing technique. However one of those techniques is not to leave it out on the counter at room temperature. If you leave the turkey at room temperature for more than two hours not only will you probably not have a fully thawed bird, but the surface of the bird could have been left in the “danger zone” (according to the USDA 40-140o F). At this temperature pathogens can grow to a level that is toxic, causing a food borne illness.
Instead, a quick way to thaw a turkey would be cold water thawing. Place the turkey in a leak proof plastic bag then submerge in cold water which should be changed every 30 minutes. You can calculate about 30 minutes for every pound. You can also try the microwave. There should be instructions on the package for this method.
Now that the bird has thawed you will want to handle it carefully. Every surface that comes in contact with the turkey could become contaminated with any pathogens on the bird. We call this cross-contamination. It is important to clean and sanitize utensils, work surfaces and hands that come in contact with the turkey. You will want to resist the urge to wash your bird!  Washing the turkey can also cause cross-contamination. In fact U.K. Food Standards found that bacteria already present on poultry can travel up to 3 feet from where the meat was washed. So forgo bathing the bird. It is also recommend not to stuff the turkey. If you like stuffing it can be made safest outside the turkey in a casserole dish. Not only is it safer, but you will not have to add extra time for thorough cooking which can cause the meat to be dry. When you think you have cooked your turkey the recommended amount of time, make sure to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165o F. Check the temperature in multiple places and make sure the thermometer does not touch the bone.
Now for the storage. First let’s remember that we should not leave food in the “danger zone” (40-140o F) for more than two hours. If it is left out it should be reheated to 165o F. The best way to store your leftover turkey in the refrigerator is to carve the whole turkey then place small portions in 1 quart resealable bags. For the quickest cooling it is best to place the bags directly on the shelf and not stacked on top of one another because that will allow heat to be trapped between the two bags. Your goal is to quickly cool the turkey.
Following these simple steps can fight off those unwanted holiday guest. And it means a safe and happy Thanksgiving for everyone, well, except maybe the turkey! Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Currituck County Center of NC Cooperative Extension extends to county residents the educational resources of NC State University and NC A&T State University.  Both universities commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability.  In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rock On


Home Electronics Disposal

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