Originally created 09/06/00

Small portions



Hold the bowl!

Just eating the cereal in your bowl and throwing away the milk isn't a smart nutrition move. Vitamins and minerals are typically sprayed onto the cereals, so if you don't consume all the milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl, you may be missing out on nutrients that you bought the cereal for in the first place.

Asthma and diet

Diets rich in junk food could be the culprits behind the rapid rise of asthma and allergies in children, scientists in Scotland and Saudi Arabia report.

"This study suggests that dietary factors during childhood are an important influence in determining the expression of wheezy illness," the researchers say in the medical journal Thorax. "The frequency of eating at a fast food outlet was significantly related to being a case."

A dramatic increase in asthma in Scotland has been shown to correspond to a decline in the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in people's diets over the past 30 years.

What veggies lack

If you decide to become a vegetarian, it takes more than just not eating meat or drinking milk. You need to figure out how to replace those sources of nutrients with other foods. This is particularly a problem among teen vegetarians, says dietitian Jackie Newgent, a New York spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, because teens require more calcium and iron than adults do.

Clammed up

It's unsightly, weighs up to 10 pounds and has a protruding trunk the size of your forearm and the texture of a crunchy rubber band. It also has a strong, briny taste. Sound delicious or what? It's the geoduck clam (pronounced "gooey duck"), which just happens to be the gourmet ingredient of the moment, The Wall Street Journal reports. "It's great stuff. A clean, crisp clam," says New York chef Brian Young, who plans to feature geoduck tartare on the menu of the new Citarella restaurant when it opens in November. It's a popular $11 appetizer at Esca in New York, where chef Dave Pasternack tosses the clam with bits of chili peppers, scallions, mint - and watermelon.

Here's to ethics

The 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Utah now have an official champagne and wine. But you won't see anyone drinking toasts to the winners. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee will receive only cash from Korbel Champagne Cellars and Fetzer Vineyards. "Federal and state statutes limit our ability to accept free products," the committee says.

Cool ice trays

OXO has reinvented the ice cube tray: It comes with a lid that makes it easier to stack items on it and keeps the cubes from absorbing odors. Just slide the lid to remove the number of cubes you need. It's dishwasher safe. A set of three trays costs $15 at Hammacher Schlemmer's store. to order by mail, call (800) 543-3366 or visit www.hammacherschlemmer.com.

Herbal imagination

There are so many uses for herbs, it's hard to know where to begin - or where to stop. Fresh chopped herbs can be beaten into soft butter, frozen and used all year. Clean herb sprigs can be steeped in warmed honey.

But use a little caution. Herbs can still carry bacteria into the kitchen. Oils infused with herbs should always be refrigerated because oils can be good mediums for bacterial growth. To be even safer, herbalist Nancy Wilmoth of Charlotte, N.C., mixes 2 cups of chopped fresh herbs in ´ cup oil, then freezes it.