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The Unexpected Benefit of Buying Food From Amazon

The Unexpected Benefit of Buying Food From Amazon

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It's like instant peace of mind—and it's totally free.

Even though Amazon has taken steps to make food items more affordable, it can still be quite expensive—especially if you're not shopping in bulk. But one customer courtesy available to those who buy grocery items from Amazon might actually convince you to shop for pantry staples online more frequently.

As you probably know, Amazon keeps track of all the orders customers make via their personalized accounts—which is especially handy for Prime members who frequently reorder their favorites with a click of a button. Because Amazon collects customer's contact information in the account creation process, they're able to contact shoppers even after the purchased items have arrived at their door.

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Unlike many traditional grocery stores, they're also able to keep track of what you buy—which means Amazon is able to contact you when something you've purchased has been recalled.

In a similar fashion to membership stores like Costco and Sam's Club, Amazon's Customer Service team will send emails to affected shoppers when recall notices are published by federal safety agencies, as well as when brands and manufacturers issue voluntary recalls.

"We have learned of a potential safety issue that may impact product(s) you have purchased through the website," a standard Amazon recall email reads. "More details, including how to determine if your purchase is impacted and what you should do can be found in the following notification."

Amazon then lists the affected products and links to their pages, so you're able to identify the product and dispose of it immediately, if need be.

More tips for keeping your household safe:

But the next best thing? Amazon will also provide a link and details for how to get a refund for the product right in the email. It seems to be an easier process, if you think about heading back to a traditional retailer to get a refund for something you bought in the store.

Americans are facing life-threatening food recalls now more than ever—in 2018 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued more safety warnings than in the last decade. A feature like this is important for people who have a hard time keeping up with what needs to be thrown out to keep their family safe.

Amazon, Walmart see online grocery shopping with food stamps surge amid coronavirus, reports say

If you're unable to get to the grocery store, online ordering can be a great option. But you may run into these issues. USA TODAY

Shopping for groceries online for delivery or curbside pickup has grown in popularity amid the coronavirus pandemic with many shoppers looking to make fewer trips to stores.

And using Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, commonly referred to as food stamps, to pay for online grocery trips has been surging.

According to Bloomberg, more than 1 million U.S. households bought groceries online in September using SNAP benefits with the majority of those shoppers turning to Amazon and Walmart, which in most states are the only retailers to take part in the Department of Agriculture's online shopping pilot.

The USDA says that the online pilot is in 46 states and Washington D.C. Alaska, Lousiana, Maine and Montana are the states not included in the pilot, according to the agency's website.

According to the USDA, only eligible food may be purchased with SNAP benefits and "delivery fees and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits."

On Amazon's SNAP page, the online shopping giant says it now accepts SNAP EBT in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine and Montana.

What is Walmart Plus?

The multi-channel discount retailer, known for its affordable products across groceries, clothing, electronics, just launched a membership program called Walmart+. The membership gives you exclusive access to benefits that are aimed to help shoppers save time and money. Members can take advantage of free unlimited, same-day delivery with the same everyday low prices customers love.

The service will cost members $98 year, an attractive comparison to Amazon Prime's $119 annual fee. If you don't want to commit fully just yet, Walmart+ offers a 15-day free trial.

Mangoes and raisins give this Jamaican condiment a fruity profile. In addition to cloves, Pickapeppa is spiked with sour tamarind, black pepper, and warming ginger. Clearly there's a lot going on here. Don't pick it up expecting any old one-note hot sauce. Definitely serve it alongside jerk chicken. And then dash it over eggs, grilled pork, and anything else that would benefit from a taste of the islands.

This spicy sauce is definitely on fire, thanks to a generous dose of Puerto Rican red habaneros. The secret ingredient—carrots—adds a bit of sweetness and earthiness to the flavor profile. One Amazon reviewer said that the price is a steal since one bottle contains "more hot sauce than one person would ever be able to use in a lifetime." Challenge accepted.

1. Improves Vision

2. Powerhouse of AntioxidantsBlueberries may be high on the antioxidant scale, but surprisingly prunes are even higher. A study conducted by researchers from Tufts University in Boston ranked prunes, or dried plums, as #1 food in terms of antioxidant capacity. Prunes contain manganese, iron and plant phenolics that function as antioxidants and help protect the cell membranes from free radical damage.3. Heart Healthy“Prunes are high in potassium, an important mineral that ensures proper functioning of the heart and nerve response throughout the body”, says Dr. Adarsh Kumar, Internal Medicine, National Heart Institute. Daily intake of potassium helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of problems such as dizziness, heart disease, heart attack and stroke. One should not overlook the health benefits of prunes.
Prunes benefits: Prunes are high in potassium, an important mineral that ensures proper functioning of the heart​4. Relieves ConstipationPrunes have been sold as a popular digestive remedy for years together. And when it comes to laxatives, prunes are more effective than even psyllium, according to the April 2011 issue of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Prunes help the body in digesting food properly, to relieve constipation and have regular bowel movement. This is because prunes are high in fiber and sorbitol.Did you know that just 1 prune provides 3% of the recommended daily intake of fiber? Sorbitol, the natural sugar present in prunes, functions as a laxative because it pulls moisture into the digestive tract and facilitates bowel movements. Note: Do not eat too many prunes, as it can cause gastrointestinal distress due to excessive sorbitol and fiber.

5. Protection Against OsteoporosisA single serving of prunes (100 grams) fulfills the daily requirement for boron, and the potassium present in prunes helps support bone health. According to Florida State University, prunes may be able to reverse osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. For the study, postmenopausal women were asked to eat 100 grams of dried plums per day and as a result, they had improved bone formation markers after only three months, compared to a control group who were eating 75 grams of dried apples. Prunes also have anti-inflammatory properties and are highly recommended for people suffering from arthritis.

6. Promotes Hair HealthIron deficiency can lead to hair loss, dryness and discoloration of hair. And prunes are great sources of iron, contributing to the overall health of your hair and offering countless benefits to it. They are a source of vitamin B, vitamin C, et al which are great for your hair growth. These nutrients strengthen your hair from the roots and prevent breakage and damage. 7. Great for SkinThe vitamins and minerals present in prunes help in maintaining healthy skin. This humble fruit also helps slow down the aging process and delays development of wrinkles. the presence of many minerals make it quit a good snack, further giving you a glowing skin. How’s that for sweet!

The Bottom Line?Eating prunes has its benefits, but don’t overdo it. Delhi-based Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat says, “Prunes are high in natural sugar, so too many may not be good for people watching their weight. After all, excess of anything is stored as fat in your body. Prunes have such high nutritional values ensuring that you can eat just one piece and still gain measurable nutrients. You can chop them into fine pieces and add them to hot or cold cereal, blend them in smoothies and shakes in the summer as a sugar substitute or throw them in your cookie batter. Since prunes are loaded with fiber and boost energy, they even work well as a pre-workout snack”.You can even add prunes in a savoury dish. Basically, any dish you would pair with raisins, pairs beautifully with prunes. Simmer prunes with apples in chicken broth to create a sauce that works well with chicken or pork. You can also boil prunes until they are soft and then puree them to make a prune paste that can be spread on toast, or use bite-sized prunes to top off pizza, pancakes and waffles for added flavour.

The benefits of Amazon Prime

Free two-day shipping seriously rules

The main factor that initially made Prime popular is its convenient free two-day shipping. If you happen to live in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, the service might be more appealing, since you’re often able to upgrade to one-day shipping at no extra charge.

“I recently became a new parent, and next-day shipping is actually a godsend,” says Barry Choi, a Toronto-based personal finance expert who notes that whether or not the service is a good value will depend largely on how important the convenience of quick shipping is for you. “When my baby was three months old, we were like, ‘Oh my God, we need another sleep sack.’ I ordered it that night and it came the next day. Other services, like Prime Music and Prime Photos, are a nice bonus, but it’s really just about shipping.”

Being a student pays off

You may have expensive books, final exams and student loans to worry about, but if you’re a college or university student, you can join Prime Student and receive trial free two-day shipping at no cost for six months, and then upgrade to a Prime membership for 50 percent off.

You’ll get free streaming and photo storage…

Another selling feature is Prime’s music and video streaming services, which give you access to a selection of movies, along with Amazon-produced shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Transparent and TV classics like Downton Abbey, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Wire. Prime Photos, founded in 2014, offers users unlimited photo storage in their Amazon Drive.

… and access to deals and new releases

Prime members often have access to online sales, member-exclusive discounts, and priority during product releases. A big annual sale members take advantage of is Prime Day, which will take place on July 16 this year. The day offers sales on a wide range of products — often at a very steep discount — and is exclusive to Prime members.

What are fermented foods? Fermentation is the method of preserving foods it is a process that has existed for thousands of years. Fermentation is what has given us our bread,…

A word from the Founder

Hey, Gigi here. I developed an interest in fermented foods a couple of years ago when I recalled that my mum used to make it when I was a kid. Once I rediscovered the world of fermenting, I started reading about and making the food myself. Here at I blog about my journey and share my knowledge with you. I hope you enjoy reading it. Read More…

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Chia seeds have an extremely subtle flavor and are therefore prioritized for texture over taste. Their most obvious characteristic is that they absorb a shocking amount of liquid—up to 10 times their dry weight—swelling into miniature tapioca-like balls.

You can easily make chia seed pudding, one of the most popular ways to eat the seeds, by mixing a quarter cup of the seeds in one cup of liquid (almond milk and fruit juice are popular choices). Once the seeds have gelled up and the mixture is no longer watery, the "pudding" is ready to eat. This can take as little as 15 minutes, although chia pudding keeps well in the fridge for several days. Since chia doesn't have a ton of flavor on its own, feel free to add spices, chopped fruit, nuts, and any other toppings youɽ like.

Dry chia seeds can also be added whole or ground to smoothies and juices, mixed into yogurt and oatmeal, or sprinkled on top of a salad. If you're adding the seeds to a drink or a "wet" dish like porridge, they'll swell up slightly while you eat but retain a slight crunch.

Chia seeds can also be used in tonics, jams, crackers, muffins, and grain bowls.

And although these are some of the more common ways to eat chia, its mild flavor and compact size make it easy to slip a spoonful into pretty much anything—so experiment!

Since chia seeds are capable of absorbing a lot of liquid, it's important to stay well-hydrated when consuming them, particularly in dry form. But you don't have to overdo it on the water—your daily eight 8-oz. glasses will suffice.

Here's What Really Happened When I Drank Liquid Collagen For Two Weeks

Whenever someone &mdash a friend, the media, the side of a bus, whatever &mdash says something is beneficial for your hair and skin, I'm there. It just makes me feel better to know I'm eating something or using a product that could make my skin glow or my hair shinier, even if it's all hype. So when I read about liquid collagen being the antidote to aging (OK, that's definitely an exaggeration, but go with me), and a game-changer for healthy skin and hair, I was intrigued but still dubious. It wasn't until I had some first-hand feedback &mdash my friend was raving about this collagen juice (and I read Jennifer Aniston adds it to her morning smoothies, an obviously much more influential factor) &mdash that I had to try it for myself. And so the experiment began.

I committed to two weeks of collagen juices &mdash basically, lemon water with marine collagen peptides. The serving was one 16-ounce bottle per day, and aside from the fish reference on the ingredient label, it seemed pretty harmless.

I've always had long, thick hair, but after a sun- and saltwater-filled summer, it had been left feeling pretty dry and lackluster. Some added shine and nourishment were much needed. As for my skin, I didn't have many major concerns (aside from the dreaded monthly hormonal breakout), but according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital, "it is best to start treating [your skin early on,] before any significant wrinkling or dark spots become severe." So, bottoms up?

My Skin Without Makeup, Pre-Collagen Treatment:

The juices tasted pretty much like straight lemon water with a hint of spice from the cayenne pepper (what I imagine the Master Cleanse is probably like). It was pretty easy to stick to during the week while I was working, but I was usually out all day on the weekends, making it a little harder to commit to. You have to keep the juices cold, meaning you can't bring them out and about with you, so I found myself quickly chugging them in the morning between showering and getting dressed.

A few days into it, I immediately noticed a side effect that I had never expected &mdash an effect on my hunger. The times I drank the juices varied each day, depending on how busy I was at work and when I got around to remembering to drink it, but whether I drank it first thing in the morning, after breakfast, or after lunch, I always found that my appetite completely went away. Not only was my need for snacking diminished (I'm more of a grazer than a large meal eater), I could skip a meal entirely. Weight loss wasn't a goal for me, but studies do show that collagen suppresses appetite and keeps you feeling full, so you eat less at your next meal.

Me After Drinking Two Weeks' Worth Of Juices:

Two weeks later, I wish I could honestly say I saw a difference. My hair feels the same &mdash the deep conditioning treatment I did was quicker and more effective at bringing the shine back &mdash and my skin remains unchanged. I still got that monthly zit.

But I probably just didn't give it long enough &mdash these are benefits that would take months to see, right? Not entirely. According to Dr. Neal Schultz, NYC dermatologist, host of

But that doesn't mean collagen in any form isn't good. Schultz recommends instead trying a topical form of collagen, applied directly to your skin.

BUY NOW: Collagen Serum, $25

When it comes to skin and hair, drinking collagen is probably not worth your money (as Dr. Schultz suggests, a hair supplement like Viviscal would be more beneficial), but if you need help with weight loss, liquid collagen could help suppress your appetite, so there's that.

40 Unexpected Ways You Can Help the Environment Right Now

Read the news on any given day, and you’d think we were all soon-to-be goners from climate change. New stories and reports regularly reveal all the ways humans are trashing the planet at an unprecedented rate.

Given the seemingly dismal reality, we might be tempted to throw up our hands and say there’s nothing we can do to fix the problem. But defeatism won’t get us anywhere.

Governments and corporations need to step in, but they shouldn’t bear all the responsibility for making a positive environmental impact. People from all walks of life can do things each day to reduce their carbon footprint and make their routine more eco-friendly.

Becoming an environmental warrior doesn’t require a superhero-like effort. Something as simple as creating a grocery shopping list or using ceramic baking pans can make a big difference.

In fact, a healthy lifestyle and an eco-conscious one often go hand in hand. Extra bonus: Being eco-friendly is often easier on the wallet.

The most obvious ways to help the environment are to conserve energy and use less water. But if you put on your green thinking cap, you can come up with lots of less obvious, but no less important, earth-friendly habits.

Need a jump start? Read on to learn a few simple day-to-day strategies to help the environment. You might be surprised at how much they help you in the process.

Some Americans have swapped out their cars for eco-friendly modes of transport like walking, biking, and public transportation for good reason.

Along with helping to save money and improve fitness, leaving the car in the garage also reduces the amount of dangerous greenhouse gases (which are responsible for a large chunk of climate change) we release into the environment.

One powerful way to minimize the environmental impact of driving is to trade in your clunker for a more eco-friendly vehicle. For other (less costly) options, try these tips to get you where you need to go.

1. Bike to work

Despite snazzy cycling accessories like the invisible bike helmet and gloves with light-up turn signals, fewer Americans are riding their bikes to work. League of American Cyclists. (2017). Where we ride: Analysis of bicycle commuting in American Cities.

If more people commuted on two wheels instead of four, experts estimate we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent by 2050. Mason J, et al. (2015). A global high shift cycling scenario.

One study found that half of all car trips were less than 3 miles. Given the short distance, cycling or walking could easily substitute for 41 percent of these trips, saving nearly 5 percent in carbon emissions. Neves A, et al. (2019). Assessing the potential for carbon emissions savings from replacing short car trips with walking and cycling using a mixed GPS-travel diary approach. DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2018.08.022

2. Walk it off

Motoring on two feet is a lot more energy-efficient than cruising on four wheels. Walking obviously isn’t a viable choice if you’re headed to see family across the country, but as long as you stay local, you can sneak more foot action into your daily routine and cut down on carbon emissions in the process.

3. Go public

The thought of squishing into a crowded train car might be a big turnoff to some would-be commuters, but think of all the upsides. Riding the rails creates extra time to catch up on emails, read a juicy novel, or get just a little more shut-eye. Plus it does wonders for the health of our planet.

Switching to the subway or metro cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 76 percent per passenger mile compared to driving your own car. Taking the bus drops emissions by 33 percent per passenger mile over commuting solo. Federal Transit Administration. (2016). Transit’s role in environmental sustainability.

4. Come together

Sharing a ride with a coworker takes one car, and its carbon dioxide emissions, off the road. Every gallon of gas that commute buddy doesn’t burn by driving themselves saves about 20 pounds of CO2. Reducing your transportation footprint. (n.d.)

Added bonus: The more people who jump on the carpooling bandwagon, the less miserable rush hour might eventually become. Call in a coworker or use an app like Carma to partner up and save the environment together.

5. Make it a twofer

Each time car ride to the supermarket, dry cleaner, or drugstore burns fuel. Short trips are especially hard on fuel economy, because that cold engine needs time to warm up with each stop. Doubling up on errands saves fuel, driving time, and emissions.

6. Shop virtually

Ditch the car entirely and shop in the virtual world. Online shopping is easy, and currently safer than shopping in stores.

It can lessen your carbon footprint but only if you avoid rushed shipping, buy more items together to minimize shipments, and support brands with eco packaging etc.

7. Telecommute

Speaking of PJs, they’re the new suit and tie for anyone who works from home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average daily commute time is nearly 27 minutes. Mean time to work. (2018). Eliminating the daily office drive not only avoids wardrobe expenses and traffic headaches, but it also cuts down on emissions.

Companies don’t even need to take their full operations remote. Just switching from a 5-day work week with 8-hour days to a 4-day work week with 10-hour days trims fuel use and emissions by 20 percent. Telework. (n.d.)

8. Share a car

Why invest the money to buy a car, with all the maintenance and upkeep that goes with it? Car sharing services like Turo, Getaround, and Zipcar let drivers pick up a vehicle when they need it, and drop it back off when they’re done.

Depending on their budget, drivers can rent a thrifty Ford all the way up to an exotic Ferrari. Car sharing cuts energy consumption by up to 47 percent, and CO2 emissions by up to 65 percent, especially when the cars are hybrid or electric. Baptista P, et al. (2014). Energy, environmental and mobility impacts of car-sharing systems. Empirical results from Lisbon, Portugal. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.035

Everyone talks about how much food we eat, but what about the food we don’t eat? Americans toss out 133 billion pounds of food each year. That means about 40 percent of our food supply goes straight into the trash. Food waste and loss. (n.d.)

If people around the world saved just one quarter of the food they now waste, we could end global hunger. Seeking end to loss and waste of food along production chain. (n.d.) But instead of filling empty plates, that wasted food usually ends up in landfills, where it eventually turns into a destructive greenhouse gas called methane.

Wasting food also squanders the resources (like water and energy) that went into the production of that food. Here are some easy ways to shop and eat more efficiently to waste less food.

9. Make a plan, Stan

The golden rule of grocery shopping is to never hit the supermarket hangry (just try resisting the checkout lane snacks and candy with a grumbling tummy). Tackling the aisles armed with a planned list can avoid a cart overloaded with items that will ultimately end up in the trash.

Plan out the whole week’s meals in advance. Figure out what ingredients each recipe requires, and write them all down. As long as you actually stick to the meal plan, there shouldn’t be much food left over!

To make meal planning and shopping real no-brainers, buy meal kits like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. Ingredients are pre-portioned so nothing goes to waste.

10. Keep track of trash

Want to know how much you waste? Start logging a weekly record of every moldy banana and half-eaten box of cereal you toss in the trash. Over time, you can start to see patterns, and tweak your shopping habits accordingly.

Also keep track of what’s going bad in the fridge. Some apps warn when that leftover cantaloupe or jar of tomato sauce on the middle shelf is about to turn. They’ll help you avoid unwrapping a scary science experiment!

11. Find your local food kitchen

If you’re still buying more than you can eat, consider another possibility before trashing that still-good grub. Lots of people in need would really appreciate the bag of bagels you were just about to discard.

Find a local food bank and ask what kinds of food donations they accept.

12. Understand expiration dates

We don’t recommend anyone eat curdled yogurt for the sake of saving the environment, but if you’re tossing bread and OJ as soon as they hit the sell-by date, you could be wasting a lot of perfectly good grub.

Food expiration dates actually refer to the product’s quality, not its safety. And there’s a difference between “sell-by” (the deadline for retailers to sell the product) and “use-by” (the date when the product starts to lose its quality and flavor.)

A bunch of techniques can help extend the shelf life of everything in the kitchen. One is to keep the fridge and freezer cool enough — 40°F (4°C) and 0°F (-18°C), respectively — and unpack groceries as soon as you get home from the store.

13. Learn to love leftovers

Who wants to eat the same lasagna 5 nights straight? Still, throwing away leftovers just to avoid boredom isn’t the most eco-friendly option. Instead, breathe new life into those old meals.

Experiment by making new dishes with whatever’s still hanging around. Roast turkey easily transforms into next-day turkey sandwiches, chili, or tetrazzini.

Or, freeze leftovers and eat them down the road. Soups and stews can stay on ice for up to 6 months, and leftover meat and poultry can keep them company in the freezer for just as long. Cold food storage chart. (2019).

14. Create a compost pile

You don’t need to live on a farm, or even have a big backyard to try this eco-friendly disposal method. Composting means recycling nutrients back into the ecosystem, which keeps food out of landfills and waterways while making the garden greener.

Some communities have local composting programs. Or, start your own compost indoors. (Worms are optional we promise.)

15. Take it home

As restaurant portions swell to epic sizes it’s getting harder and harder for some of us to lick our plates clean. Order an appetizer instead of an entree and save the planet, plus some calories in the process.

Or, impress your dining companions with your eco-savviness by coming prepared with a reusable container to take home whatever you don’t finish.

Bonus: That’s one more meal you don’t have to cook this week.

16. Use a smaller plate

Buffets are notorious traps for anyone whose eyes are bigger than their stomach. It can be tempting to load up on everything from soup to chocolate layer cake, even though eating that giant pile of food would be like climbing an edible Mount Everest.

Avoid temptation by starting with a smaller plate. The full plate will trick your brain into thinking you’ve gotten your money’s worth.