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Food Questions and Answers (Q&A)

With food coloring being dangerous to a human’s health, it has raised the question if the dye we are using in hummingbird feeders are dangerous to them as well. It is believed that when the hummingbirds were ingesting the red dyes from their feeders, it was weakening the shells of the eggs that they laid.

With the weakening of the egg shells, it caused the eggs to crack during incubation and the baby bird inside the shell would die. With the shells breaking, there is not enough of a population of new hummingbirds being born to replace the hummingbirds that are dying, making the numbers of hummingbirds decline.

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There is only one strain of food poisoning bacteria that is known to cause harm to unborn babies. This is the Listeria bacterium. You can be infected with Listeria when you eat unpasteurized cheese or have undercooked or raw food. All the other kinds of food poisoning that are often caught typically leave you dehydrated if the symptoms persist for longer than a couple of days - especially if you’re not drinking to replenish, regardless of if it stays down. Listeria is one that you want to be on the look out for because it has been known to cause miscarriages.


If you do get food poisoning while you’re pregnant, it is suggested that you dilute a sports drink with water. Make the cup half sports drink and half water. And drink it.

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Food poisoning can pass on its own. In fact, most cases of foodborne illnesses pass on their own. However, in the meantime, they suck to have. They typically present as vomiting and diarrhea for a couple of days. Stool can remain looser than normal for up to a week after it passes. In some more serious cases, you might get a fever and the joys that come with that - hot flashes, chills, sweats, and the general achiness of a cold.


There are times when you will want to get a doctor’s opinion. Generally, any time you are worried about your symptoms, you should see a doctor. Any fever that lasts more than two days is a good reason to go, especially if you’re vomiting and have diarrhea for the entire time.

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Breastmilk is not usually messed with when a mother has food poisoning. As long as the mother isn’t seriously sick, she can still breastfeed her child if she wishes to. Symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting might be uncomfortable, but they are confined to the digestive system. This is the system that most food poisoning symptoms are going to affect, so as long as the poisoning stays relatively mild, it’s safe for her to breastfeed her child.


In fact, breastfeeding should rarely be stopped. Only in extreme cases of food poisoning where mother has been hospitalized should the mother consider stopping for a day or two. Typically, you never want to go longer than a day if possible without breastfeeding your child.

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Food poisoning typically will not affect breastfeeding a child. The typical symptoms of food poisoning - vomiting and diarrhea - are symptoms specific to the digestive system. Both come from the need to expel the bad from the body. In general, the symptoms stay within the digestive system or are the body simply trying to get rid of the bacteria; that’s what a fever is - trying to overheat the bacteria.


The only time food poisoning might affect breastfeeding a child is when it gets into the bloodstream. By this point, however, the mother would be in the hospital. Typically, you never want to stop breastfeeding until you’re ready to wean the child off of breastfeeding, but in serious cases of food poisoning, it might be advisable to stop until it can be confirmed that she is no longer infected.

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There is only one kind of food poisoning that will hurt your fetus. This is Listeria. It is known for being able to cause a miscarriage in serious cases of poisoning. In fact, being pregnant is one of the biggest risk factors for being infected with Listeria if it is found on food. It is able to more seriously harm your fetus, even leading to the death of your unborn baby and a miscarriage. Out of all the cases of listeria that crop up every year, about 20% of them end in death. That’s one in every five people dying from this particular strain of food poisoning. That’s pretty darn serious.


However, there are ways to prevent catching listeria. Cooking meats to the proper internal temperature is one such way to prevent this food poisoning.

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Food poisoning, if it is bad enough, can give you chills. They usually accompany a fever in those ill with food poisoning. The fever could be more severe in those who are younger than three months. If it is accompanied by severe diarrhea or the fever stays for more than two or three days, you want to go to the hospital. However, pregnant women should go to the hospital or at least see a doctor if they’re having severe diarrhea.


With any other illness, you should see the doctor in two to three days if the symptoms don’t clear up. If you’re worried before that, go see your doctor. Be warned that diarrhea might continue up to a week after the other symptoms clear.

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This is a difficult question to answer for a couple of reasons. The first reason is simply that I don’t know you. It could be mac and cheese, or you could be lactose intolerant and therefore be unable to enjoy mac and cheese often. You could enjoy almonds, or have a deadly nut allergy. I simply don’t know.


Secondly, favorite foods change all the time. If I were to say your favorite food was chocolate ice cream today, I could be completely wrong a year from now. For example, I used to love popcorn chicken. Ate it every time it came up for school lunch. Then, I had a bad experience with chicken. I can hardly even be around the smell of chicken anymore. The closest I get to enjoying chicken is washing it down with water.

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My favorite food is homemade spaghetti sauce with store bought noodles. Granted, I have to actually boil the noodles, but that’s beside the point. The sauce itself is mainly from scratch, with the only things being store bought the individual ingredients. The tomato sauce and the beef are the first two ingredients I add.

I have to make sure the beef is completely cooked, and cut into small, bite sized pieces first. Then I add the tomato sauce. Once the tomato sauce is in, I add the spices: garlic salt with parsley, basil, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Then I let it all simmer. There are no specific measurements for the spices, so it differs from batch to batch. But it’s amazing. Wonderful.

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Pigeons love foods that are considered to be grain. These include corn and peas. Most often, they prefer grains to be raw. So, raw corn that has become “unfit” for human consumption is a good idea - just make sure it’s not rotting or gross before leaving it out for the pigeons. If out in a park and have to choose between regular old bird seed and some bread, they’ll go for the birdseed. This isn't too surprising, since the birdseed has a lot of grains inside. Bread is made of grains, yes, but they’re not raw. The birdseed is raw grain.


However, they’ll also go for things like popcorn kernels and small rocks. This is to help them digest their food easier.

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