Jan 292015
 

“You don’t pay taxes – they take taxes.” ~ comedian Chris Rock (Photo by Levy Choi)

“You don’t pay taxes – they take taxes.” ~ comedian Chris Rock (Photo by Levy Choi)

A Department of Labor decision in November last year declared that employers who do not offer health insurance but instead reimburse employees for the cost of acquiring health insurance have essentially established a “group health plan.” These plans would then be subject to ACA market reforms and be deemed non-compliant because the accounts impose limits on the amount of reimbursement and may not cover all required health benefits. This decision was made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014. Non-compliance comes with a stiff fee.

Today’s guest is Brenda Procter, associate professor of family finance for University of Missouri Extension. She explains the ruling, the penalty and what employers need to do to avoid a fine.

 Posted by on January 29, 2015 at 7:36 pm
Jan 282015
 

“Your body is your most priceless possession…so go take care of it!” ~ Jack Lalanne (Photo by Robert Linder)

“Your body is your most priceless possession…so go take care of it!” ~ Jack Lalanne (Photo by Robert Linder)

If you’re planning to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, time is running out. You only have until February 15.

This is the first year there is a fee if you didn’t have health insurance in 2014. There are many exceptions to avoid the fees. Graham McCaulley and Brenda Procter, both associate professors of family finances for University of Missouri Extension, explain these fees and the exemptions.

 

 

MU Extension Health Insurance Initiative

Affordable Care Act marketplace

 Posted by on January 28, 2015 at 5:59 pm
Jan 162015
 

"Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes." ~ Author Unknown (Photo courtesy of the National Garden Bureau)

“Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.” ~ Author Unknown (Photo courtesy of the National Garden Bureau)

You no longer need to travel great distances to get training for Master Gardener certification. Now the training is offered online. Check out: Missouri Master Gardener Online Training.

 Posted by on January 16, 2015 at 7:34 pm
Jan 062015
 

“If a potato can produce vitamin C, why can't we? Within the animal kingdom only humans and guinea pigs are unable to synthesize vitamin C in their own bodies. Why us and guinea pigs? No point asking. Nobody knows.”  ~ Bill Bryson, author of “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” (Photo by USDA's Scott Bauer}

“If a potato can produce vitamin C, why can’t we? Within the animal kingdom only humans and guinea pigs are unable to synthesize vitamin C in their own bodies. Why us and guinea pigs? No point asking. Nobody knows.” ~ Bill Bryson, author of “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” (Photo by USDA’s Scott Bauer}

How much vitamin C do you take during cold and flu season? A thousand milligrams…4 thousand. Did you know that body can only process a certain amount of vitamin C and anything left over is flushed away with all your other waste?

Today’s guest is University of Missouri Extension nutritionist Tammy Roberts. She talks about how much vitamin C we need; it’s different for men and women.  She also explains that many foods are a good source of the vitamin.

 

 

Vitamin C Doesn’t Prevent Colds

Ascorbic acid trial

Vitamin C

Bates County Extension Center

One medium guava has 165 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA's Penny Greb)

One medium guava has 165 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA’s Penny Greb)

One kiwifruit has 64 mg of vitamin C (Photo by Keith S. Brown)

One kiwifruit has 64 mg of vitamin C

Two tomatoes have 46.4 mg of vitamin C (Photo by David Besa)

Two tomatoes have 46.4 mg of vitamin C (Photo by David Besa)

One cup of blackberries has 30.2 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA's Scott Bauer)

One cup of blackberries has 30.2 mg of vitamin C (Photo by USDA’s Scott Bauer)

 Posted by on January 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm
Dec 182014
 

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" ~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Photo by David R. Tribble)

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” ~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Photo by David R. Tribble)

Whether you catch mommy kissing Santa Claus or a young man stealing his first kiss, kissing under the mistletoe is a worldwide tradition. But, why does a bit greenery give us permission to catch a kiss?

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He has lots of trivia about this semi-parasitic plant and why it gives us permission to make off with a little romance.

 Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 12:06 am
Dec 152014
 

Today, poinsettias come in different colors (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

Today, poinsettias come in different colors (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

For many people the poinsettia is required for Christmas decorations. Today’s guest is David Trinklein and he has advice for choosing healthy poinsettias and keeping them looking good throughout the holiday.

 

The colorful part of the poinsettia are modified leaves called bracts. The true flowers, called ciathia, are found in the center of the bracts. (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

The colorful part of the poinsettia are modified leaves called bracts. The true flowers, called ciathia, are found in the center of the bracts. (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

 Posted by on December 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm
Nov 072014
 

Heavy rains in early October took care of drought in most of the state

Heavy rains in early October took care of drought in most of the state

A lot of rain fell on the Show-Me State in October. It delayed the harvest, eliminated statewide drought and set an all time record.

Today’s guest is Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program.

 

 

Visit Missouri Climate Center

"Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile." William Cullen Bryant, an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post (Photo by Grethe Boe)

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant, an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post (Photo by Grethe Boe)

 Posted by on November 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm
Oct 092014
 

Food preparation in the MUNCH metabolic kitchen (Photo by Kent Faddis)

Food preparation in the MUNCH metabolic kitchen (Photo by Kent Faddis)

The MU Nutritional Center for Health (MUNCH) and the MU Physical Activity and Wellness Center (PAW) opened on the University of Missouri, Columbia campus, this year. These state-of-the-art labs are joint projects of Mizzou’s Collage of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) MU’s College of Human Environmental Science (HES) and the MU School of Medicine. Built and organized with collaboration in mind, this research hub can tackle complex health problems, like obesity, with a holistic approach.

Today’s guests are Christopher Hardin, director of the MUNCH and PAW labs, Ingolf Gruen, food scientist with CAFNR and Heather Leidy, a nutrition and exercise physiology research for the University of Missouri.

 

Preparation for an exercise stress test at the PAW center (Photo by Kent Faddis)

Preparation for an exercise stress test at the PAW center (Photo by Kent Faddis)

 

Cooking Up Solutions

MU Nutritional Center for Health

Cooking an Obesity Cure

 Posted by on October 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm
Oct 082014
 

Supercell thunderstorm in Atchison County, Missouri, September 9, 2014 (Photo by Clinton Dougherty)

Supercell thunderstorm in Atchison County, Missouri, September 9, 2014 (Photo by Clinton Dougherty)

Tons of rain hit parts of the Show-Me State and record-setting low visited Kansas City, Missouri.

Today’s guest is Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program.

 

 

Visit The Missouri Climate Center

Northern Holt County, Missouri after 7 inches of rain fell in 1 hour, September 9, 2014 (Photo by Bill Metzgar)

Northern Holt County, Missouri after 7 inches of rain fell in 1 hour, September 9, 2014 (Photo by Bill Metzgar)

 Posted by on October 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm
Sep 252014
 

"But make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last" ~ Robert M. Pyle, lepidopterist and author (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

“But make no mistake: the weeds will win; nature bats last” ~ Robert M. Pyle, lepidopterist and author (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

Weeds, brush and overgrown trees aren’t just an eyesore for railroads. Out of control vegetation can reduce visibility for train operators and vehicles or pedestrians trying to cross the tracks.

Because this is a safety issue, railroad companies must keep weeds under control. That’s not as easy as it sounds and it can be pretty pricey. A weed scientist with the University of Missouri, works with railroads, testing experimental chemical mixtures and labeled products, searching for the most effective controls for the least amount of money.

 

 

Featured:

Reid Smeda, weed scientist for University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Shane Riley, maintenance engineer for the Columbia Terminal railroad, or COLT

Photo by Debbie Johnson

Photo by Debbie Johnson

 Posted by on September 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm