Jul 272012

“It was luxuries like air conditioning that brought down the Roman Empire. With air conditioning their windows were shut, they couldn’t hear the barbarians coming.” ~ Garrison Keillor (Photo by Lance Palmer)

It’s been a sizzling summer here in the Midwest. Little rain and triple-digit temperatures have most of us hiding indoors with the air-conditioning running. A/C units are working hard to keep the heat at bay, so you need to pay attention to maintenance and upkeep.  This week’s episode will give you some tips that can improve the A/C’s efficiency and save on energy costs.



Today’s guest is Robert Schultheis, natural resource engineering specialist for University of Missouri Extension.


More information:

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Improving Air Conditioner Efficiency

 Posted by on July 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm
Jul 192012

“Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it” ~ Italian Proverb (Photo by Bruno Sersocima)

Whether it’s added to morning eggs, or part of the crunchy taste of potato chips, we love salt.  It’s actually the ultimate spice because our taste buds respond to salt and open up making everything taste better. The problem is we’ve moved salt from a flavor enhancer to a habit with medical consequences.

The good news there are ways to kick a salt obsession. Just a little behavior modification can train taste buds to savour other flavors.



Today’s guests are nutrition specialist Tammy Roberts, human environmental sciences specialist Ellen Schuster and nutrition specialist Susan Mills-Gray. All three are with University of Missouri Extension

More tips and information:

Decreasing Salt Can Decrease Blood Pressure

Is Sea Salt Healthier Than Table Salt?

Is There a Salt That’s Healthy?

 Posted by on July 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Jun 092012

“In a purely technical sense, each species of higher organism—beetle, moss, and so forth, is richer in information than a Caravaggio painting, Mozart symphony, or any other great work of art.” ~ Edward O. Wilson

Munching and crunching Japanese beetles are arriving early this year.  The mild winter and warm spring are waking the grubs ahead of schedule.  But, Mother Nature can give with one hand and take with the other.  This year’s Midwest dry conditions could be bad news for these plant pests.  We’ll find out, over the next couple of weeks, whether we’re facing a feeding frenzy, or manageable numbers.



Today’s guest is Wayne Bailey, entomologist for University of Missouri Extension.

Get more information about the Japanese beetle

 Posted by on June 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm
May 302012

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." ~ Julia Child (Photo by Lukas Patkan)

The transition between spring and summer is full of beautiful, blue-sky days. It’s the perfect time for picnics, camping and barbecues. But, there’s one problem with outdoor cooking. If you don’t use care with perishable foods, you, your family and friends could be battling food borne illness rather than having lots of fun.



Today’s guest is Tammy Roberts, nutrition specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

More food safety tips can be found on the Missouri Families webpage.

 Posted by on May 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm
May 222012

Anthracnose on maple (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

Fire blight on Bradford pear (Photo by Roger Meissen)

‘Tis the season for tree diseases thanks to cool temperatures and rain. Some are serious, others look worse than they are.

The two main springtime invaders are anthracnose, a fungal disease and fire blight, a bacterial disease.  Anthracnose creates black or brown splotches on the leaves and it attacks maples, dogwoods, sycamores and oaks. Fire blight causes severe wilting and die-back on the tips of branches and it often affects pear, quince, apple, crabapple and firethorns.



Today’s guest is Chris Starbuck, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

More information on anthracnose.

More information on fire blight.

 Posted by on May 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm
May 152012

Large patch on zoysiagrass (Photo by Kent Faddis)

Cool spring weather and moisture are perfect conditions for two troublesome lawn diseases. Brown patch is a fungal disease that attacks tall fescue. Large patch is a fungus that goes after  zoysiagrass. Both diseases spread rapidly if you encourage new growth by adding fertilizer.



Today’s guest is Lee Miller, turf grass pathologist for University of Missouri Extension.

You can find additional information on lawn diseases from MU Extension.

 Posted by on May 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm
May 072012

A possible rare weather event, showers for some, not enough rain for others, and a couple of chilly days are just part of April’s weather picture in the Show-Me State.

May in Missouri should continue the several-month trend of above average temperatures. Historically, May is Missouri’s wettest month, but there’s still uncertainty whether that will be the case for May 2012.


"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain." ~ Author Unknown (Map from High Plains Regional Climate Center; Data compiled by Pat Guinan)


Today’s guest is Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension

You can find lots of interesting weather tidbits at the Missouri Climate Center.

 Posted by on May 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm
May 012012

"Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except technology." ~ John Tudor (Photo by Christoph van der Bij)

This week is National Screen-Free Week.  It’s a time for all of us to take a good look at the amount of time spent with screens.  Smart phones, tablets, e-readers and all other “screen” devices take hours away from other activities such as spending time with family and friends. Don’t think “screen time” is a problem? Consider this: From January to March 2012, more iPhone were sold than babies were born worldwide.

Do you think you could do without devices for a week? How about a day? Could you put them down for a few hours?  Why not give it a try. The life you discover may be your own.


Today’s guests are Sara Gable, State Extension Specialist in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Robin Gammon, Program Manager for the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy program. Both are with University of Missouri Extension.

University of Missouri Extension has some fun suggestions for non-screen activities on their Play More, Watch Less page.

 Posted by on May 1, 2012 at 12:28 am
Apr 172012

Abigail's winning photograph - Photovoice Missouri 2011-2012

Photovoice Missouri is a statewide health photography program and competition that’s a collaboration between the Health Communication Research Center at the Missouri School of Journalism…and the University of Missouri Extension Healthy Lifestyle Initiative.

Last August, students from several Missouri counties were given the task of showing, through pictures, examples in their communities that support healthy choices, and areas that need improvement.



All of the students’ pictures can be seen on Flickr, a photography sharing website: Photovoice Missouri

Photovoice Missouri is supported by University of Missouri Extension’s Healthy Lifestyle Initiative , assisted by the Health Communications Research Center at the Missouri School of Journalism

 Posted by on April 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm
Apr 112012

"Aging has you firmly in its grasp if you lose the urge to throw a snowball." ~ Doug Larson (Photo by Pierre Amerlynck)

Everyone, no matter the age or condition, can benefit from exercise. On the other hand, you have a lot to lose if you’re not active. Want to ward off the negative aspects of aging?  Then regular physical activity is your best option.




Today’s guests are Linda Rellergert, nutrition specialist for University of Missouri Extension and Stephen Ball, exercise physiologist for MU Extension.

Check out Exercise for the Older Adult

Click the link: Stay Strong, Stay Healthy to learn more.

 Posted by on April 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm