Most people assume that if a food is approved by the FDA, then it's safe to eat. But there ARE some foods that are legal here, and not in other countries.
--Check out this list from the fitness website FitPerez.com of five food ingredients that other countries have banned because of health concerns.
#1.) Yellow 5. It's in cake, candy, macaroni and cheese, sports drinks, soda, pet food, and cheese . . . to name a few.
--And it's been banned by a lot of countries in Europe because it's made from something called "coal tar," which is also used to make floor sealant. Blue 1, Blue 2, and Yellow 6 have ALSO been banned in other countries.
--But studies have shown that brighter colors in processed foods make us THINK they taste better. So they still haven't been banned here.
#2.) Olestra. It's a substitute used in a lot of fat-free potato chips. England and Canada have both banned it over possible health concerns . . . including rear-end LEAKAGE.
--Some people claim the only reason it's still legal in the U.S. is because Procter & Gamble spent a half BILLION dollars creating it.
#3.) Brominated Vegetable Oil. It's also known as "BVO", and it's been banned in over 100 countries. It's in a lot of sports drinks and fruit-flavored sodas. It's what keeps the artificial flavoring from floating to the top so you don't have to shake it up before you drink it.
--Some researchers say it causes thyroid issues, autoimmune disease, and cancer. And the main ingredient is bromine (--pronounced BRO-mean), which is linked to birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss.
#4.) Azodicarbonamide. (--pronounced ay-zo-die-car-BONN-uh-mide) It's a chemical compound used to bleach flour . . . so companies don't have to wait a week for the flour to whiten NATURALLY.
--It's in frozen dinners, some pastas and some types of bread, and it's been linked to ASTHMA. If a company in Singapore uses it, they face almost a half-million dollar fine and up to 15 years in prison.
#5.) Arsenic. The FDA allows farmers to use it in chicken feed to promote growth and fight off parasites. And it also makes the chicken's skin more PINK, which means the meat looks fresher longer.
--The drug company Pfizer stopped selling it in July. And earlier this month, Maryland became the first state to ban it. But it's been banned in Europe since 1999.
We all have chores to do but want to spend time with our families. This young couple does both! Watch their daughter go for a spin on the family vacuum--under supervision of course!
Clothing is more likely to be ruined this time of year by stains . . . mostly because we're all eating and drinking more, and then spilling on ourselves.
--So here are some of things you might have run-ins with over the next few weeks . . . and what to do about them.
--First of all, the most important thing is to always deal with a stain immediately, not the next day. Here are nine tough ones, and exactly how to treat them.
#1.) Candy Canes. Soak the piece of clothing for 30 minutes in cold water with a few drops of ammonia in it. Then rinse it, and soak it for another 30 minutes in cold water, with a tablespoon of white vinegar.
#2.) Eggnog. Blot it with a rag, then soak it for 30 minutes in cold water with a little detergent, and wash it like you normally would.
--If you spill on the RUG, you're supposed to blot it with NAIL POLISH REMOVER, then spray it with a mix of warm water and dish soap, and blot it until the stain's gone.
#3.) Wine and Beer. For red wine, you're supposed to pour boiling water on the stain . . . but obviously not if it might make the colors run. Then hand clean it with a mix of cold water and dish soap.
--For WHITE wine, you just have to pour cold water on the stain, and blot it with a rag.
--For BEER, hand wash it in 10 parts water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide until you can't see the stain anymore. Then let it air dry.
#4.) Candle Wax. Scrape away any excess wax using a dull knife, like a butter knife. Then iron it on a low setting, with a paper bag between the iron and the fabric.
--Most of the wax should stick to the bag. Then treat the remaining stain with hydrogen peroxide, and wash it like you would normally.
#5.) Turkey Fat. Pretreat it with a stain remover or some dish soap to cut the oil, then soak it for 30 minutes, and let it air dry. If possible use hot water.
#6.) Gravy. Wipe it off, but make sure you don't grind it in by scrubbing back-and-forth. Then soak it overnight in the washing machine with fabric-safe bleach. And again, use the hottest water you can.
--If you spill gravy on the CARPET, sprinkle baking soda on it. Then after about 15 minutes, blot it with a clean rag.
#7.) Butter. Sprinkle salt on the stain and let it sit for a while. Then pretreat it with spot remover or dish soap, and wash it in hot water.
#8.) Cranberry Sauce. First you have to rinse it in cold water for about a minute. Then soak it for 15 minutes in cold water with a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of laundry detergent.
--If it still doesn't come out, don't dry it yet. First blot it with rubbing alcohol and wash it again.
#9.) Chocolate. Pre-treat it with a spot remover. Rub it gently, but don't grind it in. Then wash it in hot water if possible, and use fabric-safe bleach.
We could all stand to have a better credit score, but the holidays are obviously NOT so good for your credit cards. So check out some of the facts from a recent FICO report on people with extremely high credit scores . . . they might surprise you.
#1.) People with great credit are not debt-free. On average, the highest FICO score-holders carry SEVEN credit cards.
#2.) But they don't carry many balances. Typically, between credit accounts and loans, they'll have about four debt payments a month.
#3.) Two-thirds of them have less than $8,500 in total debt. That excludes mortgages, but includes car loans. Most of them use less than 7% of their available credit.
#4.) They ALWAYS pay on time. Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score. And 96% of the highest scorers have NO missed payments on their credit report. The rest have none in the past four years.
#5.) Some of them have messed up before. One out of 100 has had debts go to collections. And a few . . . about one in 9,000 . . . have even had bankruptcies.
#6.) They keep the same accounts and rarely open new ones. The AVERAGE age of a high scorer's oldest account is 25 YEARS. The average age of all accounts is 11 years.
--So if you need a new car loan and your credit stinks, you can fix it. The bad news is, that new car might be a clunker by the time you do.
If you're planning to look for a better-paying job next year, "Forbes" magazine just put out a list of the most in-demand job skills for 2013.
--Some are pretty specific, like programming skills and sales skills. But the top five are pretty general. Here's what they came up with by looking at Career Builder's recent list of the top jobs for 2013, and the skill-sets you need for them.
#1.) Critical Thinking. Meaning you're able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of other people's ideas, AND your own. "Forbes" says it'll pretty much be a requirement for nine out of ten good-paying jobs next year.
#2.) Complex Problem Solving. It's kind of like the last one, but it means you're not just good at IDENTIFYING problems. You're able to come up with solutions too. Again, nine out of ten of the most in-demand jobs require it.
#3.) Good Judgment. Specifically, you need to be able to understand the costs and benefits of the decisions being made on a day-to-day basis, and how they'll affect the company.
#4.) Active Listening. That means you're a good listener, and you absorb what people say. But you also ask good questions without interrupting.
#5.) Computer Skills. And that's doesn't just mean you know how to type and use the Internet. Eight out of ten good-paying jobs next year will require solid know-how when it comes to software and/or hardware.
(--You can check out the full top 10 list at Forbes.com.)