Updates: Eggs more nutritious; new steps to save energy

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By GRACE ANGOTTI, Extension Agent

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reviewed standard large eggs from across the country and found that, in the past decade, the average nutrient content of eggs has changed.
Cho-lesterol levels have de-creased while vitamin D levels have increased. What caused this change? The USDA estimates that the diet of hens has changed over the years, altering nutrients within the egg as a result.
This is a very important finding because eggs are very nutrient-dense — meaning that they provide lots of vitamins and minerals in a relatively small amount of calories. One egg has only 70 calories, and at less than 15 cents each, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Eggs already were known to be a good source of vitamin D, but now have even more than previously thought. One egg supplies at least 10 percent of the average person’s daily needs. Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption, helping to form and maintain strong bones.
Testing the nutrient content of foods is a practice that the USDA carries out regularly. The new findings will be applied to all nutrition facts labels for eggs. You can find more information at www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.
Save energy and money
on appliances
One of the largest energy-using appliances in a household is the refrigerator. Appliances are designed to save time and money, but if an appliance is not energy efficient or is operated improperly, it could be wasting money.
Ensuring that you have an Energy Star-approved appliance is one solution; others are proper operation, location and maintenance.
Following a few basic tips can reduce your refrigerator’s impact on your energy bills.
Keep the refrigerator out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. If you must place it against an exterior wall, choose one that does not receive direct sunlight to reduce the energy it needs to keep the contents cool.
Do not place the refrigerator near any heating elements such as a stove or a dishwasher.
Allow space. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches of space behind, above and below the refrigerator. Sufficient air movement keeps the condenser coils cool and prolongs the life of the appliance.
Check the seal on the refrigerator door. Place a piece of paper between the door and body of the refrigerator, then shut the door and remove the paper. If the paper comes out easily, you may need to adjust or replace the hinge or seals.
Let leftovers cool. Allow hot foods to cool before you place them in the refrigerator; cover all liquids and foods, because the moisture they release makes the refrigerator work harder. Remove any frost that accumulates.

Set the correct temperatures. The refrigerator temperature should be set at 37 degrees and the freezer at 5 degrees to keep your food at the appropriate temperature and to avoid wasting energy on overcooling.
Reduce microwave use. Remove frozen foods from the freezer the night before you plan to use them and place them in the refrigerator to thaw. This saves energy from not microwaving the food, and reduces the amount of work your refrigerator has to do. The frozen food will help keep the fridge colder as it thaws, reducing the need for energy to keep contents cold.
For more energy-saving information, contact our office for the publication, “Saving Money on Appliances.”

Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.