2011-02-10 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

With Valentine’s Day coming up on Monday, it’s a good time to talk about matters of the heart. One thing that should matter to all of us is the consumption of sodium. We note there has been much publicity in recent weeks on the dangers of too much salt. But unless you’ve experienced its consequences, it’s too easy to put it in the back of your mind and at your next meal pick up the saltshaker.

I have been on a search for this killer for well over a year now. We bring it into our homes and feed it to our family. It’s everywhere.

The new guidelines call for no more than 1,500 milligrams of salt a day. That’s about a half-teaspoon. A low-sodium diet is important because it may prevent a build-up of water in the body. Too much fluid can affect blood pressure, cause heart failure, kidney disease, or other conditions in which swelling or fluid retention can occur.

I don’t want to sound preachy, but simple actions can help you cut down on sodium intake. You can’t get it all, but you can cut back. Read the nutrition facts’ labels on all products you purchase.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find. These are singleserving numbers. If the product is for two servings, and you eat both servings, double the sodium figure. A small can of spinach has 360 milligrams and 12 ounces of V-8 has 600 milligrams. A serving of ketchup contains 190 milligrams. One bratwurst has 810 milligrams, while one slice of bologna contains 470 milligrams. A 28-ounce can of baked beans has 460 milligrams, while a single dill pickle contains 410 milligrams.

Processed foods are full of salt and don’t hesitate to ask your market employees the amount of sodium there is in any product you plan to purchase. If you’re a cheese lover, McQuade’s Marketplace has just added Alpine cheese to its inventory. It’s practically salt free with little fat. And it tastes good.

What you feed yourself and your family is your business. But, I hope you’ll at least consider the above and make less sodium a matter of your heart.

Read the nutrition facts labels! Happy Valentine’s Day.

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We wonder what Vince Lombardi would think about the Super Bowl being turned into the circus that it has become with the NFL players themselves being included in the cast of pre-game characters. I was so tired of the commercialism and media hype for the two weeks leading up to the game that I lost all enthusiasm for it.

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Mim and I have a new grandson. Max Davis arrived five weeks early in Farmington, Conn. Our daughter, Jenny, is now home and fine, but Max has to stay at the hospital for a couple of weeks to work out and adjust to life on the outside.

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Islanders are invited to the Jamestown Gallery at East Ferry this Sunday – Feb.13 – from 1 to 5 p.m. for a trunk show of “wearable art” by Block Island artist Jan McKillip.

Samples of Jan’s fall and winter line, which includes jackets, scarves, mittens and handbags, have arrived at the gallery. Jan McKillip Designs has been featured in magazine such as Garnet Hill, Seventeen and Country Living.

Jan’s store, The Lighburne, is located on Block Island and is open May through October. Fran Gorman says to come by and bring a friend. Refreshments will be served.

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B.J. Whitehouse, Pat Perry and Dorothy Strang discuss the Jamestown Community Chorus and the upcoming concert version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” on WCRI Classical 95.9 FM. The interview will air this Sunday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. The hour of music and conversation will be broadcast on Mike Maino’s “Conducting Conversations.”

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Cheryl Fernstrom writes of last week’s poser: “She gives me ev’rything, and tenderly. The kiss my lover brings, she brings to me, and I love her. From the 1964 Beatle’s song, ‘And I Love Her,’ written by Lennon and McCartney.”

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John A. Murphy would like to know who coined the phrase, “That’s all she wrote!” It has become commonplace in American communication, both written and orally.

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Another Valentine’s Day poser from B.J.: “You are the angel glow that lights a star.”

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The current movie “The Green Hornet” is based on a radio program of the same name, which debuted in 1936.

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Our official observer, Dorothy Strang, had been walking Jamestown’s fields and trails, streets and sidewalks, every day for three years, with her companion, Lyla, an 8-year-old yellow Lab, keeping their eyes, ears and noses alert. Here are a few sights – and smells – from the past couple of wintry weeks.

“It’s natural on these icy days for humans to look down, as dogs always do,” Dorothy said. “Lyla is riveted by the mounds of snow and dirt, the rampart walls built by the plows along each street. She burrows her nose through snow and leaves at the edge of the woods behind the school tennis courts, chasing down the smells of small creatures whose prints we see scurrying across the icy surface of the snow.

“She never comes close to any furry creature. I wouldn’t let her do that. And I shout at her when she unburies a squirrel’s cache of nuts, ‘No. Lyla! That’s their food. You have plenty of your own at home.’

“While Lyla snuffles through delicious snow-borne smells, I train my eyes upward; [there is] so much to see against the blinding clear-blue skies of winter. First, the remarkable architecture of trees [and] branches in pure focus without their softening leaves. Especially etched against the late afternoon light, winter trees show us the bold strength of trunks and limbs, the delicate intricacy of branches and twigs. Maybe tree trunks are brown in summer, the way we were taught to color them, but in winter, they gleam like pewter.”

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President Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is on Saturday, wrote a letter to Horace Greeley on Aug. 22, 1862. “I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views,” he wrote. “I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, everywhere, could be free.”

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Be true!

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Call in your stuff to 829-2760 or 423-0383 or e-mail us at jtnwalus@hotmail.com. Thank you.

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