Tag: christmas

Is chocolate poisonous for dogs?

Is chocolate poisonous for dogs?

When did chocolate become part of holiday tradition? Who cares! Everyone loves chocolate. It’s good for your heart, your brain and your psyche. It’s delicious and it goes with everything. Except dogs. Chocolate and dogs definitely don’t mix. How can chocolate be toxic? Methylxanthines are a […]

Holly berries are deadly . . . right?

Holly berries are deadly . . . right?

If you frequent trendy coffee houses you may be familiar with yerba mate, a caffeinated beverage made from holly’s South American cousin Ilex paraguariensisa. As we all know, just because one member of a family is stimulating, that doesn’t mean another can’t be toxic. But is holly poisonous? […]

Are poinsettias poisonous?

Are poinsettias poisonous?

No. They are not. I was as surprised as anyone to find the poinsettia’s reputation as a snatcher of young lives is undeserved. Why do we all believe it is so dangerous? Almost 100 years ago a child died in Hawaii, and someone said she was poisoned […]

So much less romantic when you know it means “dung twig”

So much less romantic when you know it means “dung twig”

Mistletoe literally means “dung twig,” owing to its usual means of seed dispersal: a bird eats a mistletoe berry, then excretes the seed while alighting on the branch of a tree. The berry is actually a drupe, or stone fruit, and the single seed in […]

Is silica gel poisonous? It says do not eat!

Is silica gel poisonous? It says do not eat!

With the gift-giving holidays upon us, we need to talk about those ubiquitous little packets of poison. You know, the ones that come with shoes and electronics and say alarming things like, “Throw away,” “Do not eat,” and sometimes even “Dangerous.” You’ll notice the packets […]

Are those leftovers safe to eat?

Are those leftovers safe to eat?

Someday you’ll pull something from the fridge and wonder, is this okay to eat? Sometimes the answer is obvious . . . but sometimes it’s not, and that’s because the organisms that cause food to rot and decay are different from the ones that cause illness. In […]

Let’s talk turkey (if we must)

Let’s talk turkey (if we must)

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: You can solve a lot of food safety issues by not including meat, eggs or dairy in your Thanksgiving menu. There are several delicious, healthy and readily available alternatives. See below for more info. That being said, […]

No snow? Make your own!

No snow? Make your own!

Nothing adds to holiday merriment like snow! The white stuff that piles up outside isn’t toxic, but what about the white stuff we bring indoors? Is fake snow poisonous? Spray snow is made up of fats, waxes, plastics and adhesives. The only toxic ingredients are […]


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