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Read. Shop. Buy smart.

The health benefits of seafood are well known, including lowered risk of heart disease, obesity and cognitive decline, but cost and food safety concerns have stopped some from adding it to our diets. This month Consumer Reports (CR) reminds us that a portion of seafood the size of a deck of cards is enough to gain the health benefits. That portion size helps put the price into perspective, but what about food safety? This month’s lead article: “Is Your Seafood Safe to Eat?” will show you how to recognize good seafood and select types of fish that are less likely to contain mercury. CR covers how to buy fresh seafood, including how to handle it and cook it at home, and the staff picks section put tinned fish and shellfish to the taste test. Be sure to check out the related article on “Why Sustainability Matters.” It will help you shop (and order) seafood responsibly.

If you’re taking a “Staycation” this summer read “Your Backyard Haven.”  To make your deck or patio feel like another room of your house read “Keep it Cozy” for tips on how to bring that indoor feeling outside.  Make sure you have good seating and lighting as well as shelter from the sun and protection from insects.  That’s especially important if you’ll be eating outdoors.  “Easy Shade Solutions” suggests that gazebos, pergolas, umbrellas and awnings can quickly turn a one dimensional yard or patio into a comfortable gathering place.  Sturdy tableware should be part of the plan.  Read “Warm up a Chilly Evening” if you think a fire pit would be a neat addition!

Do you have a closet full of floppy discs, monitors, old printers and all the CPUs and laptops you’ve ever owned, not to mention all those cables that used to fit something?  CR is here to help sort it all out and safely dispose of it.  Chances are you saved those discs and CPUs because there was something on them you wanted to keep, but never got around to copying to your new computer. Learn how to “Back Up and Wipe” old phones, computers, CDs, DVDs, and floppy discs, and how to recycle them afterward.  There’s a great photo gallery of cable ends to help sort the good ones from the bad ones.  Once the old stuff is sorted, CR has advice on how to “Make More Space on Your Devices,” covering everything from cell phone storage to email inboxes.

Other topics in this issue include:

  • “The Best Sunscreens of the Year” 

  • “Get What You Need From Warranties”

  • “Cocktails to Go” 

  • “Pressure Washers”

  • “Where to Save Big on Small Appliances”

  • “Sleep Cooler This Summer”

Consumer Reports magazine is available free in print and online to Fauquier Public Library card holders, providing access to articles, reviews and ratings on over 8,000 products and services. The library has copies of Consumer Reports dating back to 2019.

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