Q: How can one be sure that food items and products claiming to be organic actually are?
A: Items claiming to be organic should be substantiated by certification. The best proof for the consumer is to ask your store manager if the store requires documents of certification for organic-labeled items.
Fresh Fields spokesperson, Cathy Ordan, says that this certification process is approved by an authorized third party and the requirements may vary from state to state. The paper of certification must pledge that the item has not been made synthetically or used any ingredients that have been farmed with pesticides for a period of at least three years.
Q: Can you separate eggs and freeze the whites separately from the yolks? Also, will the whites whip up after being frozen and thawed?
A: Yes, eggs can be separated and the separated components frozen in airtight containers. The whites will whip after thawing, but for increased ease when whipping, let them come to room temperature first -- no more than 30 minutes.
Tip: Here's an easy trick for saving egg whites so you know the number you have. Freeze one white per compartment of an ice cube tray. When frozen, pop them out and then seal the frozen cubes in a zipper freezer bag or an airtight container before returning to the freezer.
We'd like to hear from you.
Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6180 after the greeting. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.