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A woman stands behind a kitchen counter.

Although people tend to use the terms salt and sodium interchangeably, salt and sodium are two different things. Sodium is a mineral we all need to live. Table salt by weight contains about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Most Americans eat too much. Here's how to reduce the amount of sodium you eat.


A rabbit in a field.

Critter of the Month: Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

April 2, 2021

Did you know eastern cottontail rabbits are the most commonly found mammal in the United States? They have made themselves right at home throughout the eastern two-thirds of the country.

A field of orange and yellow marigolds.

April Garden Checklist

March 30, 2021

If you’re anything like me, I find any excuse to get outside. The warmer temperatures and colorful blooms are refreshing, especially after the cold winter we had! Working on outdoor chores is a great excuse to get some fresh air. Here are a few tasks you need to cross off your checklist during April:

Airtight jars of cereal, rice and flour sit in a cupboard.

How to Keep Pests Out of the Kitchen Pantry

March 26, 2021

We’ve experienced some spring-like weather, and that may have you thinking about refreshing some areas of your home. When you’re doing your spring cleaning, don’t overlook the kitchen pantry where stored-food pests can thrive.

strawberry-banana cheesecake wrap cut in half and displayed on a decorative plate

The Food Factor: Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Wraps

March 23, 2021

Whether you want a healthier dessert option for yourself or for the little ones who like to help you in the kitchen, these strawberry-banana cheesecake wraps are perfect! The fruit and whole-wheat tortillas are loaded with fiber and will keep everyone feeling satisfied far longer than a store-bought cookie. And the cream cheese mixture will make you feel like you’re indulging in cheesecake, without all the calories. Best of all, they are easy for kids to make themselves.

Red and green tomatoes with blossom end rot.

Gardening Myth Busters

March 19, 2021

Don’t believe everything you hear. That piece of advice can be applied to gardening as well. We’ve all done something because a friend said that it works.

homemade meat pizza on a teal plate with white floral border

The Food Factor: No-Yeast Pizza Crust

March 16, 2021

If you want to make homemade pizza crust but don’t have any yeast, this recipe is for you! You probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry. Try using half whole-wheat flour for extra nutrition.

An Eastern Wild Turkey in a field.

Critter of the Month: Eastern Wild Turkey

March 12, 2021

Spring is here, and wild turkeys are on the minds of many Mississippians. While there are five species of wild turkeys, Mississippi is home to the Eastern wild turkey, which is the most abundant. 

A woman stands at a kitchen island.

Can You Find Nutritious Foods in the Grocery Store Center Aisles?

March 9, 2021

You’ve probably heard that shopping the grocery store's perimeter is the best way to pack your cart with healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables. But the center aisles actually provide a lot of nutritious options.

A ruby-throated hummingbird.

How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard

March 5, 2021

Ruby-throated hummingbirds will soon be migrating north, so it’s time to prepare for their arrival! Most ruby red-throated hummingbirds will be throughout Mississippi by the end of March.

Zucchini and tomatoes in a colorful bowl

The Food Factor: Zucchini and Tomatoes

March 2, 2021

Video by Jonathan Parrish.

I’m always looking for easy vegetable dishes with a lot of flavor, and this one hits the spot!

This recipe serves four, so you may need to double it, depending on the size of your family.

Did you know you can save some calories and fat by cooking your vegetables in water or broth instead of butter or oil? At about 100 calories per teaspoon, fat can add up quickly.

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living.

Blog content is created by a core team of communicators, including Susan Collins-Smith, Ellen Graves, Natasha Haynes, Keri Lewis, Michaela Parker, and Jonathan Parrish. But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu