7 Things To Stop Doing Right Now!
Fairlady|August 2017

No, we’re not talking about procrastinating,eating junk food or wasting time watching reruns on TV – we’re talking about the things you’re doing because you think you should.

Liesl Robertson 

1 PEEING ON A JELLY- FISH STING

You can blame this one on the episode of Friends aptly named ‘The One with the Jellyfish’, in which Monica is stung by a jellyfish while at the beach with Chandler and Joey. Chandler makes a weird suggestion: pee on it. He’d seen a programme on the Discovery Channel about it; apparently the ammonia in urine can dull the pain. Monica, unable to ‘bend that way’, asks Joey to help but he has stage fright, so Chandler has to do it. After the incident, they can barely look at each other.

If you’re ever in this situation, take note: there’s no reason to risk your friendships. A recent study found that peeing on a jellyfish sting might just be one of the worst things you could do. Traditional ‘remedies’ such as seawater, ice and urine could irritate the sting and spread the venom, depending on the type of jellyfish. This was specifically true in the case of the (scarily named) man o’war’s sting. ‘For me it was certainly surprising, as we’ve been recommending seawater and ice for the past 10 years,’ says Dr Tom Doyle, a biologist at NUI Galway in Ireland.

So what should you do? Run to the nearest fish and chips shop for help. (There should be one near the beach, surely?) ‘We’re absolutely 100% certain that vinegar does the trick,’ says Dr Doyle.

2 PUTTING BREAD IN THE FRIDGE

Popping a fresh loaf into the fridge keeps it from going stale, right? Not so. In fact, according to Harold McGee, author of On Food & Cooking, refrigerated bread (the freshly baked kind, not the commercial kind) goes stale up to six times faster than bread left out on the counter. The reason? Well, it has to do with the retrogradation and recrystallisation of starch, which is a fancy way of describing the way the starches in bread regroup back to their original, crystallised (hardened) state the moment the bread starts to cool after baking. By cooling the bread down even more, you speed up the process. So how do you extend the shelf life? You could buy a different kind of bread: those with a bit of added fat, such as challah and brioche, stay fresh for longer, whereas a baguette starts getting stale by the end of day one. And don’t buy sliced bread. First prize is obviously eating it while it’s fresh, but if you really want to keep it for longer, place it in a sealed ziplock bag and put it in the freezer. To revive it, pop it into the oven or the toaster – the heat re-gelatinises the starches.

3 PEELING FRUIT AND VEG

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