How to determine if Eggs are Fresh and How to make them last longer


You might have heard that Jamaicans do not eat enough eggs.

You might have also heard that there is a campaign by the JEFA (Jamaica Egg Farmers Association) call the Get Cracking Promotion (Deer, 2016, August 17) to get Jamaicans to eat more Eggs.

How to determine if Eggs are Fresh and How to make them last longer (2)

1 egg per day to be exact, up from the current 1 per week that most Jamaicans average. But with Eggs spoiling so fast, how do you spot good Eggs from Bad ones?

How to Spot Bad Eggs – The Float Test

To spot a bad egg requires doing the float test (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2016, August 24) in a basin. The Float test presumes that good eggs sink on their sides and Bad eggs float to the top, due to increased bacterial action that produces gases such as Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) and Ammonia (NH4).

How to determine if Eggs are Fresh and How to make them last longer

This isn’t looking good for you winning the competition, as you might not be able to eat all those eggs before they spoil. So how do you make them last longer?

How to stop Eggs from Spoiling – Mineral Oil and Candlewax are Egg-celent

As the title suggests, you can coat the eggs in Mineral Oil or cooking Oil. This is the same oil that you use to reseason (Deer, 2016, February 12) frying pans, albeit you might have some difficulty with making you kids remember to wash the eggs off first before using them.

Using Candlewax or beeswax (Deer, 2015, December 29) to coat the eggs, thus sealing them. You can also use crayon to colour the eggs, as the crayon wax also seals in the egg contents.

As an expert pro-tip for all the real egg-lovers out there is to use a Newspaper Box Dessicator. Make a box out of old Newspaper and fill it with plastic bags containing Silica gel packs (Deer, 2015, September 21) locked inside of small plastics bags.

The plastic Bags would be perforated with little holes, allowing the Silica Gel packs to absorb the moisture from the air in the box, thus keeping the air inside of the Newspaper box nice and dry and extending the life of you eggs.

So Jamaican Egg lovers, use these tips wisely and Get Cracking!


  1. Deer, L. (2015, September 21). Preserving Food at MICO – How to make Vegetables, Eggs and Shordy Bread last forever. Retrieved from
  2. Deer, L. (2015, December 29). How to make your Canvas shoes Waterproof. Retrieved from
  3. Deer, L. (2016, February 12). How to turn any stainless steel frying pot into a non-stick pot. Retrieved from
  4. Deer, L. (2016, August 17). How JEFA ‘Get Cracking’ Promotion for Increased Egg Consumption as Global Egg Industry dead by 2020. Retrieved from
  5. The Jamaica Gleaner. (2016, August 24). Two-Second Test To Tell If Eggs Are Still Good. Retrieved from

How WhatsApp is fuelling Transaction Sex among Jamaican Teenagers

Transactional sex encounters among Jamaican teenagers are on the rise. This often manifests in the form of under-aged teenagers in the age range of 14 to 17 years old (The Jamaica Star, 2016, May 19), arranging to have sexual encounters with each other via WhatsApp.

MICO Wars - How WhatsApp is fuelling Transaction Sex among Jamaican Teenagers - 23-08-2016 LHDEER

What is surprising is that this is being done as an initiation by girls (Wilson, 2016, August 14), as opposed to boys forcing each other to have sex, often collecting money (Grant, 2016, July 08) to buy things that they desire.

This rise in transaction sex may also be one of the reasons English (Deer, 2016, June 1) passes among boys is so poor, as boys are now being bullied into having early sexual encounters by females willing to use them to get practice.

The sudden increase in the aggressive sexual nature of females may be due to increase portrayal of sex in Traditional media and social media and easy access to sexual content on websites on the Internet. However, thanks to proliferation of high end smartphones, students are now filming and uploading videos of themselves having sexual encounters to Internet.

Albeit Facebook shuts down such groups and websites, this has not stopped them turning to WhatsApp (Brown, 2016, February 4), the rapidly growing Mobile Social Media website. Policing children online has become harder, as searching WhatsApp can only be done via smartphone.

This makes finding groups your child is involved in a bit harder being as they have several way to cover their tracks while on WhatsApp.

How Teenagers cover their tracks on WhatsApp – Tips and Tricks all Jamaican teenagers know

Some parents will join WhatsApp hoping to pose as teenagers and thus discover what their child is doing in these groups. However, teenagers, aside from using a secret name, teenagers can restrict what information (The Telegraph, 2016, July 16) unknown users in a WhatsApp Group know about them as follows:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Account
  3. Go to Privacy
  4. Change Last Seen, Profile Photo and Status to My Contacts

Anyone who is not in their close circle of friends in their contact list will not be able to see their picture, thus making it harder to identify who they are….and you finding them!

Parent often try to trick teenagers by sending them WhatsApp messages to see if they read them, thereby confirming that they are online via the appearance of double (Brown, 2014, November 6) blue ticks. However, an easy trick use by teenager is to read the message in airplane mode:

  1. Once you receive the message, don’t open it
  2. Dismiss any notifications on your home screen.
  3. Open up Airplane mode
  4. Open WhatsApp to read the message in full
  5. Fully close the app
  6. Deactivate Airplane mode.

Despite having read the message, the blue ticks won’t be displayed. This is because Airplane mode blocks Wi-Fi and mobile data and prevents any new messages from arriving. Even, some teenagers just simply turn off the Blue ticks completely:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Account
  3. Go to Privacy
  4. Toggle Read Receipts off

Finally for those nosy parents and friends that like to look over your shoulder and read your messages, teenagers often hide their most provocative messages by disabling the first line appearing on their home screen:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Notifications
  3. Disable to Show Preview

Adding a password via third party apps such as AppLock for Android or iAppLock for iOS is also another trick; using WhatsApp E2EE (End to End encryption) has the added benefit (Deer, 2016, April 20) of protecting their international contacts from parents spying on their chats over the Home Wi-Fi.

WhatsApp, thanks to its privacy features, is effectively set to accelerate transactional sex in Jamaica as smartphones get cheaper and Broadband Internet becomes more universally accessible!


  1. Brown, K. (2014, November 6). WhatsApp’s new Double Blue Checkmarks proves controversial. Retrieved from
  2. Deer, L. (2016, April 20). Why Viber and WhatsApp going E2EE as Telecom Providers need encryption. Retrieved from
  3. Brown, K. (2016, February 4). WhatsApp is the #1 Mobile Messaging App in the World. Retrieved from
  4. Deer, L. (2016, June 1). Why Jamaican boys Dislike CSEC English and Why Oral Exams are necessary. Retrieved from
  5. Grant, R. (2016, July 08). Student sells sex as summer job. Retrieved from
  6. The Jamaica Star. (2016, May 19). 14 students caught having sex in house. Retrieved from
  7. The Telegraph. (2016, July 16). 16 secret WhatsApp features that everyone should know about WhatsApp. Retrieved from
  8. Wilson, N. (2016, August 14). Teen Pimps – Children Recruiting Their Peers To Have Sex With Adults. Retrieved from



KSAC’s Marcus Garvey Proud of My Black Skin Poetry Competition for Secondary School

In celebration of Marcus Garvey Day, Mayor of Kingston Dr. Angela Brown, on Wednesday 17th August, 2016, had decided to sponsor a poetry competition for our secondary school students, under the theme. ‘Proud of My Black Skin’.

This is in in acknowledgement of the 129th Anniversary of the birth of our first and only International Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey. The Kingston and St. Andrew City Council is an organization in which the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey served as a City Councillor.

MICO Wars - KSAC’s Marcus Garvey Proud of My Black Skin Poetry Competition for secondary school - 17-08-2016 LHDEER (1)

So it is fitting that this poetry competition is being sponsored by the KSAC in his honour.

‘Proud of My Black Skin’ Poetry competition – In Honour of Marcus Garvey

The competition is being launched on Marcus Garvey Day because of the great symbolism of today’s date. The awards will be made during October 2016 during which time Jamaica celebrates National Heritage Week, when we celebrate the lives and work of our National Heroes.

MICO Wars - KSAC’s Marcus Garvey Proud of My Black Skin Poetry Competition for secondary school - 17-08-2016 LHDEER (2)

The competition will commence on Thursday 1st September, just ahead of the reopening of the school year and will end on Friday 30th September, 2016. Entries can either be done as a class project, or by an individual student. Poems will be limited to a maximum of one-hundred (100) words.

Entry forms will be available as of the commencement date to schools and Councillors and will also be available on the KSAC’s Website. Although there will be prizes for the top five entries, we are not promoting the prizes as the motivation for participation.

Marcus Garvey and being Black – Greatness, royalty and heritage of our forefathers

The main aim of the exercise, through creative literary endeavor, is to reinforce, instill or re-instill racial pride in our ancestry, our history and our courage.

We see the colour of our black skin as an important embodiment of the greatness, royalty and heritage of our forefathers. This competition is expected to stimulate the creative thinking of our young and their celebration of our rich cultural heritage


JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston

Looking to purchase a sturdy knapsack for back to school?

The best bags are made of canvas cloth but you might have to import them, as most bags downtown are made of plastic and cost JA$1000 on average.

However, if you’re looking for quality local designs like those made by St. Thomas native Shanaye Monteith (Deer, 2015, December 10) from designs found on YouTube, then you’ll have to do some serious searching downtown!

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston   23

Based on my research, the best Canvas Bags can be found on Luke Lane in Downtown Kingston.

Local Canvas Bags – Adidas, Jansport and Matie Bags with Ankara Design

Check out these pictures of various bags made of canvas cloths, some locally made, other cheap imports with Canvas material infused into the design.

The first one is an over-the-shoulder Adidas Bag that’ll set you back JA$800!

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (7)

These are fairly low quality Canvas bags with a plastic strap and a Velcro Clasp, as the seller also sells these bags along with some brighter variants.

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (6)

The zipper, strap and buckles, however are made of plastic and are single-stitched. If you buy this bag, take it to a tailor and have him upgrade you by sewing the straps directly to the bag and changing the plastic buckles for metal ones and the zipper to a metallic design.

The next is a set of what we Jamaicans call Matie Bags.

Traditional worn by High School Girls in Jamaica, these colourful bags have an Ankara themed (Deer, 2016, May 11) design that keep you in touch with your African roots. They are locally made, double-stitched and unlike the Adidas bags and have metallic buckles. No zipper required; they close using an internal draw string.

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (8)

Their camouflage-like design hides the Matie Bags many compartments, which are difficult to spot from a distance!

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (1)

Also they’re relatively cheap for such well made canvas Bags, costing only JA$2500.

The last buyer I checked had a combination of Matie bags and Jansport Bags made of thick Canvas Cloth. Check out this blue bag with chain, which is not only a fashionable touch but also a very clever security feature to prevent pickpocket opening you zipper from behind.

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (2)

These are plastic zipper bags; I’d recommend updating the zipper clasp with a metallic fob so that it doesn’t damage the zipper due to frequent opening and closing. Also these bags, which come in Grey as well, only have two (2) compartments.

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (3)

Despite this, the inside has a water-resistant plastic coating inside, making them great for carrying Laptops and sensitive electronic gadgets! Recommend that you still take this to a tailor to upgrade the stitching between the straps and the bag so as to make them a little stronger!

This seller also has a larger range of Matie Bags than the one I met further up Luke Lane.

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (4)

These Matie Bags with their pink accents are definately designed with Girls in mind, while playfully splashing in the African Ankara design in their high-quality local bags!

JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston    (5)

Prices range from JA$2500 for the Matie Bags to JA$3000 for the Canvas Jansport Bags! I’m definately getting the JA$3000 for the Canvas Jansport Bags, as I like the idea of a knapsack with a chain at the back.

To all Jamaicans happy back-to-school Shopping and September is only a few weeks away! And remember to upgrade the bag with the help of a good Tailor!


  1. Deer, L. (2015, December 10). How St. Thomas native Shanaye Monteith is Sewing School Bags to success in 2016. Retrieved from
  2. Deer, L. (2016, May 11). How African Ankara Prints are taking over Jamaica. Retrieved from


How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much

“The recommendations to reduce the intake of free sugars and to do so throughout the life course are based on analysis of the latest scientific evidence.

World Health Organization 2015

Sugar is hidden (LoopJamaica, 2016, June 13) in a lot of foods that we eat. It’s the go-to additive of choice for most companies who want their product to sell and may come in different forms:

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Maltose

There is a positive correlation between hidden sugar consumption and diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and even ADHD (Deer, 2016, July 26).

How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much (8)

For this reason, many Americans are going natural, which augers well for companies such as Grace Kennedy (Deer, 2016, May 1) to benefit from the sale of Healthy options such as Aloe Vera Juice.

So since sugars exist in different forms and are in everything we eat, how do you spot and measure your hidden sugar consumption?

How to measure sugars – Conversion between Teaspoons and Grams

First, you have to know how sugar is measured. Most food processors that state the amount of sugar on their labeling usually use one of two (2) measures:

  • Grams
  • Tablespoons

To convert between the two (2), use the following conversion:

  • 4 grams of sugar = 1tsp

How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much (3)

Once you’re aware of this conversion, you’ll realize that a lot of foods have a lot of sugar in them:

  • 16oz bottle of soda has 42 grams or 10.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • 20oz Gatorade has 36 grams of sugar or 9 teaspoons of sugar

How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much (1)

But how much sugar is too much?

Free sugar vs Intrinsic sugar – All are Equal but some more Equal than others

According to the World Health Organization there are two (2) categories of sugars:

  • Free sugar
  • Intrinsic sugar

Free sugar, also called added sugars by manufacturers, includes monosaccharides and disaccharides. This is mainly Sucrose and Fructose in the form of HSCS (High Sucrose Corn Syrup), HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup).

How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much (4)

It also includes controversial artificial sugars such as Aspartame, which is found in sweeteners such as Splenda. HSCS and HFCS are often extracted from fruit juices, fruit juices concentrates, honey and syrups and then added in excess to food, allowing food manufacturers to declare the natural sugars.

Identify sugar in the products you consume is best achieved by learning some of the most common names used for sugar:


  • Anhydrous dextrose
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice
  • Corn syrup
  • Crystal dextrose
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated corn sweetener
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • High­fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Liquid fructose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Pancake syrup
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar cane juice
  • White granulated sugar

True Natural Sugars, or intrinsic sugars, are found only in whole fruits and vegetables; due to their low concentration, fruits often taste bitter and research shows that they have no adverse health effects.

How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much (5)

In fact the World Health Organization in 2015 recommend intrinsic sugars over foods with Free or added sugars, as when added sugars exceed energy intake by 10%, there is a higher rates of dental caries.

To quote the World Health Organization: “This evidence shows, first, that adults who consume less sugars have lower body weight and, second, that increasing the amount of sugars in the diet is associated with a comparable weight increase. In addition, research shows that children with the highest intakes of sugar­sweetened drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese than children with a low intake of sugar ­sweetened drinks”.

In the case of Fructose, the daily recommendation for added sugar is about 25 grams and 6 teaspoons according to the American Heart Association. This works out to 100 calories worth of energy.

So are all sugars equal?

The dangers of Fructose – More addictive than Cocaine

Not really.

Fructose in HFCS is not the same as fructose in fruits. For one, HFCS is more concentrated, far above the amount you’re get from a fruit.

How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much (7)

Also HFCS has a higher glycemic index, causing blood sugar level to spike tremendously. This is way above the 25 grams and 6 teaspoons level recommended by the American Heart Association and create a lot of problems for humans.

These problems include:

  • Unhealthy changes in liver function,
  • Unhealthy changes in triglyceride levels
  • Unhealthy changes in insulin sensitivity
  • Fructose being harder to digest
  • Overeating and weight gain

Excess Fructose also affects people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome more than other sugars. Excess sugars will eventually lead to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes or obesity. Excess Fructose also creates a dependence on Sugar due to a dopamine dependence.

Essentially Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.

So which sugars are safe?

World Health Organization says less Sugars – Intrinsic Sugar replacements

The general consensus among most health professionals as well as the recommendation of the World Health Organization is that you eat less foods with Added sugars and substitute in more foods with Intrinsic Sugars.

How to Spot Hidden Sugar and How to Avoid Eating Too Much (6)

As eating fruits and honey to satisfy your sweet tooth, however, is very expensive but worth the effort.

The health benefits to removing added sugars from your diet will become obvious the longer you stop eating foods that contain them:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved memory
  • Better sleep
  • Improved bowl movements

So how do you satisfy you sweet tooth addiction? This handy table below will help you choose foods with more intrinsic Sugars that have a low concentration and a lower glycemic index.

Geezam - Spotting Hidden Sugar and Avoiding Sugar's Cocaine Dopamine Rush - 06-08-2016 LHDEER

Thus avoiding eating excess Added sugars is dependent on knowing the different forms sugar takes as well as the composition of sugar in foods. Americans are slowly becoming more health conscious, switching to healthy alternatives such as Aloe Vera Juice from Grace Kennedy (Deer, 2016, May 1).

Using these alternative sweeteners will guarantee you the same level of sweetness in your food with less of the negative long term side effects associated with Sugars.


  1. Deer, L. (2016, July 26). Why French approach to ADHD points to Sugars and Food Additives. Retrieved from
  2. Deer, L. (2016, May 1). How @Gracekennedy Aloe Vera Sinkle Bibles American Health Drinks in 2016. Retrieved from
  3. LoopJamaica. (2016, June 13). We are eating too much sugar: Learn how to spot what’s hidden. Retrieved from