Q: Is it true that apples will stop diarrhea and prevent colon cancer? What kind and how many apples are needed a day?
A: It's not likely they'll stop diarrhea, but that doesn't mean that they won't help.
The FDA decided in 2003 that manufacturers couldn't use pectin for diarrhea products because there wasn't enough evidence to show that it really worked for most people. That's not to say that some people might not find either apples or apple pectin useful. And there are studies under way now trying to use pectin for diarrhea in small children. But so far they've not been able to prove that the old belief really is true.
You might know of Kaopectate. It used to be made from kaolin (minerals) and pectin, which was the pectate part of the name. But they had to change the formula after enough testing couldn't prove that the pectin worked.
There is some medical evidence that apple pectin might increase the kinds and number of good bacteria in our colons to the point that they can protect us against colon cancers and maybe some other kinds. But it's not a for sure deal yet, mostly test tube studies.
The amount of pectin in different varieties of apples can vary quite a bit, and I wasn't able to find any list by variety of how much they contain. JonaGold seems one of the higher-pectin varieties, but others include Polish or Asian varieties that I've never seen here.
There are problems comparing different studies, because different methods are used to analyze or report pectin content. So there's no way to say how many apples or how much pectin you'd need. Commercial pectin for jam making is usually a mixture of apple and citrus pectin, so that's even more different from what the research has used.
Eat apples! They have more than just pectin that's good for us, and they'll help with lots of other things anyway.
Q: Can I freeze canned mushrooms? I bought a great big can at a bulk sales place, and won't be able to use it all. If I do freeze them how long will they keep?
A: You could put them in the freezer, and they will be safe when you take them out. But you probably won't like the color or the texture when they're thawed. Once they've been canned they have been completely cooked already. So that has softened them and changed the texture.
To freeze them puts ice crystals inside them; that will make even more changes in the texture. The ice will poke more holes in the cells. When they thaw, the cells will leak even more of their juices out. The mushroom pieces will be very soft to the touch, but might be tough to chew.
They'd probably be OK if you then chop them very finely and use them just for flavor. So you could add them to soup, to gravy or sauces, mix them with meatloaf or meatball mix, anything where you don't need the shape or texture to be mushroom-like.
Assuming you do go ahead and freeze them, drain them first. Leave a half-inch of space at the top of the freezer container for them to expand as they freeze. They'll be safe and should taste fine for up to a year, possibly longer depending on the container and the type of freezer you have.