A Curious Reader asks: Simply put, what is a whole grain?

Heloise says: A grain is considered whole as long as the three components of the grain are present: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The Whole Grains Council (www.wholegrainscouncil.org) says any grain can be whole — corn, rice, wheat or oat, for example. Whole grains are stronger sources of fiber and other nutrients, and therefore typically are better for you.

Dava asks: I just moved in, and the ice bin smells stale. How do I get the smell out?

Heloise says: First pour some vinegar on a sponge and try cleaning the interior. You also might want to sprinkle some baking soda inside and scrub with the vinegar-soaked sponge to kill the odors.

— King Features