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Kaylor: Cut Down on Food Waste

By Staff | Oct 16, 2015

Have you ever tossed leftover food because it became moldy in your refrigerator? Perhaps you tasted something at the grocery store and bought a large package of it. Then you discovered that your family didn’t like it or became tired of eating it.

Most of us accidentally waste some food, and we’re not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we toss 1,249 calories per person per day. That’s more than half of the daily energy needs of an average person. In 2010, the USDA reported that nearly one-third of the total food supply was tossed.

Plan your meals and bring a grocery list to the store.

– Avoid impulse buys during taste tests in the grocery store.

– Ask yourself: Will we eat an entire package of this food?

Avoid buying overripe, bruised fruits and vegetables, or use them right away.

– Bruised fruits and vegetables are more likely to spoil because “germs” grow

more readily in the bruised areas.

– Use overripe bananas to make banana bread or muffins.

Freeze your leftover fruits, vegetables and other foods.

– Maintain good quality of your frozen foods by following the directions provided at

www.ag.ndsu.edu/food in the “Food Preservation” section. Click on “Freezing.”

Don’t forget your leftovers.

– Use your leftovers as lunches.

– Remember: Your leftovers will remain safe to eat for three to four days if they are

stored in your refrigerator.

Repurpose your leftovers.

– Learn how to make casseroles, soups, stir-fry, quesadillas and omelets using what

you have on hand. Check out the “Pinchin’ Pennies in the Kitchen” guides available

on the FoodWise website (www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise). Click on “Food


– Use stale bread to make French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches or croutons for


SOURCE: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

October is “National Corn Poppin’ Month.” This recipe is courtesy of the Popcorn Board (www.popcorn.org). Note: You can swap equal amounts of your favorite dried fruit, nuts or seeds in the recipe. You need a total of 2 cups of nuts, seeds and dried fruit cut in small pieces.


– 8 cups (2 quarts) plain popped popcorn (no added butter or salt)

– c. sliced almonds

– c. shredded coconut

– c. dried apricots or raisins

– c. dried cranberries

– c. shelled sunflower seeds

– 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine

– 2/3 c. honey

– c. brown sugar

– 2 tsp. vanilla

– tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 13- by 9-inch pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside. Place the first six ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix.

In a small saucepan, heat butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt over medium heat.

Stir to blend and bring to a boil. Boil two minutes, stirring constantly, then pour over the popcorn mixture. Stir to blend all ingredients and pour into a foil-lined pan. With damp hands, press mixture lightly and evenly into a pan. Bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in a pan for at least three hours before cutting into 12 or 16 evenly sized pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap and store up to two weeks.

When cut into 16 servings, each serving has 190 calories, 10 grams (g) fat, 2 g protein,

27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber and 160 milligrams sodium.

When cut into 12 servings, each serving has 260 calories, 13 g fat, 3 g protein,

35 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber and 220 milligrams sodium.

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