NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Stop the Food Waste

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science


Stop the Food Waste

Did you know that 3500 calories of food are produced per person per day in the United States?  This is a pretty shocking number, considering most Americans need 2000 calories or less per day, and there are still many that do not get the food they need each day. 

Some food waste is industrial, but surprisingly, 45% of food waste is residential.  It is our responsibility to do what we can to avoid wasting food.  The food we wasted most often is dairy foods, however, foods from all of the food groups find their way to the trash can more often than they should.  Here are a few tips to reduce the amount of waste in your household:

  • Check what food is in your pantry before you go grocery shopping.  This can avoid buying items you already have plenty of.
  • Grocery shop with a list.  Only buy items you know you will use in the near future, or before they expire. 
  • Use a cooler bag to keep frozen foods or dairy products (such as milk) cold.  Even if it is cooler outside, keep in mind the temperature of the vehicle you are traveling in. 
  • Reuse or refreeze leftovers.  If you cook a large family meal such as a ham or turkey, freeze the extras and use them in hot dishes, pot pies, or any other dinner creation you can think of.

    If you do happen to buy more food than you think your family will be able to eat, or buy something that was already in your cupboard, consider donating it to a local food pantry.  After all, the best way to get rid of our extra food is to give it away.

    Here is a recipe for whole wheat pancakes.  A great way to use up some ingredients you may have on hand before they go to waste.  You can also add fresh or frozen fruit to the mix for added flavor.  Enjoy!

    Whole Wheat Pancakes


    • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 egg, large
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, 1%
    • 1 tablespoon oil

      Directions: Preheat griddle. In medium bowl, stir or sift dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, beat egg, buttermilk, brown sugar and oil together. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened; batter should be slightly lumpy.  Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto sprayed or seasoned hot griddle.  Flip the pancake when bubbles appear on surface; turn only once.  Enjoy!

      Makes: 12 servings.  Each serving contains 80 calories, 2 grams of fat, 170 mg of sodium, 12 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. 



      • Six Ways to Reduce Wasted Foods, Midwest Dairy Council
      • Original Publication: FN695, "Now Serving Whole Grains". North Dakota State University Extension Service
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