Prevent Food Waste
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Each year, the average American family of four loses $1,500 to uneaten food. USDA offers a range of advice to help Americans reduce food waste, which in turn increases household food budgets and makes nutritious diets more affordable. Here are some tidbits from the USDA website to help you stop wasting food. Manufacturers provide date labels to help consumers and retailers decide when food is of best quality. Except for infant formula, dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety, and are not required by federal law. If the date on a food product pass, it should still be safe and wholesome if handled properly, until spoilage is evident. Spoiled foods will develop an off odor, flavor, or texture due to naturally occurring spoilage bacteria. If a food has developed such spoilage characteristics, it should not be eaten. The FoodKeeper app provides guidance on safe handling, preparation, and storage of more than 650 food and beverage items. With the app, you can track storage times for different foods, learn cooking tips, and get safety recall alerts. Food is less likely to go bad when you use older items first. Keep your pantry and refrigerator clean and organized so you can see what needs to be eaten first. In the fridge, extend the life of your food by putting it in the right place. Safely storing and preparing food helps keep you and your family healthy and reduce food waste. Give leftovers a makeover when you reuse them in recipes. Add broccoli stems to a salad or blend overripe fruit into a low-fat smoothie. Keep leftover safety in mind. At restaurants, order only what you can finish. Ask about portion sizes and be aware of side dishes included with entrees. Take the leftovers home and keep them for your next meal.
Meat & Veggie Mac
- 1 pkg (7.5oz) macaroni and cheese mix
- 1 pkg (16oz) mixed vegetables, frozen
- 1 ½ cups cooked meat, chopped
- ¼ cup nonfat milk
- 1/8 tsp garlic or onion powder
Cook macaroni in large saucepan as directed on package. Add the frozen vegetables after about 5 minutes. Cook until macaroni is tender and vegetables are cooked. Drain. Return macaroni and vegetables to the pan. Add the meat. Stir the cheese sauce mix, milk, and garlic or onion powder together. Stir into macaroni mixture. Cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Stir off and on.
Nutrition Information: 280 calories, 9g fat, 410mg sodium, 7g sugar, 24g protein