Nutrition Corner: More tips to reduce food waste

October 1st, 2015 12:10 pm

Last week I challenged readers to look at their garbage to determine if they could reduce the food waste they throw in the trash. Why? Because food waste ends up in the landfill, creates methane gas and contributes to the warming of the Earth.

I reviewed the dates on food and what they meant. (If you missed it, visit I promised to give more tips this week on how households can further reduce food waste.

The Environmental Protection Agency gives these quick tips to follow before going food shopping. First, cook and eat what is in your refrigerator. Check what you have in the house already before stopping at the store. Or, if you need only one item to make dinner, shop at an easy-in, easy-out store. That way you won’t be tempted to buy other foods.

Next, plan your menu before going shopping. This is a real cost-saving tip. Make the grocery list as you plan your meals. Do this before you enter the store; you’ll save money and reduce food waste.

Next, if you eat out at a buffet, take only what you can eat. You can always make a second trip up to the buffet line. Be mindful of what your eyes tell you to eat and what your stomach has room for.

Lastly, be creative using excess of food in your own kitchen. For instance, fruit close to over ripening can be frozen and used in smoothies. Broccoli stems and broccoli flowers can be chopped and used in the stir fry. Stale bread can be made into croutons or frozen for grilled cheese or French toast. The makeover ideas are endless.

Take a look at your kitchen. What reduction tips can you offer to help reduce global warming? I would love to hear from my readers. Email your ideas to me at mre2@ and I can help spread the word.

Here is an easy recipe which uses frozen bread (stale bread that has been frozen). Top with some warm apples and a glass of skim milk to balance out the breakfast or dinner.

Cinnamon French toast

4 eggs

1/3 cup milk, low-fat

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 slices frozen stale bread (preferably whole grain)

Nonfat cooking spray

Spray griddle with nonfat cooking spray. Break eggs into mixing bowl. Add milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well with a fork. Dunk frozen bread into egg/milk mixture; make sure all of the bread is covered. Place bread on griddle and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip the bread over and cook on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Top with warm apple slices. Enjoy!

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret Corner Mary R. Ehret

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at