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Food news: Waste not, want not

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

Thanks to food writer and cookbook author Debbie Moose for offering these tips on how to NOT waste food.

Food waste is all over the news these days, and it’s something we all fall prey to. Moose cites a statistic from Consumer Reports that says we waste 10 cents of every $1 spent on food, mostly dairy and fresh produce, the most perishable items.

Here are some of her tips:

• “Think differently about cooking – and leftovers – and learn to shop from your refrigerator and freezer.” Don’t go shopping until you’ve reviewed what’s left over. Those bits and pieces can be used for soups, stews, sitr-fries.

• Shop with a list and a plan. Easier said than done for many of us, but a good place to start. Shake water off the vegetables and dry them before storage. Pay attention to use by and sell by dates. Many of those dates mean freshest by, not throw out by.

• Store fruits and vegetables properly. Don not wash until just before cooking or eating. Greens from root vegetables like radishes and carrots can be used in soups and sauces.

• Freeze your butter or margarine and only thaw enough for quick use. Buy smaller quantities of milk if you use it infrequently. Cut mold spots from cheese. Use meat bones for stock.

• Don’t dump all the food waste down the garbage disposal. Consider composting. One way is to put a lidless container in the freezer and add scraps. Making a pile with these later will benefit your garden or even container plants.

Good tips for all.

Free pancakes?

Today is National Pancake Day at IHOP From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. you can get one free short stack of buttermilk pancakes.

In return for the free flapjacks, IHOP asks customers to consider a $5 donation for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Since launching National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised $20 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities nationwide. There is a limit of one free short stack per guest.

Chocolate good for your brain

Good news for chocaholics, and the rest of us, too. A new study found that chocolate is not just good for your heart — it’s good for your brain.

Researchers believe that chocolate’s health benefits come from cocoa flavanols, a subgroup of flavonoids, naturally-occurring plant compounds in the cocoa bean and other plant-based foods. The study was published in the journal Appetite.

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