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Category: April 2017

New Whole Grain Stamp

The Whole Grains Council has introduced another Whole Grain stamp to help shoppers search for whole grain foods. The 50% stamp will show up on foods in the first half of 2017. The stamp is available on over 11,000 products in 55 countries.

The three stamps include:

100% Stamp—The product contains all whole grains. The minimum requirement is 16g (a full serving) of whole grain per serving.

50% Stamp—The product contains half or more whole grains in the grain ingredients. The minimum requirement is 8g (a half serving) per serving.

Basic Stamp—The product contains at least 8g of whole grains (a half serving) per serving and may contain some refined grains.

Each stamp shows how many grams of whole grain ingredients are in a serving of that specific product.

Learn more about the Whole Grain stamps at

Canning Timer & Checklist App

There’s now an app for that! Oregon State University has created a free app for your mobile device for instructions on canning vegetables, fruits, meats and fish.

This app is intended for people with previous canning experience. It has reminders for essential steps in the canning process. It also includes altitude adjustments and a built-in timer for the product you are canning.

This free app is available for Apple and Android devices. Learn more at:


Is Your Pet Obese?

Pets, like humans, can become obese and is a serious problem for their health. It is estimated that 58% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight.

Pet diseases from obesity are similar to human diseases. They can get diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, and kidney disease.

If a pet is 20% over ideal body weight, they are considered obese. This ideal weight varies by animal, age, body type and metabolism. Talk to your veterinarian about how much your pet should be eating.

Here are some signs of obesity to look for:

  • Look at your pet from the top. If the back is broad and flat like a footstool, it is overweight.
  • Can you feel your pet’s ribs?
  • Is your pet’s stomach sagging or tucked in?

Learn more at



National Walking Day 2017

Here’s yet another reason to celebrate healthy living! National Walking Day is April 5, 2017. This event is sponsored by the American Heart Association.

Get your Walk Kansas team to participate! You can sign up at

The theme this year is “Little Steps Big Gains.” Use social media to share your participation with #HealthyForGood.

Learn more at

Thirty minutes of walking can help you improve your goal towards a heart-healthy lifestyle!


National Festival of Breads

Chocolate Swirl Loaves

Lots of baking has been taking place at the Wheat Innovation Center to select the top finalists for the 2017 National Festival of Breads! Mark your calendar now for June 17, 2017 to come and enjoy the festival in Manhattan, KS at the Hilton Garden Inn.

New this year is the Enrich Your Life 5K & 1 mile Fun Run. A portion of the event proceeds will be donated to the Flint Hills Breadbasket.

Admission to the festival is free with a donation of a canned or nonperishable food item. These donations will also go to the Flint Hills Breadbasket.

The tentative schedule and link to sign up for the 5K is at


Defining Clean Eating

A rainbow of veggies

Lots of conflicting information about eating healthy can leave anyone confused. So the American Heart Association is trying to help clear the confusion.

To start, eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This is a common message from many health organizations and educators. Lean meats, low-fat and non-fat dairy, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds are also beneficial.

A healthy, clean diet can also include frozen, canned, and dried foods. Select low-sodium canned foods and fruits canned in water or 100% juice. Choose frozen and dried foods without added salt or sodium.

Some say to avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store. The truth is, many foods in the middle aisles can be a part of a healthy diet.



Looking for Clear Jel?

Clear Jel – Cook Type

When canning pie filling, recipes use Clear Jel as the thickener. It produces a thick, clear consistency and survives the heat treatment of canning.

But locating Clear Jel is a challenge. If you are in the St. Mary’s, KS area, stop by the Sugar Creek Country Store and pick up your supply of Clear Jel (Cook Type).

For this and other sources for Clear Jel, go to


Food Preservation Classes

Food preservation classes are for anyone! If you are a new FCS Agent, a 4-H Foods leader or member, or just want to learn about food preservation, sign up! The current list of classes I have scheduled are as follows:

April 12—Olathe, KS, contact Crystal Futrell, 913-715-7000

May 1– Lincoln, KS, contact Ashley Svaty, 785-524-4432

May 23—Osawatomie, KS, contact Franny Eastwood, 913-795-2829

May 24—Lawrence, KS, contact Susan Johnson, 785-843-7058

June 28—Grantville, KS, contact Cindy Williams, 785-863-2212, or Susan Fangman, 785-232-0062


Add Lamb to Spring Meals

Grilled Lamb chops Photo: Michigan State University

Sheep is the oldest domesticated meat species. Sheep have been raised by humans beginning about 9,000 years ago in the Middle East. In many countries, lamb (a young sheep) is the major source of protein. Many Americans think of lamb as a springtime food, but it can be enjoyed year round.

When shopping for lamb, look for meat that is fine textured and firm that has red coloring and white marbling (white flecks of fat within the meat muscle). The fat trim should be firm, white, and not too thick. The USDA quality grades are reliable guides.

There are five basic major (primal) cuts into which the lamb carcass is separated: shoulder, rack, shank/breast, loin, and leg. It is recommended that packages of fresh lamb purchased in the supermarket be labeled with the primal cut as well as the product, such as “shoulder roast” or “loin chop.”

For more information, see and