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Category: June 2020

Some Misconceptions about Raw Milk

In Kansas, consumers have the choice to purchase raw milk directly from the farm only. The milk must be clearly labeled as “raw” or “unpasteurized-ungraded” milk.

Numerous research studies show that raw milk can contain disease-causing pathogens. Pasteurizing raw milk has long been a proven and effective process to make milk safe to consume since the late 1800’s. It prevents tuberculosis and brucellosis, among other pathogens, from causing illness in humans.

Some other misconceptions are also associated with consuming raw milk. They include:

  • Raw milk will not cure lactose intolerance. All milk, raw and pasteurized contains lactose which can cause lactose intolerance in people who do not have the lactase enzyme to break it down.
  • Raw milk does not contain probiotics to benefit gastrointestinal health. Raw milk can contain many human pathogens to cause gastrointestinal disruption.
  • Raw milk is not nutritionally superior to pasteurized milk. When milk is processed, pasteurization has minimal effect on vitamins and minerals. Milk fat is homogenized to make it more digestible and stable. Milk protein does not change.

Learn more at

Learn more at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.


Working Together to Reduce Food Waste

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service estimates that 30 to 40% of edible food in the United States currently goes to waste. These 133 billion pounds of wasted food are worth an estimated $161 billion, which is a significant loss to our economy. At the household level, the average US family of four loses an estimated $1,500 per year on wasted food. Further, food waste accounts for 21% of the American waste stream.

How can you help reduce food waste? Learn more at


Where’s the Yeast?

Kneading Dough - Canva.comInstant bakers are now in about every home kitchen. That has created a demand for certain ingredients, including yeast. Manufacturers are working hard to replenish the supply. But, buyer beware!

There are reports that bulk packages of yeast are divided into smaller quantities, repackaged, and then sold online or in stores. This is inappropriate and unacceptable.

Yeast is a living organism and when repackaged, that can compromise the yeast and the shelf life. And, once out of the original package, the shelf life is only 3-5 days. These repackaged products are being sold at very high prices, which is unethical.

What can the consumer do? Be patient, store shelves will get restocked. Call your store to find out when new supplies will arrive. Some stores may also carry fresh cake yeast, usually in the refrigerated dairy section.

Source: Red Star Yeast Facebook page,


Selling Food Direct to the Consumer

Farmers markets are one avenue of selling food and other products to consumers. But there are other paths that go directly to the consumer.

However that happens, we can help! Our publication, Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices, is a comprehensive guide for many types of foods. This publication is updated at least yearly to stay on top of the latest guidance.

Get started on the right foot! This will help assure your consumers you care about safety and the best product quality.

To help you start a food business, the Kansas Value Added Foods Lab at K-State Research and Extension can help!


Local Foods Resources

Where can you shop for local foods or other items? How can you sell your foods locally?

A team of K-State Research and Extension agents and specialists have started this resource to help direct you to the right place to start. From gardening, to meats, to food preservation, and more, these resources can guide Kansans to grow, buy and sell safely produced, quality foods.

Check out these resources at More will be added soon, including how-to-videos for those just getting started!


Mind Your Peas and Carrots!

Spring gardens may be bursting with fresh peas and carrots. So how can they be preserved beyond the spring season?

Both vegetables can be preserved by canning, freezing and dehydrating. Carrots can also be pickled. Always start with fresh picked produce at the peak of maturity for best results. Wash with water. Use small sized carrots, scrub and peel to remove areas where dirt and bacteria can hide. Edible pea pod varieties are best frozen. Green and English peas can be frozen, canned or dehydrated since they are removed from the pods.

If freezing or dehydrating peas and carrots, both need to be blanched to achieve the best quality, texture, color and flavor.

For canning and freezing peas and carrots, see Preserve it Fresh, Preserve it Safe—Vegetables.

For dehydrating peas and carrots, see

Peas and carrots must be pressure canned. Pickled carrots are water bath canned. Learn more at


Out of this World…Meat?

Lately, meat choices have gone non-traditional. Here’s another one to add to the mix. Meat analogues made from carbon dioxide. Yes, meat made in a few days, not years on land.

Basically, the air-based meat is similar to making yogurt using a starter culture and combined with carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, water and minerals. Using a proprietary process the protein product has all essential amino acids and has the texture and flavor of different meats. This process happens in a few days.

It really is out of this world!



Non-traditional Dining

PicnicFood service operations have been revolutionized beyond the typical corner diner or family dinner table. Online meal kits, mobile food trucks, online grocery shopping and more have transformed how we shop and eat.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture did a review of social media sources for online food sales. The two most popular were Facebook Marketplace and Facebook private groups. Of all food sales via Facebook, the Marketplace function makes up 82 percent of food sales. These selling platforms were analyzed for state licensing risks related to food safety. They found 45.3% of foods sold were high-risk such as entrées, meats, and seafood. Medium-risk foods made up 41.3% such as canned goods, eggs and dairy. Low-risk foods made up 13.3% such as produce and baked goods.

To help these groups succeed, education tools for social media are being created to help keep buyers from getting foodborne illness.



From the Land of Kansas Survey

The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s state trademark program From the Land of Kansas has released a public survey asking consumers about their shopping practices and preferences. Recent events have reminded all of us about the importance of local foods. This survey is seeking feedback from Kansas consumers on what they are looking for and how we can help them find local foods. The survey, which takes less than five minutes to complete, will inform the program’s efforts to better promote and celebrate agricultural experiences and products grown, raised or produced in the state of Kansas.

Participants who complete the survey will be entered in a gift basket drawing. The gift baskets contain a variety of Kansas grown or made products, valuing over $100. Three winners will be selected and notified in early June via the contact information they provide at the end of the survey.

Any Kansas resident is eligible and encouraged to take the survey at

For questions about the survey, please contact Janelle Dobbins, marketing manager of the From the Land of Kansas program, at 785-564-6759.


What is a Dough Conditioner?

When making yeast bread, sometimes the dough just needs a little boost. One method to do that is adding a dough conditioner or dough improver.

These ingredients look like flour, but are not. They help improve gluten development to give higher volume and finer texture. Commercial bakeries use them because of the automated equipment which can be hard on bread dough. They are also added to frozen dough to withstand the damage ice crystals impart on gluten structure. Using dough conditioners can shorten mixing time and speed up fermentation.

Examples of dough conditioners include vital wheat gluten, amylase enzymes, ascorbic acid, and emulsifiers.

Source: How Baking Works, by Paula Figoni