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Category: October 2016

A New Steak in Town

Bonanza CutA new meat cut, that used to be put into ground meat, is now a high-end treasure for beef lovers. The small, quarter-moon-shaped cut is a premier cut that is a close second in taste and tenderness to the filet mignon.

The new Bonanza cut is described as “juicy, extremely tender and very marbled.” It is best suited for fast high-heat cooking such as grilling or in a cast iron skillet. It can be marinated for added flavor, but only for about 30 minutes to maintain the meat flavor.

The Bonanza cut is found at the very far end of the flat iron steak or the m. infraspinatus caudal tip. During meat processing, the flat iron steak is a part of the Chuck. The small end of that steak stays with the rib side resulting in the Bonanza cut. There are only two per carcass.

The Bonanza cut is not in restaurants or meat markets yet as meat producers must decide availability.

For more information on this new product, see


Obesity Prevalence in 2015

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity still exists in 20% of the U.S. population.

The highest area of obesity is in the Southern states with 31.2%. The lowest area is in the West with 25.2%. Colorado has the lowest rate by state at 20.2%.

Kansas ranks at 31.0% among non-Hispanic whites; 42.7% among non-Hispanic blacks; and 35.4% among Hispanics.

Learn more about obesity prevalence and see the maps and data at:


National School Lunch Week

school lunchSince 1962, a weeklong celebration of the school lunch program has existed called the National School Lunch Week (NSLW). School cafeterias use decorations, special menus, events and more to highlight the consumption of healthy and wholesome school lunches.

The NSLW 2016 theme is “Show Your Spirit” and will be held October 10-14, 2016. Here are some ways schools, kids, parents and grandparents  can get involved.

  • Thank the school lunch staff for all their hard work.
  • Kids, invite your parents to eat lunch with you! “National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day” is October 15.
  • Share events on Facebook and other social media outlets.
  • Have a coloring contest with the activity sheets from the NSLW website.

Learn more at:

MyPlate Guide to School Lunch p1MyPlate Guide to School Lunch

Preserving Venison Safely

canned meatFall hunting season is quickly approaching! Venison offers variety and an unusual flavor to the fall and winter table. When handled properly it can make an excellent meat. It can be refrigerated or frozen as meat cuts or sausage. It can also be preserved by canning, curing, or drying.

The following resources can help you get your supplies ready and help you decide which method is best for your family.


Canned Pears Turn Pink

Pink, red, blue or light purple discoloration sometimes occurs in home canned apples, cauliflower, pears, peaches or beets.

Keep all produce cool after harvest. When using the hot pack method, do not overcook or heat to too high a temperatures. Excessive heat changes natural food pigments. Use correct processing methods and time to reduce discoloration.

If the fruit grew in dry weather, it often turns pink and cannot be prevented.

While the color doesn’t look right, the pears are safe to eat.


Canning Fruit Puree

pink applesauceInstead of canning plain applesauce or other plain fruit, try mixing it up to make a mixed fruit puree. While this can be done for many fruits, some fruits should not be used because no home canning recommendations are available for purees of these products. They include bananas, figs, Asian pears, tomatoes, cantaloupe and other melons, papaya, ripe mango or coconut. These are best preserved by freezing for safety.

Many parents want to can their own baby food. Fruit is the only food that can be safely processed as a puree. Follow the recommendations from:


Making Homemade Cheese

cheese curdsIf you have goats or dairy cattle, you may want to try making your own cheese at home.

Cheesemaking techniques vary depending upon the intended final use or consumption of the cheese. Cheese can have widely varying characteristics.

Food safety is critical for fresh cheese. There are four major pathogens associated with fresh cheese. These can cause foodborne illness. They are: Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. These pathogenic bacteria are controlled by good sanitation of equipment and food contact surfaces, proper cooking, cooling and handling of cheese curds during processing, and proper hand washing.

For more information, see