- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Sept. 12, 2012
What you can do to reduce food waste
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
No one would knowingly throw their money in the trash can. Yet, we are. American families throw out approximately 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. The cost estimate for an average family of four is $1,365 to $2,275 annually. Need a visual? Americans could fill the Rose Bowl with a day's worth of food waste.
If that doesn't leave you feeling sick, take a whiff of your garbage can. Rotting food stinks, but it's what you don't smell that's dangerous. Rotting food produces methane gas. This odorless but potent greenhouse gas has greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide.
Save your money, save your nose and save the planet by practicing these three tenets we've all heard before: Reduce, reuse and recycle.
Be savvy with your time and money. Create a grocery list that serves as part of your meal planning. Know how and when you'll use the food you buy. If you are taking advantage of sales or buying in bulk, the same rule applies.
Don't buy more food if you already have food in the house. Before driving through or taking out, know what foods are already in your house. Take inventory of what is in the freezer, refrigerator and cupboards. Then ask "How can I work this into a meal?"
Eat your leftovers or repurpose them. Packing your lunch couldn't get any easier. Make them reappear in another dish or even as is for a quick reheat on a busy night. Not going to eat in within a few days or made too much — make use of your freezer (label, date, and don't forget about it in there).
Use vegetable and meat scraps in homemade stocks. Use citrus fruit rinds and zest to flavor foods.
Donate food you will not eat to local agencies that will get it some of the 14 percent (50 million) of Americans who struggle to feed themselves or their families.
Connect with a food pantry. Do you have a bounty from your garden or prepared food from an event? A food rescue organization will take perishable food and provide it to those in need. Food shelters often have a meal program that will take donations as well.
Want to do better than save the planet, perhaps improve it? Compost. The nutrients of the compost improve the quality of the soil, making it more drought resistant and lessening the needs for other fertilizers. Can't compost at home? Check if there is a composting facility in your community.
"Waste not, want not" as the saying goes. How will you keep your dollars in your pocket? Make better use of the food in your home? Be a good steward of the earth?
To your physical and financial health,