Conserving your pork





By: Emma Likens

With the growing global population, many environmental experts are recommending “eating down the food chain” to conserve water and crops used to produce feed for livestock.  In actuality, hogs have a 3 to 1 feed conversion ratio, according to the Pork Checkoff Quick Facts.  This rate is continually improving and something for pork producers to be proud of.

Being an avid pork consumer, my simple suggestion is to stop wasting food.  I was raised in a family where we always cleaned our plates before leaving the dinner table.  A recent Huffington Post article found that Americans throw out nearly half of their food, which equals about 165 billion pounds of food.

Along with clearing my plate, I learned to happily eat leftovers at an early age.  Some things just never taste as good the second time around, but pork roast is not one of them.  So in an effort to encourage an end to wasting food and eating leftovers, next time you have leftover pork roast after a family get together (as we do after Thanksgiving, turkey is only a side dish!), try out this recipe from The Food Network.

Funked Out Pork Quesadilla

4 Servings



1 C low-fat Greek yogurt

1 lime, zested and juiced

3 T chopped fresh cilantro

2 tsp chipotle en adobo sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



½ C red onion, chopped

½ C chopped pickled jalapenos, juices reserved

2 C shredded roasted pork shoulder

2 C shredded Monterrey Jack

Nonstick olive oil spray

4 large whole wheat tortillas



For the crema:  Combine the yogurt, lime zest and juice, cilantro and adobo sauce in a small bowl, stirring well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the quesadillas:  Preheat a grill pan and spray with nonstick spray.

Soak the onions in the jalapeno juice about 10 minutes.  Drain.

In a large bowl, mix together the jalapenos, onions, pork and cheese.  Divide the mix on top of 2 tortilla rounds.  Top each with another tortilla round.  Spray the round with olive oil and place face down onto the grill.  Grill until the cheese is melted and the tortillas begin to brown, about 3 minutes.  Flip and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Remove the quesadillas from the grill pan, cut each into quarters and serve with the crema.

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