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WATCH NOW: Mayo reducing food waste by using select leftovers to make dog biscuits
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WATCH NOW: Mayo reducing food waste by using select leftovers to make dog biscuits

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A huge amount edible food goes uneaten each year — 33% globally — but a recognition day and a local health care provider are working to change that.

Mayo biscuits

Mayo is reducing cafeteria waste by using leftovers like oatmeal and bananas to create dog biscuits. Customers have to option to add to their purchase a donation for the Coulee Region Humane Society. 

April 28 marks Stop Food Waste Day, and with all of April designated Earth Month, Mayo Clinic Health System is promoting its “Waste Not Wag A Lot” program, which uses salvageable and canine-safe excess ingredients to make dog biscuits.

Select food items unused in Mayo La Crosse’s Marketplace Cafe and Mayo Rochester’s Harwick Staff Cafeteria are set aside for biscuits made in-house using approved recipes.

“We really tried to look at ways we could reduce our waste or use leftovers from our cafeteria,” says Brittany Remold, retail manager for Mayo and manager of the Marketplace Cafe. “(We use items) that are still nutritious and are still okay to eat but we can’t serve to our customers for quality purposes.”

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Mayo biscuits 2

Mayo Clinic Health System baker Dan Wuttke makes dog biscuits using select cafeteria leftovers. 

The primary ingredients are overripe bananas and day-old oatmeal, enhanced with staples like flour and peanut butter. The biscuits, available for purchase in the cafeterias, sell out most days, and customers may opt to “Paw it Forward” by adding a $2 donation.

The baseline price for the biscuits are $3 for a small bag or $5 for large, and Mayo will use “Paw it Forward” contributions to donate treats to the Coulee Region Humane Society in Onalaska and the Paws and Claws Humane Society in Rochester. Thus far, the Coulee Region Humane Society has received 13 packages and additional donations will be dropped off on a weekly basis throughout the month.

The program is near to the hearts of pooch-loving employees like Remold, who says discussions with her coworkers often revolve around their canine companions.

“The fact that we can work with the community ... and support those dogs that are up for adoption really means a lot to us,” Remold says.

Emily Pyrek can be reached at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

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