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K-State Research and Extension News

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Sound Living is a weekly public affairs program, hosted by Jeff Wichman, and distributed to radio stations throughout the area.  It addresses issues related to families and consumers.

The program is now available as a podcast. You can subscribe and listen to the program in its entirety on our podcast page at soundlivingksu.libsyn.com

To listen to the latest episode, simply click play below.


You can also subscribe to the podcast feed and listen on your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. After you subscribe through one of the sources below, every new episode will download automatically to your device as soon as it is available. Alternatively, you can stream episodes whenever you wish. 

  • On your smart device, you can go to your preferred podcast app and search for "Sound Living Kansas State" and when you see this program in the search results, simply tap the "Subscribe" button.
  • On your computer, you can follow any of these links to Subscribe through:

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Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

Program Date

Segment Title
and Description

Listen and Download


A THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST– Americans really like turkey for Thanksgiving. In fact, the National Turkey Federation says nearly 88% of Americans will eat turkey that day. However, turkey is something we typically don’t prepare on a regular basis. As a result, many people have questions about the size of turkey they need, how long it takes to thaw a frozen turkey, how to prepare it, what to do with leftovers and how to plan such a large meal. Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee covers the basics of how to successfully prepare a Thanksgiving Day feast.

SL 11-15 

THE SEASON OF FEASTING– We have entered into what a professor of food nutrition at Kansas State University calls the season of feasting. That season, which started last month with Halloween, continues through Super Bowl Sunday in February. Tanda Kidd, who is also a food nutrition specialist with K-State Research and Extension, explains how we can enjoy traditional holiday foods while reducing the fat, sugar and sodium in those foods.

SL 11-08 

FOOD DONATIONS– Food insecurity refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In 2015, an estimated one in eight Americans were food insecure – that’s 42 million Americans, including 13 million children. In addition to federal nutrition programs, local food pantries assist people in putting food on the table. However, they often struggle to meet the demand and to provide a variety of food choices. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says that’s why it’s important that donations to local food pantries and community food drives are the same nutritious foods we purchase for our families.

SL 11-01 

LAWN AND GARDEN TASKS– As leaves continue to fall and form a thick layer on the lawn, it’s important to have a strategy for removing those leaves before they cause long-lasting damage. However, leaf removal is just one of many lawn and garden tasks that should be tackled over the next 30-to-45 days. Johnson County K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent Dennis Patton discusses what we can do now to prepare our lawn and gardens for the winter.

SL 10-25 

WINTER WEATHER SAFETY– Winter officially arrives December 21st. However, winter-like conditions could arrive well before then – and in Kansas – winter can be pretty unpredictable. As a result, now is a good time to start preparing for what could be rapidly changing conditions. K-State climatologist Mary Knapp looks at some of the things we can do to be better prepared for another Kansas winter.

SL 10-18

TIME, MONEY, AND TALENT– Teaching children about earning, spending, sharing, borrowing, and saving helps them learn about the ways their time, money and talents are valued. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles and family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) have co-authored the publication, Through a Child’s Eyes: Helping Children Understand the Concepts of Time, Money, and Talent. Wiles says the publication provides strategies and activities for adults with young children to use to help them better understand these concepts.

SL 10-11

WHAT DO CONSUMERS WANT?– A survey shows 39% of U.S. consumers would switch from the brands they currently buy to others that provide clearer, more accurate product information. In addition, 73% have a positive feeling about brands that share the “why behind the buy” information about their products. As product information becomes easier to find, consumers are using that knowledge to make their selections carefully, and for specific purposes. K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (Kish) says a variety of factors can influence which products consumers buy.

 SL 10-04

IMPROVING FOOD SECURITY– Most U.S. households have consistent, dependable access to enough food for active, healthy living…making them food secure. However, an analysis by USDA’s Economic Research Service found just over 11 percent of U.S. households – or about 14.3 million households – are food insecure. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter discusses the factors contributing to food insecurity in Kansas and the role Extension plays in providing nutrition education.

SL 09-27

FOOD PRESERVATION SAFETY– In addition to eating home-grown fruits and vegetables in-season, gardeners can also preserve some for later. However, food preservation is a science which must be done correctly to prevent microorganisms from re-contaminating the food. K-State Research and Extension food scientist and coordinator of the Rapid Response Center, Karen Blakeslee, covers the basic guidelines for safely preserving food.

SL 09-20 

MANAGING FAST FOOD– A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that just over one-third of adults consume fast food on a given day. Convenience was the number one reason given for eating fast food. However, with a little planning, K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says those fast food trips can be reduced. In addition, when fast food is the only option, she says we can still make healthy choices.

SL 09-13 

AGING-RELATED OUTREACH– An effort to meet the needs of an aging population by getting Extension resources and research-based information into the hands of those working at the local level resulted in the creation of the North Central Region Aging Network. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland is a contributing member of the Network. She discusses how this online resource is improving aging-related outreach across the country.

SL 09-06

PACKING A SCHOOL LUNCH– The new school year is underway and that means parents are scrambling to get sack lunches put together before the kids head out the door. Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee says parents need to be practicing good food safety habits when packing the lunch. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says approximately one in six Americans – or about 48 million people – get sick each year from foodborne diseases. Children are the most vulnerable to food poisoning, so it makes sense to take extra precautions when making the lunches they take to school. Blakeslee says that starts with washing your hands before preparing the sack lunch.

SL 08-30 

FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION– September is National Food Safety Education Month. K-State Research and Extension food scientist Karen Blakeslee discusses the steps we can take – both at home and at the grocery store – to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. The steps have been broken down into four broad categories: clean, separate, cook and chill. 

 SL 08-23

PREPARE KANSAS 2019– In Kansas, it’s possible to see a variety of weather-related events throughout the year, such as severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and ice storms. These weather events often cause power outages. In conjunction with September being National Preparedness Month, K-State Research and Extension’s Prepare Kansas 2019 – an online challenge to be prepared ahead of a disaster – is focusing on knowing what to do when the power goes out. Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) says the challenge helps prevent food loss and reduces the risk of consuming contaminated food.

SL 08-16

GROCERY SHOPPING TRENDS– A new study finds grocery shopping in the U.S. is evolving. According to the 2019 U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends report by the Hartman Group for the Food Marketing Institute, baby boomers, millennials, gen Z and gen X all have their own unique shopping habits and preferences. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter finds the study particularly interesting because it details shopping trends for a wide range of consumers.

SL 08-09

PERSONAL FINANCE ECOSYSTEM– Financial literacy is defined as the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being. However, there are several key terms, including financial literacy, comprising a personal finance ecosystem. K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) discusses this ecosystem and how it can help us better understand finances and improve our financial well-being.

SL 08-02

CANCER-SAFE GRILLING– If you routinely grill once or twice a week, experts suggest taking some small steps to lower exposure to compounds that are tied to cancer. These compounds get generated when food especially meat, is cooked – often overcooked or charred – on a grill. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter discusses the concerns associated with frequent grilling and ways to lower potential cancer risks.

SL 07-26 

COMMON SENIOR SCAMS– The most common form of elder abuse in Kansas is financial abuse – and it’s often carried out through a variety of scams. These scams, which often seem legitimate, can be financially devastating. Unfortunately, determining the legitimacy of something can be challenging because scam artists will work tirelessly to gain your trust and are skilled at persuasion. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland discusses some common “senior scams” and how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

SL 07-19 

OLDER ADULT MEDICATION MANAGEMENT – As we get older, we may face health conditions that need to be treated on a regular basis. As a result, we need to play an active role in our health care management. According to K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland, older adults need to understand why they’re taking a medication, how to take it properly, the potential side effects, and how to properly dispose of outdated or unused medications.

SL 07-12

BUILDING RESILIENCY– Research has identified a set of factors that can help children achieve positive outcomes in the face of significant adversity. Kansas State University assistant professor and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles says that when communities and families strengthen these factors they optimize resilience across multiple areas.

SL 07-05

SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS– Just as learning doesn’t end when students go on summer break, neither does the need for good nutrition. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program works with communities to provide free, nutritious meals and snacks when school is out. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says Extension is playing an active role in helping communities across Kansas to participate in this program and increase the number of children receiving summer meals.

SL 06-28

OUR TOWN OUR KIDS– As part of the state’s effort to reduce the number of youth at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system, Kansas State University, K-State Research and Extension and Fort Hays State University are working collaboratively on a pilot project that helps local stakeholders investigate, analyze and develop healthy youth initiatives. Extension specialists Elaine Johannes and Bruce Chladny are both involved in the Our Town Our Kids pilot project.

 SL 06-21

FOOD SAFETY FOR OLDER ADULTS – According to the Food and Drug Administration, a lot has changed in the way food is produced and distributed. We know that some people, including those 65 and older, are more susceptible to getting sick from bacteria in food. K-State Research and Extension food scientist Karen Blakeslee says seniors who handle food safely can help keep themselves healthy.

SL 06-14

HEALTHY SUMMER FOODS– The summer months are a perfect time to try new fruits and vegetables. They’re fresh, abundantly available, and typically less expensive than at any other time of the year. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter looks at eight healthy summer fruits, vegetables and drinks that taste great and offer a variety of health benefits.

SL 06-07

BE READY FOR AN EMERGENCY– It may seem like a daunting task, but organizing your important papers, documents and family photographs and placing them in a waterproof, fireproof container offers protection and peace of mind. K-State Research and Extension resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) offers suggestions for making a “grab-and-go” box, compiling a household inventory, and steps that can be taken to make life less stressful in the event of an emergency.

SL 05-31 

A LONGER, HEALTHIER LIFE– Blue Zones are regions around the world where the healthiest, oldest people live. In addition to diet, exercise and rest, other lifestyle and social factors may contribute to their longevity. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland says nine healthy lifestyle habits shared by those living in Blue Zones have been identified as being key to a longer, healthier life.

 SL 05-24

CONVERSATIONS ON HEALTH– K-State Research and Extension utilizes a wide variety of research and evidence-based information to aid Extension agents in tackling local issues and concerns. In the area of public health, Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter and adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland point to the Culture of Health initiative as one way Extension encourages community conversations about health topics.

SL 05-17 
05-10-19EDUCATIONAL TRANSITIONS– As one school year winds down, another is just around the corner. For students moving from pre-school to kindergarten and from kindergarten to first grade, the move often creates uncertainty and anxiety. However, K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles says the skills they’ve been learning – both social and behavioral – will make the transition easier. SL 05-10
05-03-19SALAD TAKES CENTER STAGE– A salad, typically served as an appetizer to the main meal, is starting to become the star of the show. In fact, consumers want restaurants to serve salads that are filling, healthy and delicious. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says a salad provides an easy way for us to eat more fruits and vegetables, cut calories and control the amount of fat in our diet.SL 05-03
04-26-19PREPARING FOR GRILLING SEASON– May is National Barbecue Month and Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee says while there are a number of food safety concerns associated with outdoor grilling, a meat thermometer is the best defense against foodborne illness and checking for proper doneness.SL 04-26
04-19-19MAKING HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES– Healthy eating habits are a front line defense against obesity – which in simplest terms – happens when we take in more calories than we burn. In the United States, almost 25% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 is overweight or obese, putting them at risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and sleep apnea. Two Kansas State University nutrition specialists say children who develop healthy eating habits early in life are more likely to maintain those healthy eating habits over the course of their life. SL 04-19
04-12-19ACHIEVING FINANCIAL GOALS– April is National Financial Literacy Month. According to K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss, (kish) establishing a budget and a plan to meet immediate, intermediate and long-term financial goals can help us gain better control of our finances.SL 04-12
04-05-19ENGAGING IN THE USE OF DIGITAL MEDIA– It’s common to see parents and young children interacting with digital media on smartphones and tablets. But is the child being entertained or are they actually learning. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles says children as young as 18 months who co-view or co-play with an engaged adult may be able to learn from digital media. He says this can bolster a child’s cognitive, linguistic and social-emotional development through dialogue and interaction. However, when digital media is used a babysitter, it can isolate family members from one another and slow a young child’s social development. SL 04-05
03-29-19HEALTHY EATING MADE SIMPLE– As part of its effort to help Americans make healthy food choices and in honor of National Nutrition Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a campaign to help simplify the nutrition information we see each day. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says the Start Simple with MyPlate campaign provides tips from the five MyPlate food groups to improve our health and well-being over time.SL 03-29 
03-22-19INVESTING IN RURAL CHILD CARE– Access to affordable, quality child care in rural areas is often difficult to find. However, studies show access to child care is vital for long-term viability of rural communities. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles, Pottawatomie County Extension family and consumer sciences agent Erin Tynon and Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation executive director Jack Allston are working with a local task force to identify barriers and find solutions that will improve child care options for rural communities.SL 03-22 
03-15-19THE IMPORTANCE OF READING– March is National Reading Awareness Month and a K-State Research and Extension child development specialist says spending at least 15 minutes a day reading with – not to – young children helps them succeed later in life. Bradford Wiles says reading with a young child can boost school readiness, helps them become better readers, increases their vocabulary and enables them to learn about world.SL 03-15 
03-08-19SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS– Spring officially arrives March 20th, and with it comes an increased risk for severe thunderstorms, lightning, flash floods and tornadoes. Those severe weather events can cause widespread damage – and, in the worst case – loss of life. Kansas State University climatologist Mary Knapp says having a severe weather plan, practicing that plan and putting it into action when the weather turns bad is the best way to stay safe. SL 03-08
03-01-19REDUCING FOOD WASTE– Walk Kansas, which begins March 17th and runs through May 11th, is not just about being physically active. It also includes information on nutrition, recipes, eating in season, food safety and food waste. K-State Research and Extension northeast area family and consumer sciences specialist and state coordinator for Walk Kansas, Sharolyn Jackson, along with Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter, discuss one of this year’s educational components: reducing food waste.SL 03-01
02-22-19NAVIGATING THE GROCERY STORE– Avoiding the center aisles as much as possible and sticking to the outside of the grocery store generally provides the biggest bang for your buck. However, K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says the grocery shopping process really starts at home with planning meals and snacks, seeing what food items we already have and making a list of the things we need.SL 02-22
02-15-19TIPS TO STAY HEART-HEALTHY– Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The good news? It’s also one of the most preventable. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland says Extension has several heart-healthy programs that can help improve an older adult’s endurance, strength, balance and overall health.SL 02-15
02-08-19SAVING FOR THE UNEXPECTED– America Saves Week, February 25th through March 2nd, is about more than helping Americans understand the importance of saving – it’s about getting them to save automatically. K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) says saving for the unexpected – an unanticipated expense or an opportunity – is highlighted in this year’s campaign.SL 02-08
02-01-19KANSAS 4-H SERVES YOUTH– Kansas 4-H offers a variety of programs and projects that are helping over 74,000 youth develop the skills necessary to be successful now – and in the future. State 4-H program leader and 4-H youth development department head, Wade Weber, and Kansas 4-H culture and communication skills specialist Aliah Mestrovich Seay, discuss how 4-H is continually changing to meet the needs of youth.SL 02-01
01-25-19IT’S TIME TO GET UP AND MOVE– Walk Kansas is an eight week K-State Research and Extension health initiative designed to get people up and moving. This year’s program begins on March 17th and runs through May 11th. Northeast Area family and consumer sciences specialist and the state coordinator of Walk Kansas, Sharolyn Jackson, discusses the benefits of participating in the program.SL 01-25 
01-11-19NEW PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES– The updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends moving more, sitting less and getting kids as young as three to be active. The new federal guidelines, according to K-State Research and Extension northeast area family and consumer sciences specialist Sharolyn Jackson, put an emphasis on getting people to move more throughout the day.SL 01-11 


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