This Is What Happens To Leftover Food When Filming The Pioneer Woman

Did you know that an estimated 17 percent of all food intended for consumers ends up in trash bins, according to the UN's Food Waste Index Report 2021? According to Roni Neff, a professor and program director at Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future, one reason for all the waste may be the "foodie culture fostered by celebrity chefs and cooking programs that has convinced many to seek only perfect, unblemished food" (via Johns Hopkins Magazine). But not all celebrity chefs promote practices that encourage food waste. In fact, Ree Drummond, the perpetually cheerful host of The Pioneer Woman, has made a point of addressing the elephant-in-the-room on multiple occasions. 

Back in 2018, for example, Drummond devoted an entire episode of The Pioneer Woman to transforming kitchen scraps and leftovers into newly repurposed dishes, according to the Food Network. In 2020, the team behind the show posted about what happens to the food leftover from filming her cooking show (via The Pioneer Woman). Here's where all that wonderful home-cooked comfort food ends up.

Ree Drummond has a strong waste-not policy

Something you may not realize about Ree Drummond's perennial Food Network hit, The Pioneer Woman, is that while it may appear to be filmed right in her home kitchen on her Oklahoma ranch, it's actually filmed in a lodge that's about two miles away on the ranch (via Parade) — one designed specifically for the task of accommodating a 25-person production crew as well as tours and other gatherings. That means there's also room for her four kids and her husband, Ladd. And there is your clue as to what happens to the food that ends up as leftovers when filming the show.

According to The Pioneer Woman blog, first dibs go to Drummond's kids and husband; whatever they can't polish off is made available to the crew. "If my family doesn't finish it off, the crew definitely will," Drummond said. And when food ends up sitting around waiting for its close-up just a little too long to be appetizing to humans, it ends up, literally, "going to the dogs."

The Pioneer Woman has lucky dogs

The number one reason Ree Drummond can rest assured that no matter how much food ends up getting prepared on her show, nothing will go to waste, is that Drummond is the proud dog-mom to seven dogs, four of which are basset hounds (via The Pioneer Woman). Dogs, in general, are known for doing their part to put a stop to food waste (via Cesar's Way). But even among dogs in general, basset hounds are famous for their insatiable appetite (via Ron Tanner). So in the event that Drummond's husband, kids, and crew aren't able to polish off the leftovers from filming Drummond's show, then the next in line for grub are those seven dogs, whom we have no doubt are waiting patiently nearby, gazing at those leftovers with puppy-dog eyes. 

But we're going to guess that Drummond's dogs never really have to wait too long for samples (via Parade). In fact, Drummond has joked about how much trouble she has resisting when her dogs beg her for table scraps, according to Parade. In fact, Drummond loves spoiling her pups so much that she launched Pioneer Woman Dog Treats back in 2019.

The dogs might want to step aside when these foods are on the table

As much as Ree Drummond is devoted to her seven four-legged companions, there are certain times when there is simply no chance those dogs are going to get their crack at the leftovers from the set of The Pioneer Woman. It's nothing against the dogs, of course. It's simply that Drummond has shared that she has certain "true go-to recipes" — ones which she can be sure her kids and husband are going to gobble down with enthusiasm. "There are a handful of meals that always seem to hit the spot," Drummond stated (via The Pioneer Woman). These include "chicken spaghetti, Ladd's favorite steak sandwiches, chicken parmesan, and beef, chicken, or veggie quesadillas." 

That being said, it seems there's virtually no classic comfort food that Ree's kids and husband would likely turn their noses up at. According to her blog, "The Drummonds like a a helping of classic comfort food just as much as the rest of us!" 

Ree Drummond doesn't even waste kitchen scraps

In 2020, the team behind Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman show posted about the efforts Drummond makes to ensure that the leftovers from filming the show don't go to waste (via The Pioneer Woman). But by then, we already had a pretty good inkling that Drummond takes food waste very seriously. That's because in 2018, the episode of The Pioneer Woman that was called "Waste Not Want Not" was devoted entirely to transforming kitchen scraps and leftovers into newly repurposed dishes (via Food Network). Think about that for a moment. Drummond devoted an entire episode to repurposing kitchen scraps before leftovers even become an issue. 

For example, Drummond showed viewers how to turn potato peels into "Roasted Potato Peels," discarded broccoli stems into "Stir Fried Broccoli stems," and chicken bones into "Overnight Chicken Broth." And Drummond showed viewers why you shouldn't toss your fruit past its prime when you can fold it into a leftover fruit bread. With Drummond's example, we all have a reason to stop throwing out the kitchen scraps.