By Peggy Crum, MA, RD, Health4U Nutritionist

CranberriesLast summer’s vacation treated me to a delightful surprise: Beaver Island has cranberry bogs. I cannot divulge the exact locations, but their existence is no secret. Cranberries grow on trailing vines of hardy evergreen bushes. The unique growing conditions—acidic, well-drained soil that is constantly moist—can be found throughout North America. Bogs are wetlands with a spongy mat of moss over the top. I found that it’s possible to walk on a bog without getting my feet wet.

TV ads would have you believe otherwise. But, really, hip-boots are required only when wet-harvesting cultivated cranberries in the fall. The night before harvest, the bogs are flooded, the bushes are gently vibrated to release the ripe berries and the cranberries are gathered from the surface. They float thanks to tiny air chambers inside each berry.

Another surprise—more cranberries are grown in the Midwest than anywhere else in the world. Wisconsin leads with 60 percent of U.S. production. Michigan contributes with a vibrant albeit small cranberry industry.

Fresh cranberries—ranging in color from light red to very dark, almost black— packaged in one pound bags, appear in stores from October through December. The best cranberries are plump, glossy and firm to the touch. At home, sort out and discard any berries that are soft, shriveled or brown-spotted. Fresh cranberries store very well in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you haven’t used them within three weeks, move them to the freezer for up to a year.

When made into a relish, sauce or glaze, cranberries are the perfect accompaniment to meat, poultry and wild game. Their natural tartness is refreshing when balanced with sugar as in desserts like upside-down cake, muffins, ice cream and sherbet. Dried cranberries, available year-round, are delicious on salads and any other way you would use raisins.

Join Culinary Services Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski from 12:10 - 12:50 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, at the Demonstration Kitchen in Brody Square as he demonstrates his cranberry glaze recipe during the Health4U Recipe for Health program. Try the cranberry glaze during lunch at Brody Square, Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall and The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips.

Can’t make it to Brody Square for the event? Join us online for an MSU Alumni Association LENS live stream presentation. Learn more by watching this trailer and view the live stream here:


Girl Scout Troop 30009—14 fourth graders from Bennett Woods elementary school in Okemos, Mich.—recently assisted Culinary Services and Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS) Sustainability at a Clean Plates at State food waste audit in Brody Square.

Clean Plates at State is a food waste program at MSU that helps put environmental sustainability into perspective for campus dining hall students and guests. The program seeks to reduce the amount of food waste on campus through education initiatives and a recurring food waste audit at each residential dining location.

During the audit, the Girl Scouts assisted with gathering plates, weighing each guest’s plate and handing out Clean Plates at State stickers to anyone who had cleaned their plates during dinner. In return for their hard work and assistance, the Girl Scouts each earned the Sustainability fun patch.

“This activity also ties in closely with the Take Action Journey we are working on,” said troop leader Nanette Naser. “Specifically, the Power of Team and the Power of Community pieces, which requires them to work on a team activity within our community.”

The event was also educational for the Girl Scouts. “The term ‘sustainability’ was completely foreign to the girls. They think of recycle/reuse in terms of plastics, metal, paper and glass,” said Naser. “I don’t think they ever considered the full impact of food waste … the economic and environmental pieces of food waste. I am sure they were unaware that MSU was so dedicated to reducing and recycling food waste.”

One of the Girl Scouts, Jade, found the amount of food waste unsettling. When she saw a mostly uneaten cookie, however, she exclaimed, “Why would anybody throw away a perfectly good cookie?" Naser said the light bulb went off when she told Jade all of the food was perfectly good.  

The Girl Scouts appreciated the interaction and smiles they received from MSU students. They also went on a tour of the Brody Square kitchen led by Culinary Services Conference and Special Events Coordinator Stacey Robinson and RHS Sustainability Officer Carla Iansiti, and enjoyed a free meal in the dining hall for their assistance with the food waste audit.

“They loved Brody Square!” said Naser. “One troop member said this was the best Girl Scout outing yet!”

“We are very thankful for the opportunity to participate in the study, and thankful for the staff’s patience and encouragement toward the girls,” said Naser. “I believe this project will have lasting effect on them, and knowing these little go-getters, it will have an effect on their family and friends.”

Girl Scouts standing in front of Brody Hall


By Gina Keilen, Culinary Services Registered Dietitian

Even with a good night’s sleep, stress management and exercise, there aren’t many people who don’t wish for that little bit more of energy throughout a day. Your sluggishness, lack of energy and never-ending feelings of being tired may be more than just the all-nighter cramming for your exam or staying out too late on Thursday night. There are little things you do (or don’t do) that can be wearing you out. 

  • Problem: There are long gaps where you aren’t eating.

Solution: Keep the snacks handy, swing into a Sparty’s and grab something, or use your unlimited access to the dining halls to grab a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.

Reasoning: Eating on a regular basis will help keep your blood sugars level and provide your body with a steady source of energy.

  •  Problem: Your meals are too ‘white’.

Solution: Aim for whole grain breads, high-fiber cereal such as oatmeal or brown rice, or look for different grains in the salad bars to get your fill.

Reasoning: Whole grains and foods with high fiber will take longer to digest and will help give you energy for a longer period of time. They also help keep your blood sugars more level so you don’t crash in the middle of your first lecture.

  •  Problem: What could be worse than a refined breakfast? No breakfast.

Solution: Look for a combination of carbohydrates and protein, e.g., eggs and toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a made-to-order omelet loaded with vegetables, or a yogurt parfait with fruit and granola.

Reasoning: If you think about it, when you wake up, you have fasted since probably dinner the night before. You probably don’t wait that long to eat during your waking hours, so it’s important to feed your body breakfast to refuel and help kick-start your body for the day.

  •  Problem: You aren’t getting enough iron.

Solution: MSU has some lean protein options at breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, load up on dark leafy greens, beans, soy, or nuts and seeds. Fun fact, eating or drinking calcium before or after something iron-filled can deter absorption, but drinking vitamin A (such as orange juice), helps!

Reasoning: Iron helps transport energy to your muscles.

  •  Problem: You aren’t drinking enough water.

Solution: Carry a water bottle with you as much as you can. If you are competitive, challenge yourself to drink the whole bottle during each class. You can also try drinking a glass with each meal.

Reasoning: Your body is affected quickly if you don’t drink enough water. Just being slightly dehydrated can negatively influence your energy and ability to focus. It also makes your blood thicker so your body can’t supply muscles and organs as efficiently.

  • Problem: You skip your workouts.

Solution: Be sure to stay active. You can tone it down or pump it up as needed or as time allows, but little things like walking to class or taking the stairs can all add up.

Reasoning: By lightly exercising, it helps energize your body and rejuvenate the way your body functions.

  •  Problem: Your desk is a mess.

Solution: When you are done for the day, clean it up. Organize your stuff and it will help you from being overwhelmed.

Reasoning: A cluttered workspace can make your head cluttered and less able to process information.

  •  Problem: You need your caffeine to get through the day.

Solution: Go ahead and have your morning cup from Sparty’s or Starbucks, but watch how much you drink throughout the day. Try to stop having caffeine six hours before you go to bed.

Reasoning: Coffee and tea have their benefits, but when overdone, they can put your sleep cycle into upheaval. Drinking them too close before bed can affect the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Gine Keilen pull quote

Gina Keilen is a registered dietitian and culinary coordinator for Culinary Services. If you have food allergies or intolerances, or are required to follow a special diet, Gina can help provide you with resources and information to help you make safe choices while still having a great dining experience when you Eat at State. Gina can also help you to eat healthy—our dining halls offer an incredible amount of all-you-care-to-eat options. Since many of our platforms offer made-to-order dining, you are in control of what you eat and how much, and Gina can help you decide what is right for you.

Culinary Services Starbucks Manager Earns Starbucks Bravo! Award

Culinary Services team member Michelle Pell, Starbucks service manager for all three on-campus Starbucks locations, recently earned the Starbucks Bravo! Award.

The award is presented to Starbucks partners who have exhibited outstanding performance with actions and behaviors directly related to their specific job description.

“I was surprised!” Pell shared. “I received the award when I was assisting Starbucks Business Manager Kurt Wisniewski during a guest lecture at The School of Hospitality Business. They showed my MSU staff profile video to introduce me and Kurt read the award and presented it to me in front of entire class.” 

Pell’s award recognizes her partnership, commitment and relentless support of the Starbucks brand at MSU. She played an instrumental role developing the Starbucks team at the Wells Hall and Broad Complex Starbucks stores, in addition to the new Broad Art Museum Café Proudly Serving Starbucks.

Pell was also recognized for being a true ambassador, with a ‘just say yes’ approach that is demonstrated daily in Starbucks stores across campus.

A team player, Pell added, “It feels great to be recognized by Starbucks for our efforts at the university.” 

Michelle Pell


Doctor Who-loween Poster

Hubbard Dining Hall is regenerating on October 30. As you walk in for dinner, you’ll think you're in a new Time And Relative Dimension In Space.

Allons-y to the Doctor Who-loween Dinner, where Doctor Who characters will come to life. Come dressed as a Doctor Who character to win a prize in the following categories: most accurate impersonation, best design and most creative.

There will be plenty of Dalektable food to exterminate. So grab a friend, say, “come along, Pond!” and join the Hubbard Dining Hall team for Ood-les of fun at the Doctor Who-loween dinner.

Don’t blink … or you’ll miss it!

Date: Thursday, October 30
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Location: Hubbard Dining Hall
Attire: Bow ties are cool.




  • Mozza-Sonic Screwdrivers
  • Vortex Sauce
  • Weeping Angel Wings
  • Praise His Cheeseball with Collactin Crackers
  • Jacondan Radioactive Spuds
  • Sontaran Pepper Pods
  • Regeneration Fizz
  • The Fizzy Waters of Mars
  • No Tie Like a Bowtie and Shrimp Salad 


  • Rory The Roman’s Farro Stew
  • Ood Soup


  • K9 Dogs with Mustard Onions
  • Fish Fingers and Custard
  • Wartime Cheese and Potato Dumplings with Fried Bits
  • TARDIS Wellington
  • Satellite 5 Mystery Take-out Noodles


  • Jammy Dodgers
  • TARDIS Torte
  • TARDIS Decoration
  • Dalek Crisps
  • Kaiser Kustard
  • Jelly Babies
  • Sarnian Lava Cake