How Safe is Your Food?

We all know that as a student you have a lot to pay attention to and remember. The last thing you want is one more thing to worry about on campus! So the next time you sit down for a meal pay attention to what is going on around you!

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and inspection Service) has published the document,Food Safety Tips for College Students that outlines basic food safety tools that you will need to know to keep you and your food safe from possible food borne illness. This PDF also contains FAQ that may apply to your college experience. The USDA has many other publications that cover a wide variety of topics of food safety for your knowledge.

At your next meal pay close attention to the following things to see if the place serving
your food is properly practicing food safety:

Check the bathroom! If it doesn’t look suitable consider what the kitchen where your food is being prepared looks like.

Check the floor. Is the floor clean and free of food and debris? Is there evidence of pests or rodents anywhere?

Observe the servers. Do the servers themselves look clean and tidy? Their appearance may reflect the pride they have for their job and the care that they put into making your food.

Are there any offensive odors in the restaurant? This is usually a red flag that things are not properly regulated.

Note the silverware, glasses and plates and food containers. Are they clean? Are the tables and chairs?

How is your food presented? Does your food look and smell appetizing? Does it look fresh? Does it look mediocre or sloppy? Does it smell offensive?

Notice if the same dish/meal has been served for multiple days in a row. Chances are it is no longer food safe if it has been reheated more than once.

Check to see if there is a visible temperature log or cleaning schedule and thermometers. Hopefully these items are being used at every meal, but if they are nowhere in sight, chances are that they are not being used.

Look up the public record of your food service establishment to see if they have any violations and if they are being corrected. The Department of New Hampshire Health  and Human Services provides public record of the areas food establishment’s inspection results for your information.

Last, but not least ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS!!!!! If you have a gut feeling that something is not right with your food, say so!  Ask all the questions you need to make sure you are getting the quality and safety you deserve as a patron of that food establishment.

Be informed. Stay healthy.

Sodexo at PSU prides itself on our food safety practices. If you see something that concerns you, please let a manager know!

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Exercise in your Dorm Room!

Since most freshmen are required to live on campus during their first year of college, choice is often limited in what you can eat and what you can do for exercise.  SparkPeople has an article of great workouts you can do that are free to inexpensive, that you can do in your dorm room to engage in a healthier lifestyle.

Here are some highlights from the article:

A workout plan should consist of 3 things, Cardio, Strength Training and Stretching.

Cardio workouts get your heart pumping. Jogging in place, jump rope or just dancing all count as cardio.

Strength training options incorporate a wall, a chair, a towel and the floor. These things can be found in your dorm! Resistance workouts do not have to include traditional weights, as you can use your body in resistance training alone.

Stretching can be done with few dorm-room items and without. Your roommate may even be able to help you with your stretching routine!

Exercise is just as important as maintaining proper nutrition. You can still have a quality workout no matter where you are or your constraints on space.

What is your favorite exercise routine?

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Try Ethnic Cuisine!

Variety is the spice of life! Why not spice things up with a different cuisine? The Americanized version of ethnic foods can be unhealthy and a misrepresentation of the original dish. Learn about these potentially healthy ethnic dishes and try them!
Read the CNN Health‘s article for more information.


Traditional Greek foods consist of dark leafy
veggies, fresh fruit, high-fiber beans, lentils, grains, olive oil, and omega-3-rich fish deliver lots of immune-boosting and cancer-fighting ingredients.

Greeks often share small plates of food called meze. Having just a bite of meat along with low calorie, healthy Greek staples, like fresh seafood, slowly digested carbs (beans, eggplant, or whole-grain breads), and small portions of olives and nuts, is a great way to incorporate healthy options while feeling full and not over eating.

Fresh herbs, lots of vegetables and seafood, and cookingtechniques that use water or broth instead of oils are some of the standout qualities of V ietnamese food.

Prepared the traditional way, this cuisine relies less on frying and heavy coconut-based sauces for flavor and more on herbs, which makes
it lower in calories. One of the healthiest and most delicious Vietnamese dishes is pho (pronounced “fuh”), an aromatic, broth-based noodle
soup full of antioxidant-packed spices.

Possible anti-inflammatory and healing properties of  Turmeric are currently being studied at the University of California at LosAngeles.

Other Indian cuisine include yogurt and lentils, which highlight fiber that has significant amounts of folate and magnesium, and may
help stabilize blood sugar. Lentils are often combined with Indian spices to make dal, usually served as a side dish.

Try a traditional vegetable curry with dal to get a real taste of Indian cuisine.

Japanese staples that are amazing for your health include antioxidant-rich yams and green tea; cruciferous, calcium-rich veggies like bok
Choy; iodine-rich seaweed (good for your thyroid); omega-3-rich seafood; shiitake mushrooms (a source of iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and folate); and whole-soy foods.

Unprocessed soy is the best option to include in a healthy diet. Soy products such as tofu, edamame, miso, and tempeh, can be
incorporated into meals for added texture and flavor.

Hara Hachi Bu is also practiced in Japanese culture, which means “eat until you are eight parts (or 80 percent) full. These
simple diet rules may be why people in Japan are far less likely than Americans to get breast or colon cancer.

Spanish tradition of eating tapas (small plates of food) complements the fresh seafood, vegetables, and olive oil that are staples in this cuisine. Dishes like gazpacho contain antioxidants and paella which is rich in fresh seafood, rice, and veggies is a healthy option.

South American:

While many countries make up South America the traditional diet of fresh fruits and vegetables (including legumes) along with high-protein grains like quinoa, are great sources of fiber. A typical South American meal of rice and beans creates a complete protein combination.

What ethnic dish can you prepare? 

Energy Drinks: Beneficial or Burdensome?

ENERGY!!!!! We all need it, so how do we get it? Today it seems most rely on energy drinks for that extra boost just to get their day going!

Energy drinks contain caffeine and supplements that have not been regulated by the FDA for safety. While there have been no concrete reports of lasting benefits there have been reports of the side effects of consuming too many energy drinks. These supplements can interact negatively with any other medications or supplements one may be taking.

The effects that have been reported range from nausea and diarrhea to abnormal heart rhythms. A few countries also have restrictions on the sale of energy drinks.  The caffeine in energy drinks also excrete water from the body to dilute high concentrations of sugar entering the blood stream leaving you dehydrated.

Getting adequate rest, exercise and a healthy diet are the know ways to produce a good energy level. There will be no “crash and burn” if you keep that system up daily.

The uncertainty of highly caffeinated supplement drinks could present a big risk to your health.

How many energy drinks do you drink a day?

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Nicknames Of Common Ingredients

Reading an ingredient label can be confusing enough at times. Did you know that common ingredients can be listed under many different names? Ingredients such as sugar, Trans fat; MSG and salt can all be effectively disguised in foods by being listed under unfamiliar names to the public.

Here are a list of common ingredients and their nicknames:

Sugar also goes by:  Sucrose, fructose, dextrose, etc. (anything ending in “ose”) ,Evaporated cane juice , Chicory/carob/inulin/tapioca syrup ,High fructose corn syrup ,Mannitol, Molasses ,Cane Juice Crystals , Sorbitol

Trans fat can also be labeled: Margarine, Hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils,

Salt is also called: Sodium, Sodium Chloride, baking soda, baking powder, disodium
phosphate, or any compound with sodium or Na in its name, Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is also listed as: Autolyzed yeast, Textured
protein, Sodium/calcium caseinate, Glutamic acid, Vegetable protein extract, Hydrolyzed flours or proteins

Check out your ingredient labels for these and other names you may be unfamiliar with.

How many ingredients do you recognize?

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Friday Nutrition Tip: Eat your H2O!

We all know the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day! What about eating your water? Learn about the foods that have a higher water concentration to help you meet your hydration needs.

You may need up to 10 to 15 8-ounce glasses of water per day to replenish lost fluids and keep your system running smoothly. Depending on your diet, food can actually contribute to your total fluid intake, by emphasizing fruits and vegetables that are water-rich.

Stay hydrated by eating these fruits and







Peppers (sweet)



Adding fruits and vegetables with high water content also add fiber to your diet as well as a few vitamins and minerals! It’s a win, win!

What is your favorite water filled fruit or vegetable?

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Wednesday’s Food For Thought: Eating In Season

Eating fruits and vegetables when they are at the peak of their growing season allows you to get the best that produce has to offer!
Natures timing allows for variety in your meals and ensures you are getting the most nutrients from your produce.

Eating in season also supports sustainability efforts in your community by lowering the emissions it takes to transport good across the country. Buying abundant foods in season also saves the consumer money! Getting fresher,tastier produce at a lesser cost all while helping the community and environment is a win -win!

Farmers markets in your area are a good place to start when looking for local in season foods. Epicurious also has an interactive map of the 50 states and what foods are in season by month. You can also find links to recipes that utilize the in season goodies.

What are you favorite seasonal foods?

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