From the editor:

Things crop up

Aug. 2, 2017

I was holding a baby, rolling silverware, saying hello to customers and typing a blog with one hand. That wasn’t exactly how I had planned to spend last Wednesday, but things crop up. I mentioned last week that I was at my sister’s restaurant writing my blog due to rain and a change of plans. What I didn’t mention is that it got so busy, everyone had to hustle and that meant a lot of multi-tasking for me. Like any good Spartan, I simply adapted. Then I noticed that somehow, my computer clock switched time zones since I was so close to Lake Michigan. Not only was I multi-tasking, I was an hour behind. At least I had a delicious omelet to keep me going.

Rather than run around panicking, I simply took a deep breath and got to work. Things change, plans go awry, but Spartans soldier on. The restaurant slowed down, my nephew took the baby, my sister kept people away and I started writing. By the time I finished, it was past my self-imposed deadline but I wasn’t saving lives — just writing a column. Sometimes, you just have to roll with the punches.

I had planned on joining my colleagues for dinner in Traverse City. By the time I finally got there, they were already done and needed to get to another shoot. They quickly offered me some delicious nachos and pasta they hadn’t been able to finish so I scarfed down their absolutely delicious leftovers and we headed out. I can guarantee you that many plans have gone awry on the #MSURoadTrip. That’s what road trips are all about — rolling with the punches and maybe taking a right turn when you planned on going left. My colleagues are super Spartans when it comes to making it work. (By the way, if you haven't yet checked out the work from the road, you're missing out.)

Even though things didn’t go according to the script I had in my head, I never thought twice about being hungry or if I would eat. What if not having food for your family was an unexpected occurrence? What if drought killed your next meal? What if there simply wasn’t enough for your family? Missed deadlines, changing clocks and busy restaurants are nothing compared to the real hurdles people with no food face on a daily basis. While many of us are taking photos of beautiful meals for our social media feeds, too many people in the world are going hungry.

Researchers at MSU know that food safety and security is a very real problem for people all around the globe. With population increasing, it’s only going to get harder to feed the world. Spartans are working furiously to address the issue and find real solutions.

While finding food solutions is nothing new for Spartans, a new effort is underway to help sort out food confusion and provide science-backed answers to the public’s food questions. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Setting the table, to learn more about it and how we’re addressing this critical issue.

Doctoral student Mary Adjepong knows exactly what poor nutrition can do to a developing child. She’s dedicated to solving the problems of nutritional deficiencies and stunting in her home country of Ghana, especially for children in rural areas. Check out her STUDENT VIEW: Solving the problem of childhood stunting, to learn more about her important work (and see a seriously cute photo of her at work).

So many factors go into solving food issues. Take pest management, for example. Even if the weather is perfect and the crops plentiful, an infestation of insects can destroy a family’s food source. Karim Maredia, a professor of entomology, has spent his life working on this very issue. Read his fascinating FACULTY VOICE: Entomologist. World-Traveler. Biotech Pioneer., to learn how this brilliant Spartan, who was born in a remote village in India, came to be one of the world’s leading authorities on the topic.  

Today has not gone exactly as planned either. In fact, most of my days don’t. I start out with a list (at least in my head) of all the things I need to get done. I can’t tell you the last time I actually completed a list. You know, things just crop up. You know what they say about best-laid plans. But Spartans know that when plans change, we simply look in another direction for a solution. I never plan for the weird things that derail my days. No one puts droughts and famine in their daily plans either. Well, except for Spartans. Spartans have the ability to anticipate tomorrow’s worst challenges and buckle down with fierce determination to meet them head on. Spartans Will.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by G.L. Kohuth