Few healthy options in new food courtBy Chris Beacham | 09/10/2014 10:40pm
I’ve spoken with a few students who want healthier options. One student said the Ferguson Center managers told her these fast food vendors provided healthy options. I assume when they say this they are referring to the salads at these venues. According to the nutrition page on Wendy’s official website, some of their salads are close to 1000 calories, which is more than some of the sandwiches they’re serving. As much as these companies like to tell you otherwise, their ingredients aren’t fresh. There is a long list of preservatives that go into these items. Bottom line: a Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s or Subway salad doesn’t count as a healthy option.
Believe it or not, there are students on this campus who are vegan or vegetarian. I’ve met them. There are few to no substantial options available to them on campus. The Fresh Foods vegetarian option is basically another underdeveloped salad bar. According to The Crimson White, the organization Peta2 surveyed the dining options at the University last year and gave it a grade of B for vegetarian options. Today, I can’t imagine it getting anything higher than a D. The University is diverse, and its dining should be too.
My argument here is not that healthy options don’t exist at the University – they certainly do, but in an extremely limited capacity. Burke and Lakeside provide minor, insubstantial alternatives. I’m just disappointed in how the University has chosen to expand student dining. I understand how hard it is to produce food for a student body and do it well, but I wonder if there are any local businesses willing to set up shop and cater on campus to provide a more natural and home-made food option. Could we have a food vendor on this campus that you couldn’t find in any airport or food court mall across the country? Do we really need an Auntie Anne’s Pretzels or a Panda Express (especially when there’s one less than a mile off of campus)?
The University should care about this. Our diets are related to our education – what we eat affects how we feel and function and therefore also affects our academic performance. Today I will have to leave campus to have lunch. Tomorrow, hopefully things will be different.
Chris Beacham is a junior majoring in psychology.