Campus needs healthy food this year
Carolyn Duke | Staff ColumnistBy Carolyn Duke | 01/06/2015 9:26pm
With New Year’s right behind us I’m sure many students on campus have New Year’s resolutions. And I bet about half, if not more, of these resolutions are to be healthier. Maybe students will accomplish being healthier by exercising on a regular basis or getting more sleep. But it is reasonable to say many students have a resolution to eat healthier and cleaner.
I also have this eating-cleaner-and-healthier-food resolution for this year. While thinking of healthier options to eat and different places to dine around campus, I remembered the frustration I felt when I heard Paty was getting Raising Cane’s on the bottom floor of the dorm at the end of last spring. When looking at the bigger picture, Raising Cane’s doesn’t make sense if our campus is striving for a diverse group of healthy eating possibilities.
While many students rejoiced at the announcement of Raising Cane’s joining the list of food selections on campus, I did not. I do enjoy a decent, quality chicken strip every once in a while, but Chick-fil-A, Buffalo Phil’s and other dining establishments already serve fried chicken. Adding Raising Cane’s to dining options on campus was a bit excessive. While the eating establishments on campus do offer healthy picks for students, it is more difficult for someone to order healthy when there is a greater amount of unhealthy items on the menu.
While people warn college students to fight and beware of the freshman 15, I don’t think our university does enough to equip college students by providing healthier options. There are healthy selections on the menus of the dining places already on campus, but students are more likely to eat healthier if there are more eateries that have a healthy menu with more than one healthy option.
Some of the healthier food opportunities on campus include Subway, Smoothie King, the Jamba Juice smoothie machines in Burke and the Ferguson Center and a selection of food in the Union Markets. While there are healthy choices on campus, the unhealthy picks undeniably outweigh them. This really is a shame, considering the push for a healthier culture and more fit society that our generation seems to be fighting for.
With our respectable football coach, Nick Saban, taking part in raising diabetes awareness and the state of Alabama ranked the eighth most obese state in the nation, according to The State of Obesity report of 2014, most would think there would be a greater push for more nutritious choices and fresh options on campus. I understand that Raising Cane’s most likely paid the most money to be established on campus, but whoever has the power to decide what food establishments are placed on campus should push for healthier options.
I don’t want to sound unappreciative of the dining options we have on campus. There are schools that do not have as great of a selection as The University of Alabama does, nor do they have chains as fabulous as ours. But with plenty of chicken options already on campus, it would have been nice to see a fresh and more nutritious restaurant placed under Paty.
I do applaud the people in charge of choosing what dining places are placed on campus for the possibility of eventually building a drive-thru Starbucks. That news was almost as exciting as having the year 2014 end.
Carolyn Duke is a sophomore majoring in secondary education English and Spanish.